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April 2021

Calum Chambers spotted on the M3

By Tony Attwood with a pair of binoculars

Calum Chambers, 19, is said by those who seem to know these things, to have agreed personal terms to move to Arsenal and completed a medical on Friday.  The BBC are saying he is signing today.

There is nothing about him on  But then the old web site is saying this morning that Arsenal “are to sign” Ospina, and that is so old news I am surprised they even put it up.

Mind you, I am still trying to unravel what is going on between Arsenal and the TV station BT Sport in the light of the Sprout’s flagrantly anti-Arsenal promotions this season.  Arsenal signed a partnership deal with the Sprout last October, and so one would have expected the TV rights for the New York game to go to them – and not expected those adverts.  But there are grounds for thinking that this deal is unravelling fast – but I’ll come back to that in another article shortly.

Anyway, if is not going to give us up to date news, we have to work it out for ourselves.

Chambers, if he comes, follows a long line of fairly nifty transfers from Southampton, including Steve Williams, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

But as we know Arsenal have signed Mathieu Debuchy so Chambers looks like a back up right back and a back up at centre half.  I know some have said that at this sort of cost he has to go straight into the first team, but Mr Wenger has said that the signing of Calum is a gamble, so I suspect a gentle intro from the arm chairs that adorn the side of the pitch at the Ems.

Meanwhile, Alexis Sánchez has to go to Paris to obtain a visa today and so won’t go to Austria.  Now why?  He has been working in the EU, he can obviously go to Paris so why can’t he come to London?  It must be something to do with yet more semi-skimmed Home Office regulations that make no sense to anyone apart from…

Sorry, just started to slip into a Border Agency rant there.  Back to the football.

And back to Calum.   It would be nice to say Calum Chambers has just been spotted at Heathrow, but unless he is currently on holiday somewhere and jetting in (which seems unlikely if he has just done a medical) that’s not going to happen – there are no direct flights from Southampton to any of the London airports.

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So if all the chitchat is true and he is about to sign, or has just signed then he might take the train / have taken the train from Southampton Central to London, so we could have the headline

Calum Chambers spotted at Waterloo

or even

New boy Calum spotted in taxi heading to London Colney

Actually you might even spot him on the tube (if going to the Emirates the easiest stop is Holloway Road, Calum, and then trot up the stairs, to avoid the lift.  Fit young lad like you could do the stairs in a couple of jiffs.)

But I think he will drive.  Or be driven.  84 miles.  3 hours in heavy traffic, two hours if you avoid the bad  times.  Four hours if someone’s decided to park for a while on the M25.

And then he can meet Sanchez once he gets back from getting his visa.

And he might even link up with Yaya Sanogo and Oxlade-Chamberlain who didn’t go to New York, and so are likely to be operating on English time rather than jet lag time.   The latest word is they were both working on their fitness levels, although one report said Yaya had a slight injury.

But they could be in Austria.   This is getting confusing.

So back to Chambers.

Mr Wenger, seemingly confirming the signing said he could understand if people thought the fee was a bit high for a guy who only played 18 league games but said also, “He can play at centre-back, right-back and central midfield.”

Ah, notice that.  Central midfield. There’s a thing.  The Ox likes that spot too.

“I hope he will give us competition for the players in his three positions,” added Mr W.   “He hasn’t played many games, no, but the English players on the market in England are very expensive and at the end of the day I was ready to take a gamble because he is a player for the future.”

So I think we have signed him, but I have been wrong before.  Still, if I am right, Calum can help Sanchez with his English lessons, while waiting for his new chums to arrive back from foreign parts.

The books
The complete Arsenal Anniversary series is to be found on the Arsenal History Society site.

38 comments to Calum Chambers spotted on the M3

  • Toby

    I believe the IUK never fully agreed to the Schengen deal.

  • Gerry

    Good morning Tony, another ‘early bird’ I see?

    On the Chambers fee – I am guessing that both top and bottom end fees quoted, are both not far off the mark?
    £7m-£11m for the cash up front, and around £16m when all the ‘add ons’ are included, with whatever terms they have agreed to?

    As to BT Sport. I doubt if there is much to this story either. BT are aggressively marketing their wares while contracts often come up for renewal at this time of year, but as they do not have an Arsenal league match until September 13th, v Man City, they are ‘going after’ the other football club’s supporters now. It will change when they have the August games, including the Community Shield match, to show. Where, hopefully Arsenal will shine with their new look line up. Then they will have a lot of positive things to show as they try to promote ‘their’ Arsenal featured games later on.

