Sometimes in football it is important to read into what is not being said as much as what is being said and the Arsenal boss is no exception. In fact, Arsene Wenger could write a book on the art of deception and misdirection, he just wouldn’t tell you where you could get it.
The Frenchman does, however, usually stop short of outright dishonesty and would rather not answer a question than lie. So I think it is worth a close look at what the Prof said when he was asked about the young Arsenal and Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell in the pre-match press conference, reported by Arsenal.com, ahead of the trip to face Swansea City on Sunday. There have been rumours that the striker is not happy and will look to move on, either permanently or temporarily, in January.
When asked if Campbell was part of his short term and long term plans, Wenger was quick to answer yes, but when the next question was whether the 22-year old was happy, there was a noticeable pause, perhaps with the boss deciding against telling a fib.
Instead he replied, “You should ask him that question.
“I cannot guarantee the happiness of every individual person. I try to make everybody happy. I personally love Joel Campbell and have big respect for him and I wish every day that he is happy from morning till the evening, you know, but we have all to deal with our own problems.”
So I think you will agree that is a pretty emphatic revelation that Campbell is not happy, although the last line does suggest that there may be other reasons behind it than just not playing. Perhaps he is struggling to settle into his new life in England. Maybe he didn’t realise how cold it can get.
But another big thing that Wenger did not say was that he would be giving the young forward more time on the pitch or that he would stop him from leaving. So could this be the end of the line for Campbell at Arsenal?