Three reasons picking up Sol makes more sense than getting Viera.

Things just keep getting better and better.  Arsenal are being linked to every striker under the sun.  Then, just to top things off, we sign Sol Campbell back!  Indeed, as I’m writing this, Sol played the first half of the reserves match against West Ham.  Yet perhaps the biggest question is since we signed Sol, why not Viera?

First and foremost, any purchase Arsene made to reinforce our back line needed to fulfill two requirements.  The player needed to be a veteran ready to play in the EPL at a moments notice and the player had to be okay not being the starter.  Sol fits both of these requirements.  We know he can play and he seems happy just playing for a big team.

This purchase will hold over the media hounds for a week, but just a week.  Since I assure you, next week we’ll have a host of new strikers associated with us.  Perhaps the more interesting question is why Sol and not Viera?  Granted Viera is now at manciteh, but what’s the difference between the two players such that Arsene wouldn’t sign him?  Viera would seem to be a perfect fit, he can slot in for Song or Denilson.  He’s big, strong and knows the EPL well.  He might even bring back some of the fear of the Arsenal midfield that so many long for.  Both Sol and Viera want to play in the World Cup as well, so there’s no big difference there.

As I see it, there are three major differences that explain the Sol versus Viera purchase.  First, Sol has been training with the team, so everyone knows him.  This makes the transition much easier then re-introducting Viera who might disrupt the younger players.  Second, Viera is on the French national team, but Sol just hopes to make the team.  Third, we need Sol as a backup and he’s willing to play it.  We don’t need Viera as a back up, we have plenty of midfielders and we sure don’t need him as a permanent player.  Perhaps if he was just a DM then yes, but he wants to play a role that would conflict with just about everyone, especially Diaby and Ramsey.  So he wasn’t worth the effort.

Besides, Arsene already seems to be preparing for some major changes to the back line this summer anyway, so the purchase of a young defender with “potential” was unnecessary.  And you know what, this whole Sol thing might be good for us.  Neither side quite got the closure we needed.  But this swan song might provide the healthy closure we both need.  He’s already been training with the players, so they know him.  He’s grateful to be there after the Notts Country debacle.  And he’s tough and provides leadership.  Finally, he actually gives us some breathing space for the summer.  Now we can afford to buy some young talent over the summer, which Arsene seems clearly to be preparing to do.

So in the end, Arsene, as always, went with rational decision making and reason.  Sol slots in well and gives him some flexibility in the negotiations with Sil and Gallas.  This summer, new young bloods will be brought in and Sol can help ease that transition while not sacrificing experience on the team.  And best yet, this time Sol isn’t likely to just walk off on the team since the pressure is lower.

– the student

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