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Theo Walcott suggests Sol Campbell should have a statue outside the Emirates, wonders why the Arsenal legend hasn’t been England captain more than three times


Theo Walcott believes Sol Campbell deserves a statue outside Emirates Stadium for what he has accomplished at Arsenal.

Campbell joined the Gunners in 2001 in a highly controversial free transfer from Tottenham – something he is still abused to this day.

Campbell was a figure in his own right for an important part of Arsenal history

He then made 197 appearances for Arsenal in five seasons and won two Premier League titles, two FA Cups and scored in a Champions League final.

The center-back was part of their famous Invincibles campaign and was one of the best defenders in the world in his prime.

Arsenal commemorated five legends with statues outside their stadium; Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp, ​​Herbert Chapman, Ken Friar and Thierry Henry.

Henry and Bergkamp were also part of the undefeated 2003/04 title campaign and Walcott was asked where Campbell ranks on Arsenal’s list of legends.

“It’s hard to compare Sol to people like Thierry. A lot of people watch the strikers, they always do, “Walcott said in a new special talkSPORT, Being Sol Campbell.

“But Sol, for me… the fact that he left Tottenham and the amount of stick he transferred to Arsenal and then wins it all and scores in the Champions League final.

Theo Walcott suggests Sol Campbell should have a statue outside the Emirates, wonders why the Arsenal legend hasn’t been England captain more than three times
Henry is Arsenal’s top scorer and has a statue outside the Emirates

“He would rank just below Thierry, because Thierry is my idol and what he did for me.

“Sol was 100% more of a leader than Thierry.

“I’m quite surprised Sol doesn’t have a statue either, because that’s the kind of impression he made on Arsenal.”

Theo Walcott suggests Sol Campbell should have a statue outside the Emirates, wonders why the Arsenal legend hasn’t been England captain more than three times
Campbell was one of the best defenders in the world in his prime
GETTY

Campbell was also part of England’s famous “Golden Generation”, performing 73 performances between 1996 and 2007.

But he has only been captain of his country three times with Alan Shearer and David Beckham the permanent captains during that time.

Walcott said: “73 caps and captaining your national team three times is embarrassing. I do not understand.

“Anyone who is a captain, yes in itself can be good. For me, there was no better leader than Sol because he left everything on the pitch.

“Every time we got out of a game all his gear was soaked and mud all over his face was covered in blood. That’s how much it meant to him, to only be captain of England three times, for me it’s really frustrating and it really hurts. He should have been a captain on many other occasions.

Theo Walcott suggests Sol Campbell should have a statue outside the Emirates, wonders why the Arsenal legend hasn’t been England captain more than three times
Campbell played for England between 1996 and 2007, making 73 appearances

Campbell wrote in his autobiography that he would have been England captain “for over 10 years” had he been white, pointing out that Michael Owen has been the team captain eight times.

In a special talkSPORT documentary airing this Thursday, Being Sol Campbell, in which Alex Crook takes a look at his life and continues his quest to get back into football management, the 46-year-old revealed he stands by his assertions.

“I certainly would have been a much more England captain,” said Campbell.

“When you become one of the best defenders in the world, you are the captain of your team, you go from captain to vice-captain to no captain and you become one of the best defenders in the world.

“For me, I certainly would have been a captain more than three times.”

Theo Walcott suggests Sol Campbell should have a statue outside the Emirates, wonders why the Arsenal legend hasn’t been England captain more than three times
Campbell has played in six majors for England

Was it a conscious decision from above or an unconscious bias? “Who knows,” he replied.

“All I know, with what I’ve done as a footballer, I’ve been one of the best in the world, not just in England, for at least two or three years.

“I went from full time captain to vice captain and then not to captain and no one explained it.

“Why should it be mine to search for answers?” It is up to the powers that be to say “I think he should be” or to the manager at the time.

When asked if he had more attributes to be a captain than Michael Owen, he replied, “A lot more. All. Surely I should have been a competitor.

“It was such a different environment. People were looking at different things, they weren’t looking at the characters, they were looking at the sponsors and this and that. It shouldn’t be like that.

Tune in to talkSPORT Thursday at 7 PM to hear “Being Sol Campbell” – a special documentary about one of the game’s greatest personalities

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