    All this is compounded by Sky traditionally(in the big money TV era)have always ‘front loaded’ their options at the early part of the season. Arsenal, with new signings and FA Cup winners were going to be among their early picks. Depending on how the results pan out, and if the club can sustain a challenge well into the New Year, BT will have the greater share of Arsenal games covered by then.

    Agreed, it is very annoying to see those worst games being shown again and again, and having opposition delight thrust at us … and then there is Michael Owen! But it is good motivation for the team, and we should rise above it, as BT will have to keep repeating their grovelling by remarking what a turnaround from ‘X’ game last season?

  • Gerry

    Oh, I forgot to say, BT are covering the Emirates Cup games, which like the Community Shield, they were probably committed to any way.

    They only have 18 of the 38 matches that they can have as ‘first picks’, hence Sky taking the bulk of games between now and Christmas.
    Thank heaven for the Arsenal Player, eh?

  • Will

    I am actually excited for the oncoming season.

  • Will

    Yes, I don’t understand why we are doing Business with BT or why BT are going for us so aggressively.

  • oldgroover

    Why does the team have to go to Austria anyway? Other years we go to a training facility over there and play some a matches against average European teams and then come back for the Emirates Cup or whatever other competition we are going to participate in. This year we’ve gone for a week and will return for the Ems when we could have stayed in England & trained at the best training ground in Europe and been nice & fresh for the weekend. Is it an altitude thing or some other health benefit? I expect I’m missing something obvious and someone will kindly (or otherwise) inform me as I’d really like to know.

  • colario

    With regard to your last paragraph. It is annoying to see these games being what seems to be eternally repeated. However they may be doing Arsene’s dressing room talk for him on those bad results.

    With regard to Ospina and the BBC, when the word appeared in he media that his signing was about to happen there was no word of it on the Arsenal website and the BBC alone of the media did not carry it.

    It was on Sunday the Arsenal website confirmed the transfer is about to happen. The BBC then included this transfer on its site. As a transfer fact, the news is less than 24 hours old.

    The signing may be old speculation but as we know ‘speculation’ has the same value as ‘rumour’ and ‘gossip’. Thanks to the Arsenal website confirming the tranfer, it is now news. Ospina has still to appear on Arsenal’s website in an Arsenal shirt. The BBC’s article is and up to date. We can’t accuse it of ‘speculation’ on this transfer.

    As for Chambers. At the moment the transfer is at the ‘speculation stage’. If the ‘speculation’ becomes fact then it may be there is a mole in the Arsenal camp. For it is the practice of Arsenal not to make known a possible transfer until the transfer has been completed.

  • oldgroover

    Then the “mole” must be Arsène himself as he’s been discussing it openly.

  • colario

    Sorry for last paragraph read third paragraph.

  • blacksheep63


    Arsene is addicted to Sachertorte. He was grumpy in NYC because the old Austrian coffee house in Queens was closed for the week (annual hols in Switzerland). All of this was on the BT Sprot website along with a detailed analysis of points scoring ahead of the Ems cup.

    or not

  • Tom

    I would never subscribe to BT again. Not just because of these new adverts but because I don’t feel it’s value for money. Sky offer a far more competitive and unbias coverage and the product is of a better quality.

  • Josif

    Both Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain commanded an eight-digit-fee without playing a single minute in Premiership. So Chambers is actually in a better position than two of them were when they joined.

    BTW, has anyone else noticed that Loserpool have signed Lallana, Lambert, Lovren, Lazar (Marković), a guy from Leverkusen (Emre Can) and tried to sign Loic (Remy)? I mean, is it their way to send a message to their fans that L-sign on their foreheads is all they can expect next season?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    I’m so glad that I don’t hurt my pretty head thinking about things that I cannot control.
    Thanks be to God that AW is there to take of the goings on of the team.

    The art of living : bite only that can be chewed

    One Sunday morning, a wealthy man sat in his balcony enjoying sunshine and his coffee when a little ant caught his eye which was going from one side to the other side of the balcony carrying a big leaf several times more than its size. The man watched it for more than an hour. He saw that the ant faced many impediments during its journey, paused, took a diversion and then continued towards destination.

    At one point the tiny creature came across a crack in the floor. It paused for a little while, analyzed and then laid the huge leaf over the crack, walked over the leaf, picked the leaf on the other side then continued its journey.

