"It provided a kick up the backside," said the 23-year-old, who has 24 caps.
"I have been playing for England since I was 18 and while I wouldn't say I took
it all for granted it just seemed to be a part of my season – to play for
Arsenal and to play for England.
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purecontrol "And so to be available and to be feeling good and fit
- to not be in, yeah, it was a jolt.
"It was a wake-up call. I am not young now, I am 23, so you need to be
performing and playing as much as you can to deserve a chance to go and play for
"So I wouldn't say I had taken it for granted but being back in the set-up
now makes me realise how special it is and it is something I want to keep
happening in the foreseeable future.
"I didn't speak to Big Sam at all. I guess he had a lot to do what with it
being his first game as England manager so I didn't expect to get a call from
him. I had hopes to be involved.
obra "There are a lot of young players now that are doing really
well and it's not an easy squad to get into. You shouldn't just be able to walk
into an England squad."
vapor The ex-Southampton star posted several Instagram pictures of
him working out in the gym while on holiday when the last squad met but was not
making a point as he "didn't think Sam had Instagram".
His last game for England came when he scored in a 3-0 win in Lithuania in
October 2015 but admitted he tried to avoid watching Euro 2016 until England's
embarrassing 2-1 defeat to Iceland in the second round.
"I didn't watch the first few because I was just gutted I wasn't there and I
tried to switch off from it but I always found myself tuning in for the end to
watch the last moments of it," he said.
"Then the Iceland game, when we got through to the next round, I made sure I
watched the boys.
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cleats "At that point I wouldn't say I was over not being there but
I was a little bit more accustomed to it and I was doing my rehab.
"So I watched the Iceland game and I was just as disappointed as everyone
was. You put out the players that played against Iceland, or any England team
that plays against Iceland, and nine times out of 10 we should win. The ability
is obviously there and then I guess the psychological part of it is massive, but
whether that's a big factor I'm not sure."
mercurial Southgate is in charge for England's next four games with
Oxlade Chamberlain's club boss Arsene Wenger linked to the role full-time.
Wenger's contract at Arsenal expires in the summer and the Frenchman is yet
to rule a move out but Oxlade-Chamberlain has been impressed by Southgate in his
three days with him.
He said: "Everyone knows about Arsene Wenger what a great manager but right
now there's a lot going on and all I'm focused on is Gareth and he's just come
in. The first few days working with him has been brilliant. They've made the
boys feel relaxed and confident with what they're trying to do."
Oxlade-Chamberlain returned to Southgate's squad with two goals in eight
games for the Gunners this season but was questioned by Wenger at the start of
the campaign as he wondered if the ex-Saints man knew how good he could be.
He added: "Of course I believe in myself. There are times in your career
where you have good and bad form and get criticised and bigged up.
"There will be times where I've lost a bit of confidence and there's been
times where I've looked for the more simple options but that's part of learning
and developing as a young player."