Jan 132010

So the move appears to be on. Although not fully confirmed by the club yet, it appears that after coming through 45 minutes for the reserves last night, Sol Campbell is once again an Arsenal player. It is almost as surprising as the first time he signed back in 2001, and shows a flexibility to transfer dealings that many thought Wenger was incapable of.

The player himself has confirmed the move, saying:

“There are still a few technicalities to be ironed out but I am signing until the end of the season, and it’s fantastic, great, marvellous. I’m ecstatic to be back at Arsenal and I have worked bloody hard to get there. Arsene Wenger has been an inspiration.”

“He has watched me closely after letting me train at Arsenal for nearly two months. He’s not stupid – he wouldn’t have taken me back if he didn’t like what he has seen. I’ve missed it and I’ve a gut feeling this is the right move. It’s no longer a hunger to get back – it’s turned into a craving. I’m raring to go.”

Even from these words, it is clear that Sol is desperate to prove himself again after a turbulent year. He was given a whole heap of false promises at Notts County, and broke his contract as a result, knowing that it wasn’t the be the swansong he wanted for his career. While no-one can doubt that he has a chequered past, he is equally a winner who has the drive to make the decisions he feels he needs to make.

There are plenty who have their doubts about the move, and in particular Sol’s ability to cut it at the top level given his 35 years. But he isn’t being signed to break the Gallas-Vermaelen pairing, he is there to stop us seeing Silvestre at centre back so often. And that can only be a good thing.

In all seriousness, Wenger has been watching Campbell for three months in training, and will have put him through he ringer before signing him up. He has shown a lack of sentiment in the past, and given how Campbell left the club, he was likely to be the beneficiary of even less. But if Wenger has seen the drive in him, and more importantly the fitness levels, then it makes a lot of sense.

It also proves a lot of people wrong about the manager. I have seen the same people who complain about the youth project go on to moan about this signing. Those same people who insist we need a player for now, not for the future, dislike a signing that matches that criteria exactly.

It also puts paid to the notion that Wenger gives preferential treatment to foreign youngsters. Phillippe Senderos is still a fine defender, but will surely leave after being frozen out so comprehensively, while the door has been left open for an Englishman eleven years his senior.

You could have got fantastic odds on this being our first signing of the window.

Elsewhere, the Fran Merida saga continues, with the player saying he ‘needs time’ to decide what he wants to do. It all seems to be going down the Flamini route, to be honest, and I’d be surprised to see the Spaniard here next season. We can hardly guarantee him first team football given our plethora of midfield options both in the first team and coming through the ranks.

And that’s it for now. Welcome back Sol.

  22 Responses to “Campbell’s return proves a lot of people wrong about Wenger”

  1. Your article is so crap it’s unreal!

    “It also proves a lot of people wrong about the manager” This hasn’t proved anyone wrong except Wenger, this proves his ‘I only sign youngsters’ policy is flawed and he now realises his policy has almost certainly cost the club a number of trophies. Letting go of all that quality as soon as they reach 30 has been the reason behind the clubs lack of success in recent years.

    And the real funny one is “Phillippe Senderos is still a fine defender”, what planet are you on? When was he ever a fine defender? The only good thing about Senderos is that he didn’t want to go back to your club.

  2. Pete,

    Just to provide some balance to the previous comment I thought your article was good.

    I am also glad to see Sol back at the club – he certainly provides better cover than Silvestre – who although a model professional now lacks the pace for the premership.

    Regarding Senderos I think he was going in the right direction but may have become over-confident and, from what I understand, was not listening to advice from his coaches.

    He is also another player (Denilson, Diaby, Song being others) who has not had the support of all Arsenal fans – which may also have affected him.

  3. “The only good thing about Senderos is that he didn’t want to go back to your club.”
    why don’t you go and piss off back to your own club septic tank and do not worry or comment on our matters you dirty spud.

  4. Sceptic – you contradict yourself quite a lot there. Saying it doesn’t prove people wrong about Wenger and then listing the reason why is a good example. People say he is inflexible, but this signing is so against the grain that he clearly is.

