Calum Chambers helped Middlesbrough to their third successive clean sheet with a solid defensive display against Watford at Vicarage Road in one of Saturday’s 3pm kick-off’s.
The 21-year-old, who continues to develop away from familiar surroundings in north London, was part of an Aitor Karanka side that opted for a 3-4-3 formation this weekend.
In terms of individual highlights, there weren’t many from Chambers to look back on although he was called into action plenty of times to clear his lines with Watford looking threatening in the final third, especially after half-time.
It was Abdoulaye Doucoure who came closest to breaking the deadlock for the Hornets in the first 45, after Troy Deeney’s headed flick-on fell to the midfielder’s path. Deeney had got the better of Ben Gibson on the edge of the box and Chambers instinctively raced across to apply adequate pressure on the 24-year-old Frenchman as he shaped to shoot. His effort stung the fingertips of Victor Váldes but nothing more than that.
Stefano Okaka, Etienne Capoue and the aforementioned Doucoure all had opportunities to break the deadlock before Váldes made an important save in the 87th minute to deny Deeney as he advanced goalwards. The powerful striker squeezed past a gap between both Bernardo and Chambers before being forced into a quick strike by the Spanish goalkeeper, who closed down his angles well and to good effect, making a crucial intervention as the shot trickled wide of the post.
Chambers made two interceptions and an impressive ten clearances during the 90 minutes, the latter of which was more than any other player on the pitch. He would’ve felt disappointed about a few instances where he could have stuck tighter in regards to marking from set-pieces but all-in-all, it was a fairly assured display from a player who continues to grow in confidence and is learning new things every week.