Campbell: Young Gunners must learn

The Gunners were downed 4-1 on the night by a Lionel Messi four

goal salvo, however they had threatened to overturn their 3-2 first

leg deficit when Nicklas Bendtner struck early in the 19th minute.

But Barca outclassed Arsene Wenger’s team and quickly stamped out

any prospect of a dramatic turnaround, with the result leaving the

London club with just the Premier League to play for. Even that

maybe beyond Wenger’s team as Chelsea sit three points clear the

division’s summit, and Campbell – re-signed by Arsenal in January –

says his younger colleagues must do some soul-searching. “Everyone

here has to learn and be honest about it,” the 35-year-old said in

the News of the World. “To ask where they want their careers going.

“Say that this is the level I want to get to and surpass. But you

have to be honest with yourself and say ‘I’ve got to work harder,

I’ve got to understand the game a bit better and realise it is a

big world out there and there are a lot of good players out there

at big clubs’. “This is where you learn. You learn a lot about

yourself and where you are going to be. You can’t think you’re okay

and you’re not. You’ve got to be a very quick learner. “This is the

level you have got to be at. You’ve got to look at yourself. This

is a different level but you have got to appreciate what they are

doing and raise your level.” Arsenal have gone five years without a

trophy, their last success coming in a 2005 FA Cup trophy final,

but manager Wenger has refused to take a pragmatic approach to

silverware. Instead, the Frenchman has looked to gradually

construct a team capable of emulating the famed ‘Invincibles’ of

the 2004 season, where the Gunners won the Premier League title by

going unbeaten all season. Campbell’s team are still in the hunt to

take the crown this season, although it remains in their rivals

hands. And the former England international, who started the season

with League Two outfit Notts County, believes Arsenal must unleash

their potential and start delivering trophies following the barren

run. On the comparisons between the current team and the unbeaten

squad he was a part of, Campbell added: “They are two different

periods – there were some special guys back then. “That’s not to

say this new set of players is not that. They are fantastic – they

have got great talent. But it’s getting the balance right. It’s all

about winning something – going for it every year with all guns

blazing. “You’ve got to respect football in every way. You’ve got

to go for the League Cup, you’ve got to go for the FA Cup, you’ve

got to go for all competitions because you never know which one is

going to come your way.”