Chambers: Returning stars can help make defence more solid

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Calum Chambers says that the players know the team needs to be more defensively solid, and that they’re working on improving our record by hard work on the training ground.

The 24 year old scored his first goal of the season to help Arsenal to a 3-2 win over Aston Villa at the Emirates yesterday, but it was another performance which begged lots of questions about the defensive set-up of the team.

The defenders are exposed with little or no protection from midfield, and those weaknesses are compounded by too many individual errors.

However, Chambers insists they’re trying hard to give the team more solidity.

“We all recognise that and are working on it,” he said.

“We are working every day at the training ground on our philosophy and the way we want to play.

“It didn’t help that we went down to ten men. Obviously, they are going to have chances, they are going to dominate parts of the game and that happened.”

Chambers came on half-time to replace Bukayo Saka who was sacrificed after Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ red card. His 81st minute equaliser was followed by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s winner, and he sounded an optimistic note about some of our injured players on the verge of making their comebacks.

“Rob’s back, we’ve got Hector coming back, Kieran is coming back,” he said.

“Those two played the other night. Those players are coming back and we’re looking forward to it.

“Obviously they are going help out. We will see what happens.”

Arsenal 3-2 Aston Villa: Brilliant Guendouzi drives remarkable second half comeback

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Santori
Santori

I’m not sure why Unai doesn’t seem convinced Chambers can play at Cback.

He was positionally a little suspect pre-season but so are our current options.

Meanwhile, looks like he may have good cause to stake a claim in his original “NATURAL POSITION” at Rback.

I thought he was composed and pick his opportunities well going forward.

he did mis-control which led to the second goal but there were more mistakes in the following chain of events (not least from Sideshowbob) that could have still prevented us conceding.

If Calum lays claim to Rback. it will be in competition with AMN as surrogate to Bellerin.

AMN to me, has had a good shot at the Rback berth. I’m not convinced his opportunities (or his diligence) will lend him to a claim for his ‘natural position’ in midfield.

He has a lot of athleticism and natural recovery pace to lend him to fullback (and cover for both flanks). But his virtue is also his weakness. At times he is far too casual, on the positive side, it is a calmness on the ball, composure.

If he loses his stake at Rback, there may be role for him higher up the pitch on the flank as an alternate to Pepe. We can play tandem fullbacks in AMN with Bellerin or Chambers supporting as we did before at Lback with Gibbs and Clichy.

Chambers isn’t the quickest but he has good assurance on the ball and quick thinking. Hope he lends himself a role either fullback back up or Cback.

Mintoes
Mintoes

Chambers should also be considered at DM. Why not? Last year he was Fulham’s player of the season playing DM and with the gaping hole we have between our defense and midfield he’d be good to start there and provide some sort of cover for the back 4…

Dapitapi

there i am with you that is where he must play DM

Mike22122
Mike22122

I’d be tempted by a holding chambers or sokratis cover Tierney and bellerin back 4 with luiz as a dm. I know hes a bit of a liability in defence but hes better at defending than xhaka better passer too. Not sure he has the pace to be in mid centre

Goonerink
Goonerink

Luiz was covering sokratis whom had gone wide to cover chambers. Guendouzi should have followed the run of McGinn? Failing that kolasinac should of covered luiz.

What do you want of Luiz? To cover both cb positions alone??

Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia
Eternal Titi Berg Pat Nostalgia

It is about reading the game and closing space as required not covering specific players.

Goonerink
Goonerink

he was goal side of the ball and player, if he had closed from there all mcginn would have to do is not shoot and the ball falls to his open teammate luiz was covering.

random ball chasing is fifa shit

Dr. kNOw
Dr. kNOw

You’re referring to the wrong goal. How Luiz was kicking fresh air with his left foot as he got beat by Wesley – who was his sole responsibility – is beyond me.

