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

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The Journalist

Writer: Tim Stillman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday January 13 2010

Time: 11:12AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Yeah well, I for one am absolutely delighted to have him back! Welcome back Sol-star!
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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.
Report Abuse
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...
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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
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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.
Report Abuse
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.
Report Abuse
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.
Report Abuse
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.
Report Abuse
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
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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!!
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 11:55:00

I can live with watford training next door but the prospect of seeing Campbell in Sainsbury's (i've seen a few gooners in there) makes me feel a bit sick!
daveeeeed ginola
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 12:01:00

Amos - it's 'defence' - next you'll be on about youth programs. ;-) Time will tell about this one, i'm already nervous about us visiting the swamp.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 12:01:00

Don't see much wrong with this decision, assuming it goes through. Picture this: TV is injured in a game, VS Drogba (say) and needs a capable replacement. Who will you rather have between Sol and big Phil? Wenger has had over 3 months to think about this and I expect that he did like what he saw of Sol in training. He hasn't been that long away from the top flight and should still have his positioning sense, defense organizational ability and fairly good reading of the game; qualities which can't do us much bad, as we get to this end of the season.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 12:05:00

The only reason Wenger made this signing was to let Senderos leave. Big shame that one. I remember when I predicted the Big Phil would one day captain Arsenal. Oh well.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 12:11:00

Hey, Guys! Off topic, though. Anyone know this Samuel Galindo, a Bolivian 'wonder kid' Wenger is reported to have signed, under the nose of Moyes' Everton?
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 12:53:00

Moyes has had some bolivian under his nose? Anyone called News of the world? :)
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13/01/2010 13:04:00

Thanks shewore but I think you'll find 'defense' is also in common use. Seems to have stirred up more response than the story is worth were it not for his previous history. Unless injuries or suspensions hit us hard it may not amount to much more than recruiting someone extra to put the cones out in training sessions.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 13:39:00

jeez 20 large a week to be a ball bib and cone man. Doubt even the chelsk pay theirs that much!
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 13:51:00

Yep - insurance can be very expensive sometimes. Will be what we have been paying Senderos to do even less than that so far this season.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 14:07:00

you deserve each other!
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13/01/2010 14:26:00

This is good - a low risk signing. This is at least better than Wenger having Senderos in the books and not playing him. Hopefully, he will not be needed, but he can play in the FA Cup to give Gallas/TV a rest.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 15:13:00

Yeah - if you're a yank it is Amos. Interesting to see how ruthless Arsene's been with Senderos as well, really not sure what he's done to deserve to be frozen out so much.
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13/01/2010 15:56:00

We are all at the mercy of US English shewore - almost the default international language (if only due to Word's spell checkers!). I wouldn't be surprised if Wenger has doubts about Senderos' mental strength. His loan to Milan followed the reported breakdown after the errors against Liverpool the season before last and he hasn't had much of a look in since. For whatever reason it isn't happening for him here.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 16:14:00

all those ppl who are saying Wenger must have seen him in training and thought he is fit enough and good enough at this level, i have to disagree with that. Wenger even thought Silvestre was good enough when we bought him, and we all know how he's turned out to be. i just hope Gallas n Vermaelen dun suffer any injuries because just like last season when we lost Gallas n Clichy at the business end of the season, if it happens again this time, then we're gonna miss out on silverware yet again..
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13/01/2010 17:35:00

I think this is a very good piece of business. I was concerned about the reliance on the continued fitness of our first choice centre backs, so the return of Sol will alleviate some of the pressure until Johan comes back. I think he'll do a decent job as well. Well done Arsene.
Sir Henry
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 18:09:00

hodfoundgodwithapass i honestly couldn't have put it better myself.
Jinkin Jimmy Dimmock
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13/01/2010 18:22:00

Don't worry Jimmy, if Arsenal or Spurs are in the Cup semi final, our game at the swamp gets rearranged for May. Sol might just pick up another Premiership title win at the Lane.
Little Dutch
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13/01/2010 18:36:00

We do deserve each other. Like renowned hater of the disabled Hoddle and Eileen Drewery.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 18:44:00

Not surprised he's back with the Arsenal. He'll add depth for sure.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 19:57:00

Little Dutch, in this rearranged game in May,Sol might just jack it in half-time after a 1st half battering!
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 21:03:00

He'll have lasted 35 minutes longer than Dead-Knee King and Jonathan Balsa-Woodgate then.
Little Dutch
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13/01/2010 21:24:00

At least the guy can train, unlike King! Really not sure what to think of this. I suppose I welcome another body who's tall and experienced, but for all the great comments he's made about working hard and getting fit, he's still overweight and hasn't worked hard enuf to lose pounds. I frankly am upset about Senderos--he's one of the few players we have who truly plays his heart out for us consistently, and has organizing and leadership abilities. As with Gilberto, I think AW has treated him shabbily.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 21:47:00

lol at liverpool!
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 21:57:00

I actualy kind of feel for l'pool, my brothers are Pool fans so I have some sympathy. As for the Campbell transfer, I mentioned earlier that I was nervous about him playing for us but the more I think about it and the more I read people's opinions about this I'm actually starting to think that this may turn out to be a very good move.
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 23:00:00

Who's next Perry Groves ?
Report Abuse
13/01/2010 23:09:00

Who's for playing 3-4-3 with Sol a lone centre back? ...No? ...No one?
Report Abuse
14/01/2010 01:05:00

Anyone else, really starting to dislike Citeh fans?
Report Abuse
14/01/2010 01:30:00

no i dont i just laugh at 'em
Gooner SA
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14/01/2010 06:48:00

I have to say that Sols signing is a surprise, but I have great respect for Wenger when it comes to knowing the capabilities of players he signs and he sees Sol as a stop gap until the summer, when the prices are more reasonable in the market and players are more available.
Buzz Lightyear
Report Abuse
14/01/2010 08:28:00

Buzz Lightyear is part of a fast vanishing breed of reasonable City fans.
Report Abuse
14/01/2010 11:14:00

Jaelle, don't worry about Sol's present weight. Wenger will unleash a diet regime (plus the Arsenal physios) on him to 'deflate' him in record time. Senderos does play his heart out; trouble is he has not shown enough 'heart' when it mattered most. Not a very resilient man, compared with the likes of NB52 for instance. If he leaves the club, it will do all parties some good.
Report Abuse
14/01/2010 13:15:00

Fuikaka, I've always liked Citeh and have a number of Citeh supporters for friends. But yes, this season I've developed a dislike for a lot of their supporters. They talk like they've already won a dozen trophies. But I also laugh at them when they come on here and sound just like the spuds -- with a huge inferiority complex and small club mentality. It's like gooners going over to VitalManUtd and gloating over their failures. How can you not laugh at some 5 year old child tho thinks that writing "ARSEnal" on this blog is some kind of major, clever insult?
Report Abuse
14/01/2010 14:28:00

Very glad weve signed Sol on a short term deal, think hes worth a shot! And if hes fit and in shape can provide good cover for Vermalen and Gallas.
Report Abuse
14/01/2010 14:35:00

As long it is only cover and get rid of Silveste he was terrrible against Hammers I would even keep Senderos in front of Silveste
Report Abuse
14/01/2010 16:21:00


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