Search

Young defender needs a break, says Arsenal boss

PUBLISHED: 07:32 24 December 2014

Calum Chambers (left) battles with Liverpool's Adam Lallana

Calum Chambers (left) battles with Liverpool's Adam Lallana

Archant

Arsene Wenger admits he must shield teenager Calum Chambers from the burden of a central defensive role despite Arsenal’s ongoing injury problems at the back.

The 19-year-old, who was signed from Southampton last summer, has been suspended twice but has otherwise featured in all but one of the Gunners’ fixtures this season.

However, Wenger has opted to deploy right-back Mathieu Debuchy as an emergency centre-half in recent games – and he has signalled that policy will continue for Arsenal’s Boxing Day clash against QPR (kick-off 5.30pm).

“For a 19-year-old player he [Chambers] has played too many games,” said the Gunners boss. “After 15, 17 games you have to give them a breather, get them fresh and get back again.

“At the moment, to have that responsibility in every single game is a lot for players of that age. I put Debuchy in because he’s good in the air and [in the 3-2 defeat] at Stoke we suffered in the air.

“He’s a defender of experience and that experience can sometimes make a difference, whereas the defensive responsibility’s a bit less on the flank.”

Laurent Koscielny’s ongoing calf problem has meant that Chambers, left-back Nacho Monreal and Debuchy have all been pressed into service to partner Per Mertesacker in the heart of Arsenal’s defence.

The Gunners have conceded seven goals in their last four games and Wenger concedes that lack of continuity may have had an adverse effect on the German’s form as well.

However, he expects that situation to improve once Koscielny returns – and that could even be as soon as Sunday, when Arsenal travel to West Ham (3pm) for their second London derby of the Christmas programme.

“I believe he’s on the way up, Mertesacker,” added the Frenchman. “He had a difficult start to the season but he has been much sharper.

“When you look at the number of players who have played centre-back this season, it’s not easy for him. When Koscielny comes back I think we’ll be more stable.

“We have had a depleted squad since the start of the season and no stability. The fact that we got so many important injuries at the back cost us – we lost Debuchy and Koscielny during the same period of three months. It’s too much.”

Club captain Mikel Arteta remains sidelined until the new year with an ankle injury, but Tomas Rosicky, Yaya Sanogo and goalkeeper David Ospina are all available again.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

Yesterday, 16:00

The Argentinian is preparing his team for a crucial clash with PSV in the Champions League

Yesterday, 14:00

North Middlesex and Hampstead had players in the Timed Cricket and Limited Overs Cricket teams of the season

FA Women’s Championship: Tottenham Hotspur Ladies 8 Millwall Lionesses 0

Yesterday, 10:00

Saracens forward Billy Vunipola helped out at a training for youngsters with disabilities and gave out medals at the end of the session.

Mesut Ozil delivered a stunning performance during Arsenal’s 3-1 victory over Leicester City as Unai Emery’s side made it 10 wins on the bounce on Monday evening at the Emirates – with colleague Hector Bellerin hailing the German playmaker as ‘a born champion.’

A Mesut Ozil-inspired Arsenal beat Leicester City 3-1 at the Emirates on Monday evening, prompting the German to use a memorable phrase.

Arsenal beat Leicester City 3-1 at the Emirates after a Mesut Ozil masterclass helped beat Claude Puel’s Foxes to make it ten wins on the bounce for Unai Emery’s impressive side.

Arsenal hosted Leicester City at the Emirates on Monday evening. Read on for Layth Yousif’s PLAYER RATINGS

PROMOTED CONTENT

Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now