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Wenger's Decision To Bring Sol Back Is Vindicated

When Arsene Wenger chose to resign Sol Campbell on a free transfer back in the new year, many people (lots of Arsenal fans included) laughed at, poured scorn on and reacted angrily to the Frenchman's decision to bring the 35 year old centre back, back to Arsenal.

I'm not going to turn this into an 'I told you so' article, because more often than not, my opinion turns out to be complete bollocks, so I guess everyone has to make the right call sometimes, but I was all for the Campbell move.

It was a low risk signing, no money was exchanged, he was a fully fledged Premiership veteran, always the consummate professional and the man was desperate to play football.

Of course the plan was to only use him in emergencies, but we should have figured that we support Arsenal, the next emergency is just around the corner, and as it turns out, Big Sol has only played a couple of games less than van Persie this season.

But in those 10 or so games, Campbell has completely vindicated Wenger's decision to bring him back. He has been immense, so much so I'd urge Wenger to give him another year. Hopefully injuries would mean he doesn't need to play as often, but his experience in training and in the games he does has to play is invaluable ..... and his spirit and desire are second to none.

From a man of his stature it's probably to be expected, but Big Sol has balls the size of an elephant.

This is not just a knee jerk reaction to his outstanding performance at White Hart Lane last night, because each and every time he's taken to the field he has been very impressive. However the recent NLD showed that even in the most hostile environment imaginable for a football player, this guy has what it takes to succeed.

After the game Wenger said,

Sol was one of our better players. He has shown the way to some players. What a winner he is. He showed what you need if you want to win titles. He deserves a lot of credit because he turned up with a real performance.

And that's exactly the reason we should keep him around, he's a leader, a warrior, a teacher, and a real professional.

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The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday April 15 2010

