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2019 06 28 Retrieve

[Arsenal may lack the funds to put a deal in place for Zaha, with Unai Emery said to have just £45m ($57m) to work with this summer] I would say Arsenal need to break the bank for Zaha. He’s got a proven track record in the Premier League. He can hit the ground running. He would be an excellent addition to Unai Emery’s squad and boost their attacking options. He would also create space for [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang and [Alexandre] Lacazette to run into in dangerous areas. He can carry the ball in transition and is a dangerous player. He would be my preferred option. He’s strong, he’s fast. He would settle in straight away. He can play wide left, wide right, through the centre and he’s still young at 26 years of age. He would be my man for the club to target first and foremost as an attacking option. I think he would be a superb addition to the squad. Yes, he won’t come cheap but the fee would be paid in instalments so it wouldn’t necessarily be £60m up front

2019 08 15 Retrieve

[Former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell was among those to address the abuse aimed at Abraham while taking to social media himself on Wednesday] Can someone please tell me why Tammy Abraham gets racially abused for missing a penalty? Football is the excuse for some people

2019 11 19 Retrieve

[Arsenal legend refuses to discuss ‘M word’ amid ongoing talk of Mourinho arrival] There’s been a lot of rumours flying about, about a new manager coming in. There’s that ‘M’ word that I don’t even want to mention. Yeah, Mickey Mouse. I don’t want to mention him, who was manager of our rivals, two of our rivals and apparently got spotted having dinner with Raul [Sanllehi], which is nonsense. But I wouldn’t have him anyway, I wouldn’t have him anywhere near the club.

[Mourinho is not the only name that Campbell would take out of the reckoning if a new coach is sought, with it his opinion that the best man for the job is already on Arsenal’s books]

I’d have none of them. I’d have Freddie [Ljungberg] in. [Mourinho’s] not in, he’s not in, and Emery’s gone. So if that’s the case I’d have none of them and I don’t have to choose one. Yeah [it’s got that bad] that fans could sell their soul to the devil. I say that just as a saying. Sell their soul to Mourinho who has absolutely lambasted Arsenal, taken the mickey out of Arsenal, taken the mickey out of Arsene Wenger when he was our manager, specialist in failure and all that. That’s aimed at us, that isn’t just the manager, that’s aimed at us. This is how it is

[It remains to be seen when or if Arsenal will take action, but Campbell believes they should act swiftly to stop the rot which has started to set in under Emery] Should the board act now? For me I think Unai Emery’s a nice man, he’s a nice man, but I don’t want nice men, I don’t want a nice man. He’s ruining a lot of people’s weekends to be honest.

I could take a defeat if the team performed. I could take a defeat. I’m not saying I like defeats, I said I could take a defeat if the team perform and get beat. But when they don’t perform, and they’re not performing, and they’re throwing away leads on a regular basis, for me, sorry, there’s got to be change and there’s got to be change now.

As far as I was concerned, the board would need to act now to rectify and to steer the ship in the right direction because the players to me look as though they’re not focused - they’re unfocused. They look like they haven’t got that togetherness, like you see with Liverpool and Man City.

Even though they’re 3-0 down, Man City are grafting, they know exactly what to do, they’re sticking to the game plan. Arsenal look like they’ve got no game plan. They’ve got no plans whatsoever and that’s why it’s so disjointed and that’s why we’re throwing away leads on a regular basis

2019 11 29 Retrieve

[Kevin Campbell says Massimiliano Allegri or Mauricio Pochettino should be targeted by Arsenal] There’s a load of good managers out there. Before Unai Emery was anywhere near the job, I wanted Max Allegri and I still think he’s one of those elite managers and coaches that could turn the Arsenal ship around. Obviously we know that Mauricio Pochettino is available as well now and there are question marks; he hasn’t won anything etc, etc. But one thing we do know is that he’s a very good coach and manager. He can get some real structure into Arsenal because that is really what we lack. There are other managers who are in jobs at the moment that it isn’t worth mentioning, but those are two that I think could really do this job and do it well

2019 11 30 Retrieve

[Kevin Campbell says The Arsenal board may have taken the decision to part with Unai Emery but they still cannot be trusted] What’s been happening at Arsenal, it’s been coming. If we’re brutally honest this board, since leaving Highbury, have made all these promises and haven’t backed the promises up. They haven’t backed Unai Emery properly and now the chickens are coming home to roost. Now they’re going to have to do something. I don’t trust the board, I’ve got to be honest. It seems like they’re interested in other things than the playing staff. There are a lot of angry Arsenal fans now because, remember, they got sold a dream leaving Highbury. The fantastic Emirates Stadium … they were told they were going to compete at the elite level and it just hasn’t happened

