Is Joel Campbell not good enough for Arsenal? Well, it’s all about perspective. Is Flamini good enough for Arsenal? Is Monreal? Is Sanogo? No. They’re nowhere near, yet they appear to be inseparable from our first team.
Yes, I know we have injuries, but I’d prefer anybody looking for a chance to impress, rather than the aforementioned weak-links pulling our team down. It’s pretty clear that Chambers would be an improvement on Flamini in that defensive role. So, back to Campbell: is he good enough? Considering Wenger’s fascination with player’s failing to deliver at Arsenal then, yes, he is good enough. And I refuse to lower him to the level of Flamini, or Sanogo for instance (who could do with a loan), because we all saw what Joel Campbell is capable off at the World Cup. Not only is it the biggest stage in world football and the platform for a player to shine to the biggest audience, but it is also the stage that Campbell so clearly set alight with his performances. He was the surprise to everybody, showing up even the best of the players. He was fearless. He was exciting and he got Arsenal fans excited about a youngster who could come straight into the starting line up and start setting things on fire. He was the star of his country. At only 21 they looked to him for inspiration. He was their golden boy. And he took the pressure with ease. Really, Joel Campbell gave everything in the World Cup, desperate to show what he’s capable of. And he did. So why, on his return, was he instantly shunned?
Why did Wenger talk him up in his press conferences if he had no intention of playing him?
We can never know, only guess. But when I see the likes of Flamini and Monreal cluttering the team, Campbell’s neglect can only be down to Wenger not personally favouring him for whatever reason. And this is further shown by the sorry and tasteless act of putting him on in the 92nd minute against Stoke; a middle finger would have been more appropriate.
However, on his recent displays, through trying too hard and over-doing almost everything, it’s understandable to see his lack of inclusion, at least, on his recent, and very, very rare display. But it’s unfair to hold this to him. Of course he wants to do everything on his own when he’s given the rarest minutes a player could ever have. It’s also worth remembering he also shone whilst on loan at Olympiacos. Yes, they’re several leagues below Arsenal, but he still hurt the ‘mighty’ Manchester United.
We can’t judge Joel Campell yet. It’d be shame, like Podolski, to cast him aside without a respectable run of game-time. Player’s will always struggle when given the odd minute in an away defeat to Stoke. These pointless outings have to stop. We’re ruining our own players by leaving the ones who deserve a chance out and sticking with the ones that are clearly struggling.
The question is why can’t Wenger see it?