By Richard Clarke
Sol Campbell was brought back to Arsenal for pressure situations like the game at Porto on Wednesday night, according to Arsène Wenger.
The England international was the Club's only acquisition in the January transfer window. It was considered to be a gamble given Campbell’s only game of the season had been at Morecambe in September during a brief, ill-fated spell with Division Two side Notts County.
However the beauty of bringing in the experienced 35-year-old is that Wenger does not have to worry about his temperament in difficult, hostile occasions such as Wednesday’s encounter at the Estadio do Dragio.
William Gallas has been left behind with a calf complaint and could be missing for ten days. If Campbell gets the nod over Mikael Silvestre in Portugal then he could be set for a little run in the side. His manager knows it will not faze him.
“Sol has experience,” said Wenger at Tuesday’s press conference. “That was one of the key reasons why we re-signed him.
“I thought that, if he needs to come in, he can give that to us. He has done well already and coped well with situations.
“We have Silvestre too who can come in, too, but the difference is that if Silvestre plays then we have two left-footed players at centre half. We’ll see tomorrow.”
If he features, the Porto game will be Campbell’s first Champions League tie since he so nearly won the trophy with Arsenal in 2006. His first-half header put Wenger’s side ahead despite being down to ten men. However Barcelona bit back with two goals in the final 13 minutes.
“A lot has happened since then,” admitted Wenger. “Certainly, he didn’t think that, when he signed for Notts County six months ago, he would be involved in a Champions League game now. But that’s football. Six months ago he was playing at Morecambe. However when you have quality you can always come back.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 17 Feb 2010