Should Arteta ask Sol Campbell to help coach Arsenal’s defenders?

Arsenal had the third best defence in the League last season, but having lost David Luiz in the summer, we have conceded 9 goals in our last 3 games.

Luiz was our defensive leader on and off the pitch, and although we still have the veterans Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares in the squad, perhaps we need a cool old head to teach our ever younger defence a few tricks of the trade.

Well, we have had an offer from Sol Campbell, who in his 5 years at Arsenal won the League and FA cup twice and played in our only European Cup Final. He was considered one of the best centre-backs of his generation and believes that he could help Arteta in a defensive coaching role.

“I’d love to go there and help them out, I would,” Campbell said on Wednesday’s talkSPORT Breakfast.

“There is a serious problem there and I’m happy to help, even if it’s a couple of days a week.

“The tricks of the trade and little things, there is a blindspot there and I’d help them out all day long.”

“It’s been happening a lot and it doesn’t matter who plays at the back, it seems to be the same type of occurrences,” he said.

“I think it’s a young team, there’s a lot of excitement in there, there’s great footballers but I think they just need the know-how, the tricks of the trade, picking up little things, little nuggets of information that someone like me or someone else can give over to them.

“Those little details I think will make the difference. Yes they’re a young team but it has been a regular occurrence and it doesn’t seem to matter who’s playing.”

There is no doubt of the talent that Campbell possessed, not least in our invincibles season, but do you think he could give Arteta a hand, despite having Per Mertesacker already in his coaching team?


  1. He had a bad spell at Southend United, so I doubt his defensive coaching skill

    Arteta also has his own coaches who’ve been training our first-team players based on his system. If Arsenal want a different approach, they’d better replace everybody

    BTW @Admin , why is my comment not posted if I include the first name of Switzerland national team manager? Is it censored because it’s the same as the first name of the Russian leader?

    1. The fact that he coached at Southend that’s experience other than Arteta who had never managed on his own. I would take him without hesitation

      1. When I posted with that name, my post didn’t appear. After I omitted it and only mentioned his surname, then my post appeared

        1. Sorry mate, I still can’t any comment, with or without first name. Am I going blind?

          Which article was it on?

    2. @GAI, Arteta has his own group of coaches but it didn’t stop him from bringing in specialist coach on how to defend corners and free kicks. If Campbell can do a job to improve our defence, why not?

        1. Gai
          I think if Campel will cost almost nothing it’s not a bad idea. He was a top defender when he played for Arsenal. We need to leave Ego aside and channel a way forward for Arsenal to do better in defense. Yes Arsenal manager has his own crew but so far this season they have not done a spectacular job. Conceding 9 goals in 3 games is shambolic. And the maner in which the goals came doesn’t inspire optimism. Cambel surely has Arsenal at heart. All things been equal he should be considered in my opinion.

  2. Just because you are/were good at something doesn’t necessarily mean you will be good st coaching it.

    If someone is naturally great at something they often tend to struggle to coach it, as it came naturally to them.

    That being said, we could use all the help we can get at the moment.

  3. Yes! And bring Tony Adams and known with him. Why these legends aren’t at the club helping in some capacity is a mystery when we give MA and edu first time jobs at the club no problem!

    Adams/Keown was drilled by George Graham for hours on the training pitch and is why they only lost 1 game the season before ‘Arsene’s’ team became invincible:) many seem to forget this!

    But problem is even though Arteta was as defensive a midfielder as they come (certainly wasn’t a creative one) he wants us to play attacking football like city when we don’t have the players to do it. He is obviously overlooking the fact that the best teams are built from the foundation of a solid defence and he could do know worse than getting some Graham old boys in to pass down that golden knowledge and above all attitude.

    1. In principle it sounds like a good idea. My only concern is would Campbell, Adams, Keown etc be really willing to take roles like this knowing that they would be following the instructions of someone else?

    2. Arteta wasnt a creative midfielder? He was a defensive midfielder ….what?

      Pretty sure he was a box to box midfielder that scored and assisted pretty regularly….not particularly known for his tackling.

      Appearances 284
      Goals 41
      Assists 42

      1. Have you checked how many of them Penalty Kicks??
        He was 1st choice penalty taker at Everton and at Arsenal as well

        1. But that still doesnt make him a defensive midfielder without creativity…..this is a ridiculous statement for anybody that watched him play.

          He started as a number 10 at Barca and then became a box to box type like guardiola, pulling the strings from the middle.

          Kante is a defensive midfielder. …

          1. He wasn’t a creative midfielder at all. He spent most of his time playing the ball sideways or backwards. Steady eddy yes but for all his endeavour he wasn’t a Santi now was he.

      2. Of COURSE he was a creative midfielder and was brought from Everton, where he fulfilled that role so well that Evertonians did not want to lose him.

        AOT does not know what he is talking about! At thetime MA played for us we were in that long period where Wenger was unwilling and unable to find ANY half decent defensive midfielder. GILBERTO BEING THE LAST TOP CLASS ONE WE HAD, though I do believe he overlapped with MA , albeit briefly.

    3. @ArseOverTit

      You probably only started watching Arteta when Wenger turned him into a defensive midfielder at the end of his career.

      1. Mmmm I’ve supported Arsenal since I was 12 and am now 50. As I recall (and I’ll go with this) Arteta was not creative in the sense that I mean it (as in skillfull with ball at feet, defence splitting passes etc etc) and as John himself says was used in this role by Wenger in combination with Gilberto.

