Arsenal begin Unai Emery era with 8-0 friendly win over Boreham Wood
LONDON -- Arsenal defender Calum Chambers thinks he can grow into the holding midfield role after being deployed in a new position in Unai Emery's first game in charge of the Gunners.
Chambers played as a defensive midfielder in the second half of Arsenal's 8-0 win over Boreham Wood on Saturday after Emery made wholesale changes at half-time.
With Arsenal having just signed Lucas Torreira to fill the holding midfield role -- and with the likes of Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka also yet to return from World Cup duty -- Chambers is unlikely to see much time in that position this coming season. But the centre-back said Emery has indicated that it could be a possibility.
"Yeah, the manager spoke to me about the position. And yes, it's a new one for me," Chambers told the Arsenal website. "But it's a position I feel like I can grow to enjoy. Out there today it felt good. I just need training and practice and games in that position to feel comfortable."
Emery used nearly all of his available players for this annual fixture, with his predecessor Arsene Wenger having mainly fielded under-23 players in recent years. His starting lineup for the first half included Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette up front, while new centre-back Sokratis Papastathopoulos made his Arsenal debut -- as did 17-year-old midfielder Emile Smith Rowe.
The entire XI was then changed at half-time, and new signing Matteo Guendouzi was also brought on for the final 20 minutes.
Aubameyang needed just 16 minutes to net a hat trick, first curling a strike into the top far corner from the left edge of the box, then heading in a cross from Ainsley Maitland-Niles and finishing it off with a penalty.
Reiss Nelson, Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah, Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Henrikh Mkhitaryan also scored.