Campbell's return prompts more support from England team-mates

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The Independent Football

Campbell, 31, who returned to England on a Eurostar train from Brussels on Sunday night, has struggled recently while playing for the Gunners but was back at London Colney yesterday morning. "I've been away since Thursday on a trip to the continent," Campbell said. "Things are OK and I'm feeling better."

Ferdinand, a direct rival to Campbell for a place in the England defence this summer, is confident the former Tottenham player will bounce back. "No one knows what's going on, to be honest," Ferdinand said. "Lots of people are passing judgement and giving their opinion on the situation. His football will do the talking and when he wants to come out and say what is happening or not happening he will do that.

"It doesn't matter who you are, no one is immune to a lack of confidence. Sol is a fantastic player, he's been consistent over the years, he's proved that to himself and I'm sure he will continue to do that."

Beckham also offered encouragement. "Sol is a strong-minded person and he will do what he wants and what he thinks best. He is at a great club and has a great, strong manager with him in Arsène Wenger."

Beckham hopes to come face to face with Campbell on the pitch when he and his Real Madrid team-mates face Arsenal in the Champions' League this month. "I'd love him to be playing against us, because he is one of my closest friends and because he is a great player - and you want to play against the best," he said. "People have said there have been mistakes made on the pitch. But Sol is a great player, and you don't become a bad player just because of two or three bad games."

There were also words of support from the chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, Gordon Taylor. "Everyone who cares about football and cares about human beings should be prepared to show some sympathy to the lad," he said "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."

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