Calum Chambers suffered the disappointment of relegation with Fulham on Tuesday night, but the hope is that he’s learned a lot from the experience to carry forward.
Whilst losing game after game can’t have been particularly enjoyable for the Arsenal loanee, at least he knows he can return to his parent club this summer. As a result, it’s far more important that Chambers and Arsenal feel he’s improved on an individual level this year, which thinks he has.
The defender noted that he’s now more able to focus on just playing his game instead of trying to make the highlight reel every time he steps onto the pitch.
“As a young player, and I had this at Arsenal in the first few seasons, if you’re not playing all the time and you get chucked in, what I felt was that I wanted to impress,” Chambers told the Daily Telegraph on Tuesday.
“I would go into a game as a centre-half and I found myself overplaying, doing silly things you shouldn’t do as a centre-half, trying to play that pass through midfield, trying to control it and play out all the time.
“You want to impress so you feel you have to do something to get your chance to play again; the Hollywood passes. Now I know, if I got chucked in at centre-half, I wouldn’t do that. If I get through a game as a centre-half and I’m not mentioned, but we have a clean sheet, then I’ve done my job.”
Playing regular football is clearly helping Chambers to learn and improve, but he’s also been paying attention to the words of his former boss Arsene Wenger. Wenger recently gave a speech where he mentioned ‘scanning’, and how the best players turn their heads six to eight times in the 10 seconds before they receive the ball, to get a better picture.
“Straight away, in the next training session, I was looking all the time,” Chambers says. “I was going in for a neck massage after.”
Hopefully, that ability to take advice on board and the motivation for self-improvement should help Chambers to reach his potential as a defender in the coming years. Whether he’s done enough to convince Unai Emery this season, we’ll have to wait and see this summer.