WTF are Arsenal playing at with Campbell?

I am still in shock that Arsene Wenger has allowed Joel Campbell to leave Arsenal for the Spanish La Liga club Villarreal. If the ESPN report is right, we paid the release clause for Paulista so we did not have to include Campbell in the deal. It is only on loan until the end of the season apparently, but what if we need another striker in between now and then?

The Gunners have already let two strikers go this month, with Lukas Podolski going to Serie A with Inter Milan and Yaya Sanogo staying in the Premier League with Crystal Palace. That leaves us with Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Danny Welbeck and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Not a bad forward line-up I admit, but do we really expect to have no more injuries before the end of the season? Wenger likes to play a front three with Arsenal and a big club like ours is supposed to have two players for every position, so losing Campbell leaves us one player short.

I have to assume that the manager is expecting either Chuba Akpom to step up or for Serge Gnabry to return to fitness and match sharpness, but surely this would have been a great time to give our young Costa Rican striker the chances he has been crying out for since he returned to his parent club after impressing in the World Cup finals in Brazil last summer.

Is it just me or does this all seem a bit backwards?

Tags Podolski Sanogo Villarreal


    1. Exactly. Campbell’s 23 before the season ends, he’s not a prospect like Gnabry or Akpom. He should be a regular at this stage and if you honestly compare him to regulars in his place at Arsenal (Theo, Ox…..who are young) he’s not close to their level.

      Talented player, but not good enough for Arsenal for me. Made to look better as the most talented of the Costa Ricn team, destined for a top 10 side in La Liga if you ask me. No shame in that at all, but the standard for a top 4 team in England is just that much greater.

        1. Really? for every coquelin (who still has plenty to prove) there’s a Vela, Miyaichi, Afobe, Miguel, Djourou, Emmanuel-Thomas, Eisfeld. Campbell was poor at Betis, average at Olympiakos, and was the only outfield player for his country who had discernible talent. NONE of those facts mean he’s worthy of a place at Arsenal.

          Who does he start over at Arsenal? He’s behind Alexis, Theo, Ox, Cazorla, Ozil, Welbz for either wing. Giroud, Alexis, Theo, Welbz, Sanogo for ST. Then players like Gnabry and Akpom are proving to offer just as much, yet are 4/5 years his junior.

          So where does he fit? We could get around 10mil for him that could be put towards a player of greater value to the squad. Not every talented player makes it at Arsenal

          1. Spot on CC. We are in a rare position where I haven’t got the feintest clue as to what our first X1 is – we will need to start talking in terms of the match day 17 man squad from now on to make it easier. Not so thin at the back now with GP arriving but our front 5 options is borderline football porn. Without wishing to start an argument about who would be in each team, for purposes of example only, we could put out a 1st X1 (assuming no injuries) of:
            Debuchy Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal
            Coquelin Ramsey
            Sanchez Ozil Cazorla

            leaving a “second string”(!)

            Bellerin Chambers Paulista(?) Gibbs
            Arteta Wilshere
            Walcott Rosicky Oxlade-Chamberlain

            Leaving reserves of Martinez, Flamini, Hayden, Zelalem, Gnabary, Akpom, Bielik

            Sorry but best will in the world Joel is an unnecessary luxury – even amongst the “reserves” I would honestly look to Akpom and Gnabary before Campbell. Not forgetting Podolski and Sanogo on loan either. We would have to have 3 or 4 long term serious injuries to our front 4 players before he would get a look in imo – possible but even by the standards of our injury record, unlikely. I’m not really sure though why Wenger got the lad’s hopes up by bringing him back – perhaps he just wanted to double-check close-up but bordering on shabby treatment. Feel sorry for him.

            1. Just noticed that the “second string” could be one of the fastest teams in world football and the 1st X1 one of the slowest! Probably need to mix it up a bit more.

          2. Good thing I never said he is guaranteed a place after returning from loan. It could have gone either ways for Coquelin but fortunately for him, it looks like it’s going well, if he comes back from loan and still is not adding any visible value to the team as is the case with Coquelin recently, he will leave, if he does well, we’ll be talking a new contract. So I am at sea as what exactly you disagree with Champagne Charlie.

