Calum Chambers may have just cemented his Arsenal fate after heavily criticising his side’s performance against Östersunds FK on Thursday night.
After Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Östersunds FK in the Europa League, Chambers spoke to the press and the 23-year-old didn’t pull any punches.
Despite his side winning 4-2 on aggregate, he knew the performance wasn’t good enough. Not by a long shot.
“It wasn’t the result [we wanted],” the defender told Arsenal.com.
“We made it hard for ourselves. First half we got off to a sloppy start and we know that. It wasn’t good enough, it wasn’t our standards but in the second half we came out, we fought and we dug in. We got the result.”
He added, “I mean, we treat every game as we normally do. We prepare the same and on the night we got off to a sloppy start and we paid for that.
“But no, you’ve got to prepare for every game the same way and we gave a good reaction at half-time and we came out and we fought.”
The issue is Chambers saying that the Arsenal players pretty much did the direct opposite of what Arsene Wenger said they would before the match.
So boss, how will you make sure that complacency won't be an issue in #AFCvOST?
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) February 21, 2018
“A big part is done but to be professional is to finish the job,” Wenger said ahead of the match, with Chambers sitting right next to him in the press conference.
“We have enough maturity and love for the game we want to play. That’s why I think it is important to win the game tomorrow.
“If we go out and think we will have stroll we could have a bad surprise.”
This reminds me of Theo Walcott’s comment after Arsenal lost 3-0 away to Crystal Palace in April 2017.
Theo had started the 2016/17 campaign in fine form. He had scored an impressive 19 goals and, despite the forward still being infuriating at times, he was a great option to have in the squad.
However, after Arsenal were defeated by the Eagles, the 28-year-old made the mistake of admitting: “That wasn’t us tonight. We are all disappointed in the changing room, like the fans are. We let them down. We can only apologise. They wanted it more. You could sense that from the kick-off.”
After this, Theo only made four more appearances in the Premier League, amounting to just 95 minutes. He didn’t get the chance to score anymore goals because he was barely on the pitch.
Most notably, he was on the bench for Arsenal’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City and the final against Chelsea. This was despite him featuring in the previous rounds and scoring five goals in three games.
In 2017/18, the England international made 16 appearances for Arsene Wenger’s side, six of which were in the Premier League. None were starts.
Theo experienced a string of mystery ‘illnesses’ during his remaining nine months in north London, which kept him out of the squad, but fans knew exactly why the forward was no longer getting anywhere near the Arsenal first team.
He had annoyed Wenger.
In January, he was sold to Everton for £20m.
And now Chambers, who has only made 11 starts across all competitions this season as it is, is in danger of being ‘killed off’ in almost exactly the same way.