by Lewis Ambrose

Sol Campbell became an Arsenal legend pretty quickly.

Tottenham captain ran down his contract and told fans in N17 that he would move abroad only to join Arsenal for absolutely nothing back in 2001, how could we not love him?

He also went on to be one of our greatest defenders, a key member of a team that won the double, went a season unbeaten and made it to a Champions League Final. Speaking to ESPN FC about his controversial move the former England defender said Arsenal were simply superior.

“It was a move that I needed to make; going to Arsenal was a big progression for me,” said the former footballer.  “Everything about Arsenal was better than Spurs at the time from the players, management to the mentality of the club and the facilities.

“I wanted to improve myself as both a person and a footballer.

“It was a highly controversial move and Spurs fans have not forgotten it, but it was the best thing that I could have done for myself.”

For years the defender received incredible amount of abuse when returning to White Hart Lane, where he won the league in 2004. Winning the league at White Hart Lane never would have been possible had he stayed at Tottenham.

This is the sort of welcome Sol Campbell received from Spurs fans when he returned to White Hart Lane. (Ben Radford /Allsport)
This is the sort of welcome Sol Campbell received from Spurs fans when he returned to White Hart Lane. (Ben Radford /Allsport)

Arsenal haven’t win the league since then but Campbell now believes the Gunners are ready to compete for the Premier League title once more.

Petr Čech has joined the club from Chelsea and Campbell is backing Arsenal to build on back-to-back FA Cup wins.

“I think it’s going to be Arsenal’s year. For the second part of last season their form was fantastic and I think they will take this into the new season,” said the 40 year-old.

“Arsenal have a strong, balanced side, there’s a great team spirit, which is very important and Arsene has at last, got the formula right.

“He’s also made one of the most important signings of any of the top four clubs this summer…(Petr Cech) is a fantastic addition to the team and is exactly what Arsenal needed.”

Campbell knows exactly what it takes to win at the highest level and his backing should encourage Arsenal ahead of the Community Shield on Sunday and the start of the Premier League season a week later.