2019 12 16 Retrieve

[Kevin Campbell says Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cannot be blamed for stalling on the signing of a new contract at Arsenal] This Arsenal job now needs a man who is experienced. It needs someone who can come in and be ruthless. When you look at what’s going on behind the scenes, contract talks have stalled with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and I don’t blame him for that. There is Alexandre Lacazette in a similar situation as well. A lot is riding on this next appointment. Ancelotti is a very good manager and very experienced - he’s won as a player and won as a coach. If Arsenal have aspirations of getting back in the Champions League, then what better than a man who actually knows how to do it. Someone like Ancelotti will get the best out of the players who are underperforming

Emery takes blame as he was the manager who had to get it right. But it’s above him where there’s been no plan about how Arsenal can become the best they can be. There’s certain areas of the team that needed to be addressed - and it still hasn’t been done. Arsenal dithered and dallied with Emery. Tottenham made their move and stuck with it. They knew what they wanted and it was obviously already done because [Jose] Mourinho wasn’t in work. It had all been sorted in the background. One minute [Mauricio] Pochettino is there and then there’s another manager in. That gives players a lift in their own right. The way Arsenal have been going about it leaves a lot to be desired

2019 12 17 Retrieve

[Kevin Campbell says Arsenal are starting to get desperate in their search for a new manager] I think Arsenal are desperate, I’ve got to be honest with you. The way things never panned out with Unai Emery and the way the results are going, obviously against Manchester City the last game, it was a bit of a football schooling. The hierarchy and the fan base, me as a fan as well, look at that and think ‘something’s got to change, something’s got to be done’. It looks like the club are doing what they think is right, which is all they can do I suppose. But it begs the question that it just creates more questions. Why does a club like Arsenal not go for somebody who’s really experienced and a top, top manager? Are they doing things on the cheap? Or are they trying to do a new vision?

2020 02 06 Retrieve

[Arsenal will have to sell Aubameyang if he doesn’t sign new deal] My thoughts are Arsenal can’t afford to be in a difficult situation, sticky situation, having a player run his contract down anymore. I think it’s got to be put on the table to Aubameyang and I’m sure, if they’re in their right mind, they’ve been negotiating. So it’s going to come to the summer, it’s going to come to a head in the summer. If Aubameyang isn’t going to sign, they’re going to have to sell him.

They’re going to have to get something for him in order to replace him. I think that’s the key. We can’t afford to lose his goals but a different solution probably has to come about. And this is where a lot of the trust in [Mikel] Arteta is going to come into play. I think either way, if he’s going to run his contract down, he’s going to have to be sold. If they don’t replace, let’s say they’re not going to replace him, that money has got to be used for other parts of the team. I think that’s really important. If we don’t re-sign Aubameyang, that money that we sell Aubameyang for has to be used to strengthen other areas. Attacking midfielder, winger, or whatever. We need other components within this team because we are still unbalanced

[Campbell added on the approach Aubameyang will be taking when it comes to his future] I would happily look the manager in the eye and I would ask this question: ‘You tell me who is going to be coming in next season, what’s your thoughts on how we’re going to move this thing forward?’

2020 02 11 Retrieve

[Allegri would’ve been Kevin Campbell’s first choice as Arsenal boss] I’ll be honest with you, [Arteta] wasn’t my first choice. I went for the Allegri thing because of the way he sets his team up and the discipline of his teams. Arsenal lacked so much discipline before then that I just wanted someone to come in and bolt this thing down and get defensive again and not conceding goals

When Arteta came in I said ‘I’m going to give him a chance, definitely, let’s see what he can do’. And I’ve been really impressed, from his first interview where he said there’s no easy rides and there’s some things you have to do, the players have to do, you have to run, you have to tackle, you have to love the shirt and we have to build a bond with the fans. That for me as an Arsenal fan meant a lot. These are the basics but you think it’s normal - it isn’t normal, especially in that Arsenal team.

