Oxlade-Chamberlain: if I forget my headphones I’m in trouble – I need music before games

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has revealed his biggest nightmare before games – forgetting his headphones so he can’t listen to music on the way to the stadium.
It drives the Arsenal midfielder into a panic and he goes up and down the team bus trying to borrow some from a team-mate. He says it’s so important that he now takes two with him in case one gets lost.
“If you could think what footballers need to prepare for a Premier League game – what they need to have to make sure they have a good game, I think my biggest problem is when I forget my headphones,” he said in an exclusive video for Footballers Lives.
“I get on the bus and I think: ‘Oh my God, I haven’t got any headphones! I can’t do this journey to the stadium without listening to music.’
“So I’ll go round all of the boys: ‘Please, have you got any spare headphones? Spare headphones? Spare headphones?’
“And if I can’t find any it’s really playing on my mind. I need my music. It’s what I do. I get on the bus, listen to my music.
“From the moment we leave the hotel room, earphones in, my tunes are on, getting me in the right frame of mind or happy place to just go out and play. That’s my biggest problem leading up to a game. If I forget my headphones, I’m in trouble.
“I actually take two now in case I lose one.”
And it’s not just before games. Oxlade-Chamberlain listens to music from the moment he wakes up in the morning.
“Music’s massive for me. Generally I wake up and it’s the first thing I do – put my music on in my room. I go to training, music’s on. If I’m not really up for the game or for whatever reason feeling a bit tired or down, then I put on a certain type of music to make me happy.
“So yeah, it’s massive for me, music.”
What he listens to depends on the mood he is in – and what worked or didn’t work before last week’s game.
“It just depends what’s working for me. I might listen to Drake one week and play really well so I’m like – Drake’s working. Then I’ll have a bad game and like Drake’s not working anymore and I’ll go on to Meek Mill or something.
“It just depends on what mood I’m in on the day. If it’s a big game – well they’re all big games – but the bigger games you get a little bit more focussed in and tuned in and that’s when I listen to the more pump-up tunes.
“But generally speaking I think I actually perform better when I’m just relaxed and not thinking about things too much, when I’m listening to more happy tunes and my chilled stuff – Popcaan or Alkaline.
“That’s when I get in the best sort of space to go out and play. When I over-think things or try and be too serious, I think it goes against me, whereas for some people, they have to do that to really focus. I don’t think I’m like that so much.”