Is Calum Chambers doomed to be an Arsenal supersub?

Calum Chambers joined Arsenal from Southampton with a lot of fanfare back in 2014, and in his first season he made 17 League starts for us, plus 6 from the subs bench, despite only being 19 years old. But in the 4 and a half subsequent seasons he has made just 14 League starts in total, although he spent one year at Middlesbrough and last season was down the road at Fulham, where he went on to win the Player of the Season award.

But he was keen to make it at Arsenal and returned this summer with the hope that he could finally break into the first team, especially with our glut of defensive injuries and Bellerin a long term absentee. But for some reason Emery decided to play Maitland-Niles out of position at right-back instead of giving the very versatile Chambers a run in the team. So he had to patiently wait for his chance, which only came in our comeback win against Aston Villa, where he got on the scoresheet. He remained in the starting XI for the League Cup rout of Nottm Forest (albeit at left-back) and provided three assists as we won 5-0.

But now with our injured stars returning to the squad, is Chambers likely to yet again be relegated to the bench. This is what Emery said about Chambers after the Forest match: “He helped. He helped us in the training, in the dressing room and when you need him to play right back, centre back, left back like tonight, and we can use him in the midfield also. His performance is starting with his attitude and his attitude is amazing. After that is his best position, but tonight for example I was telling him, when he was playing left back, be calm here, help and support Bukayo, give the ball to Dani Ceballos and he was overlapping a lot of times with Bukayo! He did one very good pass for the goal with Nelson. He didn’t listen to me”

Is it possible that Emery is not convinced he is first team material in any one position, but believes he can cover for so many that he a very useful player to have on the bench to cover for any injuries during games? Chambers is desperate to make it here but as he told just this week: “I think to establish yourself here, you need to play week in, week out. It’s the same at every club you go to. When you’re playing week in, week out that’s when you really establish yourself to the team and the fans.

“That’s a goal I want to push for, it’s one of my aims, so I’ve got to figure out how I can do that. I need to work on things off the pitch to help me achieve that, that’s the aim for this season.”

But without a set position in the side will he ever get a steady run of games under Emery? Or simply be the perennial supersub?



  1. Not for CB position
    We are very weak in that position except for Holding. Chambers can make that his own.

    But for RB and DM, Bellerin and Torreira are far superior

    Chambers should focus on DM. He and Holding can be our main CB for years maybe

    1. Sorry I meant Chambers should focus on CB position. I’d like to see Chambers and Holding as the main CB pairing

    2. I beg to differ. Chambers was Fulham’s Player of the Season because he played in his best position, which is the DM position

      Torreira is superior in tackling, but Chambers’ physique is better

      I consider Torreira to be similar to Kante. Kante is a mobile DM with a double-lung stamina and high work rate, but still needs a bigger and more stationary DM playing next to him because of his mobility

      1. Exactly, in current squad, he is best option in front of CB, that’s his zone, in middle of defense. He helps out on flanks cuz he can defend; not supersub defender but our best overall defender.

        Clearly, he should be in that zone before Sokratis, Luiz, Mustafi or Xhaka torreira and anyone in front of defense.

        Once you have him there; you can combine anyone in middle

        Niles Chambers Willock, torreira

        Niles Chambers Torreira Gendouzi

        Chambers Gendouzi
        Nelson xhaka

        Willock Xhaka

        He gives many options in middle, more security and freedom. But, Emery will always find the wrong one…

        We all stressing on that team pick, instead to look forward to excitement. Scared on every games!

    3. Torreira hasn’t been playing well for sometime. Hope he finds his form soon. Otherwise, it would be interesting to seen how Chambers fares for us as a DM.

      Would love to see him and Holding as our CB pairing too.

      Anyway, Chambers should at least get a run as a starter for now

  2. He has a huge potential as a cb or md……but he needs to show some hunger and fight for more first team games in the league. He needs to be more aggressive in his games.

  3. Chambers definitively has quality, hard to argue otherwise. Personally I’d rather see him as a DM before Xhaka in the midfield.

    If Emery had honest competition for spots, I’d bet Chambers would beat out Xhaka and keep him out of that deeper sitting midfielder position.

    Team would be better for it. Unfortunately Emery seems hellbent to force Xhaka into the 11 regardless of performance. Fouls, Errors, costing points never seem a liability with Emery concerning Xhaka.

    Yet Chambers isn’t convincing enough, and Ozil needs more rest.

