The Curious Case of Calum Chambers

Calum Chambers has been at Arsenal for a few years now. He was loaned out to Middlesborough and then last year, he was loaned out to Fulham where he played as a DM and won Fulham’s player of the year award. That said, Fulham was relegated and Chambers was often playing fireman in a team that was not so difficult to break…

Chambers is a polyvalent defensive player – he can play at RB, CB and DM. After so many years, we don’t know what his best position is and I am not 100% if he knows either. What is for sure is that he always gives 100% and that he is not bad at passing nor at defending. We also know that he is not great at passing nor defending.

Neville said a few weeks back that Chambers is not fast enough to play at RB, he is not strong enough to play at CB and not athletic enough to play at DM so he should not be more than a squad player but Neville also said recently that Mustafi, Sokratis and Luiz are uncoachable and too prone to mistake so if we listened to him, we wouldn’t have much choice but to play Chambers and Holding as our CBs…very confusing.

His defensive stats are not great, 35% tackling success rates, 52% duels losing rate, 51% aerial battles lost, 30 clearances, 9 interceptions, 4 blocked shots, 12% accurate crossing, 0 through ball or assist, 2 big chances created and 1 goal.

What’s your take on Calum Chambers? What is his best position and should he be a starter?

A real curious case this Mr. Chambers but we need to know if we persevere with him or if we need to unload him to another team…



36 Responses to The Curious Case of Calum Chambers

  1. Thank you RC78 for the post.

    Polyvalent – such an interesting word, I’d never heard it used before, did some googling and found it can mean versatile.

    RC – is it used commonly in French?

  2. VP says:

    a very thought provoking post
    I would ask him, squad player or leave
    He has been loyal so the choice should be up to him

  3. Calum Chambers has some skills that are unusual in a Centre-back, he’s very able on the ball, a skill that has got him into trouble a few times but credit to him for keeping on trying to play out when surrounded by opposition players.

    He can whip in a great cross but lately we don’t seem to be pushing up that way. He’ll always try a shot if he finds himself in the box.

    Having lived with a young centre-back who hated having to play as a right back I always feel sorry for him when he’s not played centrally.

    Sadly for him he hasn’t been given a proper run in any position for us.

  4. LBG says:

    A Flamini type squad player only. Holding defensive midfielder first, centre back second. But given Sokratis Mustafi, Luiz and no Mavrapanos ( where is he?), centre back alongside Holding until Saliba arrives and takes our defence by storm.

  5. RC78 says:

    Polyvalent is used a lot in French, sorry I should have used versatile

    I think Chambers should be tried as DM for us because he s more mobile than Xhaka. Maybe we could try a Chambers-Torreira partnership in the middle of the park and play Douzi a bit higher up?

    I d like to keep Chambers but am afraid he may have to pull a Jenkinson on us…

  6. Gooner4life says:

    Chambers Movraponos Holding all players that have had some international pedigree at some level
    Steve Bould a strong resolute defender who seemed to sulk and say nothing under AW or UE
    Now Metersacker who I personally thought was an underrated thinking CB who knew h his brain was not enough to combat modern mobile attackers but remains committed like Llunberg to the Arsenal cause
    I think /hope that PM will use his vast experience( capped 90 ish times) to mould these players into reliable defensive partnerships but also supported by a robust midfield that can press when appropriate but interfere with the opposition forward momentum
    Having been gooner crazy even before Arsenal winning the first division at Spurs I have become increasingly disheartened by the clubs decline certainly since we waived away our passage into the Champions League
    Last Thursday was almost straws and 🐪 camel 🐪 (CB’s) but at least Saturday (in part) showed commitment and style
    Hope Brighton will show a continuing improvement

  7. RockyLives says:

    What an excellent topic for a Post RC – well played!

    Chambo was the fans’ player of the year at Fulham last season.

    I think we all know that when fans pick someone as POTY, it’s an honour not to be sniffed at.

    Supporters know only too well which player has made the biggest contribution to their team’s efforts during a campaign. That’s why fans’ Players of the Year are seldom the club’s superstar striker or flashiest winger. It’s usually the type of player who puts in a valuable shift game in, game out.