Time: 10:17AM

Your Comments

I guess it's about time I got some pictures of him in an Arsenal shirt ploaded eh? :)
He'll be 36 by the time next season gets underway and age is obviously against him but Keown was 38 by the time he finished with us. On the basis of what we've seen so far there is little risk in given Sol another year. He has earned it - and he's worth it.
Sol remains excellent in the air, his anticipaion of danger is second to none, his tackling robust but clean and his recovery pace is surprisingly good. Add that to his winning attitide, leadership skill and sheer drive and its clear he has a lot to still offer us. Hope he stays on a 1 year contract this summer.
The 1st free kick we had Sol when and got hold of the ball so the Spuds fans would boo him, you could see him using it to inspire him, he then walked away and let Almunia take the kick. The guy knows what it means to be a gooner.
Sol is one of the best defenders around, but I will still boo him whenever he plays cause he lied and deserted the Spurs. great game last night, I think we were saved by the Octopus he was outstanding
Big Sol is actually a source of pride for me this morning. The defeat is absolutely gut-wrenching, but looking at his face geeing the other players up and his man of the match performance (yes I thought he deserved it over Gomes) at least brings a bit of a smile to my face. If Mr Cappello is taking 4 Centre backs to the world cup this summer he could do much worse than having Sol as the 4th choice.
Spurs fans have every right to boo Sol just as we boo Ashley and Adebeyonce, as long as the abuse is within reason.
iceman I noticed the same,it must be said that he has stayed a true prof. He deserves the stick and he knows it but it probs hurts spurs fans even more that he does not react...
Well in last night Big Sol. What a performance and one of your best in an Arsenal shirt, if not THE best. An absolutely astonishing display given your age, the vitriolic abuse and some of your team mates choosing to go 'missing' in the pressure of a derby game. I salute you sir, and thank God you came back.
Cockney Rich
I agree to your description of him, except you forgot one thing...he is also a greedy moneyloving professional. I guess he taught that to Ashley Cole? You better pray that quality doesn't rub off on Fabregas, RvP and Nasri :)
NorwaySpurs, Sol moved to us in his prime to have a shot at trophies, not for the higher pay. When he felt his time was up at Arsenal he didn't hesistate to take a massive pay cut (USD 3 million/ year) and go to Portsmouth. Lets face it, if he had retired at Spurs, he would have won only a solitary beer up in his entire career!
Delta: Then he could atleast have moved to ManUtd, Chelsea or Liverpool, as he know how troubled many fans on both sides are hating one another...and he could have signed a contract so that we would have gotten some money for him......but sign-on-fees are greater when you are a free agent.....I guess you couldn't know how it feels until you experience it yourself. Hypothetically, lets say we get two great years at Spurs now, and finish above you, and Fabregas joins Tottenham for would that make you feel?
I too thought of Keown last night when watching Sol. Worth keeping around, I think he's brought something to us this year beyond his footballing abilities.
Little Dutch
NorwaySpurs, I understand your feelings and we have lost fairly important players like Pires and Flamini (possibly Gallas too) as free agents too. Its just that for a professional, success and self interest matters most. They dont view clubs as fans do. Clubs are employers for most professional fooballers. You feel betrayed because you are a Spurs fan but Sol is not. He is a professional who wanted what he thought was best for his career. Its been what - 9 years since he switched clubs. Its high time that THFC fans get over it atleast partially. And btw, the songs sung about our manager last night were pathetic. I thought that you guys would be better than Manc scum but apparently not.
Yes there's def value in keeping older players like Sol around. It's worked for United too this year with players like Giggs and Scoles. However, the other example of an "experienced player" brought in by Wenger was shocking last night and has been all season. We need some signings badly at the back and we could use the money from Sol's wages to acquire another TV or 2!
knighton gooner
When Arsene signed him, I actually thought Sol was an excellent signing. When called upon, Sol can still do a good job at this level. Silvestre, however, was a terrible signing. I never rated him highly even at MU. My problem with Wenger is we started the season with Djourou injured, Senderos banished, Gallas, Vermaelen and Silvestre. We are lucky Sol had his mishap with Notts County.
Norway: Are you suggesting that Spurs haven't taken key players on a free from other clubs. Granted, Sol wanted to come to the best and that hurts you but Harry is a bit tasty at this game himself. A case of pointing out the splinter when you have a plank in your eye, me thinks.
knighton gooner
I'm not going to say anything about Spurs hatred for Sol ... as long as the abuse is kept strictly football related, Sol had it coming. Fair play he was making a move to further his career, but it was at a hefty price. He knew what he was getting into, and he was fully prepared to take the flak .... which is why I don't think it bothers him. I fully understand the Spuds stance on this .... but as I say, the grief has to be kept about football.
They say a pig with lipstick is still a pig, well campbell with a medal is still a ****
Arsson Finga
just to make it abundantly clear, that is c * * t
Arsson Finga
Thanks for expressing that AF but not original. Perhaps interesting tho. Some psychologists also say that expressing yourself like that may well be a sign of suppressed longing- lustful, in fact. Sorry you still long after Sol. He had a great game and won every challenge. Sol for England?
knighton gooner
Rocky7, spot on! Knighton Gooner, campbell dodged re-signing for 18 months while suggesting that he would stay when all along he knew he was going to Arse. After coming through the ranks and serving us for 10 yrs (carrying us for most of them, admittedly) he handled the matter in the worst way possible. Furthermore, imagine what could have been built on a foundation of Campbell and King (who is better all round). We would have had more clean sheets than the Hilton!!
