Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cam in, number five

Given that our courting of Sol Campbell allegedly began more than five years ago, with eyelashes being fluttered again in 2006 and 2009, it could rank as the longest-running transfer saga ever - but today we confirmed that we've finally got our man.

OK so he's past his prime and it's a shame his arrival couldn't have come sooner, but I agree with Paul's views on the merits of the deal - he proved he could still cut it at the highest level for Arsenal last year, and, as Chris Hughton commented, his "experience, quality, calm assurance and leadership" will be invaluable. The rumoured £35,000-a-week salary (£1000 for each birthday he's had...) is steep and indicates that our wage ceiling is not inflexible, but we're only committed to a year so if it doesn't work out then we won't find ourselves financially hamstrung.

While it's a bit of a surprise that he plumped for us ahead of re-signing for the Gunners (or even joining Celtic or the Mackems), we have to be thankful to his new bride Fiona Barratt - no doubt his marriage to a Geordie lass will have helped sway the decision. "At this stage of my career I couldn't have wished for a better move", he said. "To join a club such as Newcastle, with its proud tradition, heritage and magnificent support, is absolutely tremendous for me." Well, you've got off to a good start there, Sol.

Campbell has been handed the vacant number five shirt and labelled as "captain material" by old boy Rob Lee in the Ronny Gill. Lee's former teammate and chum John Beresford was equally enthusiastic about the signing.

Meanwhile, the club have confirmed that Peter Beardsley and Steve Stone have taken over responsibility for the reserve team in the wake of Alan Thompson's departure for Celtic.


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