Thursday, February 29, 2024

Campbell: I think I deserved to play more

Joel Campbell says he feels like his performances last season merited more playing time for Arsenal, but sounded sanguine about the fact the club were prepared to loan him to Sporting Lisbon for the season.

The 24 year old became a popular figure in the last campaign after a series of hard-working, often effective, displays, but always seemed to be struggling to convince Arsene Wenger of his worth.

He became a peripheral figure towards the end of the season, and although the Arsenal manager wanted to keep him, he didn’t stand in the player’s way when he expressed his desire to leave to play more regularly.

“I think I deserved to play more after what I did last year, but now is a new stage,” he told A Bola.

“I feel good, happy, this is a new experience.”

In fairness to him, when you look at what he did last season in comparison to how others underperformed, you can see his point. Ultimately though, the manager is the one who sees the players every day in training and knows them and their characters better than anyone.

Maybe there’s a bit more to this decision than we know.

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We agree, Joel. We agree…

AW Dictator

Joel leaves where the likes of Theo and Ox keeps getting chances after chances..

Ridiculous to say the least!


To be fair, at least Theo is looking sharp this season whereas Alex is still looking bereft of any clue. He’s a talented lad but he doesn’t look to be able to shift the slump he’s been in for a season or so now.

the only sam is nelson

how many of the people slating this decision are also slating the decision to buy Lucas on the basis he’s not good enough for the Arsenal? The fact that JC has gone out on loan, rather than being bought (and let’s not forget that teams needing talent are breaking their transfer records for dross like nacer chadli), suggests that there are a number of PL managers who aren’t prepared to shell out even £10m on him. Considering what we’ve all seen I’d imagine that JC was performing at the limit of his potential last year – very good, but significantly… Read more »


We think so too Joel. Make the best of your time at Sporting


He definitely deserved to play and you can’t help think that Theo and the Ox’s wages meant that Wenger had to justify it by playing them. Campbell never set the world alight, but for sure he wasn’t given a proper chance.


Podolski’s wages didn’t stop him from being benched.


I don’t think Joel ever turned in a bad performance throughout the entirety of last season. He is entirely right to be disappointed and is a lot more diplomatic about the whole thing than I would be


Well yes he had a positive impact in the majority of the games he played. Still, there were matches where he didn’t do that much (unpopular opinion here) and his lack of pace was exposed. Often he was trying things by himself too, going 1 on 1 vs the LB and lost the ball when he could have made an easy pass. I appreciate the guy and his work rate but I think his performances are a bit overrated. Still agree that he showed more and was more consistent than Theo and Ox but think Wenger made the right choice… Read more »


In this age of statistics, I think Campbell’s “important passes” stats will surprise you. I recall with great admiration a few defense splitting passes from him; a lot more than I can remember from many of those favoured ahead of him.

Godfrey Twattschlock

That first Champions League game he came on, I forget the team we played and we were dogshit, he was rusty as hell but put in a serious effort albeit to no avail. I recall everyone, myself included, wrote him off after that. Then he came on again and scored and everything changed. He should have played more.

Gutbukket Deffrolla

To be fair to him he didn’t get a great run of matches so consistency and sharpness weren’t quite there for all to see, but having said that, what he did achieve in the games he played was very good. He did everything on the pitch that you’d expect to earn you a spot in the team, but he just didn’t get that spot. Wenger has had some strange cases like this in his time. This is one where only he knows why he didn’t give Campbell more game time. Doesn’t look like he explained his decision / thoughts to… Read more »


Well, the manager seems to be incapable of putting a team together ready to challenge the title down the wire. He talks about mental strength but the evidence point at severe mental weaknesses among the group of players he prefers. It’s time the board questioning him instead of him questioning absolute everything besides his own ability to produce success, in other words his job


Campbell is a hard working player but he isn’t going to win the league for you.


For every maestro, you need a few Joels or Ray Parlours to lug the piano around.

Single handed he will never do it. But you need solid performers who work hard and don’t have a tendency to get injured to fill the gaps in the squad.

Great squad player passed over in favour of woefully underperforming players. Curious about the manager’s thinking on this one.



They can’t all be bergkamps.


