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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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Ox: Arsenal can help out England

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes Arsenal's 'English core' can only be a good thing for the Three Lions.

• Rio out of England squad

There is currently a strong contingent of young, English players in Arsene Wenger's squad, more than at any other time over the last decade.

Oxlade-Chamberlain committed his long-term future to the Gunners earlier this season, along with fellow England internationals Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Carl Jenkinson.

"We are all growing up together, and in similar positions with playing for a club like Arsenal and for the international team. It will stand us in good stead for our club and also for England, because the more you play with your team-mates, growing up with them, you start to know them inside out," Oxlade-Chamberlain told Press Association Sport.

Of the Arsenal quintet, only Oxlade-Chamberlain and Walcott feature in Roy Hodgson's squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro, with Wilshere injured, Gibbs only just returning back from injury and Jenkinson still not quite a regular starter in Wenger's first team.

Oxlade-Chamberlain added: "It is good to have all that support around you, and mates too, which is the most important thing in football, the relationships with your team-mates. It makes it a bit more special to be able to go away with England and be with players from your club team."

Wilshere's absence from the England squad is a particular blow for Hodgson following his man-of-the-match display last time out against Brazil. Oxlade-Chamberlain, however, is still amazed at how well his team-mate recovered from an initial spell out of action that kept him on the sidelines for 18 months.

"Since Jack has come back, he has been outstanding. He has performed to an amazing standard," Oxlade-Chamberlain said. "For Jack, the injury he had, he learned a lot from that, he grew as a player and a person, to get back from that 18 months out has really shaped him, he is a dedicated professional - the preparation he puts in not to get injured in the future is amazing."

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