Arsenal made five signings this summer, and it probably surprised many that Calum Chambers represents on those moves. While it initially seemed that Arsenal have signed a right-back for the future, it appears that Chambers future should involve him playing at right center back, as Arsenal’s heir to Per Metresacker’s position. A Modern Center Back The attribute that stands out for Chambers, more than any other, is his intelligence. Unlike many English players, Chambers game revolves around his ability to read the game and make good decisions. With this ability to understand the state of play and anticipate what will happen, it allows him to make use of his other attributes to greater effect. These include excellent athleticism and technical ability for a center back. However, an underrated aspect of his ability as a defender, at the center back position, is his education as a right back. For a side like Arsenal, who often play a possession-based style of football, […]

Compared to all the other outfield positions over the past 15 years, the role of the center back has changed relatively little. The near future could see a profound change in the deployment of center backs, as players integral to defense and attack. However, some other changes may need to take place to facilitate the rebirth of the old-fashioned libero. Jonathan Wilson ends his tactical review of 2013 discussing the reemergence of the back three in top level football. While he talks about why it has come back in Italy and why it has been an attractive option for two English sides, the third model he presents is the most interesting of all. The back three ensures that at least one center back is free. To make the most of having a player with time and space, one should field a center back with skills in attack. Briefly in his piece, and more so in his piece on Bleacher Report, Wilson […]