Press conference

Transcript: Chambers on injury, recovery, Arteta

It wasn't just Mikel Arteta in virtual press conference action on Wednesday evening.

Calum Chambers also faced the media to discuss his return from injury and where he sees himself fitting into the boss' plans.

Here's everything he had to say:

on what the last year has been like…
How long have you got! It's been an experience and a hell of a journey. Obviously a lot has happened during this time, at the football club and in the world I guess. And going through this kind of rehab. I spent two and a half months at home, with the lockdown. So that in itself was an experience, going through an important phase of my rehab at that time, my strength phase and doing all that from home and being on FaceTime with the physios every other day. So it's been a journey, one I've learnt from and come out stronger from for sure.

on having bad moments…
I always had faith that I could come back and play at this level. At the start, this injury is the biggest one I've had, and a lot changes in your life at the start. It's a very slow process from the start onwards and you've just got to be patient, have faith in the process, keep doing what the physios tell you. Towards the end of it and the stage I am now you see the rewards from the patience and hard work at the start. You are back out on the pitch, training every day and playing. Now it's about little steps, building and building and building, being patient but knowing the fact you will get back to where you were before.

on getting back into the Premier League side…
Yeah, it's never a good time to get this injury but unfortunately it fell at a bad time for me. I was playing week in week out in the team in a position that I've wanted to play for a long time now, so it fell at a bad time. But now it's about getting my fitness back, getting my match sharpness back and being patient with the process. I know it takes a long time with an injury like this to get back where you were. But I need to keep my head down, keep working hard, wait for my opportunity and every opportunity I get, just give it everything I can.

on why he didn't put a timeframe on his return…
That thought process was if I had put a time limit or date on my return, if ever I had a setback it would make me disappointed, or if ever that date got pushed back it would feel like a setback. Whereas if I didn't put a date on it, and just focussed on the short-term goals and where I needed to be and what I needed to do in my rehab, I never had that. It was just a case of go, follow the process step by step and when I'm ready I'll know I'm ready. And you'll never have that feeling of setting the date here, and if something happens along on the journey and you have a setback, you don't have that disappointment of having to push that date back. Mentally I think it did help quite a lot.

on whether Mikel has spoken to him about his role…
We've had a few conversations. Obviously wherever he sees my strongest position I will play and give it 100 per cent. Obviously I like centre back and if I get to play there then great. If the boss wants me to play at full back I will play there as well. So wherever the team needs me I will give 100 per cent in every game.

on whether playing midfield helped his development…
Definitely. My time at Fulham was amazing and I learnt a lot from playing in that position. That made me appreciate it when I dropped back to centre back. I understood the role of a midfielder and when he wants the ball and when he doesn't want the ball and the communication they need in there. So for sure learning another position helps you in general. I have always felt that. It's the same with right back. Learning how to play there and understanding what a right back needs from a centre back gives you such a good knowledge of the game. It helps so much.

on how he thinks he will fit into Arteta's plans…
As I said there's never a good time for an injury like this, but the timing was bad. We all love the philosophy and the way he coaches and the way he wants to play. He wants ball-playing centre halves and that's what I see myself as. So I like to think I fit into his plans. As I said before, it's a case of me being patient and getting back to the level I was at before. And every opportunity I get given, just give it 100 per cent and do the best I can.

on returning to his best…
Yes it's going to take some time to get back to where I was. I just need to stay focussed, stay strong with it. Obviously I spoke to players who have had this injury before. I've got Rob, Hector who I spoke to. Sead had it, some of the coaching staff and the boss have also had the injury. So I've got a lot of people to talk to and they just said "stick with it, stay focused, work as hard as you can off the pitch and you'll slowly feel it, day by day, improving step by step."

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