Young Guns Column: Chambers Showed He’s Not A Centre-Back


Steering away from all the negatives at the moment surrounding Arsenal, one talking point has been what position Calum Chambers should continue to play. He arrived at the club as a right-back but has featured many times in the centre of defence, leading many to believe that should be his regular position.

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Further from that, many are suggesting that Calum Chambers should be a first-choice centre-back ahead of Per Mertesacker, partnering Laurent Koscielny in the middle. However, I couldn’t disagree more and strongly believe that Chambers’ best displays are on the right-side of defence and it is there where his future lies.

Firstly, Chambers disciplinary record is far too weak to be considered as a regular at the heart of defence. He averages a yellow card every other game and has already been suspended once this season due to accumulating too many cautions and he is to add to that next week following his red card against Stoke City- which was awarded after two yellow cards.

Yellow cards are part and parcel of the game and defenders will always pick them up. However, the difference is knowing when is acceptable to do so and when it is just plain stupid. With a disciplinary record like his, you cannot trust Chambers in the middle of the defence.

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Secondly, and on a more positive note, he offers far too much going forward to justify him being played at the heart of the defence. During the 1-0 victory against Southampton, Chambers’ bursts forwards were a delight to see and his cross execution was sublime, eventually playing a part in the winning goal of the game.

Going forward, he reminds me a lot of Bacary Sagna- who Arsenal have missed drastically this season. If Chambers can continue those performances going forward then Arsenal are in great shape, especially when Olivier Giroud settles (and has a strike-partner alongside him).

Lastly, and this is a big-point, a 19-year-old shouldn’t have the burden of being a regular starting defender. On the right he faces competition with Mathieu Debuchy and Hector Bellerin for a starting spot, which is great for his development, whilst in the middle his competition for a spot is almost non-existent.

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Despite his vast talent, he is just 19-years-old and we can’t place too much on his shoulders just yet. We need to nurture the talent he shows and I believe he has shone on the right more than he does in the middle of defence, where he does a job. On the right, he is a more fluid part of the team.

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