    1. I think Emery prefers a DM who can deliver long passes with accuracy, to be more direct. Also his heavy-use of fullbacks, it needs someone who can supply them.
      That’s the only logical explanation for Xhaka’s inclusion.

      1. Great point you make regarding Emery, but I sense you don’t agree with Xhaka’s inclusion?

        I would say a defending DM is more important than a 1 trick pony who can spray long passes. Chambers is good at long passing, but not quite as good as Xhaka.

        However, Chambers is faster, better defender, and better decision making under pressure than Xhaka, not to mention far less error prone than Xhaka. Interested to know if you agree with my assessment.

        1. I agree with your assessment, Xhaka is more of a liability than an asset to the team because of his ineptness at defending. As you said he is a 1 trick pony. I’d like to see Chambers tried in that position, I heard his loan spell was a success. David Luiz as a DM would be interesting too.

  4. Well, if UE can leave Torreira, Ozil, Lacs out after playing well and then select Xhaka, Luiz and Soks when playing badly…poor old Calum will have no chance!!!

  5. Chambers should keep pushing and ride out this year after which Emery should be gone and he will be still with us. I’m hoping to see his partnership develop in the CB area and help solve the defensive problems.
    Emery seems to not wanting to play him than otherwise.

  6. While ManU is struggling, Leicester has quietly crept into #3. Under Rodgers they are bound to do well this year. We have a fight on our hands to be in the TOP4.

  7. Every Leicester player is improving, Brendon Rogers has brought in a new vision, new attitude, created a new creative midfield from an old player. Fantastic so far. Emery has destroyed our best creative midfield, turn good players into mediocre ones, give fans reasons to have scapegoats within the squad. It is either Ozil, or Luiz, or Xhaka, mustafi, Sokratis (I loved him when he came) ex Iwobi, Chambers etc. Torreira is on the bench, defence is shameful. I love Arsenal, I hate Emery!!!! Every struggling team has found their strength whenever it comes to Arsenal, am sure the same thing will happen tomorrow but I sincerely hope not.

    1. You’re right, Pat… they’re looking a force, once again. Vardy had better get 2 or 3 next week (at Anfield 🙏)
      Yes, the thought of tomorrow night is making me feel a little uneasy….🙈

      1. Sue love, I remember celebrating the appointment of Emery, it was one of the best day in my house. I vehemently argued against the appointment of Ateta and Brendon Rogers how wrong was I, I thought Emery is a bigger manager and he will improve our squad to met the European standards and he will take us to where we used to be amongst the best in Europe. How wrong was I and my dreams????. We are just super average with big players. Sorry baby am beyond repair when it comes to Emery.

        1. I know it’s easy for us to sit here, rather than be out on the touchline, but i haven’t been impressed with some of our starting 11’s, substitutions, away form…. for me, nothing but a win will be acceptable tomorrow, Pat..

  8. I guess UE will use 3 attackers this season with Auba and Pepe would be joined by Laca, Martinelli, or Saka.
    For midfielders, it’s clear that he will stick to Xhaka, Guenduozy,
    and Ceballos with Willock and Torreira would be his choices from the bench.
    Bellerin, Tierney, and Leno automatic choice for FBs and GK.
    Not quite sure with CBs, but considering their age, yet they keep competing showing who’s worse in only 6 games, Sokratis and Luiz could soon lose UE’s trust and it would be a good chance for Chambers and Holding.
    I think AMN still have a place in UE’s
    plan, and it’s likely that it’s as FB, and we know that he’s also a quick player. Something that probably come first in UE’s mind for FB as that’s the only possible explanation why he prefered AMN to Chambers while we know that Chambers already fit and of course better in defending.
    So, Chambers should target CB as his chance to be in the starting berth. Of course that if UE doesn’t have his own reason to stick with Sokratis and Luiz. We know how hard it is to try to understand UE why he keeps trusting certain players but on the other hand not some other players. Who knows Luiz might be Arsenal 2nd choice of captaincy.

  9. I was first to come down on ozil,
    I know he is on 350 grand a week and its hard to feel sory for him but after all they are human and do have feelings .
    What emery is doing to that man is disgusting,
    He will also ruin chambers …torrer…amn…careers .
    Hope we sack that clown and get rodgers and freddie as his no.2

  10. He don’t know what he’s doing.It’s all a tangled mess,bad team selection bad tactics,bad man management ie-Ozil,the younger players are showing the necessary hunger and talent to do well as a group,when Alex Ferguson introduced the class of 92 they were all very young but they were all in the team and they saved his job,the rest is history.
    take note emery.

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