Exactly this. Parlour is a great comparison. nobody ever spoke about him in high regard or even rated him as a player at the time. He himself though that he would be gone and was surprised to stay and play when AW arrived, but no-one would think that of him now. people speak of him in terms of being a legend and purr over his cup winning goal. Campbell was instrumental in winning us games last season when we others had failed to do so. He is miles ahead of Ox and Theo in quality experience and finished product. those… Read more »


Young, talented player with flair, a hard grafter attitude and the desire to play for the Arsenal. Given more regular game time I could see him developing very well thank you very much


Probably said that about marc albrighton too.

Gutbukket Deffrolla

I doubt anybody in Leicester would agree with that sentiment.


He just deserved to play, period.

Alexis' spine

I don’t think that the manager knows something from the training ground that we don’t, that would see him render Joel disposable than Theo. After all, what happens on the field on match day supercedes what happens on the training ground. In that regard, Joel has done way better than some players who Arsene stakes loyalty to. This is just about loyalty as opposed to performances.


You have to question what is gave him cause to continually forgive Walcott and Ox. Both were poor last season, whereas Campbell came in and – despite not being perfect – largely impressed.

That decision to substitute him against Swansea, after he’d scored, still infuriates me.


I kinda agree with you. As Xanka has spoken, Wenger dun talk to their players often. He only based on the limited time he sees them in training and get report updates from the coaches.

Joel, go stretched your wings and fly over the greater horizon. Show the world of your talent.

Wait…… He’s not permanently gone….

And fly back to your nest called Arsenal

Gutbukket Deffrolla

Wenger doesn’t just send the players out with other coaches and sit in an office all day. He knows exactly how hard his players work in training. Don’t try to blame his decisions on incompetence borne of not doing his job properly. He just doesn’t seem to allow good matchday performances to sway his thinking when it comes to choosing the matchday team. Strange but True.

Arsene Used To Know

He is spot on and he quickly realised that he will need to move to stand any chance of playing this season. Having said that I hope Ox and Theo will step up this season and justify the manager’s faith in them, if they don’t I hope Arsene will be ruthless and ship them out.

Coq Holding Midfielder

Somehow, I don’t see 22 teams lining up to take either of them.

Gutbukket Deffrolla

That’s pretty much what a lot of Arsenal fans were saying about Wilshere. They were wrong.

benedicktus cumberpit

That shows the naivety of the other managers.
Who wants a player that is perpetually injured, I wouldn’t


What they do in the training ground actually don’t matter because Campbell has been consistently performing in every single competitive matches. There is absolutely no reason for keeping him out of the starting 11, with only one winger(Sanchez) better than him.


Unless of course we get points for training ground wins.

I’ll go and google it


Probably wenger want to give one last chance to his remaining 2 long term English projects ( OX and Walcott ) before sending them to burnmouth or MK dons , one is still struggling to improve decision making in final third and the other failed to add anything to his game apart from spiriting in straight line .

Gutbukket Deffrolla

It’s the age old problem of intelligence and rapid thinking not being necessary for a person to have a talent. Enormous talent and skill is wasted if the player doesn’t have the mentality and quickness of thinking to use it effectively. All of the kids who join our academy have a lot of pure talent. Some don’t make it because they can’t or won’t apply themselves mentally to the task of developing their talent fully. Most just aren’t able to take full advantage of it. Rapid decision-making in the final third that results in consistent success is not something that… Read more »


He was AFC’s best wide player last season, either scores or provides an assist almost in every game he plays. Its amazing how the manager constantly prefers under performing players.
*In other news* We are playing better without ramsey


You can be rest assured he’ll be back in the team as soon as he’s fit, irrespective of how anyone else is playing


The trouble is, there’s so much time and money invested in players like Theo and The Ox that there’s an obligation to keep developing and playing them. Plus, their English internationals- if they don’t get priority over players from abroad, then their value will go down and we make a loss. I’m not saying I agree with this approach, but from a ‘business’ viewpoint, it’s the difference between £15m or £30m transfer fee. But I agree- Campbell played well. However, according to Wenger, it was his (Campbell’s) choice to leave, which suggests he doesn’t have much fight in him? Maybe… Read more »


I agree with what you say up until the end where you seem to contradict your point. If Mr Wenger was playing other players before you that didn’t merit the start and was doing so to make sure they kept their monetary value, as English Internationals what would you do?


Campbell already got a chance, and took it. What more is the guy supposed to do. I think I’d want out as well

Tomas Casus

There is no way Wenger would play people just to keep up their value as England internationals. Not a chance. Even if that was his thinking, their value would go down if they played badly. Some of these attempts to have a dig at the manager are just stupid.


