Should Arsenal Start Chambers Against Barcelona?

Following the frustrating draw against Hull City in the FA Cup, Arsenal welcome Barcelona to the Emirates stadium in what will surely be the Gunners’ toughest game of the season so far. Now despite Arsenal’s poor form in front of goal, we all know that Arsene Wenger’s side possess the firepower to score against any team but the biggest challenge come Tuesday night will be to defend against the lethal Messi-Suarez-Neymar trio.

As a result of the hamstring injury to Gabriel, Arsenal are most likely to play Per Mertesacker in central defence alongside Laurent Koscielny, which is a bit suicidal if you ask me. Simply put, one precise through ball could put the big German out of the game as he simply does not have the pace to cope up with any of the Barcelona forwards.

Personally, I would opt instead to play Calum Chambers. Now while I do understand that the former Southampton youngster is not any speedster either, I feel he is better equiped to deal with the frontline of the European champions. He looked good at centre-half when he came on to replace Koscielny against Leicester and I believe that the Englishman is capable of doing a job against Barcelona as well.

Should Mertesacker start the game, then Arsenal will be forced to sit deep in their own half and welcome the Catalan giants to attack, which will not work out well for the Gunners either. In my opinion, Arsene Wenger can play Chambers and give him some extra protection instead of playing Mertesacker and risking a mauling at the Emirates stadium.


Tags Chambers Mertesacker


  1. I think we should play someone who is assured and calm.
    I believe if we play a tight game against them we can cause them problems.
    Chambers is great when played against mertz and kos

  2. I believe this article is intended to anger the fans,if not,you won’t suggest this terrible thing…
    Let me clear this, Chambers was good against Leicester bcos when he came in,Leicester were defending deep as they were one man down…Barcelona is a different game entirely..
    Let’s forget this Mert’s criticism he has played against world class strikers and has coped well.what we need tomorrrow is team work and concentration in defending and counter attacks…
    Chambers still lacks the experience..

    1. Really?
      Wislhere has not even played this season..or have I missed our matches??
      Maybe you should list 2 big games that the players you listed have shown up, apart from Sanchez

  3. We gonna need all the speed that we got to counter attack Barca!
    So why not play Bellerin on the right wing, where he can use his speed to help with quick counter attacking, as well as pressuring Neymar higher up the field when Barcelona have the ball, Chambers can play RB.. it’s an option that wenger will ignore, just like man marking, why not lock Bellerin onto Messi, his got the pace to pressure him and Coquelin onto Suarez, Ramsey onto Neymar?
    Job done ???

    The Catalan Giants won’t need an invitation to attack,
    That’s what they do! … As long as wenger doesn’t try to out play them at it, we will be okay.
    Barcelona will no doubt have 70% of the possession, but as long as we defend in numbers and wait for our opportunities, that shouldn’t be a problem.

    They are always wary of playing us at the Emirates and how well we can counter attack, So maybe they will play a more patient game,instead of trying to murder us, As the Nou Camp is where their opponents Normally get buried.

    1. Chambers doesn’t have the pace for right back. He got roasted by Jefferson Montero, so I don’t fancy his chances against Neymar. Man marking three players will not be “job done”. I don’t care who you are, you can’t man mark Messi and taking three players out of the game for marking duties would be suicide against a team like Barcelona who rely on possession. Their front trio aren’t the only players who can keep the ball and pass. We wouldn’t get a touch with that approach.

      1. Hahaha
        You talk as if we will be spending most of our time attacking,
        We will be locked in our own half for 90% of this game,
        Defending deep! It will be more to do with being focused rather than needing speed whilst camped in our own penalty area!

        You also seem to forget that 99% of Barcelona’s goals come from MSN!!… So you’re saying that Bellerin, Coquelin and Ramsey will be wasted by marking them ??

        Anyways! … Wenger will do the opposite to what everyone else thinks lol…. Roll on Tuesday night!

