Gunners will peak when it matters most, says Campbell

SOL CAMPBELL has warned his side’s title rivals that Arsenal are top of the table without even being at their best as he insisted they would peak when it mattered most — in the Premiership run-in.

Arsenal may have struggled in the Champions League so far this season and they are becoming rather over-reliant on Thierry Henry’s scoring prowess.

However, they are the only unbeaten league team in all four divisions and, following their 1-1 draw at Charlton, they top the Premiership by a point from Chelsea, with Manchester United two points adrift.

Campbell declared: “It’s a big plus for us. We’ve got a great team and the sign of a good side is when you’re not playing at your best, you can still pick up wins and draws.

“We’re still there and there’s a long way to go.

“I quite like it like this at the moment. Rather than playing your best football now and then running out of steam, I much prefer it the other way around where you build up and then, in the final 10 games, you start increasing it.

"It’s a question of peaking at the right time.” Arsenal failed to manage that last season, when United hauled back a significant deficit to launch their own late run, but Campbell evidently believes the tables can be turned this time around.

Whether Henry can continue to shoulder Arsenal’s goalscoring burden remains to be seen, having struck 10 of his side’s 21 goals in all competitions so far this season.

Sylvain Wiltord is the Gunners’ next highest scorer with just three goals, followed by Gilberto Silva and Robert Pires with two each, while Dennis Bergkamp and Kanu yet to get off the mark at all.

Kanu may get the chance to break that duck against Rotherham in the Carling Cup tonight at Highbury, with Wenger having pledged not to include any of the starting line-up at Charlton.

However, the Arsenal boss believes goalscoring assistance for Henry will come as he stressed his belief in his other strikers.

“You will have a period in the season where Thierry Henry does not score, but somebody else will score. It’s part of football and the way it works in cycles is a bit mysterious,” said Wenger.

“It’s difficult to say why the other players don’t score at the moment, but I think Wiltord, Bergkamp, Kanu and Pires can all score goals and they will score again.”

Henry was again on target at the Valley, scoring with a free-kick to equalise Paolo di Canio’s penalty, which was awarded after Lauren was controversially penalised for bringing down Matt Holland.

Campbell insisted: “Some of the lads said it was a theatrical kind of dive. Maybe the referee gave it because there were a lot of bodies around, but it was a little bit harsh.”

Holland, nevertheless, defended his reputation as he said: “I got clipped and tried to stay on my feet, but went down and the referee gave it.

“I definitely got touched and am the sort of player that tries to stay up. I’ve never dived in the past and there’s no reason why this would have been any different.”

Rotherham’s preparations have been hit by illness and injury. Carl Robinson and Martin Butler are missing through illness, while Darren Garner is sidelined with a calf problem.

Millers boss Ronnie Moore will give striker Darren Byfield as much time as possible to recover from his ankle knock, and Julien Baudet is available after completing a three-match ban.

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