Are Sol Campbell’s playing days coming to an end?

Campbell: Seeing out his playing days? There comes a time in life when you just have to hold your hands up and admit that you just can’t do what you used to do.

I’m at that stage now when it comes to alcohol. Once upon a time I’d go out on Friday night and rock up back at home sometime on a Sunday evening, and I’d still be fresh for work on the Monday morning. These days a few hours on the beer and I’m falling asleep on the bathroom floor – It’s called getting older. Mind you, the wisdom thing is yet to kick in yet as I still try and keep up with the bairns!

Now the same kind of principle can be said for Sol Campbell, who has looked ropey ever since he arrived at NUFC during the summer.

It’s hard to be critical of a player who has spent so much time playing at the top of the game. All but one of his 644 appearances have come by representing a team in the top flight, 503 Premier League appearances, 73 England caps including World Cup appearances – these are staggering figures and show just how good Sol Campbell used to be.

‘Used to be’ are the key words in that last sentence…..

In a way it’s painful to watch Sol Campbell these days, purely because of how good he was once upon a time. It’s like watching a shadow of the player that racked up all of those England appearances and played in Champions League finals and so on. Put simply, age has caught up with him.

I had harboured some small hope that Campbell would have retained some of the form that had made Arsene Wenger want to resign him last summer. He was good for Arsenal last season, but then again it’s hard to say whether he was good or whether he looked better due to the team he had in front of him.

Now sorry to burst the bubble, but we are not Arsenal and Campbell has shown that it was more to do with the team that was in front of him rather than his ability that made him look so good last season.

Slow, heavy and cumbersome would be three words that could be used to describe Sol these days, which isn’t ideal for a Premier League defender. He had been recalled against Stoke to deal with their aerial threat, but he struggled with that task and cost us the opening goal due to his lack of concentration and speed allowing Jonathan Walters to nip in and nod home. Jonathan Walters FFS!

Granted his contract is up in the summer, and to be fair I very much doubt that Sol needs the cash, but I just can’t see him getting his deal renewed. However, despite all that I have said, I actually fell that if we let Sol go it would be a massive shame.

Which is why I’m going to suggest a new role for Campbell. How about a bit of coaching? Campbell’s legs may have gone, or he may not have top flight ability anymore (in my opinion of course), but he does have a wealth of experience that would be very useful in a coaching role.

That experience would be invaluable for the next generation of defenders. Defending is an art which I could never get my head around when I used to play, even at the relatively low level I used to represent, so to have someone with Sol’s undoubted pedigree passing on his knowledge and tips would only be a good thing in my opinion. You can’t put a price on experience!

So in conclusion, I’m not Sol’s biggest fan based on what I’ve see of him whilst playing in the black and white stripes, but I do still think that he could play an important part of the future at Newcastle.

Just not as a player…..

34 thoughts on “Are Sol Campbell’s playing days coming to an end?

  1. Agree. The only good game I’ve seen him have for us was when he came on for his debut vs Man City, he still looked the part. Ever since then every time he’s played he’s going down hill.

    Am sure he will agree his playing days are nearly over but with him settling in the North East I think he’d probably accept a coaching role within the club.


  2. Look chaps, I went a bit radgie and made a loose comment I shouldn’t have. Take this as my apology.

    In any case, if I tried to nail anyone to my fence it’s in such poor repair it would fall over.

    Wanted to post this here too as I regret that comment.

    Toonsy would have to fix my fence before I could nail him to it, which is hardly the basis for and angry fight. “Pop into the garden and fix my fence, then I’ll beat 10 bells out of you”


  3. Hugh de Payen
    Posted March 21, 2011 at 12:19 PM

    “Pop into the garden and fix my fence, then I’ll TRY TO beat 10 bells out of you”

    Fixed that there for you, Hugh 😉


  4. We’d have a struggle with that though. You’d need to hold the cup and put a straw in so I can drink it? 😆

    Anyway, this is turning very homo-erotic so I’ll end there 😆


  5. Doubt i’ll be able to get to that one then, just go to Liverpool instead to show my hate towards judas.


  6. No, I think Carrick is the most over-rated footballer going. I thought that at West Ham, Tottenham and now Man U. Scott Parker with less tackling ability springs to mind.


  7. Oh and to comment on the thread…..anyone who takes that long to get fit after pre-season is obviously not up to Premier League standard. If he was as consumate a professional nowadays as he used to be, his fitness wouldnt have been as bad. The fatty.

    He brings a lot of experience to the table, would be happy with him as a defensive coach.

    Please don’t ever play him again Pardew, or I will really start getting on your back, pal. 😉


  8. Moreno – I really don’t rate Carrick what so ever, I don’t see what he brings as a midfielder, he plays for Man u so people think he’s good. He can’t pass, shoot, tackle and every set-piece he takes doesn’t beat the first man. Just like Gareth Barry 😈

    Rant over 😆


  9. He has commanded some considerable transfer fees in his time, have no idea why, I agree with you both, he is useless.


  10. Hmm Barry or Carrick? Who is more over-rated? It’s a tough call that one…..

    Another over-rated player is James Milner!


  11. I would say Barry is worse just for the simple fact he’s a starter for England for what ever reason…

    Another one is Joleon Lescott, Man City pay 24m because he scored goals whilst playing left back for Everton 🙄


  12. @toonsy: i still believe Sol campbell can continue a few more seasons,i am sure he is even more fit than paolo maldini when he was playing for milan. 😯

    But maybe Sol can be empoly as a sweeper instead due to him inability to run quickly anymore.


  13. If this isn’t Campbell’s last season as a pro i’d be amazed. No point tarnishing his career any further. As for overrated, the nufc squad of 08/09. too good to go down?

    Lucas leiva plays in the same yellow jersey that the likes of Pele, Ronaldo etc. have worn before him. Where is this world at?


  14. Heskey? I think every England manager must’ve thought ‘well, he must have something, the previous guy played him.’


  15. but dan you see that cacapa is a more than capable right winger who can also play center back. his creative qualities have be likened to a gerrard/fabregas with pace!


  16. Nicklas bendtner MOST overrated player in the world ,
    it’s a weird one tho.some folk think he’s brilliant and some know he’s just shit


  17. Liam, I’m pretty confused by your response…

    But on topic, would love to see Sol come in as a defensive coach, working side-by-side with Peter Beardsley over the Reserves!


  18. I disagree that Sol should become a coach at NUFC, I think he lacks the attitude and the personality for it I really do, and furthermore, I don’t think he wants to, it is something than has cropped up many times now by people cluching at straws perhaps; but it is nothing more than that.

    In terms of playing, maybe he had the attitude that because he had played for Arsenal and England for so many years that he could roll up at some ‘lesser’ club and keep going for more years. Well he did that, to some degree at Portsmouth, (where I think Distan used to make up for his lack of movement a fair bit.) Those days are over now though and I think for the sake of his own pride and dignity he should hang up his boots at the end of this season and find something else to do. I would hate for him to be remembered in Newcastle for this season rather than when he was an absolute athlete (and a beast of a) CB for england.


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