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Oxlade-Chamberlain defends Gunners

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first_img Oxlade-Chamberlain said: “Ever since I have been at Arsenal, we have had numerous quality players and the whole squad had been very strong. It just seemed that in the big games we came up short sometimes and you wonder why. “The mentality going into those games was definitely a big thing. Since I have been here we’ve steadily got better at that, especially last year. “The addition of Petr Cech will certainly help us. He is a quality player but him as an individual and a character who won things, that’s another one with the winning mentality getting in our squad and can only help us going forward.” The midfielder added: “It does help the confidence and that belief and faith going into that next fixture against them. “It is a long season and it is very early doors. We can’t get too carried away but it is a good end to our pre-season which has gone really well.” Oxlade-Chamberlain produced a lively display against the Blues and hopes it can be the start of a positive campaign on the back of some frustrating injuries. “At the moment I feel good but you know what football is like. You can never speak too soon, so I take each game as it comes,” he said. “I am putting in the work off the pitch and fitness is one of the most important things in the game, it gives you the platform and allows you to do the things you want to do. “That is always important, so fingers crossed I have better luck this season.” Midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has denied claims by Roy Keane the Arsenal players are obsessed with selfies and insists they are all deadly serious about winning trophies again next season. While 21-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain accepts the players are all fully immersed in the modern social media culture, he insists that does not make them any less determined to deliver on the pitch this season. When asked about Keane’s comments, Oxlade-Chamberlain said: “It is a new era, isn’t it? Some people do it, some don’t. We are serious about winning trophies. “Personally, and I can speak for the rest of the squad, we have been serious every single year I have been at the club about winning trophies. “You can see that on the pitch when we are playing, through the season. “A lot of people don’t see when we lose and go through tough times how upset and disappointed we are. “We have always wanted to win trophies and in the last years we have won a few. This season we want to go that one better.” Arsenal’s victory over Chelsea was the first for manager Arsene Wenger against rival Jose Mourinho at the 14th attempt. There is a growing feeling this season could just develop into a vintage campaign for an Arsenal squad now bolstered by the summer signing of veteran goalkeeper Petr Cech from the Blues. The Gunners secured a long-overdue victory against Chelsea in the FA Community Shield on Sunday with a well-executed first-half goal by Oxlade-Chamberlain. Ahead of the Wembley showdown between the 2015 FA Cup winners and defending Barclays Premier League champions, former Manchester United captain Keane had labelled Arsene Wenger’s squad as “more interested in selfies and six-packs” than focusing on delivering a first championship since the Invincibles of 2003/04. Press Associationlast_img read more

Russell fireworks outshine Gayle’s as Royals reach BPL final

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first_imgDHAKA, Bangladesh (CMC) – A scintillating Andre Russell’s half-century trumped Chris Gayle’s, as Rajshahi Royals stunned Chattogram Challengers by two wickets to storm into the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) final here yesterday.Gayle’s sensational top score of 60 from 24 balls had propelled Challengers to 164 for nine off their 20 overs and when Royals slumped to 128 for eight in the 18th over, the result looked all but certain.But Russell produced an amazing late blitz, smashing an unbeaten 54 from 22 balls to put Royals over the line with four balls to spare.Royals will now take on Khula Tigers in tomorrow’s final.Sent in, Challengers lost Ziaur Rahman cheaply for six at 22 for one in the third over but Gayle took responsibility for the innings, crunching half-dozen fours and five sixes in a thrilling knock.Crucially, he put on 52 for the third wicket with captain Mahmudullah, whose 33 required just 18 balls and included three fours and sixes.Gayle eventually perished in the 10th over, bowled by 20-year-old off-spinner Afif Hossain, a dismissal which triggered a slide until Asela Gunaratne belted 31 from 25 balls to rescue the innings.West Indies all-rounder, Rayad Emrit, managed just three, batting at number eight.In reply, Royals were tottering on 34 for three in the sixth over before wicketkeeper Irfan Sukkur carved out a patient 45 off 42 deliveries in adding 46 for the fourth wicket with Shoaib Malik (14).But once both fell in successive overs, Royals lost five wickets for 48 runs in the space of 24 balls, to find themselves requiring 37 from 17 balls for victory.Russell quickly took charge in an innings highlighted by two fours and seven massive sixes, silencing the Challengers’ attack and turning the tide in the contest.He single-handedly took 23 runs from the penultimate over sent down by off-spinner Mehidy Hasan, before finishing the game with another six in the final over from medium pacer Gunaratne.Seamer Emrit finished with two for 41 from his four overs.last_img read more