Date: 26th October 2016 at 9:28am
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Manager Arsene Wenger has been speaking about Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and last night’s victory over Reading in the League Cup fourth round.

Hosting the side at the Emirates Stadium yesterday evening for the fourth round of this season’s League Cup, Arsenal took a two nil victory with the Ox getting himself a brace on the evening, and obviously as Wenger spoke to the Official Site in his post game press conference, the England man came in for praise and the gaffer was particularly delighted with recent press, to see him showing belief in himself on the pitch.

With five goals to his name so far this season, Wenger knew that belief was starting to show itself in his finishing.

‘Sometimes you felt like he didn`t deserve to score when he was in front of goal before. Now, I think he has added some belief to his finishing. Now we have hope that whenever he has the ball, something can happen. He`s powerful but he also finishes well and he`s added that to his game. That`s certainly linked with confidence, hard work in training, and he looks to be following Theo Walcott in that way.’

Of course, having mentioned Walcott, Wenger was enjoying the competition between both of them, and he felt it suited each.

‘They are lifting each other but they can also play on both flanks. He`s not a long way away from the starting XI because he played against Ludogorets, he played here which was expected, but Ludogorets was a very important game. He came on against Middlesbrough on Saturday and I feel that he is regularly involved.’

Asked what had changed for him, Wenger went on to say.

‘He is not a young player anymore, he is now 23 and at 23 you become a football player who is the finished article. Before 23, you learn your job. At 23, you become more consistent, you know what`s expected of you, you know how to deal with the pressure, with the situation, with the competition inside the squad. But he was so talented, so young. In the national team, so young. People forget that he was still a young player. As a person? I think the quality of his concentration, of his focus, is sharper. He is more determined and he has worked a lot mentally you know, to be really focused and I think it comes out every day in training and now it is starting to come out in the games.’

As for the game itself, there were a number of positives for Wenger, not least the performance of the youngsters picked, but also the return to the pitch for Carl Jenkinson following his lengthy lay off.

‘It was a dynamic game between two teams who tried to play passing football and build up the game from the back. For me, it was also good to see some young players who practise every day with a top team, and also give them a chance with the other players who needed competition. It was positive. It was an interesting game which we were able to win in a comfortable way in the second half.’

Asked to name those who particularly impressed him, he explained.

‘I felt that Rob Holding did well and also Ainsley Maitland-Niles, he did well. Jeff Reine-Adelaide did alright too.’

And of course that brings us to Jenkinson.

‘It`s fantastic to see him back. I don`t count him as a young player but he did well, he played 90 minutes and had no fitness problems at all. That means he`s prepared well physically. He`s played with the under-23s and we have had no problems with him physically at all.’

Ending with talk of rotation, he said.

‘Look, if we stay in all the competitions, it`s not too difficult. And that`s a positive of qualifying tonight. We have always targets and the players who, for example, we have three top class goalkeepers, because you see Emi Martinez as well. But as long as we are in this competition, he obviously gets his game so they have a focus, something to focus on.’

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