He couldn’t play ahead of Iwobi once he got in the team though. I think the problem is that Joel Campbell, whilst a good player, seems to have already hit his celling.. He is decent enough, but I would always play Iwobi ahead of him due Iwobi bringing something different and exciting to the team


Campbell brings more to the team than Iwobi. And how do you know Campbell hit his peak already? Those are purely your assumption. And Campbell is much better compared to Iwobi in every aspects of their game.

Someone's something

Hands down for this guy. He’s a through-and-through professional. Always made a good performance even though he was never handed a fair chance, and never made a scene about it in the media. The fact that he managed to work himself up to a starting position in every team he joined on loan says a lot about his mental strength, especially given the fact he switched between 3-4 countries.

Will never understand why he wasn’t given a fair chance. Plays with a lot more maturity than Chamberlain and offered more to the build-up phase than Walcott.


If it happens it happens

Wenger's love child

I’ve always rated him. I remember when we just signed him, he played for Costa Rica against Guardiola’s Spain who were simply invincible then and scored a belter of a goal. He was just a teenager at the time. I’ve loved and watched him ever since. It’s really confusing. I hope he puts in a good shift there but above all, that he comes back and smashes.


Do you remember when Niklas Bendtner used to get into the starting 11 game in game out? I’d like to know if there was something more going on than we knew for that one as well.

Coq Holding Midfielder

I always thought that was for the comedic value.


And Denilson.

Godfrey Twattschlock

Bendtner, for the idiot he may be, was still a decent player had he only matured enough to cut down on his off the pitch bullshit. He had enough talent to make something of himself at Arsenal and my guess is Wenger was well aware of that which is why he kept giving him chance after chance. Even in his last season he looked on the up for a while. Until the taxi incident in Copenhagen. Funny of course but what a plonker.

An Ox-sized Coq

Comparing Ox to Campbell, I will say that the Ox definitely has a much greater potential whereas Campbell seems close to what he will be. Having said that, I’d say that Joel is a pretty damn good player to have in the squad.


As much as I like the ox we need performances not potential. And he regularly fails to deliver. Campbell should have been starting over both Walcott and ox


Nah bollocks he is what 24 and Wenger never gave him a consistent run and he still performed. I hope ox gets better and shines but he’s been with us a while now and it’s been waiting for potential while Campbell just delivered with much less of a window of opportunity. Who’s to say his finishing couldn’t get more ruthless that is something that often improves towards a player’s peak. 28-29 years old. His vision, touch, workrate are already top notch. Workrate is so important. Really passed me off how he was treated. Another weird one was Park who again… Read more »


Park had a lot of issues in his home country I believe, something about military service…think there were bigger factors at play.

Ex-Priest Tobin

He deserved to play and shouldn’t have been sent on loan with the crap we have kept. Wenger appears to be god again among a lot of fans having made a couple of signings, but his judgement continues to be seriously questionable.


It´s hard for arseblog to hide the fact that he´s a Campbell hater. (strong word, I´m not saying he hates the guy, but you know what I mean). What´s with the insinuation in the end?

Also, always talking about “hard working” (which, yes he was) when in fact Campbell also had some Bergkampesque skills (passing) in his game as well.


Er, I think you are saying he hates the guy. The clue was in the words you used.


You sounded like vardy for a minute there.

“It was the hardest decision i ever made but it was very easy. Also, i really wanted to join arsenal but i really wanted to play for liecester”….. (i might have paraphrased a bit)


Far better player than walcott, much more consistent than the ox, deserved a chance


It’s a shame it came to this especially as a result of Wenger’s frankly daft favouritism for players who are in bad form or who simply aren’t good enough. If Theo doesn’t perform this season he must be axed.

Arsenal guy

Another one like Poldi.

Park chu young and recreation

Joel heard about Lucas coming and his bridge-throwing antics.


I genuinely think that Arsene is a victim of the sunk cost fallacy. He’s invested so much time, money and energy into Theo and the Ox that he simply can’t give up on them. With Joel Campbell, Arsene has invested very little and therefore perceives no value in him.


This, Wenger will stick to plan to the bitter end.
Joel was never really in Wengers plans, he only used him when he had no choice.

