We will have to wait and see whether the Arsenal and England defender Kieran Gibbs is selected by his national manager Roy Hodgson for the friendly game against France at Wembley tonight, which is bound to be an odd and emotionally charged encounter after the terrible terrorist attacks in Paris, but with England wracked by injury problems and having to play a very young team, as well as the limp performance put in by Ryan Bertrand at left back against Spain, I will be surprised if Gibbs does not start.
I hope he does because he needs the game time after being second choice to Nacho Monreal for Arsenal this season, but he is not the player I am referring to in the title, that is another England international Calum Chambers. The versatile young Gunner has been involved with the England senior side but at the moment he is back with the under 21s and I think it is doing him the world of good.
With John Stones having moved up to to the full England squad, Chambers is now a regular starter at centre back for Gareth Southgate and is rewarding the manager with some very strong performances. He had to marshal a makeshift back four in their European qualifier against Switzerland last night, with young Chelsea midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah as his partner in central defence and Chambers did it well.
Maybe his current role for England is helping Chambers to stay happy and focused at Arsenal as he told the Mail on Sunday, despite his lack of playing opportunities.
Chambers said, “I feel I have learned so much over the last two years and I am happy. I don’t think it happened too quickly. It just happened very quickly. It was a whirlwind start but I took it game by game and I enjoyed it. At the moment, I have changed position to centre back. I’m not getting so much game time but I am still working in training and trying to fight for my place.
“I’m not down or anything. When you are not in the team, you have to prepare for games as if you are in. You have to do everything the same. In training, Per always gives me advice. Laurent is the same. I feel I can go up to them and ask them anything and learn from them. I watch them in games all the time, learning and it is helping me get better and better.
“This (Under 21s) is good for me at the minute. Of course I miss the seniors. Playing for the seniors is the ultimate goal. But coming here, getting game time – the talent in the squad is still very good. The games we play are all challenges.
“We knew it was going to be difficult against Bosnia. No international game is easy. We had to be focused. The pitch needed to be adapted to and we didn’t want to make excuses.”
I really like this attitude from the Arsenal youngster. He seems very level headed and so understands that Arsene Wenger has to put the success of the team first but I’m sure that he also wants to give Chambers more game time. Do you think we might see him again for the Dinamo Zagreb match in the Champions League next week?