The pain of Southampton as Calum Chambers joins Arsenal

By Walter Broeckx

As Arsenal this summer wants to drive us poor bloggers to the limit another signing was announced yesterday. Hardly 36 hours after the last signing of Ospina we now were informed that young defender/midfielder Calum Chambers joined Arsenal coming over from Southampton.

This is not the first time in history that Arsenal and Southampton have done business. Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have made the same move in the recent past. I think it is reasonable to say that both Arsenal and the players can be happy with that move. Theo has grown in to one of the top players at the club and that for a player that has no football brain as one pundit once said. And Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who is a few years younger will be a great player in the next seasons if he can stay fit for a while after his knee injury last season.

[And don’t forget the unforgettable Steve Williams – Tony]

Interesting by the way that both these players have missed the biggest part of last season with a knee injury.  Not that they are related but still with their background but at a different age they both suffered from it in the same season.

Before I start talking about Chambers I first need to say a word about Southampton. I don’t know what it is or was but I used to have a little bit of a soft spot for them in the past. I think it must have been Matt Le Tissier and that funny shaped stadium that brought that feeling. I must say that Arsenal being part of the last match at their old stadium with Le Tissier scoring that last goal in that old ground was painful but with respect for him and the Southampton history I can live with it.  In the recent history I got some respect for the way they dug themselves out after going bankrupt (I think) after building their new stadium a few years ago.

They went down the league ladder after building the stadium. A drop Arsenal has avoided thanks to Wenger.

I think it must be tough for Southampton supporters to see their squad being torn apart by other clubs. Liverhampton is the worst offender of course with having taken over every player that could be found. But somehow they forgot the rough diamond that Calum Chambers is.  A rough diamond that Wenger gladly took home to Arsenal to polish further.

Southampton will have plenty of money in the bank now and they will probably spend a lot of that money (unless they have some debt to cover – something I don’t know to be honest) but it seems that the soul of their team has been ripped out of the club.  After having seen our best players taken away over the last 6 or 7 seasons I know what it feels and I know how painful that can be for a supporter. I somehow feel your pain and feel for you.

But of course I am an Arsenal supporter and I will gladly take the prospect of seeing Calum Chambers in an Arsenal shirt very soon.

Calum Chambers is another one of the fabrication line that Southampton has installed somewhere hidden behind the town walls. And a fabrication line that not only brought them back to the PL but also had them playing some nice football. Calum Chambers is only 19 years old and has already played 21 matches in the first team at Southampton. Not bad for a young man at that age I would say.

He initially played in midfield I have been told and even was deployed on the right wing. But when he made his debut in the first team he was playing as a right back but also has played as a central defender.

Now I must say that I never really took notice of him that much but that is because I am not a scout.  But if I can believe people who do know a bit more about football players than me he is a footballing defender. Not really the player to whack the ball away no matter the direction but more a defender who wants to play the passing game and wants to work the ball when playing it forward. His ability and history of playing in midfield will have something to do with that I think.

He is not very big at 1.82 metres (or 6 feet) (at least not big if we compare it with Per our giant German defender).  He is just a bit shorter than Koscielny. And he has  exactly the same height as Vermaelen.

He never scored in the PL but when playing for the  England youth teams he has scored a few goals so far. I think we have bought a player that will be brought slowly in the next season to give some more rest to whoever is needing a rest. Debuchy, Mertesacker or Koscielny can all be replaced by him. But some even suggest that he might be used as a more defending midfielder.  So a player for many positions and this makes me even more curious about him than I usually would be.

Szczesny was so kind to post a picture of Chambers when they were heading on the bus to the Austrian training camp.  I noticed Chambers sitting next to Oxlade-Chamberlain with whom he probably will have played in the youth teams so good that he has someone at the club who can help him in the first days of his Arsenal career.

Welcome Calum to Arsenal. I hope you can become a really important player at Arsenal in the next years. With a few ageing players in defence like Weltmeister Per you can learn from the best and you will get your chance to shine in the future. May you stay injury free and take not from what Wenger is telling you. After all we at Untold already know that Wenger knows. Take my advice and listen to Wenger so you can also learn that Wenger knows.


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

33 Replies to “The pain of Southampton as Calum Chambers joins Arsenal”

  1. Walter,
    You mean manufacturing line; fabrication is something the AAA indulge in.

  2. Ray, I think my mother language played a part in that. As we use fabrication (or the Dutch word for it fabriceren) and we don’t use or really know a word like manufacturing. Languages…. 😉

  3. I think the pundit who said that also said it was his biggest regret of football statements he had made Walter. Refreshing for once

  4. Walter, just saying – should there not be a rule limiting the number of players a team can buy from another in a season? Seems to me that Liverpool is plundering/taking advantage of Southampton. It is just unfair.

  5. Sorry, he said he was wrong but happy to be wrong about said statement

  6. Somehow, Arsene Wenger is still in his typical genius. All the players he bought still have potential to become better including Sanchez. Rough and unfinished diamonds. Where every club burn their money in transfer, Arsene still makes sure any deal is a good deal.

