As Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain races against the clock to recover from injury we sat down with the Arsenal man to discuss being thrown in at the deep end at Euro 2012, the World Cup in Brazil and why he's letting Daniel Sturridge down at FIFA 14.

SB: At Euro 2012 you were used almost as a surprise starter against France. Do you remember how Roy Hodgson told you that you were starting?

I do yeah, it was after a training session maybe a few days before, he asked me how I felt and if I was OK and felt ready and I said yeah. Then he said "OK I'm gonna play you" and at that point it was a big shock to me. It was nice, he pulled me aside, made sure I was alright and ready for it and in the right set of mind. I was and that was that.

SB: Being so young at the time what advice did Hodgson and the senior players give you?

OX: He just said "Do what's got you here" and the likes of Steven Gerrard gave me a lot of help and encouragement as well, Stevie said to me "work hard and when you get the ball in the final third do what you do". When you you hear someone like Stevie say that to you it fills you with confidence and self belief and that's what it did for me on the day, it helped me in quiet a nerve racking situation. 

SB: What's it like to play for Roy Hodgson?

OX: He's really good to work with. First and foremost he's really good at managing his players, all the boys have a lot of respect for him and really like him as a person. When you're working for someone that you really do like as a man and as a coach it makes it so much easier to put in that extra 10% hard work and graft to please him and you listen to what he's saying. He's very knowledgeable and obviously has a lot of experience and at the same time he lets players like myself, who like to express ourselves, go and do just that and show and what we can do on the pitch.

SB: How was the experience of playing Brazil in a friendly at the Maracana? You notched in that one...

OX: It was obviously a really special moment for myself and to score a goal in a stadium like the Maracana against a team like Brazil before the World Cup, it was a really nice moment. It makes you more hungry to back to the real deal, we had a small glimpse of what Brazil has to offer and it was brilliant. It wasn't as busy as it's going to be what we experienced times ten, it should be an amazing experience the World Cup.

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SB: Could there be a better place to make your World Cup debut than Brazil?

OX: I don't think there could really, Brazil with the history the country has with football and the players that they've had playing for them, it's a footballing nation. To have a World Cup there for anyone is amazing and if I get the opportunity to play it'll be really good for me.

SB: Is it kind of surreal to be playing with some of the senior players in the squad? You must have grown up watching them play for England?

OX: Definitely, these are players I looked up to and still look up to. When they were starting out their careers at my age I would have been ten and they would have been my heroes. To now have the opportunity to play with them was at first quite surreal but now it's a really great learning curve, playing with great professionals like Stevie and Lamps and John Terry when he was in the squad as well. It's what I've always wanted to do since I was young, to play with players like that, and now I have the opportunity I just want to learn as much as possible from them.

SB: What's it like working with Nike?

OX: You see how big the brand is from events like this, you see all the quality kits and all the quality players they have brought to this event today, players that are at the top level worldwide. To be involved with a brand like Nike is an amazing achievement for myself and I enjoy every minute of it. The brand is growing more and more, even though they are already massive, they keep evolving and keep adapting to the needs of players and the game. 

SB: Daniel Sturridge told us you're his FIFA 14 partner and you're defensively dodgy. He said you're holding him back...

OX: To be fair I'd have to agree with him, the times that we've played together I've let him down, he says he carries me and I'm gonna hold my hands up, he has been recently. He's a good player and I can't seem to beat him when we play singles. We do make a good team but in recent times I have been letting him down a bit when it comes to the offensive side of the game. I'm a good defender though. 

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SB: What sort of music will be on your World Cup playlist?

OX: All-sorts, at the moment I'm going through a spell where there isn't much music I don't enjoy. My main love is rap music so Drake and Rick Ross but at the same time I'm really getting into house music. If I don't play football at the World Cup then I can always be the DJ.

SB: How many pairs of boots will you be taking to the World Cup?

OX: A lot, I usually take at least two pairs of moulds and two pairs of studs and then spares in case you lose them or something rips. Yeah you take a lot but luckily enough we've got great kit men so we can leave them to sort it out.

SB: Have you tried the Magista or Superfly? What do you think of the new technology?

OX: Yeah, I've tried a few models of the new boot and it is obviously very different, so far in what I've tried it's been a change but it's been interesting, the technology that they have brought to them is really interesting. At the moment I'm in the HyperVenom and I enjoy wearing them but the new boots look really good as well.

SB: We hear you're a bit of a sneaker fan too?

OX: I'm a big Air Max 1 man, Huaraches, Blazers, I do love my trainers, I'm a bit of a sneaker head so I like to wear a lot of different trainers but they're my favourite at the moment.

Fancy the Ox to have a big input for England in Brazil? If fit, would you start him? Let us know. Drop us a line in the comments.

Additional Reading:
Leighton Baines World Cup Interview
Raheem Sterling World Cup Interview