The Oxlade-Chamberlain family member who didn’t get away from Pompey

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Wayne Rooney against Ukraine
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain replaces Wayne Rooney against Ukraine
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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Mark Chamberlain does have a son who is on Pompey’s books.

While Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is part of the current England squad who have reached the quarter-finals of the European Championships, his younger brother is at school in Southsea.

What’s more, Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain is registered to play football for his home-town club.

A central midfielder, the 14-year-old represented the Blues last season and will be part of the under-15 set-up during the forthcoming campaign.

Unlike his brother and father, the St John’s College pupil does not operate on the wing or in wide attacking areas.

On that basis, Academy assistant Paul Hardyman is keen to stress the importance of not comparing Christian with former Southampton star Alex.

It would be unfair to pile such pressure on someone so young, yet at least this is one Oxlade-Chamberlain who does play his football at Fratton.

Hardyman said: ‘Christian is a midfielder with our under-15s next year.

‘He’s a little bit later coming into it, but you can already see there are some very good attributes from him.

‘The last thing anyone should do is compare him to his brother. He does not need that pressure.

‘At this stage he is just another Academy lad.

‘Christian is more of a midfielder than a winger, like his dad and brother.

‘He can score goals and defend.

‘The lad is strong, he doesn’t shirk a tackle and has ability on the ball.

‘It would be unfair to compare him to Alex. He’s just someone who wants to become a player and will work hard on it.’

Mark Chamberlain was a coach at Southampton when he took his eight-year-old son, Alex, there.

The Port Solent youngster was never on Fratton Park’s books, but did represent Portsmouth Schools.

His father would later return to Pompey as a coach, although resisted then head of youth operations Paul Hart’s overtures to bring Oxlade-Chamberlain to his home-town club.

He went on to feature 43 times for Saints, scoring 10 goals, before moving to Arsenal last summer.

Brother Christian, though, remains on the south coast.

Hardyman added: ‘When Mark and myself got made redundant a few years back, I worked in the community scheme and Christian had come to some of our sessions.

‘When I returned to the club in the Academy, I mentioned to Andy (Awford) about giving him a trial.

‘We took a little bit of time to decide over him and he has been in the system for six to eight months.

‘Now he has the chance to go on and become his own player.’