Sol Campbell doubts Arsenal ambition to win trophies

By David OrnsteinBBC Sport

Ex-Arsenal defender Sol Campbell has queried the club's ambition and urged them to sign proven quality if they are to challenge for trophies next season.

Arsenal are set to reach the Champions League for a 15th consecutive year but their last silverware came in 2005.

"You've got to ask yourself, where are Arsenal going? Do they want to actually win anything?" he told BBC Sport.

"You can have players for the future but it is about getting players who can make a difference now."

At the beginning of the season, the Gunners were disrupted by the exits of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, to Barcelona and Manchester City respectively.

Five new players arrived at the Emirates Stadium in the final two days of the summer transfer window and Arsene Wenger's side won only one of their opening seven Premier League games.

Defeat at Tottenham on 2 October left them in 15th place in the Premier League, but 18 wins from the next 26 matches has lifted them to third with five games remaining.

"They [the fans] are not going to accept being in a fantastic stadium and being a well-oiled machine but not winning anything," said Campbell, who played in 211 games for the Gunners and was part of the 'Invincibles' side that went through the season unbeaten en route to winning the Premier League in 2004.

"Sometimes you've got to make your season, but you can't do that if you haven't got the right players in and around the squad.

"You've got to push the boat out, swallow your pride and pay a little bit more, put a bit more on the table and get the players in.

"You need the players who are going to come in for two or three years and make the difference. It's all about the here and now."

Campbell, who joined the Gunners from Tottenham in 2001, was also in the Arsenal side that won the FA Cup in 2005, their last trophy.

He scored in the 2006 Champions League final defeat by Barcelona before leaving for Portsmouth.

Since then, Arsenal have not failed to reach the last 16 of Europe's top club competition and again look set to qualify for the competition next season, but their trophy drought will now extend into an eighth year.

"The Champions League is great if you win it," explained Campbell, who returned to Arsenal for a second spell in 2010.

"If you don't, you've got to start again next season with no trophies in the cabinet.

"I know everybody, at the start of the season, wants to win something but you've got to have to personnel, the fire-power and also the edge.

"Arsenal have great players but with everybody fit I still don't think it's enough. They've got to get a few players who can make the difference."

Top Stories