The England winger told the News of the World: "There are times when I haven't deserved to play because I wasn't playing well enough but there have been times when I have been playing well and not been involved and that struck me a bit.
"So I actually went up to him for the first time and asked him what I had to do to start.
"I initiated the conversation and walked over to him on the training ground. It was a difficult thing to do. I was nervous. But I'm glad I did it.
"And he was fine. In fact, I think he thought it was really big of me to go to a top manager when I was 18 and ask what I had to do to improve."
He also revealed: "When I had the chat to him, he wanted me to be more aggressive in my style. Not going around kicking people but aggressive in an attacking sense. I think I have done that.
"I think I will be playing as a striker next season and the boss seems to think that as well.
"I will play anywhere for the team but as a striker seems to be the future.
"I would never compare myself to Thierry because he is just an unbelievable player - in fact, when I first signed for Arsenal, one of the first things I did was to have my picture taken with Thierry.
"But I was star-struck then. Not any more. I feel comfortable now. I feel established as a Premier League player and I want to push ahead.
"The boss is taking a similar route with me as he took with Thierry - playing me out wide, protecting me a bit and then going upfront later in my career.
"The boss has told me that is the way he sees it. And I am working on a lot of things. I am trying to dictate when I want the ball, always trying to be on the front foot. And I am doing extra finishing practice after training, working on things like my left foot."