    The man was captivated by the cleverness of the ant, one of Nature’s tiniest creatures. The incident left the man in awe and forced him to contemplate over the miracle of Creation. In front of his eyes there was this tiny creature, lacking in size yet equipped with a brain to analyze, contemplate, reason, explore, discover and overcome. Along with all these capabilities, the man also noticed that this tiny creature shared some human shortcomings.

    The man saw about an hour later the creature had reached its destination – a tiny hole in the floor which was entrance to its underground dwelling. And it was at this point that the ant’s shortcoming that it shared with the man was revealed. How could the ant carry into the tiny hole the large leaf that it had managed to carefully bring to the destination? It simply couldn’t!

    So the tiny creature, after all the painstaking and hard work and exercising great skills, overcoming all the difficulties along the way, just left behind the large leaf and went home empty-handed.

    The ant had not thought about the end before it began its challenging journey and in the end the large leaf was nothing more than a burden to it. The creature had no option, but to leave it behind to reach its destination. The man learned a great lesson that day.

    Isn’t that the truth about our lives?

    We worry about our family, we worry about our job, we worry about how to earn more money, we worry about where we should live – 5 bedroom or 6 bedroom house, what kind of vehicle to buy – a Mercedes or BMW or a Porsche, what kind of dresses to wear, all sorts of things, only to abandon all these things when we reach our destination – The Grave.
    We don’t realize in our life’s journey that these are just burdens that we are carrying with utmost care and fear of losing them, only to find that at the end they are useless and we can’t take them with us.

  • oldgroover


    So it’s all down to coffee then?
    Makes sense as I remember Arséne once criticising us (the English) for our unhealthy diet and saying that we “take milk & sugar in our tea & coffee”.
    Having said that it does seem a bit extreme taking the whole squad to Austria just to get a decent cup of Java when there’s some quite good machines to be bought on Amazon.

  • nicky

    Somewhat worried about Chambers spotted on the M3.
    With the aid of my universal street map of Dieppe, I’ve discovered that the M3 can be used as a by-pass for those folk needing to consult Doc McGraw, MD (Bombay) (Failed), Consultant of Most Things at the University of the North Circular and generally a Good Egg.
    Is something wrong being kept from us?

  • nicky

    @Brickfields Gunners,
    I prefer to think of the grave or the cremator as merely the disposal apparatus for a totally useless unwanted shell.
    Better by far to think of crossing a river into a new life “and all the trumpets sounded for him/her on the other side”.

  • ArsenaI1Again

    Well said Josif, especially Chamberlain with his £15 Million fee.

    (My original username and email which has remained consistent until you asked me to change them Tony and Walter… seem to be unblockable. It’s ok. Can I use this combination please for Untold in future?)

  • bjtgooner

    Until there is an official announcement I am not going to get too excited about Chambers, although he does look a good prospect.

    As Jenkinson also looks a fine player, but not perhaps the finished article, I do hope his development is not impaired.


    A very nice story.

  • soglorious

    Seems to me that Chambers is a done deal BASED on Wenger’s own comment and NOT on the BS speculating media. However, the way Southampton are being PLUNDERED this TW is pitiable. as if they have a policy of “buy one , get one for free” for their players. I wonder if they will survive this season in the PL.

  • H Bo

    Just clear up BT Sprout problem nobody should subscribe just get BT broadband and it’s free it works out cheaper it’s like £20 per month for the fibre optic unlimited download blah blah blah with Sprout channel free.

  • nicky

    Some of us outside the UK cannot get broadband via BT, so we have to subscribe.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ nicky -July 28, 2014 at 9:20 am – Rather than say totally unwanted and useless shell , I would say a well worn and adorned shell which has achieved and fulfilled its intended expiry date .
    But sad to say that rumours abound that Charon the boatman at the River Styx has raised his rates and a coin may not take you very far !

  • Gerry


    So you are another one that likes the quality of a good Java then?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Then again there are some who cheat death….

    The people of ancient Corinth believed their king, King Sisyphus of Corinth, was the cleverest king who ever lived! They were always bragging about him.

    But the most clever thing the king did hardly anyone knew about, for a very good reason!

    As the story goes ….

    One day, the king of Corinth was busy trying to come up with an idea to solve Corinth’s fresh water problem. He saw Zeus fly by, carrying a lovely river spirit in his arms.

    “That Zeus,” sighed the king. “What a trouble maker!”

