Campbell gone – World Cup final

So, Sol Campbell has finally left the building in search of a “fresh challenge”.

It’s five years since we nicked the Sp*rs captain on what was the first really major Bosman transfer (I remember driving my car and hearing on the radio that we’d got him and thinking “how the fuck?!”), and there’ve been good times and some not so good times, but the writing’s been on the wall for at least two seasons now. Remember Arsene Wenger calling him a “big unit” (which to me meant: “fat cunt”)?

Certainly for the first three years he deserves recognition for what he helped us achieve, including a double and the unbeaten season, for both of which he was a key member of the squad. Then came a season of mediocrity, followed by a season of pie-eating and walking out on his team mates. For me, he should never have played for the club again after the West Ham game. Obviously it’s old news now, but Arsenal Football Club paid him a fucking fortune to play football, and if his head wasn’t right for that game, he should’ve said so before the match, not played like a cunt and then fucked off like a cunt half way through, having fucked up horrendously – twice – and then disappeared for a fortnight to Belgium. It was unprofessional, and unfortunately that’ll be my overriding memory of him – despite the good times and his goal in the Champions’ League final. I wouldn’t say good luck to him, so much as thanks, now cheerio. The BBC are reporting it as a “surprise exit” – maybe they haven’t been watching him lose his first team place to Phil Senderos over the last two seasons.

Anyway, I’m sure Blogger will have a less sympathetic view on the matter when he gets back. BFS certainly leaves a large hole, literally as well as figuratively, and we’ll need to bring someone in to replace him. Hopefully whoever it is won’t be interested in keeping up Sol’s catering bill. Either way, it’s a bit surprising that he’s seemingly been allowed to go on a free when Portsmouth and Fenerbache were supposedly interested. Maybe their interest was conditional on them not having to pay any fee – or pick up his pie bill. Or we were just desperate to get rid of him.

In other news, World Cup hosts Germany beat Portugal 3-1 in last night’s third place game. It was funny hearing Martin O’Neil telling viewers how crap the game was at half time (I didn’t think it was that bad), before backtracking to say he didn’t mean people should turn over. Germany deserved to win, with Schweinsteiger scoring with a long-range effort which I thought the goalie might’ve done better with, before scoring a screamer from almost the same position with which Ricardo had no chance. Kahn played in goal ahead of Jens, and the meaninglessness of the fixture notwithstanding, it’s easy to see why Jens was chosen as number one ahead of him. Jens really has been outstanding for Germany, and us over the season. I’m sorry he didn’t get to play in the World Cup final, especially after what happened in the Champions’ League final. He’s proved himself though and he should be very proud. I thought the German banner in the crowd that said “thanks for being our guests” was a nice touch too. Ronaldo’s diving should’ve seen him at least booked, again, and it’s good to see his reputation now preceeding him. News reports today make it sound like he won’t be a United player for much longer though.

Anyway, World Cup Final night tonight, and Thierry’s France take on Italy. I reckon Italy have the more balanced side and will be too good, but who knows. The match-fixing scandal at home has maybe helped them, though they’ll be fucking gutted if they lose the final and then have to go home to half their teams being relegated. It’s also Zidane’s last ever game and as gone as his legs are, he’s still magic to watch when he turns it on. I’m still not convinced he and Thierry can play together effectively, and if Italy can stop Thierry getting any service (which he’s not had much of as it is), it’s difficult to see how France will do it. Good luck to them though. Both sides have excellent defences, so what chance a penalty shootout to win the World Cup? Bring it on.

Enjoy the match, and good luck Thierry.

More tomorrow.