Spursarewank

The only time i will actually agree with Santori. Luiz is a shit for brain, maniac non-defending CB I’ve possibly seen apart from Squillaci in Arsenal. He’s had good moments in his career but more often than not he’s on the wrong side of absolute brain farts. There’s no way Luiz comes back in this team until he goes back to the basics of defending do some heavy man marking and positional play drills before he even gets a look over in the squad, less the first XI. If not, then we’ll keep letting the opposition score freely past us

Neil
Neil

Start Chambers over Sokratis or Luiz please

Karmafrench
Karmafrench

It will never happened. Emery is a weird guy, Luiz should have been the back up instead of Chambers.

A P
A P

I think Emery has an aversion towards certain Wenger-era players and just refuses to play them unless forced to.

Santori
Santori

Anyone over Luiz.

I would use him for minor cups and back up.

Some people like Daivid hillier waxing lyrical about his ‘passing range’ when Mustafi had been practically doing the same last season.

Not sure why we keep starting Luiz.

He’s given up more penalties in a short period than Granit Xhaka.

And made more unforced errors than Mustafi, its almost about one each game if certain stat merchant would like to focus on it.

But stats is of course what you want people to see.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

I can’t even be bothered to go through the amount of trophies won by David Luiz but it’s probably as much as the rest of our team combined. And he didn’t win them keeping the bench warm.

The problems in this team are predominantly systemic, not individual.

We’ve been bad for a long time. Results have flattered us, we’ve rode our luck and we’re very fortunate to have individuals who can pull us through games.

In coming up a year and a half, we’ve only ever controlled a handful of games under Emery and we always look vulnerable of conceding. And that’s with a mixture of Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Holding, Papa, Chambers, Mavropanos and Luiz at CB. Are they all shit defenders?

It’s time to wake up and stop scapegoating.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Some of them are relatively poor defenders tbf, and dare I say it some are simply overestimated because they’re fan favourites. That’s not to let Emery off the hook, his tactics are deeply flawed. But how many top clubs are/were really trying to sign our centre backs? Holding and Chambers have potential but at this stage it’s still just that.

HelderHughes
HelderHughes

But individually our defenders are better than West Ham, Crystal Palace, Burnley, Sheffield United right? Because these teams have all conceded 30% less goals than us this season.

Makes me think probably coaching plays a big role in this. Otherwise we’d be snapping up world class defenders like Basham and Gary Cahill.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

I don’t know about the last 3 but West Ham’s Cresswell and Diop would get into the 11 that played against Villa, and Ogbonna is handy as well. Diop especially has been linked with big moves. Though it obviously helps that they have Noble and Rice sitting in front of them.

Assshavin
Assshavin

The amount of trophies won by Luiz, has really nothing to do with his ability as a cb in our system. He has two premier league, and maybe a couple of ligue 1 medals. The first pl trophy he didnt win by playing cb. As i remember Mourinho primarily played him as a dm. The 2nd pl medal was under Conte. Here he was played in a 3 man defence, which is much easier to defend in than a 4 man defence, for someone who isnt very sharp tactically. All the trophies won for Psg really doesnt matter, as they have had the very best team in that country for many years now.

Just face it, Luiz isnt a very good cb.

Santori
Santori

I don’t think so.

Auba and Laca are Wenger era just saying.

Granit too.

More potentially a case of strength in the air maybe. But does not explain why he is so besoughted by SideshowBob.

Really poor player.

A P
A P

We would sink faster than an anchor if Emery decides not to play Auba and Laca. This is the guy who wants a crocked Suarez.

atom
atom

The only player he consistently hasn’t played is Ozil who appears to be getting better the longer he is out of the team. Ozil was pretty average the last few years under Wenger/ with Germany as well & the Europa League final likely was the last straw.

The real questions at this point are why Emery keeps playing Xhaka rather than going to a modern mobile midfield consisting of Torreira, Gendouzi, Ceballos & Willock & who makes up the best center defense pairing as it’s clear that Papa & Luiz can’t play together.

Mouise
Mouise

Özil… very bad, but still Arsenal’s best creator. It says long about the team, no? Oh, yes, i forgot creation is over-rated.

atom
atom

@mouise

There’s a reason no major European or even PL teams play a true number 10 anymore – the modern game has become much more about pressing & winning the ball back quickly such as Cabellos did against Burnley.

