Football

Chambers targets Euro glory to revive club career

Arsenal's forgotten man vows to 'give it everything' against Germany

The way England Under-21 defender Calum Chambers is performing in Poland could not have escaped his employers Arsenal.

The 22-year-old defender, who spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough, has shone for his country at the European Under-21 Championship.

Chambers has formed a fine central defensive partnership with Swansea's Alfie Mawson as England progressed to the semi-finals, where they will meet Germany in Tychy, Poland, tonight.

Aidy Boothroyd's side kept two clean sheets in three games as they won Group A and reached the last four for the first time since 2009.

Chambers would like to make his mark at the Emirates Stadium when he returns from the tournament, but he is well aware that the immediate task at hand is a tough one.

The ex-Southampton youngster said: "It's been a very good season for me. I gave absolutely everything to try to get results and keep Middlesbrough in the Premier League. Unfortunately, I couldn't do that and I was gutted.

"We have to see what happens. I'm an Arsenal player and I'll be going back in for pre-season and concentrating on that, but at the moment my focus is on England and beating Germany."

Chambers is plotting to do that by using advice from German World Cup winner and Arsenal teammate Per Mertesacker.

He said: "The one player who has helped me a lot would be Per. Being in the same position, he was almost like my mentor for a couple of years. I have never seen a player so professional and dedicated.

"Every little thing he could do he did. There were times when he would be looking at me and saying 'you could do this' and that's rubbed off.

"That's helped me realise the little things you do, the tiny little one or two per cents, get you where you want to be."

In case they need it, England have practised penalties, including winning a shoot-out 7-6 after a 3-0 friendly victory over Iceland earlier this month.

Chambers, who has a 100 per cent record, scored from the spot at St George's Park and will step up if needed tonight.

He said: "If it comes to it, yeah. If I have to, absolutely. We had a practice penalty shoot-out against Iceland. I took one then and scored.

"I haven't taken a penalty at senior level but I took one in the FA Youth Cup against Bradford, away. I scored that one, too.

"It is a massive game. All the games, I remember watching with family and friends at school. It is just a big occasion.

"Obviously we want to win. We were all watching the game when the news came through, it was like, 'Yes, we're playing Germany, this is it. Give it everything we've got'."

Chambers' teammates Nathaniel Chalobah and Nathan Redmond face a race against time to be fit for the game, which is a repeat of the 2009 final, which Germany won 4-0.

The duo trained away from the main group yesterday, after coming off in last Thursday's 3-0 win over hosts Poland.

Chelsea midfielder Chalobah has a suspected groin problem while the England camp have not specified what is wrong with Southampton winger Redmond.

- PA SPORT

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