    Soon after, the river-god Asopus flew by. “Have you seen my daughter?” he bellowed at the king.

    “If you’ll give my city a source of fresh water, I’ll tell you what I saw,” King Sisyphus shouted back. Immediately, a crystal clear stream of fresh water bubbled up.

    “Zeus took her that way,” the king pointed.

    The king knew Zeus would be angry when he heard what the king had done. But Corinth desperately needed a source of fresh water. And now they had one.

    Sure enough, Zeus was furious. He told his brother Hades to take King Sisyphus down to the underworld immediately!

    “When they tell you I am dead, do not put a gold coin under my tongue,” King Sisyphus whispered quickly to his wife. Being a good wife, she did exactly as the king had asked her.

    Because the king was a very important person, Hades met the king at the River Styx, the entrance to the underworld. And, because no gold coin was placed under his tongue, the king arrived at the entrance to the underworld as a poor beggar.

    “Where is your gold coin?” Hades demanded in shock. “How can you pay for a trip across the River Styx and arrive in the underworld?”

    The king hung his head in shame. “My wife was too cheap to pay for the passage.”

    Hades mouth fell open. “You go right back there and teach that women some manners.” Hades sent the king back to earth immediately, where he was magically alive and well again.

    The king and his beloved wife laughed when he told her about it. But he never told anyone else. You never knew when the gods might be listening.

  • oldgroover

    Certainly do, and drink far too much of the stuff, but at the moment am trying out an Italian bean which I grind myself.

  • greencardusa

    @brickfields Gunner
    Thanks for the tales Brickfields; enjoyed them immensely! You’re quite the story-teller!

  • arsenor

    Heres a thought,i dont know if it is a feasible option,living in Norway there is a tv channel where you can subscribe online,pay a monthly fee,and you can watch any premier league game you want.3pm saturday kick off also.i don`t use it myself.I use it via Canal Plus.The only disadvantage with this is they often have Phil Thompson as host presenter.

  • Gord

    OT: Alex Forbes 1925 – 2014 is running a story about Alex Forbes, who has just passed away at age 89.

    My condolences to his family and friends.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ greecardusa – Boredom does strange things to you !
    I leave you all with this shit stirrer from…

    The Liverpool manager flies to Kabul to watch a young Afghani play football. He is suitably impressed and arranges for the player to come over.

    Two weeks later Liverpool are 2-0 down to Chelsea with only 20 minutes left. The manager gives the young Afghani striker the nod, and on he goes.

    The lad is a sensation. He scores 3 goals in 20 minutes and wins the game for Liverpool. The fans are delighted, the players and the coach are delighted and the media love the new star.

    When the player comes off the pitch he phones his mum to tell her about his first day in English football.

    ‘Hello mum, guess what?’ he says ‘I played for 20 minutes today, we were 2 – 0 down but I scored 3, they call it a hat-trick, and we won. Everybody loves me, the fans, the press, they all love me.’

    ‘Just wonderful,’ says his mum, ‘Let me tell you about my day …

    Your father got shot in the street, your sister and I were ambushed and assaulted, she would have been raped but for a passing police vehicle. Your brother has joined a local gang of looters and set fire to some buildings and all while you tell me that you were having a great time!!’

    The young lad is very upset. ‘What can I say mum, but I’m really sorry.’

    ‘Sorry?!!! Sorry?!!!’ says his mum, …

    ‘It’s your bloody fault we came to Liverpool in the first place!’

  • oldgroover

    Sad news about Forbes. I saw him play.

  • Gord

    Making The Arsenal (the history site) has 13 articles when searching for Alex Forbes.

    Oldgroover, did you see him play many times?

  • Nelson Wong

    I saw someone counting player quotas and I do a list.

    Someone might find it useful here so I put it up here again.

    First time for a while, Wenger MUST sell if he is getting any player. In fact all quotas are used up.

    That is probably the reson he pays over the price for Calum Chambers. He is both very young (2 years in <21 not eating up quotas) and he will be in home grown in the future.

    This is also the reson Eisfeld is sold although he can be a descent addition and good prospect, he eats up the quotas.

    Arsene clearly knows getting a striker position and the anchor midfield would help the team

    There are no HG strikers around who is good enough for Arsenal. So any such additional ( rumor is coming out) will use up non HG number forcing Wenger to sell. Same if he gets Khedira.