Klopp was asked about it and to paraphrase him he said that the reason he doesn’t play a number 10 is the team loses more in the inability to press than it gains by having someone tasked solely with creating.

We can still have creativity via Cabaellos or Willock, but the midfield is required to put in a very solid defensive shift which then allows our front 3 to have more freedom. The tradeoff to Ozil is Auba, Pepe & Lacazatte have to put in a lot more defensive work.

If we’re going to have a conversation about Ozil then let’s at least be honest about what having him involved in the team means. It’s a trade-off.

Futsboller
Futsboller

Well, if the modern game is about pressing, then we’re not very good at it as we rarely look to press in any unified way. In the Burnley match, Ceballos lost the ball and then won it back — not sure that is a tactic or a simply an outcome on that day.

There is no reason why a number 10 cannot be utilized as part of an effective press — roaming between the lines and helping to cut off passing lanes. The problem at Arsenal is that no coach has established a coherent press (Sanchez used to run it on his own out there for a while).

Ceballos, when he’s on, is excellent, and can play both ways; but when he’s not at his best, the pace of the game passes him by, not unlike Ozil. Willock has been wildly impressive along with Guendouzi this year in midfield — they put in the shift defensively, and they both carry the ball extremely well. They both look prepared to assume box-to-box roles that could really deliver some mobility to our game.

Emery needs to reduce the tinkering and establish two firm setups that the players can understand — one meant to control the game and create offensive chances, and the other meant to create a firm defensive footing and to hit on the counter. What remains clear, above all and regardless of who plays where and when, is that we need to play as a team. Coherent, unified, determined.

Karmafrench
Karmafrench

Ok but 1st we arent playing à high press football and 2nd we need to stop with the ozil can t press thing.
I remenber when we were in champions league, he was one of the players who ran the most. Only flamini was ahead of him in our team. And nobody can say that flamini was lazy. So he has the engine. He only lack the ability to win the ball, but i don t think guy like hazard, Silva or debruyne have this ability too.
You just need him to run à little toward the opposition only to prevent a pass between lines and then its up to torreira and co. Players cant do everything. Asking à number 10 To play like kante he s has dumb as asking à cb to score at every game.
And im not a crazy ozil fan. I am just sick of all this non sens. Play the guy if he is shit then don t play but you can t say that without testing him.
And by the way To prevent the “look at the europa ligue final” argument, it was 100% percent emery game plan that fucked us. We wouldn t even have make it To the final without our two world class striker.

atom
atom

@karmafrench

Ozil has been decidedly average for the best part of 3 years now and is quickly reaching the downslope of his career if he hasn’t already. We’re not talking about a 25 year old at this point nor someone. Kaka was the big name player when Ozil joined Real & Mourihno decided that Ozil was better suited for what he wanted to accomplish. Ozil is simply on the wrong side of that now as his production is too sporadic to be worth building a system/ team around.

Mpls
Mpls

His production has been tactically erased from the game. Emery has installed a system/tactical approach that damn near excludes what Ozil offers.

If he doesn’t fit whatever Emery’s vision is, that’s fine. But it’s only fair to the player to acknowledge the conditions don’t support his success.

As for the pressing arguments above, if the whole team doesn’t press, he’s running around for nothing. We’ve seen it hundreds of times. Ozil closes a player down only for that player to have 3 easy passing options. Alexis’ expressive arm waving pointed out the issue when he was here, as does Ozil’s huffy eye rolls.

If he doesn’t fit the plan, he doesn’t fit the plan (there’s a plan, right? Right?). That’s all it is.

Kran Stoenke
Kran Stoenke

12 goals and 15 assists in 44 games the season prior to emery coming in decidedly average? Not to mention the amounts of chances he created being missed by arsenal strikers in wengers last season. Ozil is still a great addition to this team. At least give him an opportunity for us to see his worth before outright benching him. He helps us control possession in the final 3rd and ‘press’ the defense back with his final 3rd ball ticking giving our players valuable possession in the final 3rd.