So I’m really impressed with what Mikel Arteta’s doing, Arsenal are now playing on the front foot, he’s improved a lot of the players so far, the much-maligned defence is even keeping some clean sheets, which is fantastic for us. Two clean sheets, it was none before! So give me some clean sheets and I’ll take it. But the point I’m trying to make is he is actually making these players that were underachieving better. They still need addressing, I still think there’s stuff that needs to be addressed. Bringing this Pablo Mari in I think is excellent business

2020 02 22 Retrieve

[Kevin Campbell says Former Juventus striker Moise Kean has not been a disappointment at Everton] Am I disappointed in Moise Kean? I am not disappointed in Moise Kean. He’s come from a different country. He’s come with a good price tag. He’s a talented boy but it’s taken him a bit of time to adjust. If it takes Nicolas Pepe, who cost 72 million, time to adjust, and we’ve seen other players who have come from abroad actually not cut it in the Premier League at all, I think we’ve got to be a little bit more lenient and give him a bit more time

I don’t think it’s feasible that Everton actually look at a bid for Richarlison of that fee. It’s great that a number like that comes up - £85 to 1£00 million is great considering Everton bought him for £40 million. He is a player that has proven himself. He’s a bargain at £40 million right now. So to get £85 million to £100 million bid just goes to show, he’s developing at Everton. He’s not the finished article, that’s for sure. But he’s proven that he can be a match winner and he’s a difference maker. So Everton shouldn’t look at the bid, Everton will build him more

2020 03 06 Retrieve

[Kevin Campbell says Arsenal struggling to keep world-class talent] I don’t think Aubameyang will come out publicly and say this, but he’ll be wanting to play European football, he’s a top striker. Will that influence his decision in the summer? Will it influence the decision in his head? He loves Arsenal but it’s a short career. Part of it is, Mikel Arteta and the board and the recruitment team have got so many plates spinning, they’ve got to weigh things up. They’re out of Europe, that makes their window that much shorter of keeping him. Aubameyang is world class. He’s our only world-class player. Whether you like it or not, you’re judged on goals as a striker and his goal record stands up with anyone right now. End of.

There’s the opportunity or possibility that we’re going to lose him and you know what, the club have not progressed or developed as much as he would’ve liked or we would’ve liked. That’s what is going to happen, we’re going to lose players. If the club had progressed I could tell you this much, Ramsey wouldn’t have gone, Aubameyang would’ve signed a contract, [Alexandre] Lacazette would’ve signed a contract. If we were up there challenging for titles, they would’ve signed, I can guarantee you that. But Arsenal are in a funk and going nowhere, going out to Olympiacos when we should’ve gone through tells you everything. So we’re going to get some money for him and I think he’s going to go. So what’s the plan? We’re going to need Arteta to be ruthless, cull, chop and change. He might not get the players the fans want, the names, but give me an Arsenal team that fight every game and I’ll be happy. You can’t blame him

2020 03 06b Retrieve

[Kevin Campbell says Arsenal can’t be trusted to deliver under pressure] Do you trust Arsenal? Because I’ll be honest, I don’t. It’s not negativity, it’s what I see. Let’s be honest, it’s what’s been going on for far too long. They’re not consistent. When the pressure’s on, they can’t rise to the occasion. I’d love to be proven wrong, I’d be the first one singing their praises, but I just don’t see it. Can they do it? Yes, they’ve got the ability. But the trust? It just isn’t there

Beat West Ham on Saturday and we are closer, that’s all I’m thinking because a few weeks ago it looked impossible. We go game by game, that’s the only aim, start grabbing three points and we will have a chance in the last few games of the season

2020 03 16 Retrieve

[Kevin Campbell says Arsenal need William Saliba to be ‘horrible’ when he officially completes a switch from St Etienne this summer] He [Arteta] already knows what he’s going to get from [Mesut] Ozil, from [Alexandre] Lacazette, from Sokratis [Papastathopoulos], from David Luiz and all the experienced guys because he’s coached against them at Man City. He knows what they are, he knows they’re not stupid. But what’s he going to get from these talented youngsters, do they have the right attitude for Arsenal?

If they don’t, they’ve got to go. It’s so important he gets ruthless with everyone, because we could be waiting on a [Ainsley] Maitland-Niles to cross that gap and it never happens. You’ll always feel a bit sorry, say he never got the chance, but it’s nonsense now, it’s his fourth manager and the jury’s still out so something’s got to give.

He knows what he’s going to get from the [Shkodran] Mustafis of this world. He’s got to recruit new. Saliba’s coming in, fantastic, we want Saliba in there. We want someone horrible at the back, probably another centre-half in there. Rob Holding, we’ve not heard about him, he’s another one that will be tested. Arteta has come from a place at City where you know what you’re going to get, these guys are trusted, they’ve got that consistency to perform.