  4. The big plus is that Man U
    have yet to play Shrewsbury
    and then play Midtjylland
    on Thursday night.
    Arsenal have 4 days recovery
    whereas United have only 2.
    Arsenal play the worlds best team as preparation
    where man U have a nobody team.
    So like the soft FA cup draw and
    the weakest Epl in 25 years
    Arsenal continues to have all the luck.

  5. I believe the MSN juggernaut can be stopped by only one person. And that person is none other than Koss the Boss!!

    1. Can only him alone run around the triumvirate? Come on. It is the entire team that will stop them. The middle should cut off their supplies. I rarely see Neymar at their 18. Le Coq should make sure Messi does not distribute. His role now is different from when Suarez was not there.

        1. The only injury we should avoid at all cost is Coq. Our success depends on how our midfield can stop the flow

  6. Not overly confident with Mert being one of those who might have to quickly stop a needle pass slipped in by Messi to Suarez/Neymar but he is the best we have (aside from the BossKoss). Someone said it, Chambers is developing but you cannot just try a new central partnership for the first time against the trident of Barca. That would be hari Kari.

    Bellerin Kos Mert Monreal
    El Neny Le Coq
    Rambo Ozil Suarez

    Build a wall, and counter with pace. Suarez to deliver even though he looks like he couldn’t score in a brothel at the moment (revenge is sweet though)!

  7. Your right about a through ball totally dismantling our defence if done correct and Per would be the obvious target but in this match we wont be playing high up the field for any lengthy spell. They could still put one through even if matter of yards but that is a difficulty every team faces when playing the Catalans. I agree with the top comment you really don’t want to be tinkering with defenders, it’s always a bad idea. Anyhow, I thought Gab was supposedly running last week and could be ready if needed.

  8. Why don’t we pair Koscienly and Monreal at the centre of defence? Monreal has done it there for us before now. He did it well. I know the left side will not be secured 100% with Gibbo, but I still feel Monreal and Gibbo still safer than Monreal and BFG.

    My opinion anyway, Wenger calls the shot.

  9. To be honest ! It’s going to be an uphill task trying to beat Barcelona and just as hard if we were playing just to contain them for a draw !

    So in response to the writer of this post, it wouldn’t make much difference whether we play Chambers or Mertesackeras they are both defensively frail and deficient in their own ways.

    With regards to Chambers his distribution, decision making and awareness are absolutely shocking for a premier league player of his calibre and was evident again in the Hull game and I’m desperately trying to recall the premiership game recently where he played from the start and from that moment constantly gave the ball away. If it was an excrutiatingly easy pass, it went to the opposition. If he tried to show any forward comittment and run the ball out of defence, he gave it away. Hurried clearance not necessarily under pressure, he gave it away.

    I know he’s young but, he’s not in a stage of learning the game given his time at Southampton and Arsenal and should have much more to his game at this stage.

    In short, Chambers in not the answer unless Arsenal were going to play an entirely weakened side given the opposition and throw the game in order to concentrate and consolidate an attack on the premiership which is more realistic.

    1. He played very well against Hull and even better against Leicester when he came on for Koscielny. He was a useful outlet on the right wing against Hull and his play should have won us a penalty, despite the fact that he’s obviously more defensively minded. He was also very good against Burnley in the last round, a game in which he scored a screamer. He’s a young kid who has only played a handful of games, in three completely different positions. It’ll take some time but he shows a lot of promise, particularly with the defensive side of his game. I wouldn’t start him against Barcelona, but nor would I criticise a young player for making the occasional mistake as he develops. Having a player on the bench who is more than capable of providing decent cover for three different positions is nothing to sniff at, and he’s only going to get better.

  10. Can someone tell me d offense of
    Mert, how would someone compare Mert n Chamber. Its ridiculous! He may lack pace but he is our most experienced defender. And he has many qualities others dont hav . Everything is not abt pace pace pace.

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