Big Afo

It’s always easy for people to sit on their backsides and make cheap comments without being aware of the conflicting factors placed before already pressurised managers in making important decisions on their teams’ composition. It should be noted that there are EPL’s stringent rules and guidelines to be followed by clubs; which include the number of players (including the make-up of homegrown and foreign players) to be registered for the season. I believe Joel Campbell has lesser advantage compared to Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Welbeck being a foreign player. He was have been a stiff competition for a place in the… Read more »

Cygans Magical Left Foot

And you sit in your ass taking rubbish without countin. We have 16 non home grown players only. We’re allowed 17 and among those 16 is non other than Yaya SaNOgoal. We have enough home grown to get red of Theo and OX and if we stuck why keep that no goal and get red of JC? Martins Holding Gibbs Jenkinson Ramsey Qin Bellerin Theo Iwobi jeff Chuba Welbeck And under 21 you can put as much as you want into the squad of 25. You are a cult will tell any old rubbish to conjure a reason to show… Read more »


Let’s be honest is there any justification for theo being played game after game out of form only to be dropped when it mathematically impossible for us to win the league and now the new season starts theo guareneed a starting place Campbell loaned out now you cant make this stuff up.. this truly is madness! This is blatantly favomitism what message does this send to the rest of the team


Yes, indeed you deserved to play more and to be ahead of Walcott and Ox but the boss has his favorites so


The truth is he wasn’t considered because he’s not British and Wenger has to play the overrated-overpaid Walcott and Chamberlain


i don’t give a crap about this brittish core nonsense
Joel Campbell should be above Ox and Theo in the pecking order

True gunner

Joel maybe Wenger is trying to kill your career, think you’re much better than lazy walcott, but it’s wenger call.


I’m going to post something a little unpopular but as much as I liked Campbell last season, he was hardly a world beater was he? He played well but people are talking as if he’s Messi and at least one person has said he was our best wide player last season (i.e. better than Sanchez). I would have kept him but I can see why Wenger didn’t fancy him after 4 goals in 40. Walcott, who was woeful in the second half of last season after his injury and restricted to very few minutes from January still managed to get… Read more »


no one is claiming his world beater. The guy has a good work ethic and attitude compared to other poor performing players!

P Lydersen

Maybe he smells… Crying shame though, Joely deserved better.

Tony Hall

I would have loaned Ox out and kept Joel but hey what do I know :-

Thoughtful Goon

Just another casualty to homegrown quota restrictions. I am happy for the loan move though as he has the chance to play for a championship and grow in confidence from such a experience. He has to impress for his own sake not even for Arsenal but it would be to his benefit if he does and we have a new manager. The clock ticks on… .. .


And he’d be right.


Lest we forget it was Wenger who brought Joel into the club. Lest we also forget the same people critical of Wenger were the same voices that said Dick Law was wasting his time in the Costa Rican jungle because he was not Arsenal quality. For 2m he was a good punt. I think Campbell’s problem breaking in are two fold : a) The rise of Iwobi has added more competition to the one spot other than Alexis’ on the left. b) Ox and Walcott bring pace. Theo IMO has limits but with our striker issues, even with Perez in… Read more »


I can completely sympathise with Campbell. He has every reason to feel hard done by.

Maybe it’s a little similar to Pep in relation to Joe Hart. When asked why he let Hart go, he stated that the keepers talent was not in question, however he simply felt that Hart wasn’t right for his vision of the man city squad. Maybe Wenger feels the same with regard to Joel. Tough on the player, but ultimately it’s the managers call.


Casualty of homegrown status. The thing is we have to field a few english players to retain the cultural identity. We are playing in the England after all. It’s just our luck that our best and fit english players happen to be walcott and the ox (injury prone, but not at Wilshire’s level yet).


If Campbell did’nt have to wait 3 years for his visa he would be first choice ahead of Theo and Ox.The time has come for Theo and Ox to deliver consistently or find a another club, if they fail then sell them and bring back Campbell.Don’t forget we have Welbeck to come back and he will deliver because he’s better than all three.


JC didn’t even make the reserves bench the first two games of the season. I think that speaks volumes of how wenger perceives his worth. Whether that is justifiable or not is another question. Putting myself in his shoes, it won’t be a difficult decision to make a demand for a loan move rather than leave the uncertainty of my future in the hands of the manager once the transfer market closes.

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