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

Distance covered is not necessarily a good proxy for how well someone presses the ball. For example Jorginho actually outran Kante last season, but no one would suggest he’s the better presser. Ozil’s distance covered may simply be a function of his relatively free role and his desire to be on the ball and available for a pass, something that makes sense when you watch him play.

Pressing is really about discipline and concentration, not running around like a maniac like Sanchez. The distance you need to cover should be small if you’re in the right position for the defensive transition. But you have to rapid and that does takes energy, especially if you’re without the ball for a long time.

Xanat
Xanat

Still Jose the c*nt made one of the greatest counter-attacking teams I’ve ever seen during Mesut’s tenure at Real. I think much depends on a manager and how he can implement players. That’s what differ best coaches from just good coaches methinks. That being said I really don’t like that it means Jose is great coach. I just hate the man..

Atom
Atom

Very different league / time at this point & even Mourinho would only play Ozil 60/65 minutes. At some point Ozil is what he he is

Martin
Martin

As Ozil reached 50 assists faster than any other player in the Premier League I dare say Wenger knew exactly how to okay him too

Atom
Atom

Just FYI Martin Debruyne holds that record now

loose_cannon
loose_cannon

“who appears to be getting better the longer he is out of the team.”

Ah yes, the “Joel Campbell” effect, we meet again…

Kran Stoenke
Kran Stoenke

Yeah let’s blame the europa league finals on ozil even though the team conceded 4 goals thanks to emery and the mid/defense being clueless.
Its okay to play without a cam if you have the likes of mane salah firmino(who plays as a pseudo cam anyways) and jini Hendon and fabinho/keita are all better than each of arsenal’s midfielders at winning the ball back. So when laca isn’t fit, arsenal look clueless with the ball in the final 3rd unless guendozi takes matters into his own hands or we hope for pepe or auba to do something on their own. Ozil created the most chances last season. Let’s not forget that now. Benching ozil even though laca is unfit is unwarranted and looks to me like personal issues is the hindrance, and not his ability or what he brings to the team.
Willock right now looks like an excellent burst of energy when he comes off the bench. When everyone’s at a 100% willock isn’t necessarily the best option. Guendo ceballos torreira should be the way to go about it.

atom
atom

@Kran Stoenke

It’s abundantly clear that Ozil is a complimentary player – he needs the perfect set up and others around him performing at the top of their game to perform well. Contrast that with Hazard, Messi, Ronaldo, DeBruyne, etc. – players who can take the game by the scruff of the neck and turn it around. The contrast to Hazard couldn’t have been more clear in that final – Hazard drove them to that win.

So really we’re left with a player who the entire team needs to be built around for him to perform well – there are real trade offs to that & ones that other top European / PL coaches have decided aren’t worth it (no one else plays a true number 10 without defensive responsibilities as Wenger did with Ozil). His production has been really hit or miss for a long time now – the 1 year you cite is in reality just a 4 month period as his production virtually dried up post signing the new contract and was really spotty prior to that. Compare his production to other top players who also have defensive responsibilities (Ozil didn’t) over a couple of year period & it’s pretty meager in comparison.

He’s not 25 anymore either – so if Emery, Raul, Edu don’t think he’s the way forward then it really doesn’t make sense to construct a team around him. Other top European teams clearly share that view or he would have left this summer.

Runzac
Runzac

I would play Holding and Chambers and drop the old duo to EL and Carabou. Then Saliba comes in next year.
This is a transforming era for the Gunners so I would prefer just take the steps in full and rely on the bunch we have at 20-25yrs old.

Truj
Truj

We must reach the top four even in transition, or the next year will be Lacaless…

Cacho
Cacho

Yes please!

back saka crack
back saka crack

Defense is all about partnerships
Chambers – Sokratis
Holding – Luiz
Better

DyGooner
DyGooner

Emery doesn’t make sense to me he try to portray himself as some kind of tactical genius but he’s game plan is the worst I’ve ever seen, it obvious certain players should start like Torreira over Xhaka and Chambers over Luis but for some strange reason, Emery keep doing the same BS expecting different results, I really dont get him, but I hope he gets it together and instead of working on playing out of the back he focus on having the defenders and midfield work together to sure up the defense b/c they keep making the same mistakes over and over, have them get the basics of team defense 1st before we start all this playing out of the back nonsense

Rich
Rich

I think it’s a fair assumption that Bellerin will improve us significantly, once he’s had a few games to iron out any creases.

