Clockend Apology to Joel Campbell – Happy to admit we were wrong

Sorry Joel!

Sorry Joel!

Whether he will be the only signing of the winter session or not, I am very pleased with the arrival of Mohamed Elneny; young, versatile, strong and already experienced, the Egyptian can be a very good addition to this team and help us maintain our excellent position in the league.

This article, however, is being written to praise the player I consider as the real new signing of this campaign – and for once those words do not apply to Abou Diaby or Tomas Rosicky.

I am talking about Joel Campbell.

The Costa Rica man has been an absolute revelation since he had the opportunity to play a run of games: I knew he was technically gifted but I couldn’t imagine how hard he works and how much of a team player he is.

Seeing him providing THAT beautiful assist to Olivier Giroud in Athens I was ecstatic, as was seeing him tracking back with the Greek full-back. It was on that night I realized we had a real player in our hands.

THAT Assist in Athens

THAT Assist in Athens

The purpose of my weekly column is to apologize to the man, who I wrote off rather quickly and on whom I wasn’t really counting – persuaded that all the loan deals were arranged to raise the price of a sale that looked inevitable.  Joel Campbell deserves a lot of praise for his determination, team spirit and commitment because he had to climb a very high mountain to get where he is today.

At some point, the only two people who believed he could make it at the Arsenal were the player himself and perhaps Arsène Wenger.

I believe in you JC

I believe in you JC

I am not afraid to say that I wasn’t among those who thought he could have a future at the Club; to my eyes, he wasn’t good enough: quite tidy on the ball, the former Olympiacos, Villarreal, Betis and Lorient man had very little to offer in terms of finishing, presence and creativity – let alone defending or at least tracking back.

In my defence, I must say that he didn’t really impress while on loan in the French Ligue 1 or Spanish La Liga, while the only memory of his time in Greece was the goal he scored against Manchester United.  I can’t recall too many exciting reports about how he carried a mid-table team like Lorient to unprecedented heights or how he became the key player at Betis. A good game here, an assist there, a goal perhaps but no magic and, more worryingly, no consistency.

An incredible selection of authentic Arsenal shirts at amazing prices!

An incredible selection of authentic Arsenal shirts at amazing prices!

I genuinely thought that the World Cup in 2014, where he impressed in one and a half games, was the perfect time to get the best deal and sell him. Therefore I was left a bit non-plussed when I saw Arsène Wenger insisting on keeping him.


I am here today to say I WAS WRONG about Joel Campbell.

For those who would like to say the same – and we all know I am not alone in this appalling error of judgment – the comments section is open.


Don’t be shy, Gooners.

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33 Responses to Clockend Apology to Joel Campbell – Happy to admit we were wrong

  1. Janci Baci January 20, 2016 at 7:55 am #

    I am sorry Joel Cambell, you are a revelation this term. Keep doing what you are doing

    • AndreaR January 20, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

      Welcome to the club, Janci!!

  2. Jimmy Balantyne January 20, 2016 at 8:06 am #

    Yeah well, that’s why you’re writing blogs and not managing Arsenal.

    • AndreaR January 20, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

      What if I am Arsène in disguise???????? It will be little bit surprising, ah!

  3. Winner January 20, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Well I expected more from him and still expect more. He performed much better for Costa Rica in the Copa America in 2011 just before Arsenal bought him. To be honest, I was convinced he was going to be another Thiery Henry. I am disappointed that he may never reach those heights, but I am delighted that he is getting better with every game. His finishing needs a lot of work and he needs to make more attempts at goal. As he becomes more and more confident, this boy will be a marvel to watch. What has surprised me most is his creative ability-the assist for Sanchez’s second goal against Zagreb, followed by an assist against Olympiacos, then the one for Ramsey’s goal against Liverpool and the Giroud chance that Butland saved-all these were really top drawer. He now needs to add goals to his game.

    • AndreaR January 20, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

      Hopefully you are right, Winner, and Joel Campbell will grow in stature – again and again.
      If he starts scoring goals on regular basis, he could be a real gem of a player

  4. tibuka January 20, 2016 at 9:27 am #

    Yah JC is a fantastic guy,everyone agree.

  5. Cliffy January 20, 2016 at 9:44 am #

    Just tells u all how quick u are at judging with less knowledge of the subject matter.

    • AndreaR January 20, 2016 at 5:23 pm #

      I haven’t been particularly quick in my judgment, he’s been around for a while…anyhoo, no judgment is cast in stone and I give credit to myself for publicly apologizing…how many other bloggers and fans are doing it?

  6. udeozor January 20, 2016 at 9:47 am #

    He has being an impressive guy for long,putting his all to arsenal match

    • AndreaR January 20, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

      I wouldn’t say that, his first outings weren’t really impressive. Quality-wise, his skills were obvious from day one but his delivery was a bit poor. He improved massively

  7. Victor Thompson January 20, 2016 at 10:11 am #

    Hi Andrea.

    I agree with you. I have already posted an article in which I admitted to eating humble pie. he deserves great credit.

    Victor Thompson

    • AndreaR January 20, 2016 at 5:20 pm #

      Thanks Victor, I enjoyed your usual!

  8. Akoi Vanyanbah January 20, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    I thought d same and even got more frustrated after a very poor performance shown in Arsenal second game against Bayen. I never ever dream of seen him wearing an Arsenal jersey but now I it is always my wish that he form part of the first team

    Akoi Vanyanbah

  9. dogbreath January 20, 2016 at 10:51 am #

    Empty apology given as easily as it was for you to write off joel campbell. i wonder whether this will be the last time you slag one of our players off. if intellegence grew on trees, i wonder whether you’d learn to climb!