            1. Because at what point do you call time? He’s had two significant loan spells in European football and been average at best, then he’s had a full half season in the prem and offered diddly in training obviously because he’s not been deemed good enough for a look in.

              I have nothing against Campbell, he’s got talent and ability. But we have players in his position with more talent or players with similar talent who are younger. He is the very definition of expendable, and if that means another player coming in to actually help the CL and PL cause then that’s what I’m all for.

              10mil for him I’d imagine, or there abouts. That’s Winston Reid, Loic Perrin, a chunk of Sissoko’s fee, and it may be the difference between getting a Destro for 15mil or Lacazette for 25mil in the summer. We aren’t Chelsea, we can’t sit with players constantly getting loaned out until they prove good enough.

          3. I don’t think The Ox has improved one bit, sorry.. He still plays the same pace kind of thing and no goals or assists. The Ox is the most consistent player, he will have one good game and rubbish the next 2 etc… But Wenger still keeps giving him chance after chance.

            Walcott kept being called a headless no football brain player by a lot of people on here for years, but guess what? Wenger kept giving him chance after chance.

            Ramsey was terrible for 2 seasons after his injury and we were all calling for him to be sold, we kept saying he is average blah blah. But Wenger just kept on playing him anywhere on the just so that he was on the pitch for as long as possible.

            Wilshere has been so blow par for seasons now even if he has the excuse of injury, but Wenger keeps him on the pitch no matter what.

            How many chances and game time have all these guys had even if they are still so inconsistent? They don’t get 5-15 minutes a game if they are lucky to even get one. They start and never play less than 45 minutes on average per game..

            But poor Campbell, a new lad in a new country, new league and new team has to adopt as quick a possible in a few 15 minute games while every one else has the whole season and many 90 minute games to improve and prove..


            1. Wenger’s persistence has probably been justified with Walcott and Ramsey. Wenger knows he ain’t hanging around for much longer and he is probably dispensing with some of the patience and niceties he has displayed earlier in his life as manager at Arsenal. Probably has a 2 season plan after this one and Joel didn’t figure in it – does not appear to be much of a contentious issue for most with just a scattering of Joel converts up in arms. Media hasn’t said anything either – they normally stick their oar in if they sense they can stir.

            2. @Goonster, Absolutely spot on there mate. Campbell’s problem is not a matter of talent but of carrying the wrong passport (Costa Rica). It is for this very reason why Le Coq is stalling on signing the new deal on offer. Arsenal player’s get chances and gametime based on where they geographically hail from.

    2. Campbell signed an extension before he left. He is back in June. Villareal obviously wanted him as part of the bargain. That deal had to be done. He is a team player, he wanted playing time, the boss needed Gabriel, he is helping himself and Arsenal.

  1. Yes Even I was worried too with the decision. But yesterday I seeing Akpon’s performance gave me some sort of confidence. He was a real threat going forward. He has the speed and can take on players one on one. We already have two genuine strikers in Welbeck and Giroud. If both got injured then we would be really unlucky, in that case may be akpon can do nearly similar job which cambell might have done . This is a risky decision but if we are not really unlucky , it can definitely unlock the potential of Cambell who really needs game time after his heroics at world cup. Also Akpon will get some substitute appearance which is really needed(Any one abouth his contract situation ?).
    This can be a masterstroke by wenger like he did with Jenk keeping Bellerine in mind.
    We now had two good players in jenk and bellerine. We might another two good players in Cambell and Akpon

  2. Campbell needs time on the pitch, he isnt going to get it w that line up we have, its the best kove, he is dying to play, we are stacked at forward as it is

  3. Even “stevie wonder” could see this whole joel campbell situation wasnt justified! He never got a fair chance to prove himself!

    1. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Arsenal haven’t been comfortable in many games so couldn’t take the risk and he’s not shown anything special when he has played. Why does he deserve a chance more than Akpom ? Fact is that at his age he needs games whereas Akpom is young enough to accept being well down the pecking order.

  4. @Bob, its you, all three strikers? have been sent out on loan to give them playing time to start doing what they are supposed to do, although in Pods case it’s probably to do with learning to track back which the Italians insist on. Arsenal have plenty of cover and this will give all three more game time and a chance to rectify their faults elsewhere

    1. We need him to know how to defend that’s all,flair is not important at the back but not conceding silly goals is!

    2. No, not like Sol Campbell, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Per Mertesacker…..need I go on ? I’m quite happy if our CB doesn’t try nutmegs in his own penalty area.

