Evolution Of A Role

Saturday 18 May 2019 06:00

Calum Chambers’ best performances for Fulham came after he was moved into a more advanced position.

This first happened in Slaviša Jokanović’s final match as Head Coach at Anfield, and he impressed so much in the middle of the park that Claudio Ranieri and Scott Parker kept him there for the remainder of the campaign.

Central midfield is arguably the most variable position on a football pitch, and so we asked the on-loan Arsenal man how it differed for him under each boss.

“Slav in the first game at Liverpool basically wanted me to help out the back four and try and add a bit of solidity to the midfield,” Chambers explained.

“He wanted me to get myself about, try and break up play, try and protect and stop the ball going into the strikers. It was a very defensive role I was playing.

“That was for one game, and then with Claudio it was very similar in the sense that I was the deep man, holding, breaking up play. Then when I get the ball, one or two touch and give it to the boys in front, play channel balls, or give it to the striker and hold my position, basically as a break up man.

“And then with Scotty… When I play in midfield, sometimes I like to try and get forward, make runs in behind and things like that. Obviously Scotty has been here the whole time and I think he’s seen that in training and a couple of times in games.

“So once he’d taken over he encouraged me to do that more, because he sees it as one of my strengths, making runs in behind and breaking forward when I can.

“With Scotty it’s been more of a box-to-box role if you like, getting myself about and trying to help out with the forwards. It’s evolved in that kind of way throughout the season.”

Having excelled in what is largely a new role for the 24-year-old, does Chambers now see midfield as his favoured position?

“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “It’s definitely added a string to my bow. It’s been a great experience for me playing in that position.

“Now when I play centre-back I’ll appreciate more what the midfielders have to go through and it will help me realise what pass they want or where they want me to give them the ball, so it’s definitely been a great experience and added to my game.”

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