Arsenal’s defensive woes have been well documented this season. Whether it has to do with the dearth of numbers in defence, or the injuries suffered in that department. Going into the season the club had just six defenders, and that number went down to five after the long term injury to Mathieu Debuchy. But the fitness of Calum Chambers meant Hector Bellerin played for the first against Borussia Dortmund in Arsenal’s opening match in the Champions League.
Yet, Arsenal’s issues in defence are set to continue after the international break. Going into the match against Chelsea, Arsene Wenger had expressed concern about the fact that Calum Chambers was on four yellows cards, something he attributed to inexperience on the part of the English defender. Inevitably the 19 year old had his fifth booking of the season on Sunday after he was booked for a tackle on Eden Hazard; which means he would be suspended for Arsenal’s next match against Hull City on October 18th.
The suspension of Calum Chambers would again expose Arsenal’s dearth of defenders in the coming weeks. What it means is that Arsene Wenger would have to settle for Hector Bellerin as his right back in the absence of the former Saints starlet, or Mathieu Flamini or Francis Coquelin would be saddled with that responsibility.
The situation further reduces the options available to the manager in defence, and it creates a scenario where the club cannot afford any more suspension or injuries in defence. With Calum Chambers’ five yellow cards in just seven league matches, it means that Arsenal would have only two senior central defenders in Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny for the next Premier League match, a picture that underlines the precarious defensive situation at the club.
When Arsene Wenger spoke of how worried he was about Calum Chambers’ four yellow cards prior to the trip to the Bridge, he alluded to the 19 year old inexperience. It is something that he clearly has to work on. His lack of inexperience has been exhibited in several situations. His temperament is also something he has to work on as five yellow cards from just seven matches reeks of poor discipline for a defender.
It is something in his game that he has to iron out especially when it is taken into cognizance that he would be manning the right back slot for the remaining part of the year in Mathieu Debuchy’s absence.
Although Mathieu Flamini is referred to as the yellow card merchant for his penchant for picking random bookings, Calum Chambers can learn a thing or two from the French midfielder who has kept his emotions in check in the league matches he has featured in.
In the end, the bulk stops with Arsene Wenger that a 19 year old have had to be thrown into the deep end of playing regularly when the more experienced Carl Jenkinson was loan out of the club, a move that looks all the more strange when the club’s defensive issues this season is considered.