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Always Had Rhythm Now We've Got Sol...Again...

Always Had Rhythm Now We've Got Sol...Again...

Just when you thought a mixture of a paucity of games due to the heavy snowfall in the UK and a lack of transfer activity anywhere in Europe had made for a rather moribund week, Tuesday saw Arsenal`s world go, ahem, bat shit crazy. News began to filter through on the internet yesterday afternoon that Arsenal were indeed negotiating a deal for the return of Sulzeer Jeremiah Campbell, three months after walking out on League Two Notts County in a state of disillusion. Sol did then indeed turn up at Upton Park to play for Arsenal Reserves against West Ham`s stiffs. Not to be outdone, Sol then wasn`t the only ex Gooner seen donning the cannon once more. Emmanuel Sheyi Adebayor gave an impassioned interview to Sky Sports News- wearing an Arsenal training top! What of the rest of the week then? Arsenal and Manchester United left managerless as Ferguson and Wenger elope together to live out their days hand in hand on the Isle of Lesbos? George Graham buys Kroneke and Usmanov`s shareholdings to become Arsenal`s outright owner? Following a vote of no confidence, Gordon Brown resigns as Prime Minister and is replaced by Kevin Keegan? Paul Merson corrects someone`s grammar on Soccer Saturday?

The signing of Campbell is a very curious one. It reminds me a little of when Liverpool bought Robbie Fowler back in the January transfer window three years ago. Senderos is as good as gone, which means that if Gallas and Vermaelen are simultaneously unavailable, our centre half pairing is Silvestre and Campbell. That`s not likely to frighten any striker with a turn of pace. From Arsenal`s point of view, is a 35 year old Campbell, whose last football was four months ago in League Two really better than Philippe Senderos? On the other hand, it has been clear for quite some time that Senderos has wanted to leave, in which case cover was going to be needed. Wenger has the advantage of having assessed Campbell closely as he has been training with us since October. In that time, Arsene will have been able to assess his levels of fitness and hunger, as well as having been able to assimilate Campbell within the group. He must have had a positive effect at London Colney; Vermaelen for instance is a centre half of similar style and stature to Sol and it is possible that Campbell has been a positive guiding influence. Arsenal are very much in the title race in the second half of the season with a clutch of season defining games on the horizon. Sol has immense experience of such a situation and he has experience of it at this club but, more importantly, he has experience of winning these situations. Most of Arsenal`s current players have only experience of losing such games.

What is clear, is that Campbell must have been working incredibly hard. The manager has often spoken out with regards his aversion to reprising former players, something has clearly pricked his attention on this occasion. I`m usually not the type of person that reads too much into what comes out of a footballer`s mouth, "Action is eloquence" as Shakespeare once memorably put it. But Campbell`s words sound different this time. Usually, when you see Sol interviewed, he has an aloofness and detachment that leaves you struggling to decipher if he`s counting fairies at the bottom of his garden or counting the notes in his wallet. For instance, when questioned as to whether his move to Notts County was fiscally motivated, Campbell gave the bizarrely vague answer, "This time I`m looking football wise- career wise." But when declaring his delight at returning to Arsenal, there is a conviction in his words. He tacitly acknowledges, "The old enthusiasm is back, the hunger is there. In fact, it`s a craving now." He also talks with more directness on this occasion than I`ve ever seen from him, "He (Wenger) has watched me closely after letting me train at Arsenal for nearly two months now. He's not stupid - he wouldn't have taken me back if he didn't like what he has seen and I have worked and worked. I do believe I can contribute." I have to say I`m still not 100% sure about it all, but all I can say, to borrow from the great bard again, is Sol, be great in act as you have been in thought."LD.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Tim Stillman
Date:Wednesday January 13 2010
Time: 11:12AM


Yeah well, I for one am absolutely delighted to have him back! Welcome back Sol-star!
13/01/2010 11:24:00
Senderos has played just 2 CC games in the first half of the season. Fixture congestion could be a problem in the 2nd half of the season but if Gallas and Vermaelen remain fit then Sol won't play anymore games than Senderos did. It would seem to indicate that Senderos is leaving in this window (you can bet your life that one of the technicalities that has prevented the contract from being signed as yet is that Senderos is still on the books). Campbell is experienced cover that could do a job on a 6 month contract and temporarily plug the squad gap assuming Senderos does go. The one thing that concerns me a little is that Campbell has always been a poorer player when forced to play on the right of the defense. With Vermaelen and Silvestre also preferring the left as Campbell does our cover might literally be a bit one sided.
13/01/2010 11:33:00
Well no, made a very big mistake. If lucky he'll brake his knee in the first 15 min. and leave for good...
13/01/2010 11:34:00
One person who clearly wins is Djourou. That we've gone for such a short term option seems to prove the manager has faith in a) his ability and b) his recuperation. I also hope it means Gallas is going to sign a contract. Sol will know and accept that he won't be first choice. By biggest misgiving is the thought of Silvestre and Sol together. Imagine if that backline has to play against Agbonlahor in a couple of weeks.
Little Dutch
13/01/2010 11:37:00
As long as both Billy and Vermaelen don't both get injured then this move makes perfect sense, but even if they do, you can't go around signing players to account for such bizzare circumstances (such as having 3 first choice centrebacks injured at the same time, Gallas, Vermalen and Djourou), even the "great" Man United don't account for that. You just have to make do.
13/01/2010 11:40:00
I guess Wenger is hoping/ calculating that Gallas and TV are not crocked at the same time. If Gallas requires a break in the FA cup matches, Campbell could be an able deputy. But like you said Sol is more in the Vermaelen mould and we could do with one centre back in the Gallas mould. I guess AW thinks Djourou can fill the Gallas void in the long term.
13/01/2010 11:44:00
I will put money on it that we see Big Sol at the heart of the defence against Stoke in the FA Cup, not only will it give one of the first choice guys a break, but he'll be more equipped to deal with those friggin exocets from Delap.
13/01/2010 11:47:00
Song can also play central defense and it wouldn't surprise me to see him move that way in a season or two. It's just a sensible pragmatic decison to provide short term temporary squad support. Keown was still playing back up for us into his 38th year.
13/01/2010 11:49:00
As a yid who lives in London Colney I am disappointed and feeling violated that he will once again be within a mile of my flat almost everyday, knowing the rest of them are so close is enough!
daveeeeed ginola
13/01/2010 11:52:00
Feels good doesn't Daveeeed, a bit of free defensive cover coupled with the annoyance of Spurs fans ...... ooooohhh to be a, Goona!!
13/01/2010 11:55:00
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