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Everyone is right on your side, Sol.

Byline: By Ken Gaunt

Players' chief Gordon Taylor has offered his unstinting support to troubled Arsenal and England defender Sol Campbell.

Campbell returned to training with Arsenal yesterday after his dramatic exit at half-time in midweek during the 3-2 home defeat by West Ham.

Taylor, chief executive of the PFA, said: "Everyone who cares about football and cares about human beings should be prepared to show some sympathy to the lad. Clearly last week he had a `beam me up Scotty moment' which we've all had.

"We've been in touch and from a PFA point of view we will be prepared to help Arsenal out.

"It means that all his family and friends can be round him and get him through this particular period."

Campbell had last been seen publicly on Wednesday night, when he endured a torrid 45 minutes in the defeat to West Ham.

The England centre-back was substituted at half-time and left Highbury immediately.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger put Campbell's departure down to "exceptional circumstances" and admitted the player was down and going through a "difficult period" in his life.

But after four days lying low, Campbell returned to Arsenal's London Colney training ground yesterday morning.

Campbell's behaviour sparked huge interest in the popular press, particularly after Arsenal team-mate Robert Pires admitted he has a "big worry" in his private life. Newspaper reports suggested Campbell was ready to walk away from the game ( but Campbell's lawyer Bon Battu dismissed any talk of the 31-year-old hanging up his boots.

Battu also insisted his client has no personal problems and said: "He just felt that he needed to take time out and take stock of the situation.

"He's done that now and is ready to come back. Despite all the crazy rumours circulating about him, he's actually fine and in good spirits. He needed time and space to gather his thoughts. He has no personal problems whatsoever."

Campbell's return will ease the pressure on Arsenal's dwindling defensive stocks as they prepare for Saturday's clash with Bolton.

Wenger is down to the bare bones with a host of key men either injured or, as in the case of Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Eboue, away on African Nations Cup duty.

The Gunners boss has been sympathetic to Campbell's needs over the last week and insisted there was no bust-up in the Highbury changing room last Wednesday night.

"We want him to contribute to the final sprint of the season. We have a lot of defenders missing at the moment and we need everybody," said Wenger.

"There is nothing to forgive. He was just not well, and you have to accept that. You can only perform at this level if you are in a good state ( and he wasn't."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 7, 2006
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