Saints' friendly rivalry

Nathaniel Clyne

Nathaniel Clyne

First published in Sport Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Sports Reporter

IT has been one of the more fascinating personal duels played out in the Saints team this season. And so far there is no obvious winner in the Nathaniel Clyne v Calum Chambers battle to establish themselves as Saints’ first choice right back.

Teen starlet Chambers has started 15 league games and Clyne 14. Recently, however, 19-year-old Chambers had become Mauricio Pochettino’s favoured option. Clyne, though, was given the nod for last Saturday’s 1-0 win against his former club Crystal Palace, turning in a solid performance at Selhurst Park.

The game marked only a third league start for the 22-year-old since suffering an injury against Aston Villa in early December.

The Echo’s own statistical research shows the two players can hardly be separated.

Clyne is a clear winner on two counts, though.

He has provided four assists for goals this term, while Chambers has yet to provide any.

Clyne’s crossing accuracy is also far better – making 12 of 44 crosses compared to Chambers’ 13 out of 71 efforts.

For his part, Clyne is hoping he can now regain control of the right-back position.

Having last season been the undisputed holder of the job, a significant challenge is being posed by Chambers.

Clyne said: “I was on a good run of form, I was playing really well.

“I was at the peak of my game, and, all of a sudden, I got an injury and then I fell out of the squad.”

Chambers, who had also started the campaign in the team following an injury to Clyne in pre-season, grabbed his opportunity.

“He took his chance when I was out injured and I’ve found it difficult to get back into the squad, because he’s been playing so well, but I got my chance and hopefully I can push on and stay in the side,” Clyne added.

Both Clyne and Chambers have been mentioned as possible England material, with each of them having represented their country extensively at youth level.

Yet there is only one spot available in their club side and, long-term, it will be intriguing to see who wins out.

Clyne insists, however, that the competition should be welcomed and that having such depth encourages the players to keep improving their game.

“Definitely, we’ve got a good squad,” he said. “There’s competition around the pitch and it makes us play better and encourages us to play better and improve.”

Comments (11)

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8:50am Wed 12 Mar 14

Puddletown Saint says...

I would stick with Clyne. IMHO he is still the best English RB, so it shows how far Calum has come. Got a horrible feeling one of them may leave in the summer purely because of the fantastic completion for that first team place. What a great problem to have.

Gonna have a big win on Saturday - seem to do well against teams with bird names - Swans Robins Magpies Bluebirds COYR.
I would stick with Clyne. IMHO he is still the best English RB, so it shows how far Calum has come. Got a horrible feeling one of them may leave in the summer purely because of the fantastic completion for that first team place. What a great problem to have. Gonna have a big win on Saturday - seem to do well against teams with bird names - Swans Robins Magpies Bluebirds COYR. Puddletown Saint
  • Score: 8

9:04am Wed 12 Mar 14

david_davidson1 says...

Clyne should be patient. When Shaw goes to Chelsea in the summer, he can play left back as he has done before.
Clyne should be patient. When Shaw goes to Chelsea in the summer, he can play left back as he has done before. david_davidson1
  • Score: -44

9:08am Wed 12 Mar 14

Saint in Malta says...

Yeah, I'd stick with Clyne at Right Back too.
Though there is absolutely no doubt Chambers is going to become a great player! I believe in time his true position will be as holding defensive midfielder in the Schnederlin mould.
Yeah, I'd stick with Clyne at Right Back too. Though there is absolutely no doubt Chambers is going to become a great player! I believe in time his true position will be as holding defensive midfielder in the Schnederlin mould. Saint in Malta
  • Score: 10

9:40am Wed 12 Mar 14

Santa Retfordia says...

Ah, that photo brings back memories. It was out first game of last season, back in the Premier League and away at City. Clynie was making his debut for us and within about 10 minutes he snapped Aguero like a twig.

It was love at first sight...
Ah, that photo brings back memories. It was out first game of last season, back in the Premier League and away at City. Clynie was making his debut for us and within about 10 minutes he snapped Aguero like a twig. It was love at first sight... Santa Retfordia
  • Score: 13

10:04am Wed 12 Mar 14

Confucious says...

With so little to choose between the physical prowess of these two young players, the eventual playing selection may come down to their respective levels of guile and inventiveness.

I remember at school I was in competition for a place in the senior team with a lad called Keith. The sports master couldn't choose between us and kept giving us 45 minutes each. I eventually managed to settle the issue by slipping one of my mum's sleeping tablets into Keith's bottle of Vimto about an hour before each game.
With so little to choose between the physical prowess of these two young players, the eventual playing selection may come down to their respective levels of guile and inventiveness. I remember at school I was in competition for a place in the senior team with a lad called Keith. The sports master couldn't choose between us and kept giving us 45 minutes each. I eventually managed to settle the issue by slipping one of my mum's sleeping tablets into Keith's bottle of Vimto about an hour before each game. Confucious
  • Score: 6

10:24am Wed 12 Mar 14

Wayne marchant says...