  7. How Southamton manages to develop so many sought-after young players never ceases to amaze me.
    It is sad that in order to keep afloat they have become a selling club.
    Totally against my principles, I would like to see the club bought by a real mega-bucks owner, purely to see how far it would prosper by retaining its talent.

  8. Nicky, I think Soton benefit from being pretty much the only team in the region (Pompey aside, and looks what’s happened to them with money investment). So they can pull in talent from quite a wide geographical area. They have suffered from having an exceptional season, which is a shame for their supporters. The owners methinks will be rubbing their hands together in glee with all this cash rolling in.

  9. Turns out the stats about chambers height are a little old. He has grown since and nows stands 6’2 according to a Southampton coach and one or two eye witnesses in austria.

    It’s clear with Jenks and vermaelen not going to Austria that they are on their way. However, in austria yesterday it was bellerin that looked like the player being groomed as debuchys understudy, whilst chambers, hayden, miquel and koscielny were clearly the centre backs and obviously gibbs and monreal the left backs. With our BFG and I believe captain returning, I think we will have those 9 as our defenders, which is incidentally, 2 more defenders than last year. Assuming Jenks and vermaelen have “gone” there is currently 1 place left in the 25, based upon the players out and the players in austria.

    what position would you fill next, to bring one in? Would you sell/loan more to bring in more?

    Gk – Szczesney ospina martinez macey(u21)
    Rb – debuchy bellerin(u21)
    Cb – mertesacker chambers(u21) hayden(u21)
    Cb – koscielny miquel
    Lb – gibbs monreal
    Dm – arteta flamini Coquelin
    B2b – Ramsey wilshire diaby zelalem(u21)
    Rw – Walcott chamberlain(u21) gnabry(u21)
    Cam – Ozil cazorla rosicky
    Lw – sanchez podolski ryo akpom(u21)
    Cf – giroud campbell sanogo(u21)

    I place question marks on 4 of the remaining players born 1992 or before. Martinez, miquel, coquelin and ryo. I am not convinced any are particularly better than u21 players already in the squad and playing their position. Meaning we could loan out all 4 and potentially still add up to, 5 more experienced players.

  10. Good one from Arsene and Welcome Chambers. We arsenal fans in Nigeria are all happy to see this good signing. Hope you are coming to add value to Arsenal. Remember, Play, the Arsenal Way.

    Sanusi – LAgos, Nigeria

  11. BC,
    What have they been feeding him in Austria? Growth hormones? 😉

    Interesting to notice that Bellerin has moved up a place (as I hoped and expected and predicted). I also think that Miquel can play at left back if really needed.
    That leaves us with lots of options. The departure of Vermaelen does mean however that we only have two real experienced central defenders left with Kos and Per.

  12. Chambers looks a very fine prospect, but I don’t think he is ready to be third CB; 4th would be a possibility.

    If TV leaves (and I hope he does not) I would expect AW to buy a more experienced CB.

    My initial thought about Chambers, when trying to second guess AW – always difficult, was – is this the understudy for Arteta and a future box to box partner for Ramsey? This thought could be totally wrong but let’s see.

  13. Arsene thinking about the future as usual.

    About Alan Hansen’s comment about Theo not having a football brain – it was interesting that in his very last column in the Daily Telegraph he made a point of saying that is the only thing he said that he really regretted and going into that for a couple of paragraphs. It was a proper apology. And it got the headline of the article as well. This can only be good for Arsenal from every point of view.

  14. NOT BIG??…. Well boys grow till the age of 22, so expect him to be taller than Koscielny in 3 years time. He’ll be big enough when his ‘time to shine’ comes by.

  15. Looks like a good signing but did anyone else not notice the training pictures from Austria as the new signing had a No5 training top on which is the Verminators shirt is this a sign the man is off to Man poo is Chambers another replacement.

  16. We should all congratulate Southampton, especially their academy for the way they train and bring up these boys. Every club should try to in-corporate their method. Hats off to them.

  17. @blacksheep63,
    I was thinking of those sad So’ton supporters whose hopes must have been raised and dashed so many times.
    Imagine a similar situation at the Emirates….civil war would have broken out by now.

  18. nicky
    To a lesser extent we’ve suffered in the same way, leaking some of our stars to Barca, Man U & City, and became unjustly known as a selling club.
    Fortunately we’ve been in a strong position to replace the outgoing with decent (if not like for like) players.

  19. Chambers just took the training top. The Ox recently posted a picture of him training in Wilshere’s number 10. I dont think its any indication of him leaving.

  20. Would someone like to do me a list of the “25” – the players who are all over 21, and indicate which ones are the home grown.

    I normally try and do this but I am struggling for time.


  21. Strikes me that the most valuable resource we should try to bring from Southampton is the guy who finds their kids teams.
    We all know and appreciate Le Boss and his global scouting network but Southampton seem to have something exceptional in the scouting field.
    Pay him whatever he wants and get the Walcotts, Chamberlains and Chambers for free.