    Who will that be? Ryo Miyaichi is the obvious choice. Joel Campbell? I prefer more strikers no matter Wenger brings in another striker or not. Sanago is just not there. Most "striker" in the team also double as wing strikers ( Sanchez, Walcott, Poldi) Although Santi, OX and Wilshere (even Ozil) also help cover the two flanks. So I prefer to keep Campbell. Besides we all wanna give him a chance!!!

    Thomas Vermaelen can give another quota but I think its very unsafe to use only Chambers as back up so the team will need another CB if Vermaelen leaves.

    Schneiderlin will fit the HG side if Wenger loan/ sold Francis Coquelin or Carl Jenkinson.

    Arsene might even send both away if Scheiderlin joins and Vermaelen leaves. He will find one HG CB as no.3 and Schneiderlin will take the other quota. A striker will take Vermaelen's quota and Miyachi will still be around. Then sending Miyachi away can get another non home grown quota… for any potential big signing/ bargain!!!

    Even without additional striker and the deepest midfielder, the team looks formidable… for the first time in a few years. Not only will there be no big hole, the team is actually have a very high quality bench team.

    Only weaker point will be the deepest midfielder. That's only relative to other positions anyway.

    total players : 30

    <21 unlimited

    Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain Homegrown Yes
    Calum Chambers Homegrown Yes
    Serge Gnabry Non Homegrown Yes
    Yaya Sanogo Non Homegrown Yes
    Gedion Zelalem Non Homegrown Yes

    HG players 8 quotas
    Wojciech Szczesny Homegrown No
    Damian Martinez Homegrown No
    Kieran Gibbs Homegrown No
    Carl Jenkinson Homegrown No
    Jack Wilshere Homegrown No
    Aaron Ramsey Homegrown No
    Theo Walcott Homegrown No
    Francis Coquelin Homegrown No

    NHG 17 players

    David Ospina Non Homegrown No
    Mathieu Debuchy Non Homegrown No
    Per Mertesacker Non Homegrown No
    Thomas Vermaelen Non Homegrown No
    Laurent Koscielny Non Homegrown No
    Nacho Monreal Non Homegrown No
    Tomas Rosicky Non Homegrown No
    Mikel Arteta Non Homegrown No
    Mesut Ozil Non Homegrown No
    Santi Cazorla Non Homegrown No
    Mathieu Flamini Non Homegrown No
    Abou Diaby Non Homegrown No
    Ryo Miyaichi Non Homegrown No
    Lukas Podolski Non Homegrown No
    Olivier Giroud Non Homegrown No
    Alexis Sanchez Non Homegrown No
    Joel Campbell Non Homegrown No

  • bjtgooner

    Just arrived home to hear that Chambers has been signed – Excellent news. Now I can get excited!


    Liked the story about Dippertown!

  • Josif

    I’d like to see Campbell getting a chance to prove his quality. From what I’ve seen, he has some qualities that Wenger might appreciate a lot:

    -his composure is preposterous for someone of his age – take a look at his finish against Uruguay or how he dispatched that penalty against Greece after 120 minutes of battling totally on his own against Greek defenders,

    -I’ve already mentioned it above – incredible work-rate and ability to play as a lone striker which would give us an extra-option to rest Giroud or to apply plan B,

    -pace – we had problems with lack of pace last season after Theo had been stretchered off against Spuds so Campbell might give us a cover in case something happens with Theo again,

    -passing skills – take a look at third Costa Rica goal against Uruguay and a chance Campbell created against Greece in the extra-time – both time it was a perfect slide-rule pass by Campbell (now, imagine him doing that with Theo on the other end of that pass),

    -versatility – he can play as an inside forward down the flank as well and can score from the outside as he has already shown against United (he had a few good attempts against Uruguay as well),

    -he is relatively experienced for someone of his age – he has already tasted big matches at World Cup and First Knockout Stage in Champions’ League.

  • oldgroover

    Hardly at all to tell the truth. I remember going to Highbury (in 1956) hoping to see new signing Tommy Docherty and was disappointed to see that Alex was still playing in that position. I may have seen him once or twice after that but I was only 15 so can’t really remember if I did or not.

  • Rantetta

    Campbell getting on plane to Austria

  • like the idea of campbell on the plane with the others going to austria, getting to fit in and be ready or the start of the season.

    wonder why Giroud is not in any of the pictures, kos and debuchy are back , one would’ve thought Giroud will be too.

    And interestingly TV5 is also missing in pictures.