The Chambers Experiment: Arsenal's In-house Holding Midfielder
News of Mathieu Debuchy nearing return from injury poses an interesting dilemma for Arsene Wenger.
The Professor is likely to name Mathieu Debuchy, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, and Kieran Gibbs, as his first-choice defenders when all are fit.
A formidable back-line that Gunners' fans will be happy to see take the pitch; but Debuchy coming back means Calum Chambers, somewhat unfairly, gets the short end of the stick.
With Mikel Arteta out with another calf injury, no thanks to Shad Forsythe, Mathieu Flamini can expect to see more time as the holding midfielder. This will be the cautious approach from Wenger, utilizing the Frenchman, a proven, though clearly declining, commodity to partner Aaron Ramsey in the center of the park.
But Flamini's waning athleticism, dwindling fitness, and lack of ability to impose himself upon a match means that it's time for Wenger to experiment.
Calum Chambers should be given the opportunity to play the holding midfield role.
Wenger, at the start of the season verbalized the idea himself, albeit to deflect criticism of his inability to sign a proven defensive midfielder.
Nevertheless, now is the time to give water to the idea and see if it sprouts.
Wednesday's game verse Southampton will be a telling indication of just how well suited Matheiu Flamini still is to the rigors of the Premier League.
He'll have to battle the powerful Victor Wanyama, try and keep up with the mobile and elusive Morgan Schneiderlin, and contain the creative Dusan Tadic.
The job is not Flamini's alone, but his ability to disrupt the Saints, and protect his back four, will be key if Arsenal are to win their third consecutive match in all competitions.
If the Frenchman fails to impress it's time to consider the in-house experiment.
It's time for Chambers to play as the holding midfielder when Debuchy returns...