    As for Senderos, he is 24 years old, a kid in terms of a central defender. He was part of a CL record breaking run of clean sheets, and whenever he’s had a run of games he has been excellent. Yes, he had poor games against Drogba and Torres, but so did Vidic and he is lauded.

    Senderos will prove himself again, believe me.

    jar0909, thanks for the balance! Just to be clear, I agree with you re: Silvestre – that we slate him as a player shouldn’t take away from the fact that as a professional he is second to none.

    You touch on Senderos’ main problem – his fragile self belief. One torrid day can ruin a month of great form. If he can believe in himself again I think he’ll be a fine player.

  5. The spuds still bitter, who can blame the twat ?

    Sols a legend, he won a more pretigious trophy in one season at Pompey than he did in his whole career at the spuds.

    Wenger knows………….
    Redknapp twitches……..


    AFC (13 times champions of England)

  6. I thought the article was good. I thought you brought up some interesting points which i would agree with. The manager has surprised us. For someone who believes so solidly in a youth programme that if you don’t cut it by 17 you don’t make it into the Arsenal squad or less likely he has shocked us with a 35 year old signing. We have some experience at the back and that can only be a good think. Senderos for his age is a good defender, not the best. He has alot too learn and hopefully at another club. He needs games for himself. I still remember his classic of a game 2 seasons ago against AC Milan, what a game he had.

    good article.

  7. Anyone for lasagne ?

    The spuds are a defeated club, they work for us.


  8. I still can’t get over the fact Wenger’s shocked me twice by signing the same player.

    By my reckoning, he’s the oldest signing Wenger’s made, beating Jens?

  9. Sceptic is not an Arsenal fan – he is an idiot. So Wenger has been proven wrong about his youth policy just because he signs up Sol for the remainder of the season? Ludicrous. The lack of a trophy in recent years is a red herring because only now is the squad maturing which means that only now is Wengers youth project entering its critical phase. The question is not what we have won since 2005 (as if ANY team are GUARANTEED a trophy in any one season). The question is what the team will achieve the next five years.

    Good article!

  10. Fuck the spuds, who gives a shit what they say.

    Tott3nham is a shithole, the only place i know where people wipe their feet when walking out of their house/caravan/dustbin.

    10 years and counting…………

    lmfao @ the spuds again.


  11. http://www.youtube.com/user/TONYNASRI

    Bring it yiddo’s, fuckin’ bath dodgers!



  12. What a lot of people seem to be missing is how important Sol could be in the dressing room.

    This is a man who has been there and won the double with Arsenal and with the youngsters right in amongst the race fr the title his words and experience before games could prove invaluable!

  13. Campbell or anyone else hasn’t proved anyone right or anyone wrong yet–he hasn’t played a series of games for us yet, numpty.

  14. Goons_with_Guns, I take it you didn’t read the article, then, just the title?

  15. this site is better than gunnerblog ;)

  16. nin, cheers for the compliment, you liar :)

  17. Sad sad Sceptic. Still bitter after all of these years. TonyNasri, classic, “Only place people wipe their feet when walking out of their house/caravan/dustbin…”
    Good article, raises some good points about Sol and Wenger. Proving that he’s not as myopic and inflexible as people think and this will prove to be a good move for the club even if Sol just sits on the bench. It’s like having a proper defensive coach and who knows, maybe he can show Denilson and Theo where the gym is. Those two are built like 11 year old girls.

  18. It just proves wenger was probably wrong to let him go in the first place, to try to twist it into anything more is trash. Wenger is not paying him much at all that’s why he’s in, Sol is probably paying Arsenal to have a chance next summer, one thing you got right ‘welcome back Sol’.

  19. WOW !
    What a site !!!
    And no sign of Norleans Gunner !

    Keep up the good work Pete.

    WOW !

  20. Ok for the first time he signs an ex-Gunner, for the first time he signs someone over 35, but not for the first time he has bought someone for free. Not sure if it was the last time, but one of the times he did so was with none other than Sol himself.

    I back this one to be another masterstroke from Lord Arsene.


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