Calum Chambers’ yellow cards “concern” Arsenal boss: London Colney
PUBLISHED: 10:30 26 September 2014 | UPDATED: 14:46 26 September 2014
Arsene Wenger has admitted that he is a “little concerned” about the yellow cards recently dished out to rising star player Calum Chambers.
Speaking to the media at the club’s training centre in London Colney, ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday) premier league match with Tottenham Hotspur, the Gunners boss said he was worried as, “he has three yellow cards. And after five, you miss a game.”
But, Arsene said, that was, “down to the fact that he lacks experience in a challenge.”
He told the press that midfielder Mathieu Flamini is back in the squad and Kieran Gibbs is “alright”.
Per Mertesacker is also available for the weekend.
Arsene said the long-term injuries are “not bad”.
He was asked if, after 18 years in charge - coming up next week - whether the north London derby was still special.
Arsene replied: “Yes because it is an important moment of the season. It has meaning for everybody, and for us it is an opportunity for us to take points.
“We want to win our home games.”
Prodded further on whether the north London derby is a “defining” moment, Arsene replied that they are, “important, but are they defining? I don’t know.
“Tottenham has over the years had good players and good teams.
“So for us to be on top of them of course we can fight for the top of the league.
“I’m proud to be consistent.”
Asked about media reports on fans’ anger following owner Stan Kroenke taking £3 million out of Arsenal, a diplomatic Arsene replied that supporters should not be concerned.
He added: “We only do what is legal, usually, and you should ask this question to the board.”
In regards to the importance of Calum Chambers continuing his good start, given that Mathieu Debuchy is off for three months with an ankle injury, Arsene said: “He has become a regular player.
“For a 19 year old boy that is very demanding. He absorbs the games very well, not only physically but he copes well with the pressure that is on him for such a big game.”
Prodded further about Calum, Arsene added: “You forget that top level competitions are first of all about pleasure, and I want him just to enjoy the game and play, you forget sometimes there is a huge joy to play at that level.”
Asked about Mesut Ozil’s form, Arsene again paid tribute to the player, complimenting his “good partnership” with Danny Welback in the squad’s 3-0 win over Aston Villa, saying, “it was an interesting experience.”
According to the Gunners’ website, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are not available for the north London derby. Nacho Monreal is also not back yet.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is reported as saying that his new Arsenal team-mates – five recruits have been added to the Gunners over summer – understand how important the north London derby is.
Meanwhile, Arsene said yesterday (Thursday) that football club managers had to be “more sensitive” with their players than the more authoritarian stance typical of 30 years ago, when he began his first job at Nancy-Lorraine.
Arsene said that the modern generation wanted to know why an action was necessary, and that greater communication was the order of the day with players as they are “better informed, better educated and want to know more”.
Communication seems to be a running theme on Arsenal’s website, as Columbian international David Ospina, who made his first start on Tuesday night (23), said he has been learning English “little-by-little” and is taking classes.
• Arsenal V Tottenham Hotspur, Emirates Stadium, Saturday September 27, 5.30pm
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