By: RJ Young
I don’t want to talk about the 0-0 draw to Leicester City at King Power Stadium. Though it was good to see Santi back in a familiar role with those nipples protruding from his jersey that always look so happy to see you.
I don’t want to talk about Arsene and his inability to pony up the money needed to sign one of the world’s best strikers—or defenders if you ask me. Lord knows he’s got more excuses for why he hasn’t than hell has sinners.
I don’t want to talk about how even with Koscienly at the back we still look more confused in defense than the poor soul managing Christian Benteke’s Twitter account. I counted at least three opportunity’s for Vardy and Mahrez to rub Arsenal’s offer to sign either of them in our faces, but thanks to their utter ineptitude we have months more of chatting s— before we get banged.
I don’t want to talk about how Theo continues to show so much promise and make the same mistakes he did 12 years ago as young but utterly gifted winger. I don’t want to talk about how the handsome devil, the gorgeous gourd, Olivier Giroud, is so brilliant with his head that his very style of play doesn’t fit with our overall philosophy anymore.
And I don’t want to talk about how we can’t seem to have a healthy Welbeck AND Wilshere at the same time or how loaded down with attacking midfielders—Ozil, Ramsey, Alexis, Santi, Wilshere, Campbell, Theo, the Ox—we are but don’t have enough balls on the field to satisfy their burgeoning brilliance.
What I do want to talk about is Sooner Gooner G.J. Koehler and Calum Chambers.
You probably know this. G.J. Koehler is Gooner from Tulsa, and I met him for the first time at George’s Pub on Saturday just before the game started against the Foxes. But I didn’t open with introducing myself. I hadn’t seen the starting lineup, and I wanted to know if Santi was in it. After the game he had last week, I thought it was only fair that he and the Ox started. G.J. didn’t know if he was, but he knew Chambers wasn’t—and thought Chambers should.
I balked at that because, well, Chambers has been one of several whipping boys for Gooners the world over for years. You know the game doesn’t matter or everybody but the ticket takers are hurt or the game is so out of hand that there’s NO WAY Chambers’ defending could hurt us when he’s playing. But G.J. wanted to see Chambers start.
“I think he should be wearing the arm band too,” G.J. said. I asked him if he was serious about that, and he was.
G.J. owns just one Arsenal jersey—Freddie Ljunberg’s—but he swears he’s set to buy a Chambers jersey. Of course this begs the question, of all the men to wear the Arsenal jersey why would he choose to buy Chambers’?
The answer is in Carson, California.
G.J., his wife and a couple other Sooner Gooners traveled 1,000 miles west to watch the Gunners play in the MLS All-Star game last month. It was expensive, the outcome of the game meant nothing and there was no guarantee that you’d see a strong squad from the Arsenal, especially coming straight off of Euros. But G.J. and company went anyway and sat in the Arsenal America section.
At the conclusion, when you would expect Arsenal players to show their appreciation for a few American working boys and girls who might never get the chance to see them play in London—or anywhere else for that matter—only one of them did. You probably guessed by now that that player was Calum Chambers.
It might not seem like much to some, but, to G.J., Chambers’ willingness to simply walk around the boundaries of the stadium thanking Arsenal fans from the States for their continued support of a team still trying to find a way to win its first league title in more than a decade meant more than any trophy they might not win this year.
“I’ve yet to see another Arsenal jersey worth wearing until Chambers walked around the stadium thanking me and everyone else for coming to California,” G.J. said.
Good on you, Calum Chambers. You get why we’re here, why we support the club, and you’ve won more of us over because of it.
The SG Blog
Gooners from Oklahoma share their views and insights about Arsenal Football Club!