        My recollection of him was sideways /backwards passes rather than forward ones..ArtetaBall as I call it.

  4. Arteta chose not to bring any Arsenal Legends into his coaching staff when he took over as First Team Coach and then Manager.Instead he preferred to surround himself with inexperienced “yes men” with Steve Round as his 1st Lieutenant…A coach who was just as unconvincing in this role at Manchester United under David Moyes.
    Given an obvious inability to defend set pieces and defend at all…at times…I would have thought that Arteta could have happily roped in the likes of Keown,Dixon or at worst Campbell…Any such decision could have,however, undermined his “power base” as he might have ended up with a decenting voice in the camp…Someone who might have noticed that his “process” was inherently floored…that his man management skills were non existent…that his team selections were often based upon the playing of his “favourites” at any particular time…That he is wholly out of his depth!!

    1. Joel
      I totally agree we you just like wenger
      When all the legends retired hr didn’t invite them to be part of the coaching team he was scared of confrontation that’s one of the reasons arsenal are in a mess there isn’t a single arsenal man at the club who knows what it means to live and die for this great institution of a club

  5. In principle it sounds like a great offer. Just the other day I was thinking how useful Tony Adam’s tips would also be based on his punditry. However whether that wouild actually translate into better practice is questionable, because doing it, commentating on it, and teaching it are all different things.

  6. Unfortunately, Tony Adams and Martin Keown, although great CB’s themselves may not be able to pass on their knowledge to others.
    Why even approach these ex players, when the manager who coached them to be the players they became, George Graham may be available? As far as I know he is still active and has all his faculties at 76 yo. Can anyone come up with anyone more capable?
    The point is would Arsenal ask him and risk damaging certain egos?

    1. As much as this would be great I can’t imagine with the power base in place that this would ever happen.

      Mores the pity!


      But I would agree with your choice, albeit apart from him being far too old.
      Mind you, David Dein is also 77 and I’D TAKE HIM BACK IN A HEARTBEAT!

      1. Why are you shouting John I’m not deaf ?

        You’re only as old as the partner you feel so they say;)

        Im not sure on GG’s health but many an elder statesman or woman still can offer experience and passion at later years.

        In tribute to our new Japanese defender I tell the story of Morehei Ueshiba (founder of Aikido ) who actually practiced the martial art Aikido until his mid eighties and he was actually doing it!;) He was an exceptional human being though;)However…point being, if you’re able you are able and age is only relevant if you let it be or are otherwise mentally or physically unable to.

        GG’s or any of his students spoken experience alone would prove priceless I’m sure.

      2. jon, why would he be not “not surely possessing the physical nor emotional energy required”?
        He only has to advise and pass on his knowledge, experience and techniques. He would do it sitting on his left ear, as he appears relatively fit and competent from what I have seen.

  7. Isn’t Per part of our Academy and not the senior set-up??? Won’t be a bad idea, if Mikel spends a couple of season working with Per in the academy and leave the first-team to someone better. If our new “process” is all about youth and building for the future, starting from the academy is the logical way. MA can spend a couple of seasons with the academy, develop a dozen talents and then promote himself to the first-team along with the players he developed and continue the new “project”.

    Instead of Sol, it’ll be a whole lot better to bring in Terry, as he’s available and has been doing the real work on the training ground of the Villains for the past few seasons.

    1. Nice one vasc…been saying same…if we feel arteta will come good in the future….he should spend time in the academy, grow with the amazing talents we have now, then move up to the first team ….


      Get some legends into his coaching staff , I remember the early arteta days with ljunberg role of observing matches from the stands and advising arteta accordingly….I believe we played some amazing football then like the Manchester United game, we won 2-0

      1. Don’t know much about Freddie’s credentials as a coach except Saka praised him for his role in his development. But, his presence in the first-team fold would have helped dealing with our academy graduates in the first-team like Saka, ESR, Nelson, AMN, Nketiah and Willock in a better way.

        About other legends joining our coaching staff will surely lead to just one thing in the end – “Too many cooks spoil the broth”. Our players are already clueless on the pitch and having more people with different ideas will definitely make matters worse.

  8. Campbell was one of our greatest defenders ever and I am sure his knowledge of the game and years of experience will go a long way in solving our defensive issues. He has hit the nail on the head when he says the problem is repetitive irrespective of who is playing at the back, that means something is not right in the defensive coaching. I hope Arteta lets go of his ego and allows the likes of Campbell to take charge of our defensive organisation, it will do a world of good to our young squad. We need to train our defenders the finer nuances of defending of which the great Campbell is a past master.

  9. Honestly, it’s a very good gesture from Sol Campbell.
    However, Arteta is too arrogant and wouldn’t want an ex-player to see his flaws at training sessions. I’m sure he won’t like to welcome such idea.

  10. We’ve been there before , haven’t we especially with Steve Bould, hoping that an ex clubman with pedigree would help a hapless Wegner sort out the mess, but it never really happened. Now if Campbell were to go to Italy to get his coaching badges, I’d have more confidence that he’d learnt from some of the best.

    1. Bould was only allowed to sit quietly and chew gum, as when he offered advice Wenger thought him too confrontational. He had a great job, being paid to watch Arsenal games. In the end he looked bored and wishing to be somewhere else. It was a waste of a great resource.

  11. Now that transfer windows is over and there is no likelihood of MA to leave the club, lets set aside our differences and support the club! Give MA chances and space to breathe, let the team play with less pressure and we assess again. I personally will give him til December until I assess the situation again.

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