Arsene Wenger made a pitch for a new job at the Ministry of the Bleeding Obvious when the Arsenal manager stated that Calum Chambers, a left-field summer acquisition, has played too much this season.
Chambers was a surprise £16 million arrival from Southampton and, at aged 19 and with only 22 Premier League appearances to speak of, was seen as a recruit for the future rather than the present.
But that is not how it has transpired. Chambers, who had never played a game at centre-back prior to joining Arsenal, was immediately placed into the heart of the defence such was Wenger’s failure to further reinforce this position with an experienced campaigner.
A long-term injury sustained by right-back Mathieu Debuchy then saw Chambers pushed out into his more recognised position but, with each passing week, his performances have declined drastically.
Chambers has played 24 times for Arsenal across all competitions before Christmas and, at last, Wenger has admitted that the youngster has been forced into action too regularly. Perhaps he will now address this problem in the imminent transfer window.
Article continues below
“For a 19-year-old player, he has played too many games,” Wenger told reporters on Tuesday.
“They all hit the wall after 15, 17 games. You have to give them a breather, refresh and get them back again.
"At the moment, to have that responsibility in every single game is a lot on a player of that age.”
Arsenal are at home to Queens Park Rangers on Boxing Day before a trip to West Ham, an unexpected challenger for the top four, two days later. Southampton, Chambers’ former club, are the opponents on January 1, and it would seem unlikely Wenger will dramatically reduce the teenager’s workload over this period.