Chambers is better he wont get many asssists because he spots passes earlier to players ike Lallana in space to then give the killer pass, this allows the team to keep up a better and quicker tempo
Chambers is better he wont get many asssists because he spots passes earlier to players ike Lallana in space to then give the killer pass, this allows the team to keep up a better and quicker tempo Wayne marchant
  • Score: 6

11:23am Wed 12 Mar 14

Independence for Marchwood says...

Saint in Malta wrote:
Yeah, I'd stick with Clyne at Right Back too. Though there is absolutely no doubt Chambers is going to become a great player! I believe in time his true position will be as holding defensive midfielder in the Schnederlin mould.
Didn't Chambers play centre half for England? Could become a utility type of defender as per Smalling or Jones for Manure.

Only better.
[quote][p][bold]Saint in Malta[/bold] wrote: Yeah, I'd stick with Clyne at Right Back too. Though there is absolutely no doubt Chambers is going to become a great player! I believe in time his true position will be as holding defensive midfielder in the Schnederlin mould.[/p][/quote]Didn't Chambers play centre half for England? Could become a utility type of defender as per Smalling or Jones for Manure. Only better. Independence for Marchwood
  • Score: 7

12:04pm Wed 12 Mar 14

CB FRY LIVES says...

Both are great right backs.And in my humble opinion both are better England prospects than either ex Farton park maverick Glen Johnson or Tottenham Crapspurs Kyle Walker.COME ON WROY PICK BOTH CLYNE AND CHAMBERS FOR BRAZIL 2014.
Clyne looked good against Palace on saturday but there again Chambers has often looked our best player this season.
I am glad that it is up to MP to chose between them and not me.
Chambers has youth on his side and is a versatile player.He captained England under 19s last week from a central defender position.I think that he can also play on the flanks as a winger.Earlier this year it was reported in the national press that Wenger was keen to sign him this summer.We let both Theo and the OX go there and both have enhanced the Gunners team.It would be a great statement of intent from the Saints if we went back in for either of those players this summer whilst snubbing any overtures from Arsenal or whoever for Calum.
Hopefully next season Matt Targett will be given MP similar selection headaches by challenging Luke Shaw for the left back berth.
I trust MP will get the selection scenario correct this week and whoever he picks the Reds will go out and get 3 deserved points against Norwich.
COYR
Both are great right backs.And in my humble opinion both are better England prospects than either ex Farton park maverick Glen Johnson or Tottenham Crapspurs Kyle Walker.COME ON WROY PICK BOTH CLYNE AND CHAMBERS FOR BRAZIL 2014. Clyne looked good against Palace on saturday but there again Chambers has often looked our best player this season. I am glad that it is up to MP to chose between them and not me. Chambers has youth on his side and is a versatile player.He captained England under 19s last week from a central defender position.I think that he can also play on the flanks as a winger.Earlier this year it was reported in the national press that Wenger was keen to sign him this summer.We let both Theo and the OX go there and both have enhanced the Gunners team.It would be a great statement of intent from the Saints if we went back in for either of those players this summer whilst snubbing any overtures from Arsenal or whoever for Calum. Hopefully next season Matt Targett will be given MP similar selection headaches by challenging Luke Shaw for the left back berth. I trust MP will get the selection scenario correct this week and whoever he picks the Reds will go out and get 3 deserved points against Norwich. COYR CB FRY LIVES
  • Score: 1

12:45pm Wed 12 Mar 14

City Final says...

No obvious winner? Try points per games played this season. Clyne more than double Chambers. More clean sheets as well. Not knocking Chambers as he has performed admirably but if it ever comes to a straight choice then Clyne is a no-brainer. Should be in the England squad too, sometimes wonder who he mist have upset not to be included.
No obvious winner? Try points per games played this season. Clyne more than double Chambers. More clean sheets as well. Not knocking Chambers as he has performed admirably but if it ever comes to a straight choice then Clyne is a no-brainer. Should be in the England squad too, sometimes wonder who he mist have upset not to be included. City Final
  • Score: 3

1:58pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Whiters says...

Chambers is an excellent prospect but Clyne is the better overall right-back at the moment. The problem is they both deserve a place in the team. The long term solution in my view is to turn Chambers into a centre back or Clyne into a right winger.
Chambers is an excellent prospect but Clyne is the better overall right-back at the moment. The problem is they both deserve a place in the team. The long term solution in my view is to turn Chambers into a centre back or Clyne into a right winger. Whiters
  • Score: 2

2:16pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Jesus_02 says...

Clyne - Future England RB

Could Chambers cover CB I wonder?
Clyne - Future England RB Could Chambers cover CB I wonder? Jesus_02
  • Score: 2

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