Search

All Guns Blazing: Calum Chambers should be shielded before England hype begins

13:34 20 August 2014

Calum Chambers of Arsenal

Calum Chambers of Arsenal

PA Archive/Press Association Images

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti asks why key positions still haven’t been filled after two years, and why Calum Chambers could be the bargain of the summer

While waiting for Arsenal vs Crystal Palace to start at the weekend, I found myself watching some of the build-up on Sky’s Saturday Night Football show.

It’s a pretty strange concept: they make the effort to invite a studio audience in to watch, erm, pundits – only to steadfastly ignore them for the duration like they’re ugly kids at a party. It was even more unsettling, however, when I found myself agreeing with the warbling diatribes of Jamie Carragher.

I’m loath to pay much attention to our performances over two games – we’re clearly still working our way back to full strength and match fitness, and we’ve gained decent results.

Yet the Liverpudlian did raise a fair point when he questioned the ‘spine’ of Arsenal’s starting XI. Compared to the quality running through the centre of Manchester City and Chelsea’s squads, our lack of a definitive defensive midfielder is still as noticeable as it was a year or two ago.

While hopefully we’ll do more business before the window closes, the manager’s appointment of Mikel Arteta as captain and hesitancy to play Alexis Sanchez through the middle suggests he’s once again choosing to stick and not twist. I’m a fan of every player brought in so far, but our inability to strengthen those key positions all feels a bit Groundhog Day.

On a more positive note, Calum Chambers looks like he could be the bargain of the summer. I’d put money on him looking a better player than Luke Shaw as time goes on; even with the best defenders, composure usually comes through age, not raw talent and he looks remarkably complete for a 19-year-old.

I’ve seen the Daily Mail et al have already started campaigning to get him an England call-up. Some people never learn.

He could well be a better option than anyone England have at right-back, centre-half or defensive midfield (such versatility will be useful), but I’m more of the Roberto Martinez school of thought.

When asked about the possibility of a Ross Barkley call-up last season, the Spanish manager suggested that young players ought to play around 50 games before representing their country – a sensible idea, surely?

Hopefully with Per Mertesacker back and – fingers crossed – one more centre-back to come in, Chambers will be allowed to find his feet before the England hype machine elevates him to near-impossible levels.

Follow me @alexbellotti

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 12:18
Calypso Gymnastics Club, based at Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls

It’s one of the greatest challenges facing sports enthusiasts around the country – how to persuade young people, particularly girls, to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

Thu, 13:28
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the touchline. Picture: Steve Paston

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti worries about the team’s inability to maintain a title challenge.

Wed, 18:00
John Ryder (grey shorts) defeated Sergey Khomitsky to win the vacant WBA international middleweight title. Pic: Philip Sharkey/TGS Photo

Islington’s John Ryder overcame an early setback to see off the dangerous Sergey Khomitsky and win the vacant WBA international middleweight title.

Wed, 17:56
Regent's FC

Naim Essaghi and Yemi Buraimoh both netted braces as Regent’s FC brushed aside defending champions Cricklewood Wanderers 4-1 to reclaim top spot in the Islington Midweek League Premier Division.

Wed, 16:16
Shaun Dixon in action for Highgate Harriers. Pic: Dieter Perry

Shaun Dixon and Ben Noad helped Highgate Harriers to repeat their 2012 success with victory in the South of England Championships on Saturday.

Wed, 06:40
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (Martin Rickett/PA Wire)

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal have enough firepower in their squad after he failed to sign a striker in the transfer window.

Tue, 09:07
Arsenal's Kenny Sansom (left) wins a battle with Tottenham striker Nico Claesen

Kenny Sansom has urged Arsenal to be aggressive “from first whistle to last” when they take on Southampton at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe