Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Wenger: Olympiacos game showed Campbell has future

Arsene Wenger says he refused to loan out Joel Campbell this season, despite the fact he had players ahead of him for the first team, because he’d seen something in the 23 year old.

Nevertheless, it was his performance against Olympiacos, when he provided a fantastic assist for Olivier Giroud, that really convinced the Arsenal manager the Costa Rican had made genuine strides in his Arsenal career.

The Gunners needed to win that night, and Wenger was pleased to see him perform when the stakes were high.

“I thought always the attitude was there,” he said. “But after Olympiakos, in a game where we were knife on the throat, he turned up with something special.

“Then I thought: ‘He can play under pressure as well, which is important for us’.”

Speaking about his emergence this season, he again likened him to Francis Coquelin in the last campaign – a player who took advantage of an injury crisis to cement a place in the team.

“I flat-refused to let him go because I saw something in him that gives you belief, because of his attitude,” Wenger continued.

“It is true he had players in front of him and you think ‘can you block a player like that?’ He came back and I explained the situation to him.

“I said: ‘Let’s have a go and see where we stand in January’. It’s a bit similar to Coquelin.”

Campbell is likely to start on the right-hand side against Liverpool on Wednesday evening as Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini return to the centre of midfield, meaning Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will drop to the bench.

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Jack p

This is why I live wenger whilst we are sat there going ooooo not sure about him he’s seeing something that no other manager can see!


Campbell combines the defensive work rate of Ramsey with the direct running of chambo. He’s got a creative side to him too, and I’m glad to see he has expanded his game so make better use of his right foot.


I like Campbell, all things considered, he’s done far better than any of us really could of imagined. He does seem a bit one dimensional at times, if he plays against a smart full back – his cut inside does seem a bit predictable – but I love his work ethic off the ball. It really helps a player get involved in the game when they aren’t seeing a lot of the ball out wide. I feel if Walcott did the same as Campbell he’d be a far better player for it. Too often than not Theo is more than… Read more »

Nasri's missing chinbone

Got my thumbs up for the last sentence.


Dick Law didn’t waste his time after all.


All praise Dick and Danny.


Get IN while u can Joel !!!

Pass debuchy from the left hand side

Not sure if this will be a popular opinion on here, but with the way Liverpool press high and how flamini/Ramsey struggled with that so much against Southampton, is there any argument for the ox in central midfield, being a player who can theoretically beat the press?

Mr. G

I don’t think so. Neither Ramsey nor the Ox are quick thinkers on the ball when put under pressure, but Ramsey is more of a goal threat as well as being better defensively. Plus the Ox is probably a better bench option.

Petits Handbag

The Ox would be my last choice for centre mid from our options, the guy is a liability still unfortunately. He still loses the ball too often in precarious positions. Gegenpressing was invented for players like him.
I do hope he matures soon, unpredictability is a good trait sometimes, not this time.


If Ox was in better form there would be. As it is, Flamsey (Ramini?) are very capable of dealing with it much better than they did then.


On Saturday he was struggling with a hamstring strain for the last 20 mins. Wouldn’t surprise me if he was rested tonight. If it wasn’t for that, I think I’d play him though as we need to play him into form and he’s showing signs of it.

Little Mozart

Campbell has been vital this season. Let’s hope his good form continues.


I was in Costa Rica this summer and everyone would ask me about Joel Campbell at Arsenal and I would tell them he will probably leave as he isn’t quite good enough. They must now think I’m an idiot. Thanks Joel for actually being pretty awesome at the whole football thing


The lad needs a nickname, urgently.

El Joel?




How about “Joel Campbell – The Left Foot of the Devil”.

Ray Parlour is the Romford Pele

How about the “New Ray Parlour”



As in ‘Souper Joel Campbell…’.

I don't comment here often

Surely it’s “Get out while you can Joel” Campbell.


Always wanted him to get given a chance but even I didn’t think he would do this well. His work rate is fantastic and he actually defends and tackles well. Delighted he is now considered part of the ‘team’ rather than part of the ‘squad’

Wenger's love child

Just after we signed him he played an international match against world champions (then) Spain and scored an amazing goal. Even though I’ve been very excited to see him grow, I’ve never doubted him. Almost everytime I’ve doubted Wenger he’s proven me wrong. I think he’ll be better than Sanchez one day.


With you ’til the last sentence. One can dream though, eh?


And I thought I was the most optimistic Joel fan.


Perfect utility player for Arsenal.


Id love to now see him get a run or a few gamed up front centre in the league. Hes probably not in the managers thoughts as a centre forward but imo he has always had the most potential as a deadly striker for us. Giroud, walcott and welbeck are ahead of him in the pecking order and quite rightly on paper and all three have their advantages, having said that I have a good feeling he can combine their strengths and be the clinical finisher ozils inner child begs for. I still cant get that one touch left footed… Read more »


Personally playing Campbell as centre forward scares the crap out of me. I know he’s good their and I know it would work given time but we have no games we can task a risk in at the moment so as good as Joel is and as good as he can be as a central striker it’s not a risk worth taking but an excellent option to have if God forbid Walcott, giroud and welbeck all get injured at the same time. Even then we still have Sanchez and Ozil who Wenger states can play as a false 9.


That pic is fantastic!


Wow! Thanks for pointing that out. I did not pay attention to the pic initially as it seemed just a lot of bunched up players.

It is amazing that he found that pass to Giroud among 6 tightly placed Olympiacos players!

Wenger the fashion icon

Wenger knows.

Smits Mckey


I love you and you’re awesome. Just wanted to get your attention before I said that. I mean, I’m not going to dream about having your baby (you’re no Aaron Ramsey, bless your heart), but I do very much appreciate what you do here at arseblog. Keep up the good work!



Off topic, but did anyone else see Stan Kroenke press conference where he answered questions from the media about the Rams moving? He actually answered questions. He talked. I didn’t know that was possible.


A sure sign of intelligence is knowing when to keep your mouth shut.
Another is buying into the greatness of the Arsenal.

Thus far it seems he’s a lot sharper than the critical give him credit for.

sixteen swans over ainola

After years of seeing the likes of JET, Fran Merida, and Chucks Aneke all try and fail at Arsenal, we now seem to have a group of youngsters of real promise that just might turn into ‘a golden age’ of ‘breakthrough’ players. Despite having improving/improved finances we have seen Bellerin, Coquelin, and now Campbell break into the first team this season – all without the need to go (deep-pocketed) into the transfer market. And, after reflecting for a moment on just how good Bellerin and Coquelin are, just ask yourself on talent and performance alone, how much would you have… Read more »

Ray Parlour is the Romford Pele

Agreed – I was thinking the same as you – also don’t forget Willock, Crowley, Hayden and the Bielek are starting to look half decent.


His situation seems more similar to flamini’s. Flamini was also on the verge of exit but remember Arsene saying almost same words to flamini before his spectacular season when he developed partnership with fabregas in centre of midfield. Anyhow getin when you can Joel.


No one thought Bellerin wou.d be our Rback, they wanted the much more limited Jenkinson. No one thought Coquelin would be our DM, they wanted someone like Melo or Mvilla or Wanyama or Capoue or Carvalho. No one thought Flamini and Ramsey would hold for us in absence of Santi and Coquelin. They said our season would collapse. No one thought we would be scoring goals with Giroud and Walcott. They wanted “world class”. No one thought we would have depth when hit with injuries. They wanted 4 or 5 new players. No one though Campbell would have a future… Read more »

Coffee + Transfers with Wenger

Happy Joel is doing so sell. Long may his good form continue. I hope he has a long career with us, with many titles to show for it.


This proves yet again that you can turn a talent into a real viable player at Arsenal. And that most the time the price you pay for a play doesn’t equate the their quality of their play.



But you also need the courage of you convictions to give talent the opportunity to flourish in the crucible that is the EPL. And it proves time and again that Wenger has some big fu*king balls!! He is a manager among managers that some of the arsenal faithful would do well to remember that!


Spot on. Without him it wouldn’t have been possible.


There really isn’t anything that he doesn’t do decently at. Can take players on, eye for a pass, shoots and is in good positions otherwise, works hard. I think my favourite Campbell trait though is that slide tackly thing he does. It isn’t quite a ‘tackle’ in the sense the player gets munched but he usually comes away with the ball when he goes to ground. I love it


One word to describe the situation at OT?


The big change in Joel’s game has been his development in coming in to give a pass to feet option to the midfield. His first few games he was always looking to play in behind which means that it’s extremely hard to break opposition pressure. Hopefully he can show his new traits again!


Good for him. Lets hope he can keep building as, the assist against Olympiakos aside, I still remain dubious about his first team credentials. One of the fortunate things is that he will probably have less pressure on him to get in the national team than many of our players and it might make him a little more open to spells on the bench. I hope he keeps growing as a player because there is something special about him, but with the resources we have, you’ve gotta be rather special indeed to keep making the team.

Naija Gunner

Glad Wenger gave him the chance and he took it, come on Joel, COYG


That’s a fu*king great photograph – good looking out Mr Bloggs!!!

Given that we know the wonderful skill that preceded it and Giroud’s emphatic finish afterward, Campbell’s skill and pass has effectively taken out six olympiacos players.

‘Hang that fu*ker above the mantlepiece me thinks – beautiful.


On the Men in Blazers podcast they said that since it was only an FA Cup game, Campbell “couldn’t even be assed to pull a pacifier out of his shorts” when he scored. Made me laugh out loud.


Spectacular pic.

I always believed.

Get in while you still can el-Joel.

Dial square

Let’s give them scousers a fucking pasting in their own back yard tonight, been to Anfield a couple of times, city of culture??? It’s a fucking shithole….COYG

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