    Eric Cantona once described the unspectacular but highly effective French midfielder Didier Deschamps as a “water carrier.” It was meant as an insult, because Deschamps did not have Cantona’s genius. But Deschamps turned up in every game with 100% effort and played for the team, not for personal accolades. Meanwhile Cantona’s appearances in a France shirt were few and far between because he would drift in and out of matches having the occasional beautiful moment but not improving the team overall.

    Deschamps ended up wearing the “water carrier” moniker as a badge of honour. He went on to captain France to World Cup glory while Cantona’s international career amounted to a damp squib.

    It’s the “water carriers” who end up being most valued by fans and winning POTY accolades.

    So… all this is a long-winded preamble to saying that I think we can potentially get a lot more out of Calum than we currently are – but he needs to play as either a CB or a DM.

    He has filled in manfully at RB when needed, but he doesn’t have the speed to fulfil that role effectively.

    Let’s give him a solid run alongside Rob Holding in the centre of defence or sitting in front of our back four as an out-and-out DM.

  8. GoonerB says:

    Well thank you RC you cheeky little polyglottist 🙂 Personally I am more polyonymous……. I mean take your pick; GB, camel wormer, di-kh-ad, tw-t……….. Yes I am known by many RC 🙂

    So there remains one unanswered question with our Callum RC. We have seen him at both Arsenal 1st team level at CB and RFB on a few occasions. Currently I would class him as decent in both but not necessarily great.

    That is still ok for me and makes him a valuable squad asset in those roles. I am not a fan of having a multitude of polyvalent players in a side, and prefer to have world class specialist players in specialist positions for the greater part of the team. It is an area that I felt Arsene himself made mistakes in, trying to have too many multi-functional players.

    However, the unanswered question as mentioned above, is that we have not had the opportunity to see him at Arsenal 1st team level play at holding midfield. Fulham have, and were impressed, but what we don’t know is whether he can translate that to performances consistent with a top end EPL side. My question is, how will we ever know if we don’t try it? Without trying it everything is pure guesswork and subjective opinion.

    I am at a loss that, when our midfield has been consistently shown to be more porous than the holiest (not in the biblical sense) Swiss Cheese sitting on a car bonnet in the height of summer, why the hell have we not even given it a go? What did we have to lose in actually finding out?

    If he did shock us all and actually turned out to be really very good at that position, then we can all be very happy and we have one less problem area to address. If he just turns out to be decent then I would say we still need to source that specialist player, but in Chambers we have a polyvalent player that is pretty decent covering 3 positions. On that basis I would say he is an important squad member.

    For the most part we should have a squad of specialist position players, but all teams need those 1-2 useful polyvalent players like Chambers, so for me he stays either way.

  9. JM says:

    Short term (this season) – a pairing with Holding at centre back; with Tierney/Kolasinac and Bellerin/Maitland-Niles at full back. Luiz and Torreira at DM/CM pairing.

    Long term (next season and beyond) – a pairing with Guendouzi/Willock at DM/CM, while Luiz can be his guide/rotating backup (I cannot help feeling that Torreira shall be either making a return to Italy/Serie A or a Barcelona/Real/Atletico come a-calling to take him away to La Liga in the near future). We shall having the defensive quartet of Tierney, Holding, Saliba and Bellerin, hopefully in their prime to count on.

  10. RA says:

    Morning All, 😁

    Having experienced something of an anti-climax on Sunday, I thought I could not be surprised if good old Broghton gave us a larruping tomorrow — but waking up on this lovely cold, foggy, sunny day I am really itching to see the game despite all that.

    Perhaps it was the mental image of Sue twerking away if we win. 🤪

  11. RockyLives says:

    I think one of the reasons some people see Chambo as a squad player at best, or someone who should be moved on, is that the overall performances of the team under Emery were so poor for so long.

    I would like to see him (and certain others) given a chance in a team that is well organised, well coached and has a clear sense of what it’s trying to achieve.

    As the views of Neville (RC doesn’t mention whether it was the ugly Neville or the ugly Neville), all I can say to that is, meh.

  12. Philip says:

    Interesting post.