    Roll on Le weekend!!

  22. Jerry, that list may not have been updated for 2014/5. For one thing, Wilshere is now 22 (and should be homegrown). Jenkinson is now 22, and is home grown. Apparently Miyaichi misses being home grown by a month.

    In looking around, there is a question as to whether Diaby might be considered homegrown. He was 19 when he joined Arsenal. Flamini was 20 when he joined Arsenal (first time), so he isn’t.

    Coquelin and Miquel should be home grown, if they (and others) are still here.

  23. If one goes down the list of first team players at, and one ignores players under 21 and we also ignore Johan Djourou, we get a list of 25 players. I believe 7 of those players are classified as home grown.

    Szczesny (HG), Opina
    Debuchy, Monreal, Gibbs (HG), Mertesacker, Jenkinson (HG), Vermaelen, Koscielny
    Rosicky, Cazorla, Arteta, Flamini, Wilshere (HG), Diaby, Ozil, Coquelin (HG), Ramsey (HG)
    Podolski, Sanogo, Giroud, Walcott (HG), Miyaichi, Campbell, Sanchez

    Flamini joined Arsenal at age 20. Diaby joined Arsenal at age 19, but is apparently not considered home grown. Miyaichi apparently missed the home grown cutoff by 1 month.

    There are 4 under 21 players: Chambers, Zelalem, Gnabry and Oxlade-Chamberlain. In the future, Chambers and Oxlade-Chamberlain will be considered home grown.

    There are players listed on the youth team, who are 22 and could be added to this list: Miquel (turns 22 in September), Martinez (also turns 22 in September). Apparently they are also still eligible to play in the U21 Professional Development League.

    It would appear we are 1 home grown player short. Jenknison and Coquelin seem to get mentioned in the transfer/loan articles a bit, which could make us 2 or 3 homegrown players short. With no leg to stand on, I would suggest Miyaichi is in the most perilous position.

    Morgan Schneiderlin makes some sense in terms of transfer market as he is home grown. Him replacing Coquelin doesn’t make sense, as that is swapping one home grown for another. Who else is “expendable”?

    If Wenger is shopping for a home grown player at this point, I would suggest it is a forward. And it would probably be Sanogo or Miyaichi who would be let go.

    I will leave the armchair managing to others, I am lousy at it.

    On referee news. The EPL announced it was use the vanishing foam this year. And Clattenberg (England) got the UEFA Supercup.

    Regular News. has 8 enduring urban legends of Arsenal.

    #7 is that Paul Merson had an eidetic memory (photographic). They discount it. My Mom has one, not working so good at 80 something. But, during school, she could exactly scale images from book to blackboard. She still currently remembers passwords by seeing them in her memory.

    The people at WhatCulture have a number problem. URL and lead page have 10, title and rest of article have 8.

  24. Gord and Tony, Here’s another list I found online, hope that helps

    Our current squad and their status is listed below.
    Name Homegrown Status Under 21
    Wojciech Szczesny Homegrown No
    David Ospina Non Homegrown No
    Damian Martinez Homegrown No
    Mathieu Debuchy Non Homegrown No
    Kieran Gibbs Homegrown No
    Per Mertesacker Non Homegrown No
    Thomas Vermaelen Non Homegrown No
    Laurent Koscielny Non Homegrown No
    Nacho Monreal Non Homegrown No
    Calum Chambers Homegrown Yes
    Carl Jenkinson Homegrown No
    Tomas Rosicky Non Homegrown No
    Mikel Arteta Non Homegrown No
    Jack Wilshere Homegrown No
    Mesut Ozil Non Homegrown No
    Alex Oxlade-Chamerlain Homegrown Yes
    Aaron Ramsey Homegrown No
    Santi Cazorla Non Homegrown No
    Mathieu Flamini Non Homegrown No
    Abou Diaby Non Homegrown No
    Serge Gnabry Non Homegrown Yes
    Ryo Miyaichi Non Homegrown No
    Gedion Zelalem Non Homegrown Yes
    Francis Coquelin Homegrown No
    Lukas Podolski Non Homegrown No
    Olivier Giroud Non Homegrown No
    Theo Walcott Homegrown No
    Alexis Sanchez Non Homegrown No
    Yaya Sanogo Non Homegrown Yes
    Joel Campbell Non Homegrown No

    Info from

  25. Walter,

    Sorry for the late reply; I fully understand since I am French-educated and we would say “fabrique de joueurs de foot” as you would in Dutch-Flemish.

    When I moved from Paris to the USA, I used to have problems with “J” and “G” when spelling (they are inverted in French as compared to English) and saying “bibliotheque” when refering to the library. Also, a W is a double V in French and not a double U.

    Anyway, as an exercise in French spelling, Giroud is spelled:
    Gee Eee Err (Zuid Holland style, NOT Noord Holland style) Ooh ‘Euu Day.

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