Campbell targeting SA


LONDON, March 10 – Veteran Arsenal defender Sol Campbell believes he could yet make a dramatic return to England duty in this year's World Cup finals in South Africa.
The odds appear stacked against the 35-year-old, who was playing for fourth-tier Notts County at the start of the season before returning to the Gunners, one of his former clubs.

Campbell won the last of his 73 caps more than two years ago and has never been selected for England duty while Italian manager Fabio Capello has been in charge of the national side.

However, the centre-back played in Arsenal’s stunning 5-0 Champions League win over Porto at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

Campbell, asked afterwards about his chances of an England recall, replied: "You never know. I might get a sniff here or there if I keep on playing.

"Why not?"

Tuesday’s win saw Arsenal into the Champions League quarter-finals and was Campbell’s first match back at the Emirates as a Gunner.

"It was my first game at the Emirates (since returning)," he said. "It was great. It’s a fantastic stadium and it was great to be out there with the lads.

"It’s fantastic for Arsenal to be in the quarter-finals. It was a great performance against Porto after going 2-1 down over there, it was a great response and a great result.

"It’s great to be in the mix of it because that’s what it’s all about, you play football for those moments. The job isn’t done, we have to make sure we keep on going but we’ll enjoy the Porto win."

Campbell is partnering Thomas Vermaelen in defence following an injury to William Gallas.

And he said he would have to up his fitness if he was to last the remainder of a season where Arsenal are also pushing for the Premier League title.

"If required I have to do something about it to keep it going," he said. "I’m level-headed, I’m not going to get carried away but it’s great to be back and in this kind of environment."

He added: "I’m going to relish the moments and respect the situation I’m in and give everything I’ve got every time I play for Arsenal.

"The spirit is fantastic here, we missed a couple of players against Porto but whoever comes in, as the boss says, is chipping in and putting a shift in and ploughing ahead," said Campbell of a match where Arsenal were without Gallas, captain Cesc Fabregas and striker Robin van Persie through injury.

"Every game between now and the end of the season is like a cup final. The manager wants us to fight for every minute and every second for the rest of the season."