    3. Sorry was that a quote from Sky Sports ? If so whoever said it obviously doesn’t remember that Arsene’s early success was built on the same defense as GG’s “boring, boring” team.

    4. Good – that makes me quite happy. I want some “Arsenal no-nonsense” a la Keown, Adams, Bould – we weren’t necessarily looking for the next Beckenbauer or Baresi in there. Enough flair elsewhere.

      BTW: I’m curious to know what SS’s idea of CB flair is?

    5. Sky did not say that. That quote was from Nayim, former midfielder for the Spuds.

      Yes another phucking Spud taking shite !

  5. What Campbell has the OP been watching?
    The one I saw is nowhere near ready to play in the PL.
    Misplaced passes and no end product.
    Anyone gauging his efficacy on the world cup is deluded.
    Playing against teams who play together once every few months is different from playing against players who train together daily.

  6. ok, i missed the match today was working, saw the comments first, then watched the recording, nothing prepared me for the brilliance of Rosicky’s goal, the no look pass and subsequent volley were insane, those who gave him MOTM with 8.5 need to explain why not a perfect 10? he tracked back, he defended, his paases were spot on, and his moment of brilliance was beyond explanation, i hope we see alot more of him this year,

    1. its clear thats he has not done enough or play good enough….

      if its fans fav wanayama reus or draxler etc..

      they would.hv.gottten.10

  7. I will be happy if arsenal sell podolski, campbell, and sanogo (maybe) at the end of season, then we sign Lacazette. After watched akpom last night, he was just lack of decision making and synergy with the team, it could be improved by playing more games with first team, he is prospective player.

    1. Exactly..a nice prospect.

      But you ideally want a qualified and experienced person carrying out your open by-pass surgery not some YTS/Apprentice, learn on the job solution where you need immediate and effective results.

  8. Raw talent, no refined edge. Wenger didn’t loan him this season so he could keep him around and train him. Still no refined edge coming through. I liken him to Gervinho (although he is less of a headless chicken) – there’s definitely spark there but it’s not refined enough for a free flowing, short pass team. I’d not want him to leave BUT he’s not getting the games and if it sweetened the pot to get us a player AND means he comes back in the summer having got some more first team experience when we don’t NEED him, I think it’s a win all around.

  9. We’re not short of goalscorers at the moment, and Campbell clearly wants first team action, so the best thing was to loan him out.

    You can’t keep a player benched just in case you need them, that way lays unhappy players and potential squad disruption.

    Also, he needs time to develop, and bench warming at AFC is not the place…a few months in the sun with some goals and playing time could be the making of him…

  10. I can only assume Campbel has been a disappointment in training, or Wenger doesn’t like his attitude- Because I think he is a valuable player to have, at least in reserve

  11. I think the plan is to loan Campbell with the hopes he does well and increases his value so we can sell him at a profit. Otherwise it makes Zero sense. He must not show his quality or effort in practice to get the Podolski treatment the way he is. I think all the “he’s part of our plans” talk from Wenger is just a “we don’t need to sell him” ploy to get a higher price on a transfer. If he never plays he lowers his value so loan him with fingers crossed.

    Wenger could maybe be trying to pull a rabbit out of his hat on deadline day in terms of a shock signing (If the price is right/special player) or could be waiting till summer.

  12. CF: Giroud, Welbeck, Alexis and Theo… 4 options.
    RAM: Theo, Ox, Gnabry. 3 options
    LAM: Alexis, Ozil, Welbeck. 3 options.

    I hope campbell continues to develop, he may yet still make it with us but if not then it will do his career well by attracting potential suiters.

    Also the OP has picked a single RUMORED transfer figure and moaned about that, how about the other quotes which say we paid less than the min release fee? Rumored that we got paid for the Campbell loan which could of been used to lower the price and thus fuel the multiple figure rumor?

    We needed a CB more than another attacker, using their desire to get him as leverage over us getting Gabriel rather than another team who was interested (Man UTD) is a smart move, just admit it already rather than moan like a grumpy old gitt.

Comments are closed

Top Blog Sponsors
JustArsenal Top Ten UK Blogs