He’s one of our best players, and a very good candidate for 1 of our five captains

goonero
goonero

I predicted Holding Chambers will be our starting CB pair by the end of the season, but as lowly as I rate Luiz and Sokratis I didn’t expect they’d be this shit this consistently to warrant being dropped already. There is absolutely zero reason Chambers does not start at Old Trafford, one of those two clowns has to get the hook… although I feel like I’ve said this every week and Emery persists with his “experience over common sense approach” Pick a name from a hat for all I care they’ve both been abject. You could make a case and say Sokratis looked decent alongside Chambers at Newcastle. Provided he keeps doing what he has been doing, Chambers should cement himself as our first choice CB. Then once Holding is back match fit he can displace the last clown standing.

Spursarewank

So true man. I feel physically sick seeing Luiz and Sokratis in the starting XI. And “doctor” Emery keeos giving me the ‘virus’ again and again in a strong form

HansRott
HansRott

Surely the obvious answer is to draft Lia Walti into the team. One Swiss for another. Could be groundbreaking.

mrugunner
mrugunner

nope. the coach has shit defensive coaching skills. no one will make the defence better

Shmokin'em
Shmokin'em

Well by your assessment, it doesn’t matter who the coach is then if no one can make it better. Pointless

Ketan
Ketan

That’s not his assessment.

ScotchEggsRule
ScotchEggsRule

You didn’t understand what he said, did you?

John
John

Holding, Tierney and Bellerin can make the defence more solid. Pope is Catholic.

Dapitapi

Chambers must be our new DM and Xhaka on the bench and we will see a good type of ball movement as Guendouzi is showing an aggressive attacking behavior all time without fearing anything coming on his way. Ozil must play with Ceballos, Pepe and Aub infront of them then we are done if i was the coach of this Arsenal team of today.

Martin
Martin

Xhaka doesn’t play as a DM

Billy Bob
Billy Bob

Chambers should not have made way for Luiz, he deserved to keep his spot and I hope he gets a proper shot at central defence alongside Rob Holding

Cultured Determination
Cultured Determination

chambers should have always been our right back in the absence of bellerin this season. heck. even mustafi would have been a better choice than AMN. it’s time for chambers to play right back no more excuses. cant wait for holding to be back.

Steve Vallins
Steve Vallins

I think any defence put under the amount of pressure the Arsenal defence is put under individual mistakes will occur
There is no balance in the midfield , opponents just walk through it down the middle or wide .
This hasn’t just started it’s been like since Emery took charge , just look at the teams organisation in the run in last season including a EL cup final chaotic

Kran Stoenke
Kran Stoenke

If you’re a young arsenal player and being played out of position, you’re free form criticism. Even though you make basic errors such as mispassing the ball to the opposition, making silly challenges and getting a red card(on more than one occasion) and giving away penalties even though there’s no risk of conceding(on more than one occasion).

Alex
Alex

Seems to be that the red card DID help 🧐😂

Bryan
Bryan

“We are working every day at the training ground on our philosophy and the way we want to play”. Sounds like emery!

Carlo Legolie
Carlo Legolie

Tonight Lucas Torreira showed he has all the qualities to be our club captain and should play in front of our back 4. Ozil should be playing more. If Auba was playing tonight with that quik ball coming forward.

Defense was solid. Have to say Mustafi looked better as Sokrotas eventhough it was against N. Forest. If we can sort out our defense out like this against the PL clubs we can end end up 3rd, maybe even start to challenge.

I think it is time to do what is best for the club and playing the inform players. Let the Swiss stay in the bench for a while. Lucas Torreira, Ozil and Genduzi start. With our front 3.

Defense let’s give Chambers and David in CB, our new signing from Celtic lb and Hector on the other side and see what happens.