Arsenal hero Campbell "showed he was a man" in traitorous return to Tottenham

Arsenal hero Sol Campbell "showed he was a man" on his traitorous first return to play Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

Campbell infamously made the controversial switch across north London in the summer of 2001, catching fans by surprise when he was unveiled by Arsene Wenger at a press conference. As a result of the move from Spurs to their fiercest rivals, the England defender was labelled "Judas" by the fans of his former club and endured a torrent of abuse whenever he returned to play them.

However, Arsene Wenger felt that Campbell's performance on his first return showed what sort of player he was.

Recalling that match in November 2001, Wenger explained, via the Daily Mail: “I remember his big challenge, after about 10 minutes. That's where he showed he is a man. You always wonder what impact the pressure will have but he showed straight away he was ready.”

Campbell had progressed through the academy at White Hart Lane before being handed his senior debut in 1992 at the age of 18 and going on to spend nine years in the Spurs first team.

He chose to leave in 2001, though, making the short trip to Highbury, where he would win two league titles and three FA Cups during his first of two spells with the Gunners.

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That first spell also included Arsenal winning the league title away to Spurs in 2004 on their way to completing the season without losing a single league match.

Campbell's first return to his old stomping ground ended in a 1-1 draw and he would only taste defeat to Spurs once in an Arsenal shirt and not until during his short second stint when Arsenal were beaten 2-1 away in April 2010.

Across his two spells with Arsenal, Campbell made a total of 211 appearances, scoring 12 times from central defence, including in the Champions League final in 2006.

Arsenal again head to Spurs for the north London derby on Thursday night, knowing a win will secure a top four finish and a return to the Champions League at the expense of their local rivals.

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