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Why Did Sol Campbell Leave Tottenham And What Trophies Did He Win At Arsenal?

Why Did Sol Campbell Leave Tottenham And What Trophies Did He Win At Arsenal?

Football fans never forget, just ask Sol Campbell.

The former Spurs defender is easily among the most reviled players in all of English Football, and the hate still persists to this very day.

As a result of his controversial switch to rivals Arsenal, Campbell was branded a traitor by Spurs fans, following which he was subjected to plenty of abuse.

He recently alluded to the treatment he has received and begged Spurs fans for a ‘clean slate’ through an interview with The Guardian.

He also mentioned how he is unable to take his children to watch games, as he continues to face abuse everywhere. 

But how did things degrade to this degree? The answer to this lies in the circumstances surrounding his departure from Spurs.

Why Did Sol Campbell Leave Tottenham Hotspur?

Campbell came up as part of Tottenham’s youth team, he eventually climbed the ranks and became a starter for the senior side within a few years.

After breaking into the first team, the defender endeared himself to the Spurs faithful on numerous occasions, and he was even handed the captain’s armband. 

His crowning moment as a hometown hero came when he captained Tottenham to League Cup glory during the 1998-99 season.

With 255 appearances in Lilywhite and the honour of club captain, the defender was well on his way to becoming a club legend.

However, tensions between Campbell and Tottenham soon began to emerge. 

During his final 2 seasons with the club, the defender failed to establish a positive relationship with any of the managers that came through the revolving door at Spurs.

Add to this Tottenham’s mid-table league finishes in the 99-00 and 00-01 seasons, and it’s easy to see why Campbell began to grow disillusioned with the club.

With his contract expiring in the summer of 2001, a host of top-tier clubs enquired about the defender, and among them was Manchester United.

The Red Devils fronted a reasonable transfer fee for Campbell and the move overall would’ve been lucrative for all parties involved.

However, the defender declined and instead, he reasserted his wish to remain at Spurs.

In line with this, Spurs offered him a hefty contract, which would see him become the club’s highest-ever-paid player.

Despite the offer, Campbell stalled for months and ran his contract down, before doing the unthinkable and jumping ship to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal. 

The North London Derby is one of England’s fiercest rivalries, and naturally, switching sides while being the club captain did not sit well with fans.

To nobody’s surprise, Campbell was deemed a traitor and labelled ‘Judas’, a tag he hasn’t managed to shake off even after his retirement back in 2012.

Every sighting of Campbell in front of the Spurs’ support led to jeering, and fans even came up with an R-rated chant aimed at the defender.

Choruses of ‘heeeey Sol Campbell, Judas!’ rang out at White Hart Lane for years and to such an extent that the Arsenal legend’s personal life became affected. 

Despite his retirement, Spurs fans have continued signing it, and it’s not just about insulting the defender anymore, as the chant is essentially part of their ‘best hits’ collection.

The tale of his betrayal has turned into Spurs’ folklore and the chant has been passed down to newer generations.

Campbell, now 48, still faces the same abuse he did 22 years ago, which frankly is quite appalling. 

What Trophies Did He Win At Arsenal?

Nevertheless, the switch did wonders for his career, as he picked a number of major titles at Arsenal, and even rose to club legend status.

To add to his league cup win with Spurs, Campbell won 2 Premier League titles and 3 FA Cups with Arsenal, with one of the league titles coming as part of Arsenal’s incredible ‘invincibles’ season. 

As opposed to his tenure at Spurs, the defender played Champions League football regularly with Arsenal.

He came anxiously close to winning the title during the 2005-06 season, as he scored in the final against Barcelona, who eventually made a comeback and won the game 2-1.

Overall, jumping ship to Arsenal was a sound decision on Campbell’s part, as far as his legacy is concerned at least.

However, the move seems to have cost a lot on a personal level, and naturally, the defender probably has some regrets.