Arsson Finga
Ok knighton, so you're an armchair psychologist? Not a very good one though. Has it occurred to you that it may also be a case of setting the record straight? Perhaps he left to win medals but those medals will not make him a gentleman after such a treacherous act. So while you sit in judgment based on a throw-away post, consider the fact that I accepted Teddy back and I'd take Berba if he came, but Sol.... Never. Put that in your pseudo psychological pipe and smoke it
Arsson Finga
AF its clear from your posts that you are not bitter or envious of Sol Campbell at all. Bravo.
Delta, if that was an attempt at sarcasm, bah! If not, yes I am bitter and so what, is it without cause? Love and hate are equal, I loved Sol and he shafted us, turning my love to hate. If I borrowed a fiver from you and didn't repay, you'd probably NEVER lend me another, so let's not put a time restriction on this as some suggest.
Arsson Finga
I was very happy when Sol re-joined us and I hope he gets at least another year with us. If Djourou can stay fit for a nanosecond, Ill be interested to see how he plays with TV. If all is well, we would have JD and TV as our CB pairing with Willie and Sol as backup. We must get a new keeper though.
Sir Henry
I thougt both King and Campbell were outstanding yesterday, Capello should take both. ***** Lescott, hes terrible.
I don't have a problem with Spurs' hatred of Sol, we gooners would feel exactly the same way in their place. Cashley will have to endure abuse from us until the end of his career, it'll never change. That's just how supporters are. As long as it doesn't get extreme, it's just something the player should know he'll have to deal with. As to Sol's displays for us this season...can't say much more than DITTO to all the plaudits he's getting. All I've been feeling since last night's game is anger at the pathetic, gutless display by the passengers we had on the pitch yesterday, players that AW believes in so much, players who apparently don't give a damn what a NLD means, who show little interest in defending our traditions and history -- playing alongside a lion like Sol who at 35 has more heart and determination and courage and fight in his little finger than the rest will ever have in their entire careers. Injuries are irrelevant. We had 8 days to rest, Spurs came off a shorter break after an exhausting game on a horrible pitch and a devastating loss. Our players should hand their heads in shame.
Jaelle fair play. But i think even though you can understand why, you still fail to recognise the magnitude of the betrayal of Campbell. You got Gallas + Cash for Cashley and it was to a "lesser rival" in the chavs, historically a small club. A great deal you might say. When Livelong Spurs fan and Captain turned down Man Utd, Real & Barca to join you after promising the Spurs faithful on London radio he would quote "never join Arsenal, the fans would never accept it" - We got 0. Zero. Bugger all. Hes a **** of John Terry standards.
Actually, HY, my intent wasn't to equate Cashley with Sol at all, tho I understand why you think it was. I just used the nearest possible equivalent we have. I fully understand that Cashley's betrayal isn't comparable. The comparison would be with Adams or Henry (when he was captain) or Cesc declaring they'd never ever go to our nearest hated rivals and then turning around and doing just that. I honestly can't blame your anger for that. Cashley's betrayal can't compare and I'll never EVER forgive him.
The fizzing display from Sol, who showed he still had the bottle.
Tony Rocky Horror
Superb signing by Wenger, something I hoped would happen with Silvestre 2 seasons back actually. Sol shows so much fight, and his words after the Barca game - about player's careers - says a lot. I worry for this squad, sometimes I wonder whether they have the right mental mix necessary to be winners, but with the guidance of lions like SOl around, I'm more hopeful that it can happen. Give him one more year, Wenger.
He was born and brought up a Spurs lad, and then one day decided to pledge himself to Arsenal? Eh? As if of any of us could ever, EVER contemplate just changing sides at the drop of a hat. On that basis alone, Campbell will always be a very strange individual who merits scientific study, rather than abuse.
Tony Rocky Horror
The hootoo indian chiefs of yore would string up and cut the balls off any warrior who presented himself to the tribe from a rival group. There were two main reasons for this. Firstly, he might be a spy. Secondly, if he wasn't a spy then he was nothing more than a dawg-down, dirty traitor.
Tony Rocky Horror
Looking ahead, is there any lesson to be learned from Sol's return if we were to look at Henry, Vieira or ... Lehman as a training ground spur for Almunia and Fabianski.
Much as you would like it TRH, we are not believers in the justice system of the Indian chiefs of yore. Hope you as the head of the calvalry can tolerate this transgression.
hughied, since Mancini has publicly asked for more from Vieira and Henry began to be disruptive on the training ground shortly before he left and the fact that Lehmann and Almunia hate one another's guts, I'm gonna say, no! It doesn't always necessarily follow that ex player= motivation for current players. It takes a special type of character regardless of whether they'd played for us before or not. Look at Spurs, Ossie Ardilles and Glenn Hoddle didn't really work out for them, bringing back Robbie Fowler didn't do a lot for Liverpool.
Little Dutch This suggests Sol will get another year.
Little Dutch
Sol has earned it, clap clap!
Of course i'm not advocating such harsh treatment for Mr Campbell. Perhaps just tying him to a chair and forcefeeding him lumpy mash infront of a packed WHL would suffice.
Tony Rocky Horror
LOL TRH! Gooners, you know he's *****e now - reject him! No loyalty to us, you, Portsmouth or anyone... Retire.
Arsene was right to bring back Sol, Sol really deserved another year's contract. He has been Awesome!

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