    • AndreaR January 20, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

      Not an empty apology and never slagged the player off. Simply didn’t believe he could reach these heights and happy to be proved wrong.

      Funny how you talk about intelligence and come out with a set of assumptions based on nothing…

      • dogbreath January 22, 2016 at 8:18 am #

        they don’t like it up’em do they ey……lol!

        it’s a good job JC, rambo, kozzer, ozil, nacho, etc don’t listen to fickle fans like you.

        its all about instat gratification these days

        • AndreaR January 22, 2016 at 9:09 am #

          Mate I gave you a second chance and stayed polite but you didn’t grab it…
          I’m fed up with clowns like you, slagging others’ opinions from the height of their pedestals.

          Give a read to my blogs over the past year and find one where I slag any of our players.
          Criticizing doesn’t mean not supporting the manager, the team or a single player but if you don’t get it, it’s only your problem.

          I never said Campbell (or any other player) was a disgraceful fraud or anything like that: I didn’t expect him to blossom the way he’s doing and I wrote an apology for my misjudgment. I don’t get why anyone should be called names for having been wrong and admitting it.

  10. ronald January 20, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    certainly, he has been amazing. my apology, i also had discounted him

  11. Geekaybee January 20, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    To say that only two people had faith in Campbell is completely wrong. I, and I’m sure many others, who had watched his World Cup performances could tell he was special. I’m not sure about Wenger feeling that way because since signing him all he seemed to do was loan him out and there was much reporting about selling him on. Campbell was only given a real chance when Wenger was forced into a corner due to the teams scoring problems.

    • AndreaR January 20, 2016 at 5:27 pm #

      Credit to you for seeing his potential, hats down – sincerely.
      I don’t know how much AW was forced into playing him because of injuries, I believe he would have found a replacement earlier, if he didn’t believe Campbell could do a job.
      Loan spells made him tough, AW said, and perhaps the guy needed to build some confidence…

  12. HAYUBANZOR January 20, 2016 at 11:20 am #

    Like the blogger,i don’t hav that believe in JC only what i know was we were going to sell him at last..buh he has made a shut-up perfomances so far that even everyone has not hesitate to apologise. .buh one thing,believe in urself too.

  13. Mark January 20, 2016 at 11:23 am #

    GeeKabee you seem to think youre the only person that rated him and that includes wenger but what you forget is that wenger could have sold him preseason and said he wanted to keep him because he sees something special in him and that was before any injuries, so its obvious he didn’t use him only because he used him because he kept him at the club and because of that decision he had an opportunity to play him which is completely different to your take on things.
    From my point of view I thought he had talent but also thought he might be a bit week but hes proving me wrong a lot but he needs to add more goals to his game to be considered a complete success and I hope he does.

  14. Yunus Ramadan January 20, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

    Just shows some top players are slow burners ( Campbell, Coquelin ). Hope Jenkinson given a chance as would solve loss of Debuchy. Nice to see some other youngsters doing well out on loan and taking chances when coming off the bench. Also need to be patient with Oxlade-Chamberlain as not being given regular run in side and played in too many different positions – reminds me of Ramsey and he’s turned out OK.

    • AndreaR January 20, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

      Spot on, players develop at very different pace. How many talented ones get lost because they’re not given enough time?
      Hopefully Chambo will endure the same journey in the coming years

  15. paul January 20, 2016 at 12:53 pm #

    Its funny how things turnaround. He is not the complete player yet I I feel he has a long way to go but really his position is best behind the front two rather than wide. Wenger though is wise to bring him in and give him games as you cant judge a player just by the odd game here or there. In training he must really give his all as he has had great competition from others like chamberlain and in may respects is ahead of him in terms of his passing and defensive back tracking. He does have an eye for openingings in games and its this quality of anticipating openings and encouraging players to run into certain areas that will make him stand out. Mind you I always thought bendtner was a good player but our style and pace of game just didn’t suit him!lol

    • AndreaR January 20, 2016 at 5:31 pm #

      Indeed, Paul.
      He’s far from being a finished product but at least I know he can play a part for the team.
      I’m not scared to say I didn’t expect him to be of any help and I couldn’t see his unbelievable work-rate and team spirit.

      Lord Bendtner is a big if, attitude was surely an issue I must say

  16. John Portelli January 20, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

    At Liverpool in my eyes I thought j c was man of the match ,he was running back tackling with a accurate timing ,there were two of him his coverage on the pitch was brilliant , here there everywhere just great to see a young player with such conviction was great to see

    • AndreaR January 20, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

      It was great to see but his game v Olympiacos was the best I’ve seen so far. Unbelievable quality and spirit

  17. taiwo oriyomi January 20, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

    some hv said wrong word abt him bt doesnt hv enough chance to prove himself bt nw due to sanchez injury, jc hv prove his doubter wrong

    • AndreaR January 20, 2016 at 5:32 pm #

      Happy for him and happy to be proved wrong, if it helps the team move forward

  18. LBG January 20, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

    I never doubted his ability. I was mad the prof seem to favour Theo over him. Theo is a better finisher and maybe more experienced but JC is a fighter, just like Alexis, he’s not afraid to chase opponents around and to go into tackles, reminds me of Rockn Rocky7. His final pass has improved a lot. Hope he gets the nod over Theo against Chelsea.

  19. Rick January 21, 2016 at 7:58 pm #

    Certainly JC has improved a lot and that comes from the confidence gained playing a run of games. In a team without injuries it would he hard to imagine him being the first option though. One thing is for sure he has skills and a fantastic work rate. I really enjoy watching him because of his passing.

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