Sky Sports pundits Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher criticised Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta for his use of Calum Chambers against Brentford.
The Englishman started ahead of Hector Bellerin, Cedric Soares and Ainsley Maitland-Niles at right-back. He wasn’t bad by any means, but he didn’t have a great game against the Bees, much like most of his teammates.
That, however, didn’t stop Neville and Carragher from having a go at Arteta for using him there. The two former Premier League defenders believe Chambers is not good enough to play at right-back, but they feel he’d fit in well for Arsenal in a back three.
Neville and Carragher: Arsenal star Chambers is not a right-back
Neville said on Sky Sports (Friday, 10:25 pm): “He needs to play in a back three. He’s not a right-back in a back four and not a centre-back in a back two. I was looking at the end here it was an honest performance, but he falls short of the physical expectations.
“He’s just not quick enough, then he can’t get up and show him outside which he needs to, he can’t show him on the inside but he does, he’s sort of ambling up to him, it’s uncomfortable.”
Carragher added: “He’s not a right-back, he’s someone you go to in the middle of the season. If you’re starting him from the beginning, and no disrespect to him, he’s not a full-back, he doesn’t suit it, it doesn’t look right. I know Bellerin was on the bench, if Bellerin is moving on, it really does look like a problem area.”
The Insider’s View:
For someone who doesn’t follow Arsenal every week, it may seem like a strange decision to start Chambers ahead of Bellerin, Cedric and Maitland-Niles at right-back. However, it was the right call.
The 26-year-old was one of Arsenal’s best players when he played right-back in the back end of last season. He combined really well in attack and was more than aware defensively as well. To add to that, he gives us some height in set-pieces, which is much-needed for us.
Yes, Chambers wasn’t great yesterday, but that doesn’t mean he’s not good enough to play right-back. However, the one thing that was clear last night is that Arsenal need a new player there, irrespective of what happens with Bellerin this summer.