Football Insights – Kevin Campbell

With both his former clubs getting off to promising starts in the Premier League, former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell talks exclusively to GentingBet about their early season form, new signings and more ahead of week three of the Premier League. You can also see Kevin and former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor preview all the big games this weekend exclusively for GentingBet, which you can find on the home page of the blog.




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Kevin Campbell On Arsenal


Gary Neville has suggested that Arteta is 'punching above his weight' as Arsenal boss, how true do you think that is?

Gary Neville is right, Arteta is punching above his weight.  When you consider this is virtually the same squad that was underachieving under Unai Emery, I think Arteta has made a significant difference for now. 

He’s put silverware back in the cabinet but we do know that there are still some positions that just aren’t quite right. However, Arteta is making lemonade out of lemons and we have to remember that.


There are some rumours that Lacazette could be leaving, how much of a blow would that be to this Arsenal team?

I don’t follow rumours, but losing Lacazette would be a big blow for Arsenal, there’s no one else in the squad who can do what he does for the team. Lacazette is an integral part of what Arsenal do and I do think he’s committed to the club. 

He also has a really good relationship with Aubameyang and it’s a relationship that Arsenal really should be looking to utilise on the pitch. They've looked really good when they have played together and I don't really see Lacazette leaving to be a progressive move from Arsenal.


How big of a difference will new goalkeeper, Alex Runarsson, impact Arsenal's season?

Alex Runarsson will come in as number 2 to Leno, and won’t have chance to make any impact unless Leno gets injured. I don’t know a lot about Runarsson but for Arsenal to bring him in, he must be half decent.


Where are the positions you feel that Arsenal need to fill before the end of the transfer window? And do you think they'll sign anyone for those?

Central midfield is the key area for Arsenal and there’s talk of Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar, from Lyon and I think they’re the two key positions. 

Thomas Partey is a defensive type midfielder, but he's got so much to his game, he can go box to box and really, he can do it all. Aouar is a creative player who can play numerous positions across midfield and even across the front. 

So, I think those are the two players been heavily linked to the club and are in talks of coming in. I think Arteta and Edo will get it done, in the end. I'm not sure how quick it will be and it might be right up to the to the deadline date, but I think Arsenal will get it done.


Kevin Campbell On Chelsea


How do you rate Chelsea's start to the season so far?

I think it’s been up and down for Chelsea. In the first game of the season against Brighton, Brighton gave them as much trouble as they can get and if it wasn’t for some bad finishing, Brighton might have got something out of the game, but Chelsea went on to take the game away from them.

Getting a player sent off against Liverpool on Sunday really put them up against it and Liverpool ran out worthy winners, although there were certain mistakes made that cost Chelsea. So, it's been a bit of an up and down start. 

Obviously, it's going to take time for some of the new players to get in and get used to the pace of the Premier League so it's more of a satisfactory start than a blistering one.


How do you think Lampard will look to set up his attack this season with the range of attacking players that have been welcomed to Chelsea?

It’s not certain how Lampard will set up his attacking players this season. I’m sure there's going to be times where Timo Werner probably plays with Tammy Abraham at times or, whoever. Werner seems to be the one player who is going to play all the time but he's got an embarrassment of riches to choose from, but the one constant I believe, will be Timo Werner, he will be in every rotation. It’s an interesting and exciting time for Chelsea.


How much will the addition of Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell boost Chelsea's defence?

Thiago Silva and Ben Chilwell will help bring an instant impact to the Chelsea defence. Thiago Silva is an experience and calming figure at the back and Ben Chilwell is a Premier League proven player but they both have to bed themselves into the squad. 

I think Thiago Silva is going to be a really good signing, he's got all the experience as an older player. Chelsea tend to keep the ball more than not so it's the reading of the game which is excellent so I see big things from both players and it's definitely going to strengthen them defensively, that's for sure.


Chelsea are openly searching for a new goalkeeper, who do you think can fill that role?

There's a host of keepers who can fill a role but it's who they can actually get is difficult. You know, there was talk of Jan Oblak at one stage and he's an excellent goalkeeper. There are lots of rumours but until Chelsea make the move I don't really want to live on speculation of goalkeepers. 

However, there are a few out there who could definitely do the job, because that's a that's a problem position for Chelsea that needs to be rectified.


Will Lampard be worried ahead of Chelsea's game against West Brom?

Lampard won’t be worried about the West Brom game as such, he’ll just have the necessary fears that you have as a manager getting it right.


Kevin Campbell On Everton


Everton have started out strong this season, how far can they take this run of good results?

Everton can make a challenge for the Top Eight this season, but I don’t watch to put too much pressure on Everton, despite the Rolls Royce engine they’ve got in the team now, but it’s then where that midfield can take them. 

Injuries are going to play a part at some stage in the season and it's a question of how deep the squad is, I think that's the that's going to be the key. Obviously, the transfer window is not closed yet. I believe Ancelotti is looking to bring in maybe one or two more players that I think could prove to be significant. 

A cup run and even a League Cup, I think could be could be good for Everton. A top place finish and maybe sneak into Europe getting in the Top 8 could be a good thing but I think that will be a decent season for Everton.


Where does Ancelotti need to bolster the squad? Or do you think this is the squad which will see Everton through the season?

Everton need to look at centre backs and wingers, and will look at a striker too. Dominic Calvert-Lewin has done an excellent job but Moise Kean hasn’t really hit the ground running at any stage. Kean is still learning the game and because he's so young. 

However, if you’ve got someone to play with Dominic Calvert Lewin who can get your 15 goals as well as season then you're moving to that next level and there's two threats up front. There's the Richarlison threat and there’s the James Rodriguez threat. I think maybe Everton need a striker and a winger. There was talk of Zaha as well and I think an experienced centre back would be a good signing. 


Does Saturday's game against Crystal Palace represent an easy victory for Everton?

There is no such thing as an easy victory. This is the Premier League and everything must be earned. Especially going to down to London to face Crystal Palace, you have to fight and battle to win everything that you are going to get. 

It’s going to be a tough game but it is one that Everton can win. If they apply themselves, like they have done in the previous two or three games, I think they're going to be fine.

 

How integral will James Rodriguez prove to be this season? 

James Rodriguez is a world class player, and talent.  Looking at the ways he's taken to the Premier League already, if he can just keep this form going, everyone's going to be in a much better place. Having him in the team is going to mean he plays a pivotal role in the emergence of Everton, if they can keep pushing on.


Can Everton hope to compete for European football this season?

I expect Everton to compete for European football this season – you can’t put in a Rolls Royce engine and not expect to compete. If Everton get minimum Top 8, maybe even Top 6, that might get their European spot this season. If they get Top 6 or 7, obviously they've exceeded expectations but Top 8 finish, I think they can do that. 


Kevin Campbell On The Premier League


What do you make of Manchester United's poor start to the season?

Crystal Palace were already up to speed with the season, whereas Manchester United hadn’t warmed up yet. Crystal Palace had already had games under their belt with real competitive games so they probably caught Manchester United a little bit cold. 

It's not the start that Ole Gunnar Solksjaer would have wanted but Palace are that type of team that, earlier on in the season, they can cause all sorts of problems. So, it’s back to the drawing board for Manchester United.


Will Gareth Bale turn Tottenham's season around?

Gareth Bale is a quality player but it just depends on the dynamic in the team as to how good he can be for them - where he plays and how they play him as that could upset the dynamic of the team. We'll have to wait and see. 

But it's a good addition for Tottenham and he’s a world class player who needs the football. He needs the football and now he's gone back to Tottenham, he’s gone back home.

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