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April 2021



Well I am fresh from having watched tiny Costa Rica literally embarrass the mighty Uruguay of Suarez,Cavani, Caceres etc. And what was interesting was that Costa Rica were ill done by when the referee, who otherwise had an excellent game, missed a blatant handball from a Uruguayan player but did catch the Rugby tackle of a Costa Rican defender.

But that is not what I’m on about. I also noticed, as did most of the world at this point, the talent and promise that is Joel Campbell!

His first attempt at goal was a blistering shot from 30 yards out that barely missed his target. What was so special about this shot was that he didn’t hesitate to take it and at 21, in front of his WC fans and with all his teammates watching, he had the cojones to fire a cannon at Muslera, that served as a warning shot about what was to come.

[Don, if you are going to start breaking into foreign languages could you send me a dictionary first?  Thanks.  Tony]

His next shot was as sweet a goal as we’ll see in this group round. I mean, he looked like this was an everyday thing to control and shoot all in one motion, with an accuracy, force and precision that nobody seems to have had up to that point. It was a very decisive and important goal because it brought Costa Rica firmly into the game and cemented what was obvious from the start…they were aiming to take all 3 point today!

Then he took another artillery fusillade of a shot from about 30 yards that missed the corner of the opposition net by less than a foot! His shooting from distance and in the box is phenomenal. He has everything a striker needs and is only 21 years of age. He also was targeted by some pretty vicious Uruguayan goonery but every time he got up and didn’t retaliate.

In the final minutes, he was literally chopped down intentionally by a defender who was subsequently and very correctly sent off. So what all this means is that he is ready for the average EPL game where he can expect to be fouled rotationally, abused physically and probably verbally, attacked without restraint, ignored by the officials and nonetheless he will get up and get on with the job, Unless of course, he gets a broken leg or two….but we will see.

So what we have here is the answer to our so-called 2nd striker needs right in front of us. Why spend millions on some dubious superstar when we have the next star right on our books?  This kid, mark my words, will become a legend at AFC if Arsene gives him half a chance.

Can you imagine what he’ll do being fed by Ozil, Ramsey, Jack, Rosicky, the Ox and company? I can forgive Wenger every fault the AAA and the media accuse him of, but if he fails to bring this kid into our first team in the coming season, then I will unhappily have to agree with some of his more severe critics and question his reasoning. That said, whatever happens, as long as we don’t sell this kid to another Club, then I’ll be happy with him as our next potential superstar.

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His only real weakness that I saw was his disdain for playing defensively. He doesn’t like to track back too much, unlike Giroud, but he is such a deadly striker that as long as his midfielders defend for him, we’re fine. The prospect of him and Giroud playing together is extremely enticing. Giroud holds up the ball until Campbell gets it and fires a cracker at goal…….sounds like a receipe for success to me. He is mobile, strong, very fast and pacey.

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  • bjtgooner

    Don, a nice write up. Like you I was impressed and quite excited by Campbell, his shooting, the calm way he scored, his awareness and some very skilled and deft touches.

    I did noticed his reluctance to track back – but we don’t know the CR team plan or his instructions.

    Like you I hope he makes the first team squad next season and should that happen I would expect him to continue to develop – wow!!


    The site seems very slow this afternoon, are we under attack yet again?

  • omgarsenal

    Tony……..sorry about the inadvertent foreign language lesson but c’est la vie! The next time I’ll write in French so at least Walter can understand….and maybe a few Gooners as well:)

  • Mohamed

    I have noticed his goal scoring abilities since we signed him. He has a knack for scoring in the big games. He has scored against the almighty Spain and of course we know about his goal against man U. Now, he scored against Uruguay and broke Luis Suarez’s heart in the process. Wenger needs to plot the training strategy he will use to make him a prolific scorer. I am sure that Wenger will bring him into the first team next season. however, we still need a world class striker for next season.

  • Pete

    I acknowledge Mohamed’s possibly deeper knowledge of Campbell, but one really needs several games before being able to make a considered judgement. But let’s hope that he is going to make it!

    And, talking of knee-jerk reactions, Griezmann looked quite good for France as well!

  • bob

    ” I am sure that Wenger will bring him into the first team next season. however, we still need a world class striker for next season.”
    Both true and good.

  • bob

    btw, wasn’t Suarez on the bench (injured?)

  • bjtgooner

    Yes bob, Suarez was somewhere on the bench – although I did not see the official substitute list. It did look at one point that Uruguay might risk him and then changed their mind. He could be fit for the England match.

  • ace

    He is our saviour

  • TommieGun

    @ Thanks for the post Don and YES Campbell looks like the next best thing after canned soup (he he he)…

    @ Pete – sorry mate I actually thought he was the weakest player in France’s squad…

  • AL

    Agree 100%. I also did say after the game that I also thought we had found our backup to Giroud. I mean he outshone and outperformed Cavani, the 5th most expensive player in history. To some if a player doesn’t cost a ton of money then he can’t be that good. How wrong.

    I am very excited at the prospect of seeing Campbell in the prem this coming season. There are a few players who you just take one look at and you know they have potential, he’s one of them. I don’t doubt Wenger will keep him, not even one bit, lets not forget he IS the one who identified that the boy had talent when he was only 17.

  • finsbury

    Viera bless him trying his best to explain to the other plundits after the Germany game that if you want to use common sense that you have to use tech. in the modern game. Which is why it’s used in every other sport.

    Good sixty minutes for Özil, crafting open the spaces for the Germans with speed and guile. Game won, so they elect to keep one of their key players as fresh as possible.

  • AL

    I thought Lee Dixon was really poor today, time someone dragged him away from that studio before he makes a complete ass of himself.

  • Mick

    I also thought Ozil did well but I caught a bit of the idiot Tony Pulis on the radio saying he was not surprised Mezut was subbed as he looked ‘disinterested’.

  • Mick

    Too late for the oh so boring Dixon, he already has made an ass of himself several times. I loved him as a player but I am afraid he has chosen the wrong career path along with so many of his compatriots. Even if you do know what you are talking about you need a bit of personality and charisma to carve out a TV career and I am afraid he is lacking both.

  • omgarsenal

    I noticed that almost every play went through Ozil and Khedira when the Germans attacked. That tells you how important a playmaker he is.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Am looking forward to see Joel play for us next season . Do hope he is allowed to blossom in the EPL.
    Go Joel ! Go Costa Rica !

  • WalterBroeckx

    a nice impression on Campbell in his match against Urugay

    not bad at all 😉

  • Pat

    My mouth was watering after reading Don’s article and then Walter gave the link to the action. Great stuff!

  • Shakabula Gooner

    I thought J. Campbell was very good too. However, Don, I think you neglected to mention his contribution to the other two goals scored by Costa Rica in the competition.

    Also, both Wenger and the player have confirmed that he will be in Arsenal from the start of the next season.

    Meanwhile, we have at least two more matches to watch him perform in. Ironically, the next one is against might England (or, to quote Tony, Northwest England).

    Lastly, obvious as he may seem as the 2nd striker that we are pining for, I’ll prefer to leave such “weighty” decision to Mr. A. Wenger. It is more likely that it means that we can resell Vela but may not mean that we shall not buy an additional striker. Who knows best? AKB.

  • I watched the boy wonder and with such class oozing who can leave such a germ outside his team.
    Arsene have been telling us of his future plans and he says they are brighter, i will never let go what Le Prof dreams, sometime back a few of you who where born can be witnesses that Le prof dreamt to go a full season unbeaten and the sewer rats i hate those morons laughed about it and even asked what he smoked?? But ask those morons now!!!!
    We are on the right track believe me or not.