18th September – Sol Campbell

A quiz question that will be asked a lot was who was the first England player to play in six consecutive international tournaments? And that man is Sol Campbell.

The 40 year old was a phenomenal centre back and represented England at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 European Championships as well as the 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups. Campbell also had an intriguing club career that led to him winning many trophies but also being involved in some strange situations, including being branded a Judas.

Campbell started his career as a striker at Tottenham Hotspur and made his debut as a substitute against Chelsea in December 1992, going on to score in the game. Over the course of the next two years he played in many different positions before eventually becoming a centre half. His greatest moment in a Spurs shirt was lifting the League Cup as captain during the 1998-99 season.
Campbell TH
With his contract coming to an end in 2001, the club were desperate to keep him, offering him a fantastic contract. However he decided to move on after wanting to play Champions League football and remain a key part of the England squad. He signed for Arsenal which caused a lot of anger among Spurs fans. They would never forgive him for moving to their biggest rivals on a free transfer. His move to Arsenal proved to be the right decision as in his first season he won the Premier League and FA Cup.

The 2003-04 season will always be remembered for ‘The Invincibles’ and the defender was a massive part of this achievement, forming a brilliant partnership with Kolo Toure. The 2005-06 season took a turn for the worse during a 3-2 defeat against West Ham. He had been at fault for the first two goals and requested to be substituted and didn’t return to the club for several days and did not play again for 10 weeks.
Campbell Arsenal
When he returned his performances were back to their usual high standards and was rewarded with a start in the Champions League final against Barcelona. In this final Campbell became one of just six Englishmen to have scored in a final, however it would be in a losing effort.

On the 8th July 2006 he announced he was leaving Arsenal and moved to Portsmouth. His time at the club started very well as him and Linvoy Primus formed a solid partnership and helped the team keep five consecutive clean sheets. At the start of the 2007-08 season he was named captain and led the team to an FA Cup final victory over Cardiff City.
Campbell Pompey
Then he made another surprising move when he joined League Two Notts County. Campbell made his debut against Morecambe in a 2-1 defeat and this turned out to be his only appearance as his five year contract was cancelled by mutual consent.

As he could not join another club until January so he started training with Arsenal and rejoined them on the 15th January 2010. In his second spell he played a lot more than expected because of injuries and was very consistent but he left at the end of the season. On the 28th July 2010 he signed for Newcastle United. His time at the club was not very successful and after just seven league appearances he was released at the end of the season.

The final word can go to Arsene Wenger after re-signing him. “He brings experience, good advice, and physically he has worked hard. He has a fantastic attitude and good fitness. He can still play in the Premier League, I’ve said that many times. He is important in the dressing room as well.”

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7th September – Robert Snodgrass

Scotland put a brave fight against Germany tonight in a 2-1 defeat but could it have been a different story if birthday boy Robert Snodgrass had been available?

The winger would have given his country a different option and it seemed like Germany were struggling with Scotland’s wide players so someone with Snodgrass’ ability could have just given them something extra. It was a very good performance from Scotland and they will be very proud tonight and they will now think that they can qualify for the European Championships which Snodgrass will be hoping to be a part of.

Snodgrass started his career at Scottish club Livingston and impressed as soon as he broke into their first team but did not become a regular in the side until the 2005-06 season. However, this would be a year of mixed emotions as he played 26 times in the league, scoring four times but his team suffered relegation from the SPL. After breaking a metatarsal in the 2006-07 season he moved on loan to Stirling Albion for the remainder of the campaign and was sensational scoring five times in just 12 games.
Snodgrass Livingston
After returning to Livingston he did everything he could to get the club promoted but his nine goals were not enough and after 15 goals in 79 league appearances he decided to leave the club. Leeds United signed the midfielder and after initially struggling to become a regular in the side, he hit a fantastic run of form in November 2008 which saw him score four times in seven games. By the end of the season he finished his first season with 11 goals and 16 assists.

In the 2009-10 season he produced some more excellent performances and was named in the PFA League One Team of the Year and helped the club gain promotion back to the Championship, adding another 10 goals and 14 assists to his tally. His first season in the Championship didn’t start off well because he picked up a knee injury in preseason and missed the early months of the season.
Robert Snodgrass, Leeds United
However, when he was back fully fit he proved he was good enough for the division and won the Player of the Month in both January and February 2011. Although he missed a few games during the season he still scored six goals in the league. At the start of the following campaign Leeds did not want to lose one of their star players and wanted him to sign a new contract which Neil Warnock said would make him the highest paid Leeds player. Despite his future being in doubt he was given the captain’s armband by Warnock and proved his loyalty to the club by being one of the best players in the Championship, scoring 13 goals and assisting a further 14.

In July 2012 Snodgrass signed for Premier League side Norwich City and made his debut in a 5-0 away defeat to Fulham. Things would improve for both him and the club as they eventually finished 11th in the table and Snodgrass finished runner up in the Fans Player of the Year vote. The 2013-14 season was a more difficult season as Norwich were relegated but Snodgrass finished as the club’s top scorer with seven goals.
Snodgrass NC
On the 30th June he moved to Hull City but on his league debut he suffered a dislocated kneecap and is expected to miss six months.

The final word can go the former Norwich manager Chris Hughton. “He is a player I have admired for a number of years now and he’s at a good age. He’s also got that international experience with Scotland and is used to playing in big matches both with his country and at Elland Road.”