    I for one don’t think it’s that curious a case. He’s a CB, and a good one. In a fix, he can also play RB and CM, but there’s no doubt over his best position for me.

    I think Chambers’ treatment reflects our failings in the loan market in recent times. The purpose of a loan should be to provide a proving ground and ultimately a route to the first team. Like others before him, I feel Chambers was essentially loaned as we weren’t quite sure what to do with him. What more can he do at Fulham than be the fans player of the year? Yet that’s hardly been rewarded by the club.

    I also feel for him having to watch others in front of him make mistake after mistake. Chambers without doubt has limitations, and is unlikely to be the saviour of our defence. Having said that, I think he’s a very diligent defender who sticks to his task without going for glory trying to chase the ball down everywhere. He is also a massive calming influence on the defense when he plays, which given the way we play out from the back is an important facet.

    Given the failings we’ve seen, I for one would be more than happy to see Chambers and Holding be given the job in the middle – they are both developing and can hardly be worse?

  13. RockyLives says:

    I’m sorry about your anti-climax on Sunday. But moving on to football matters, did you happen to watch the game?

    There were signs of improvement in our forward play, although the psychological scars of recent performances became apparent towards the end.

    I expect us to take the Inuit approach to Brighton tomorrow night.

    (The Inuit eat seagulls for breakfast, lunch and dinner).

  14. RockyLives says:

    Very measured comment Philip.

    I agree with all you say (particularly how poorly thought-through the club’s loan-out policy has been) but would add that I’d also like to see Chambers given a run as a defensive midfielder, the role he thrived in at Fulham.

  15. RA says:

    GIE, @ 8:18 a.m.

    I fully agree with you, that whatever role is played by any new employee in an organisation, whether they are at the pointy top, or at the other end, where most of the work gets done, they need time to adjust and find their feet, (GB is always complaining that he has lost his, again — I have told him over and over to stop dancing with those camels) and that settling in is also true of a football club, as you indicated.

    I think that Arsenal have gone from Gazidis as CEO, and made a number of roles/appointments separating out his job by trying to lighten the workload, and to give specialists, in certain areas, their heads.

    I am not convinced tat will work, as I understand there has been intense rivalry, where managers are protecting their ‘territory’ and between them are like the committee who bred GB’s horses, and produced worm laden camels.

    I have expressed my view in a slightly different way but I think we are in broad agreement, that there has to be clear line management otherwise we will end up continuing to see the shambles that has allowed messed up player contracts that in turn allowed players to go for nothing, or paid a ridiculous salary to Özil, so they cannot move him on etc.

    Yep, you are correct, there is a need to look at all levels of management at the club and not just at the coach or the players. That needs input from the owners, because that triumvirate of managers, including Sanllehi and now Edu need to bond, and quickly.

    [I say the above without one scrap of evidence about what is going on – but I am a fan, and we can say what we like – even if it is rubbish!! 😜 ]

  16. RA says:

    Rocky, 😛

    And as for those inuits ……. I am all for them scoffing seagulls.

    There were a few promising signs of a small improvement on Sunday, post-anticlimax, but my real disappointment was a truly naïve hope that The Fred would immediately put his imprimatur on the team, and use more of the youngsters which would signal to the older guys that they would have to shape up or ship out.

    Completely unrealistic, of course, and listening to The Fred since, I think he is ‘getting a feel’ for what’s needed to avoid further anti-climaxes! 🙄

  17. Rasp says:

    Thanks RC. I like Chambers, he comes across as an all round good guy and honest hard working footballer.

    He’s never going to have the attributes to be a first choice Right back – certainly not for the big games any way. He’s always done well as a CB, – and as others have said that is without ever reallyt having a run of games.

    I haven’t seen him play DM for us yet, but I do think it’s certainly worth trying him in that position. He should be competing with Luiz for the DM position because he is already a better CB than Luiz IMO.

    He’s an excellent squad player worthy of a club with our aspirations. He’s probably not good enough to be a first choice in any position if we had recruited the right quality of players to enable us to achieve our aspirations.

    If he’s more ambitious than that and wants to start games every week then it’s likely he’d have to move on – and I’d wish him well.

