Chambers savours England start

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Published: Friday 10th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Calum Chambers’ “mad start” to the season took another remarkable turn on Thursday as the teenager made his first England start.

On the opening day of last season, the 19-year-old trotted out for his Premier League debut as Southampton won 1-0 at West Brom.

Less than 14 months has passed since then, during which time Chambers has made a £16million move to Arsenal, featured regularly in the Champions League and played for England.

The versatile defender made his Three Lions debut off the bench in last month’s uninspiring friendly against Norway, but looked like he would have to wait for his second senior cap after dropping down to the Under-21s for European Championship play-off with Croatia.

However, an injury to defender John Stones saw Chambers bumped up by Roy Hodgson on Sunday and led him to make his full debut in the Euro 2016 qualifier against San Marino just four days later.

“It is amazing,” Chambers said. “I got named in the England Under-21s and they have got two tough games coming up, which would have been a good experience.

“But then I got called up to the first team, which is an amazing feeling and especially to get my start. It has been a fantastic couple of days.

“It has been a mad start of the season for me, but I’ve got to keep going, keep concentrating and just try keep improving on my game the best I can.”

Chambers knows significantly tougher battles lie in wait, given Thursday’s opponents sit bottom of the world rankings alongside Bhutan.

Still, it was a sturdy display both individually and collectively as England overcame the San Marinese 5-0 at Wembley.

“We knew we had to go into the game and give it everything,” Chambers said. “We had to move the ball quickly.

“It wasn’t going to be easy at the start. The first half was a bit frustrating.

“They were tough to break down but eventually the things we worked on the training pitch got into the game and we got the goals in the end.

“We’re pleased with the performance. It is a good win at the end of the day. We can take a lot of positives from that game. I thought we did well.

“We’ve got another coming up. We will get back, rest and get ready for that.”

Despite having predominantly been deployed at centre-half by Arsenal, Chambers returned to his more regular position of right-back against San Marino.

The 19-year-old was given the nod ahead of former Southampton team-mate Nathaniel Clyne and, with Stones, Glen Johnson and Kyle Walker all injured, appears to have the chance to establish himself.

“I don’t know,” Chambers said. “That’s not up to me. All I can do is play the best I can to get the opportunity to get picked for that.

“I go into training and games and give it 100 per cent to give myself the best opportunity to do that.”

Published: Friday 10th October 2014 by The News Editor

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