Rarely has an Arsenal defensive duo shown the physical and mental strength of Sol Campbell and Tony Adams so it’s fitting that the pair will resume their partnership in our all-time XI.
During his first season at the Club, having crossed the North London divide from Tottenham, Campbell thrived alongside the outward-bound Adams at the heart of the Arsenal back four.
Sol was at the heart of our defence and he will take away with him many fantastic memories, which he richly deserves. I would like to thank Sol for his tremendous contribution. His commitment, stature and strength of character have served us remarkably well, both individually and as a team player who captained the side.Arsène Wenger speaking in 2006
The Dream Team now has two inspirational leaders, who captained both club and country, as the bedrock of the side.
After that short trip down the Seven Sisters Road, Campbell grew into one of the game’s finest centre backs. He was impregnable at times, even when he made a daunting return to White Hart Lane with his new club for the first time.
Campbell was strong but he was also athletic. His bludgeoning power and fearsome frame worked in tandem with fast-moving feet. And there was, strangely for a man of his build, serenity in the way he carried himself too.
He was never willing to throw in the towel and often appeared visibly hurt in defeat - characteristics that endeared him to the fans and earned him a place ahead of Martin Keown, David O’Leary and Steve Bould in the Dream Team.
A ‘super rock’ according to Arsène Wenger, Campbell was a lynchpin in the ‘Invincibles’ side of 2003/04, a campaign in which the Gunners conceded just 26 goals.
His resoluteness, alongside Adams, Nigel Winterburn and Lee Dixon, make our all-time XI’s back four a frightening prospect for even the most potent of strikeforces.
NO 5 SOL CAMPBELL
Selected in 80 per cent of teams