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Strong Ox no spider man!

Byline: DAVE KIDD

ALEX OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN insists he is fearless on a football field whether he is facing Brazil or Bayern Munich. But Roy Hodgson had best keep him away from the Amazon jungle when England visit Manaus for their World Cup opener against Italy because Arsenal's golden boy is scared of snakes and spiders.

Oxlade-Chamberlain (below) and his team-mates head into the lions' den for today's north London derby at Tottenham.

But the England star, who excelled during Arsenal's Champions League exit at Bayern in midweek and scored for his country in the Maracana last summer, claims he is never fazed by football. He said: "Generally nothing on a football pitch fazes me, no. I'm not too fond of spiders or snakes, though - and I know we're going to Manaus! "When I go on the pitch, though, I try to play without fear. I have respect for all the opposition, especially Bayern Munich, but you can't go out there with fear. So I just try to keep the same mind-set, whoever I play against."

Yet the Ox admits Arsenal's players are affected by pressure created by eight seasons without a trophy - with Arsene Wenger's men now hot favourites to win the FA Cup, facing holders Wigan in the semi for a shot at Hull or Sheffield United in the May 18 final.

Oxlade-Chamberlain, 20, said: "Of course, it definitely affects the players. When you talk to people like Theo Walcott, who has been here for eight years, they have definitely seen opportunities where they might look back and think we could have done better as a club to get results and win trophies."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 16, 2014
Words:273
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