Supporters warned as Campbell makes White Hart Lane return
Published 14/04/2010 | 12:45
Tottenham have warned that CCTV will be in use tonight to carefully monitor the behaviour of all supporters amidst what is likely to be a highly charged atmosphere on Sol Campbell’s return to White Hart Lane.
The Police previously launched an investigation into the behaviour of some Tottenham fans, when Campbell faced them as a Portsmouth player, and they will be on high alert again for particularly abusive chanting at tonight’s North London derby against Arsenal.
"We are aware of the issues that these high-category matches can bring, particularly with the importance surrounding the current league positions,” said a Tottenham spokesman.
“As always, we shall be monitoring for any abusive and inappropriate behaviour, making full use of the CCTV systems and headcams that the police and club have available and dealing promptly with any unacceptable activity."
It is now nine years since Campbell controversially left Tottenham on a free transfer and Arsene Wenger said that the former England defender now felt like an Arsenal player.
“He’s made a choice, at the time we had a winning side, he wanted to play for titles and you cannot stop him,” said Wenger.
“You have the right to go where you want when you’re out of contract. Jamie O’Hara was a youngster here; he went to Tottenham and is making a good career, good luck to him.
“You had cases before; for example Pat Jennings has played for the two teams and maybe he is more Tottenham than Arsenal in memories.
"The bitterness towards Sol has not come from now it has come from the fact he left them on a free for Arsenal. I don’t think they would have sold him to us. They would have sold him for Manchester Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool.
“Look it’s simple, he is an Arsenal player now. When he was looking for fitness he came back here so he considers himself an Arsenal player. That’s how I take it.”
Wenger also recalled some of the “terrible” abuse that Campbell has suffered, but stressed that he has no doubts about starting him in tonight’s match.
“I believe he knows how to handle that and focuses on the game,” he said. “I remember Sol's big challenge after about 10 minutes of his first game back at White Hart Lane. That's where he showed he is a man. And that was it.
"You always wonder how much impact the pressure will have on his shoulders, but he has shown straight away 'I am ready for the challenge'.
"I’ve seen so much and don’t forget I got a lot of abuse in England so I’m not surprised by that, it doesn’t bother you.
"I believe that when you are a football player or manager you focus on the game. I don’t hear anything during the game. I couldn’t even tell you what people say. I focus on the game.”