Joel Campbell says he’s working hard to win the the trust of Arsene Wenger but accepts that he has to be patient at Arsenal given the wealth of attacking options available to the manager.
Despite interest from the likes of Benfica at the tail end of the transfer window, the boss resisted the chance to cash in on the attacker’s head-turning World Cup performances for Costa Rica instead handing him a first team squad place for the first time since his signing in 2011.
Reflecting on his first few ‘proper’ months at the Emirates Campbell stressed he’s staying positive despite only one start in the Capital One Cup and a brief Premier League cameo against Everton.
“For me it’s a positive just to be here,” he told homeland publication Al Dia*.
“I’m learning a lot, although obviously I’d like to play more…but hey, I know that I’m part of a team with players like me and I just have to keep fighting. I know that to play for this team is not easy and well, it’s a challenge that I’m working hard on.
“I have to be patient, remain calm and not get crazy. I’m on a great team with great players and I have to train hard to be prepared to do well.”
“I’m fine, I know from experience that in life that you have both good and bad moments, it’s normal. That’s part of life and learning. I’m happy to wait for my chance. I know I’ve got to keep working hard to earn my opportunity.”
A new face in a team full of players well schooled in Arsenal’s philosophy, Campbell noted that he has to work even harder than established stars to win over Wenger.
“Most of the team was here last year, the coach has a group and I have to fight twice as hard to earn his trust, but hey, it’s a process. Nothing has come easy to me and my family, it’s in the hand of God. This is no exception.
I’ve not spoken with Wenger, he’s a very cautious coach. I have to respect his decision, he’s the coach. I don’t want to rush my progress because I’m young and I know this will be a good step for me.”
A pretty sensible take on things from the 22-year-old, who like Tomas Rosicky yesterday, appears happy to wait for a chance to shine. Given the way our midfielders are dropping like flies he may not have to twiddle his thumbs much longer.
* Our Spanish isn’t great, so this is a rough translation. If anyone does have a read of the original and spots any glaring mistakes feel free to let us know in the comment section and we’ll amend.