Is the Starting XI one step too far for Campbell?

The signature of Sol Campbell by Newcastle manager Chris Hughton in the summer is generally thought to be a shrewd one by the Premier League club. The former England international defender brings a whole host of experience with him to St James’ Park and will help provide competition for places at the heart of the Newcastle backline. The question is, though, with Fabricio Coloccini and Mike Williamson forming a solid centre-back partnership, will Campbell be able to force himself into the first team picture?

Campbell arrived at Newcastle amidst claims he was ‘fat’ and some way from fitness following his wedding and hence lack of training in the summer. The defender is not exactly getting any younger as his 36th birthday approaches, but Campbell still has a role to play for the Toon. As a professional footballer it won’t take long to get himself back up to speed and following a couple of reserve team outings, he’s already well on the way to doing this. Campbell himself believes he’ll make his debut at home to Blackpool on Saturday, but surely he can’t expect more than a short run-out from the bench, can he?

Hughton won’t want to change a line-up that demolished Aston Villa and more than held their own at Molineux against Wolves. Coloccini is showing what a class act he is and Williamson is proving that he was an absolute steal when Newcastle signed him from Portsmouth in January. With the form of these two, Campbell will have to settle for a place on the bench, but given the injury to Steven Taylor, he will certainly be next in line. Campbell may be getting on a bit, but he hasn’t lost any of his ambition that has made him a winner throughout his career and that can only be a good thing for Newcastle.