  18. RC78 says:

    So it seems
    – we d like to see Chambers played at DM to see what’s up as my American friends would say;
    – we d like to keep Chambers in our squad anyways because of his versatility but will he want to ne a utility player?

    And excellent remarks about Deschamps – apparently, he was also an amazing game reader constantly telling his team mates to close gaps or to move forward. He did well as a coach in Monaco, Juve, Marseille and France and all his players said his best quality was to create a group that is driven to achieve the desired goal. France won the WC2018 and was a finalist in 2016 at the EURO – our team is not the best on paper but Deschamps created a solid group…

    If Chambers could become our Deschamps, I would be most pleased

  19. RC78 says:

    I think Wenger always said that Chambers’ natural spot would be DM, then CB. As Freddie is thinking about his line-up tonight, I am hoping that he does give Chambers a run at DM – if we don’t try it vs Brighton, we ll never try it

  20. RA says:

    Hi Rasp, @ 11:54

    You have said exactly what I would have said about Chambers, if you had not beaten me to it. 😳

    Chambers is a worthy trier, and gives it his all.
    He is never going to be a world beater, but I agree that he could be a very effective defensive midfielder positioned ahead of the CBs. —

    I would like to see him get an extended chance in a more suitable position — let’s face it, Arsenal are not going to buy more than one quality defender, so we have to be selective as to which of the CBs etc we keep.

    [When I say ‘we’ — I mean Arsenal, of course. ]

  21. With respect to Fulham, being their player of the year doesn’t make him a Premier League player of quality. To be honest I don’t see much improvement from the player we put out on loan following that first near disastrous season and think The Championship is his level and that’s where he will find something resembling success.
    We don’t actually have an outstanding defender right now and it’s very concerning.

  22. Sue says:

    RA.. 🤣😝👍

  23. LB says:

    Gotta say, I love the word Polyvalent.

  24. Sue says:

    I’d say unload him and wish him well!

  25. Sue says:

    With all that rubbish Scholes came out with regarding Freddie’s attire, I guess tomorrow will be too cold for this –

    Damn!! 🤣

  26. RA says:

    I was referred to once or twice – or a lot really – as a polymath.
    ‘Poly’ means ‘a lot’ – such as ‘poly put the kettle on’, as you will well know.

    I heard the term mainly in sniggery whispers, and sometimes with a detectable note of sympathy, but also alongside a puzzling element of humour, mainly of the ‘there but for the grace of God go I’.

    I had the sense to realise that the other guys were really barking up the wrong tree, as – a polymath, I was not – but secretly I was rather tickled that the thought had crossed their minds, however mistakenly.

    Then a 13 y.o girl told me she did not think it was respectful that the others were referring to me as a ‘polymat’. It was against the tenets of taekwondo.

    The ignominy! Not a polymath — just a skinny pillock always on my ass on the mat. A polymat.

    It taught me that having even a little hubris was a big mistake. 🙄

  27. Sue says:

    There are some tasty games on tonight! I shall be rooting for Leicester 🙏

  28. LB says:

    A touching tale RA

  29. Sue says:

    Quite an eventful night! We’re 10th now though😳
    Rashford was on it.. so much for the boring 0-0 I wanted 😄 I bet they loved beating Maureen.. and I’m sorry I couldn’t help but laugh when James went sliding into Maureen, butting his leg 😂
    So glad Leicester won… Gutted Chelsea won.. and as for Liverpool – meh!!
    Roll on tomorrow.. the greatest team the world has ever seen are playing 😁 Woohoo! COYG

  30. Sue says:

    Bloody hell and we’re only 5 points from the relegation zone 😩

  31. Sue says:

    Wrighty’s been voted out of the jungle… nooooo!!! 😭😭😭

  32. fred1266 says:

    Sue u going tomorrow game

  33. Sue says:

    I am indeed, Fred 😁

  34. fred1266 says:


  35. Morning all

    We have a New Post ……………

  36. Muhe says:

    I think he is better than Areteta when he was at his peak. Please use him as DM. He is even better than Kante taking into account kante’s current performance.

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