We had it, but we haven’t got it anymore, and it’s going to have to be a ruthless streak, that’s why I say rip it up and start again. Arteta, for me, is going to start doing that now because he hasn’t got time to be messing about

2020 04 07 Retrieve

[Kevin Campbell says Saliba goes straight in but Arsenal still need to add] We made a very astute signing last year which many gave the club stick for: Saliba. At least we’ve got a centre-half, a big, strong, quick, centre-half who is going to go straight into that side. He has to. Do we need another one? Yes we probably do. Will we get one? Who knows? If we can get Saliba in and bed him in nicely then at least the defence is a lot younger and is a lot stronger.

We’ve got the right manager but now we’ve got to get the right players in. I don’t think we’ve got the right balance of player in our system to play the way Mikel Arteta wants. There’s a lot of toing and froing of who knows what’s going to happen with this season?

2020 04 11 Retrieve

[Kevin Campbell says Arsenal don’t have the players for Arteta’s system] Unfortunately, Mikel Arteta this season is our third manager, so it may take a bit longer because now I think we’ve got the right manager, but now we’re going to have to get the right players in. I don’t think we’ve got the right balance of players in our system to play the way Mikel Arteta wants

[He added on Arteta’s efforts to bring a touch of City to north London] Everybody thinks Pep Guardiola’s system is attack, attack, attack. Pep Guardiola’s system is work hard, graft and press the ball. That is what his system is. Once you can do that you can play all the pretty football you like because you wear teams out. You have to, one: be extra fit, two: you have to have the buy-in from the players in order to do it, and three - and this is probably the most important thing - you have to have the right players to play it

2020 05 05 Retrieve

[Kevin Campbell says Mikel Arteta should be looking to snap up Ryan Fraser and Willian as free agents when the 2019-20 campaign comes to a close] You can get Ryan Fraser on a free transfer, his assists for Bournemouth were double figures last year, I know he suffered injuries but he’s still been having a decent season. That’s playing for Bournemouth, when you’re playing for Arsenal he’s going to get more of the ball in the positions he wants and give more opportunities, because there’s a lot more threats for Arsenal than some of these other teams

There’s talk of Willian, I like Willian, there’s still a lot of life left in him. He actually suits what Mikel Arteta wants to do, playing in a three, he’s got pace, he can beat people, he can score goals and we could get him on a free, and he’s experienced. It ticks all the boxes, but I know some Arsenal fans saying, ‘We don’t want Chelsea’s cast-offs’, but he’s not a cast-off. The problem with Chelsea is they’ve got young players coming through who need to play, who know now is the time where [Frank] Lampard’s come in with Jody Morris, it’s the transition where they have to play them now. Whereas Willian is 31, still got life in him, he’s a similar age to [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, no one is saying Aubameyang is over the hill, so how can Willian be over the hill? It doesn’t make sense. If we haven’t got the money to spend in the transfer market, let’s get these guys on free, get them motivated and get them playing. That’s what Mikel Arteta’s got to do, and he realises if he hasn’t got the war chest then he’s going to have to move smart

2020 05 05b Retrieve

[Kevin Campbell says Arsenal should be looking to offload Mesut Ozil in the next transfer window and join the race for Jack Grealish and James Maddison] Arsenal need an all-rounder in midfield, Arsenal need someone in the middle of the pitch who not only can create, he can break the play up, but he’s got legs, we miss that. We’ve been a strong spine for years. There was talk of should we go for Jack Grealish or James Maddison, these type of guys would improve Arsenal. No disrespect to Mesut Ozil, but Ozil is on the wrong side of his Arsenal career with a year left on his contract after this. But we need someone who’s going to be in there with legs, we need creativity, and someone that when the game’s not going particularly well, he can get stuck in and knuckle down as well. We’re being shown up by the likes of Sheffield United, Chris Wilder who has done a fantastic job there, they haven’t got the quality that Arsenal have but they’re above us in the league. Why? Because they’ve got a system and they fight, grab and battle, and they’ve got some quality there as well. If we can’t match these teams, we don’t deserve to be up there

If Stan Kroenke invests in the likes of Thomas Partey, you can say OK, fair enough, we can make that move. But if the owner doesn’t invest, I don’t see how Arsenal are going to be able to afford him, unless you swap players. I know [Alexandre] Lacazette has been coveted by Atletico Madrid before he joined Arsenal, so there might be some swaps that can happen, but I just don’t think Arsenal are in the financial position to be able to be aggressive in the transfer market, how we as fans would love them to be. I see they might have to come down a couple of levels, and I don’t mind that, I don’t mind the team giving younger players a chance, I just think there’s experienced players out there who won’t cost the earth who could do a job at Arsenal. I think we need to be more of a team, and not look for the names. We’ve missed out on that for years

