In an ever developing game of pace, agility and silky skills it is hard to see exactly where Sol Campbell’s now brutish and last ditch style can fit in. Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew clearly sees it differently.
In the five games Campbell has managed to play for Newcastle, his performances have brought back a pleasant nostalgia to when he was part of Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles.’ This has also been rewarded with interest shown by Celtic and the Gunners.
This has maybe made it clear to Pardew that Campbell still has something to offer, even if it is only for five games a season. Also, with owner Mike Ashley having a soft spot for experience, it is players like Campbell who can help the manager out. That is why Alan Pardew was hired right, because of his vast managerial experience?
The game is starting to get rid of the old school player and with a largely foreign influence; there is little space for players like Campbell. If only Tony Adams and Martin Keown were around to toughen up the likes of Nani. We could avoid watching the five rolls that follow on from a boot clipping his shin pad or the brisk wind blowing him over to win a penalty.
Despite being a veteran at 36, seeing the (in football terms) old-timer clamber out onto the pitch as a starter or sub is some how refreshing. Even if you aren’t a part of the Toon Army, you want him to do well. It’s to see thumping headers, saving tackles and seeing multiple, over exaggerated step over’s snuffed out with force.
Nevertheless, nostalgia can provide pleasant viewing with a little thing known as hindsight cutting it short. Paying Campbell’s wages for being a ‘Giant figure,’ can’t be justified, and with an American owner, money is never a guarantee after all. Reality is rarely ones favourite, but at one point every one has to face it.
The former England international is no spring chicken and his legs are beginning to feel the toll of carrying that gigantic frame on top of them. It has been revealed that he isn’t fit enough to play, but why?
If the wear and tear of training is too much for the big man, is it time to take matters into his own hands and retire? Saying that, look at Ledley King and David Weir.