Wenger has no fears over Campbell facing United
Arsène Wenger has said that he would have no doubts about starting with Sol Campbell against Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United on Sunday, but will further assess Thomas Vermaelen before making a definitive decision.
A scan has revealed that Vermaelen did not break his leg against Aston Villa, although he is most likely to return a week on Sunday against Chelsea.
“Sol Campbell’s ready if he has recovered well,” said Wenger. “Normally he will play if Vermaelen doesn’t. It’s certainly not expected for him a few months ago when he signed for Notts County. He’s worked very hard. Every day he was motivated to push himself. He looks fit.
“I think he’ll be able to cope with Rooney. He has experience and he likes, as well, the big games. He can turn up if needed. Experience helps in this kind of game.
“It’s more important to focus on a good team performance. We know if we play our best we can beat Manchester United and everybody. At home, you want to beat the big teams.
“The good news on Vermaelen is there’s no fracture. There’s still a small chance he’ll play on Sunday, but it looks unlikely. It’s a very short-term injury. It looked two months initially, but the latest is he should be ready for Chelsea.”
United comfortably beat Arsenal on their last visit to the Emirates in the Champions League semi-final, but Wenger is adamant that his team have improved considerably over the past eight months.
“We have made big, big strides forward. And this is an opportunity to show that,” he said. “We’re up for it, on a good run, we have good momentum and we want to continue that. It was our dream to be in this position at this time.
“To be successful in this period is to be more of a team than the other teams, to think about how much solidarity it takes to get through a period like this. That’s what we have to show on Sunday as well.”