Arsenal: Calum Chambers’ fire and fury builds on maturity

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 31: Calum Chambers of Arsenal appeals as referee Mike Dean awards a penalty against him during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns on December 31, 2017 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 31: Calum Chambers of Arsenal appeals as referee Mike Dean awards a penalty against him during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal at The Hawthorns on December 31, 2017 in West Bromwich, England. (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images) /
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Arsenal’s young English defender Calum Chambers faced a furious miscall against West Brom that cost two points, but this is a building block.

Arsenal came off of what is turning out to be a remarkable win at Crystal Palace with a massive return to the starting XI by English defender Calum Chambers. It wasn’t a defensive masterclass by any means, as the back three did succumb to two goals, one of which was late and put the club in a nervy state.

But Chambers was solid. He was everything you could want from a Premier League defender in a back line trying desperately to find its footing.

And the encore came against West Brom, with Chambers back on the line. The match was a frustrating one, given the result, and despite the fact that it was only West Brom, the Gunners defense did hold them to what should have been a clean sheet.

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However, it wasn’t. Because of an absolutely ridiculous penalty that Mike Dean called on Calum Chambers.

The young Englishman was called for a handball despite his hands being in front of his chest in a natural position and despite the fact that he was just about two feet away from Kieran Gibbs, who played the ball in that resulted in the dubious handball call.

It all happened just two minutes after the Gunners finally broke through with an Alexis Sanchez free kick that was later ruled an own goal by James McClean, who was in the wall that deflected the ball in.

Naturally, Chambers was furious. He probably will be for quite some time. It was a crappy culmination to what was a great game and a fantastic follow-up, where Chambers was a massive influence, totaling tied for the most touches in the match.

The match itself is a huge setback for the Gunners – or another setback, I should say. But for Chambers, it should be a massive step towards improvement and, just as importantly, maturity.

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Arsene Wenger made it pretty clear why Chambers was back in the XI, and it was a simple reason. “He’s come back,” Wenger said after the Palace match, as quoted by the Express. “He’s been injured and now he’s back to full fitness.”

Meaning the stock in Chambers is just as high as Wenger led us to believe. He set an incredibly high price tag on the defender in the summer and it’s clear why that value was set so high. Because it was deserved.

West Brom was not a setback for Chambers. It was frustrating and will likely lead to him clenching his jaw for about a week straight, but these are the types of frustrations that really build the character of a player, as well as the maturity. Seeing how quickly things can be unjustly thrown in your face has a way of reminding you just how flawless you have to be.

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And a little added motivation never hurt anyone. Now we just have to hope Chambers stays in the starting XI. He is only getting better.