By Tony Alvarez
Following his two goals in two starts for Arsenal including one on his Champions League debut which saw him become the youngest Englishmen to ever score in the competition, many sections of the press and the public are hailing the abilities of the young Arsenal star and also claiming he should be ahead of Theo Walcott in the pecking order for club and country.
Although I missed Chamberlain’s man of the match performance againstShrewsburyin the Carling Cup due to a holiday I was present to watch his Champions League performance against Olympiakos and I may be going against the grain but he didn’t overly impress.
He had moments of magic and showed he has real ability and huge potential but at the moment from what I saw at the moment it’s just potential and not realised something I’m sure the lad himself would be happy to admit.
The following is not slating the boy but more a hope people don’t overhype him prematurely the same way they have with pretty much every young player showing a bit of promise for the last few decades at least.
There were many flaws in his performance some you may of noticed on the TV others were off the ball and would not have been highlighted.
The biggest problem I would say is his off the ball running he never runs in behind the defence always wanting the ball to feet, this makes him incredibly easy to defend against, say what you will about Walcott’s technique but one thing its never is easy.
Chamberlain showed a huge ability to run onto either foot and perform off both sides which will always be encouraged. But he needs to work so he can get in the position to be able to run at people, Sagna probably had the worst game I’ve seen for him in an Arsenal shirt, it can’t all be blamed on Chamberlain but he gave him no option or out ball.
Despite being deployed as a winger for his time at Southampton Chamberlain still appears to have no idea where to be when defending to be fair to him he does get back to try and be an extra body but he has no idea where he is supposed to be and does not track runners.
For me Chamberlain is also not fit enough for the Premier League, the game against Olympiakos wasn’t the fastest pace it was not slow but I’ve seen a lot quicker. At times in the second half Chamberlain went and stood at right back and sent Sagna up ahead of him as he did not have the fitness to get up and down, unsurprisingly he was substituted shortly after.
The problem I think, especially from what I heard from around the Emirates is that Chamberlain is very good at the things Walcott isn’t (e.g. delivery and composure on the ball) because Arsenal fans have had varied levels of frustration with these aspects of Walcott, Chamberlain’s emergence has been like a breath of fresh air, however I think the fans are overlooking all the plus sides of Walcott’s game.
Some where between the two is the perfect player, one journalist commented “Chamberlain, if only he had Walcott’s pace, if only Walcott had Chamberlain’s feet” whilst being partially correct I think this also taps into the lazy journalist aspect of claiming Walcott only has pace, Lionel Messi doesn’t brand you one of the worlds most dangerous players on pace alone.
It is also important to point out that both players are still improving of course that is clear with Chamberlain as he’s very young people seem to forget Walcott is no old man due to his emergence nearly 6 years ago now.
For me at the moment if I had a straight choice between the two Walcott would be starting every time and I think most Premier League defenders would prefer to face Chamberlain than Walcott, in the future this may change and given the technique Chamberlain posses I would not be surprised if at some point he is moved more central.
What are your thoughts? Do you think too much hype is around Chamberlain at the moment? Who would you pick between Walcott and Chamberlain? Do you se ea central role in the future for either of the two? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts
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