2020 05 09 Retrieve

[Former Arsenal man Kevin Campbell recently advocated selling Ozil before his contract expires next summer] Arsenal need an all-rounder in midfield. Arsenal need someone in the middle of the pitch who not only can create, but he’s got legs and can break the play up. We miss that. There was talk of should we go for Jack Grealish or James Maddison, this type of guy would improve Arsenal. No disrespect to Mesut Ozil, but Ozil is on the wrong side of his Arsenal career with a year left on his contract after this. But we need someone who’s going to be in there with legs, we need creativity, and someone that when the game’s not going particularly well, he can get stuck in and knuckle down as well

2020 06 15 Retrieve

[Kevin Campbell says Arsenal must break the bank to keep hold of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] They know very well why so far nothing has happened. They have the keys. It is up to them to do their work and, after that, we will see how things go. Aubameyang guarantees you goals, and if you sell your goals you’re in a very difficult position to replace them. He’s guaranteed to get you 20 goals a season, minimum, so how are you going to replace that? If you don’t give him what he wants, it’s going to cost more to find someone to replace him, and even then they are not proven they can come in and do it. He’s in the building! Yes, he’s going to be 31 but he’s still lean, he’s still sharp, he’s still fast – this is the type of player you build around. I don’t know what they’re thinking at the club, but I’d have signed him a year ago!

I think Arsenal have shot themselves in the foot yet again. They’ve played a game and they’ve taken a risk hoping that they’ll qualify for the Champions League so that would obviously push him to be signing, but it isn’t quite working out this season. It’s a very, very dangerous game that they’re playing. The backroom people and the hierarchy said they would never put themselves in this position again, but what have they done? They’ve put themselves in this situation again! The club has been run so poorly on the transfer retention side, they keep putting themselves in this very difficult situation and it’s not right, fans are going to go crazy about it.

I think Aubameyang is right to put the ball firmly in their court and it’s now up to Arsenal to make some moves and prove to him that they’re serious. As an Arsenal fan I want him to stay, of course I do, but if I’m Aubameyang, I’ve been at Arsenal all this time and they have been messing around! What Arsenal have been doing, skimping and scraping, is not going to turn his head to stay. If Mikel Arteta wants to keep him they have to break the bank to keep him, they have to

2020 06 16 Retrieve

[Kevin Campbell says Arsenal must work hard to keep Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang] They find themselves scrambling really because he is your best striker, he guarantees you 20 goals a season and there is still a question mark over whether he is actually going to stay at the football club, which should never happen. It’s going to cost the club a lot more money to replace a player like Aubameyang and you’re not guaranteed anything. I think there has to be some serious talking going on behind the scenes. I’m sure Mikel Arteta wants to keep Aubameyang

[Should Arsenal fail to reach a new deal with Aubameyang, they risk losing on a free transfer next summer] He’s the club captain as well so that adds a little bit of spice to it. But Arsenal seem to always do this with their top players, and I think it will be a travesty if they let him go. I think they have got to really show some mettle and keep the likes of Aubameyang at the football club

2020 06 19 Retrieve

[Former Everton striker Kevin Campbell has stated his belief that Carlo Ancelotti is the man to end the club’s silverware drought] It was a major, major signing. Probably one of the most important signings Everton has ever made. He’s the first manager in recent years who’s come in with a truly impressive track record. He’s been at some of the biggest clubs in world football and has had success wherever he’s gone – Real Madrid, PSG, Bayern Munich and Milan. His pedigree isn’t in question. His CV is embarrassingly good. Until now, Everton had the owner, the fanbase and the machinery to be a big club, but there have been question marks over recent managers. Ancelotti is a real upgrade and I think they can make a real challenge for the top.

A trophy, without a shadow of a doubt. European football is great, but if you qualify and go on a decent run it can become a false economy as you fall into the Thursday and Sunday habit and it can impact your league form. Carlo needs to build a squad capable of competing on two fronts. For a club like Everton, realistically there are two trophies you can target to win and they are the domestic cups. Winning one of those would be a solid foundation, would provide the platform for more success and bring the taste for silverware back to the blue half of Merseyside. Fans of the Blues will have to be patient, but if anyone can do it, Carlo Ancelotti can – he is a perennial winner. If he can mould this squad in his image, I have no doubt he can win things.

2020 06 19b Retrieve

[Everton are on a trophy drought of their own, stretching back 25 years to their FA Cup triumph in 1995] Fans of the Blues will have to be patient, but if anyone can do it, Carlo Ancelotti can – he is a perennial winner. If he can mould this squad in his image, I have no doubt he can win things