You are viewing the content for Monday 6 February 2006

Gunners ready to help Campbell focus

Sol Campbell

ARSENE WENGER and Thierry Henry will welcome back Sol Campbell with open arms and help with putting his troubles behind him when he returns to the Arsenal training ground this week.

Campbell went AWOL after being substituted at half-time during the clash with West Ham at Highbury last Wednesday and he left the stadium before the end of the game.

There has been widespread speculation as to what has been the root of Campbell’s behaviour and reports suggested he initially intended to quit Arsenal before having a change of heart.

But manager Wenger and skipper Henry will do their best to welcome the 31-year-old central defender back.

Wenger said: "We will help Sol to bounce back quickly and to focus and concentrate on the game of football which is the best cure.

"I know Sol well enough to know he doesn’t do what he did if he is not really down. But I had a short conversation with Sol on the phone on Friday evening. He sounded okay to me and he will be back on Monday or Tuesday."

Henry was quick to praise Arsenal’s young and makeshift defence in Campbell’s absence as they triumphed 2-0 at Birmingham but still believes they would be stronger with the presence of the England player.

"West Ham took advantage of the situation. You saw against Birmingham with some extra days of work with people what you can do. It was amazing what they did at the back.

"But I just think it is better when Sol is at the back and he always gives you the confidence you need. I will be waiting to welcome him when he comes back next week."

The big plus for Arsenal was the outstanding form of 19-year-old midfielder Abou Diaby, who was signed in the transfer window from Auxerre, and he could prove to be the long-term replacement for Patrick Vieira.

Henry, who scored his 200th goal for The Gunners at St Andrews, said: "I told people what Abou Diaby was all about before he came to us. He can hold the ball and he will do us an amazing job away from home... What he is doing at the moment is amazing. I just hope he can be the same player as Patrick Vieira."

Birmingham had Emile Heskey sent off and they are now five points adrift of the safety zone.

Blues manager Steve Bruce said: "We’ve got 15 games left. We need to win five or six of them.

"We have had a tough run in terms of fixtures but we are still in there with a fighting chance and I’ve seen enough over the last six weeks to believe we will get out of trouble."

Defender Matthew Upson believes his former Arsenal team-mate Henry, who set up the opening goal for newcomer Emmanuel Adebayor, was the difference between the two sides.

"The only difference in the game was a bit of world class from Henry. His touch and movement for the first goal, his first time ball around the corner. The second goal was a top finish.

"That’s him. He drifts in an out of play... He just shows different bits of class and composure."

Opta Fact: Thierry Henry became the first Arsenal player to score 200 goals for the club.

Opta Fact: The Blues have failed to score against the Gunners in seven of their eight Premiership meetings.

 

Gunners ready to help Campbell focus

Sol Campbell

ARSENE WENGER and Thierry Henry will welcome back Sol Campbell with open arms and help with putting his troubles behind him when he returns to the Arsenal training ground this week.

Campbell went AWOL after being substituted at half-time during the clash with West Ham at Highbury last Wednesday and he left the stadium before the end of the game.

There has been widespread speculation as to what has been the root of Campbell’s behaviour and reports suggested he initially intended to quit Arsenal before having a change of heart.

But manager Wenger and skipper Henry will do their best to welcome the 31-year-old central defender back.

Wenger said: "We will help Sol to bounce back quickly and to focus and concentrate on the game of football which is the best cure.

"I know Sol well enough to know he doesn’t do what he did if he is not really down. But I had a short conversation with Sol on the phone on Friday evening. He sounded okay to me and he will be back on Monday or Tuesday."

Henry was quick to praise Arsenal’s young and makeshift defence in Campbell’s absence as they triumphed 2-0 at Birmingham but still believes they would be stronger with the presence of the England player.

"West Ham took advantage of the situation. You saw against Birmingham with some extra days of work with people what you can do. It was amazing what they did at the back.

"But I just think it is better when Sol is at the back and he always gives you the confidence you need. I will be waiting to welcome him when he comes back next week."

The big plus for Arsenal was the outstanding form of 19-year-old midfielder Abou Diaby, who was signed in the transfer window from Auxerre, and he could prove to be the long-term replacement for Patrick Vieira.

Henry, who scored his 200th goal for The Gunners at St Andrews, said: "I told people what Abou Diaby was all about before he came to us. He can hold the ball and he will do us an amazing job away from home... What he is doing at the moment is amazing. I just hope he can be the same player as Patrick Vieira."

Birmingham had Emile Heskey sent off and they are now five points adrift of the safety zone.

Blues manager Steve Bruce said: "We’ve got 15 games left. We need to win five or six of them.

"We have had a tough run in terms of fixtures but we are still in there with a fighting chance and I’ve seen enough over the last six weeks to believe we will get out of trouble."

Defender Matthew Upson believes his former Arsenal team-mate Henry, who set up the opening goal for newcomer Emmanuel Adebayor, was the difference between the two sides.

"The only difference in the game was a bit of world class from Henry. His touch and movement for the first goal, his first time ball around the corner. The second goal was a top finish.

"That’s him. He drifts in an out of play... He just shows different bits of class and composure."

Opta Fact: Thierry Henry became the first Arsenal player to score 200 goals for the club.

Opta Fact: The Blues have failed to score against the Gunners in seven of their eight Premiership meetings.