There is likely to be a lot riding on the shoulders of the Arsenal and Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell this week, as far as our hopes of staying in this season’s Champions League competition goes anyway. With no Alexis Sanchez and after Oxlade-Chamberlain’s very ring-rusty performance against Sunderland, Campbell is almost certain to start on Wednesday.
So I thought it would be a good idea to start our new weekly player review pieces with him and look at how Campbell is doing as he tries to fight his way to a regular place in the Arsenal first team. I must admit that I had just about given up on the 23-year old and thought it was just a matter of time before he moved on for good.
But fair play to Campbell because he has stuck at it and is now starting to find some good form. His goal yesterday was well taken and his run to get on to Ozil’s through ball was excellent but it was also typical of his play throughout the game. He showed some great footwork and his passing and link up play was surprisingly good.
His stats, on the Squawka.com website, for this season in the Premier League and Champions League are quite impressive too, with two goals from just three EPL starts and two games as a sub. His passing accuracy, chance creation, shooting and taking players on are all good enough to suggest he really is coming good.
Perhaps he just needed a run of games and some confidence and that first goal of the season against Swansea has clearly helped. He is not the finished article by any means though, and don’t forget that we really should have got a point at West Brom when the young striker spurned a glorious chance.
This week could be a key game for Campbell, and the whole team of course, as he returns to Olympiacos where he enjoyed his best loan spell and scored 11 goals that season, including a brilliant one against Man United in the Champions League.
But if he can play on Wednesday like he did against Sunderland and if he can get some consistency then I have a good feeling that Campbell can be a very handy squad member for years to come. What do you guys think of Campbell and his improvement?