Newcastle's Sol Campbell fuming at fans’ ‘fat belly’ attacks
Newcastle new boy Sol Campbell has branded criticism of his physical condition as “pathetic” and vowed he will be back to peak fitness “in three or four weeks”.
The 35-year-old former England centre-back was labelled “fat belly” on Magpies' supporters' message boards after the publication of a less-than-flattering training photograph over the weekend.
Campbell accepts he has work to do but claims his current state is no cause for concern.
“It's pathetic,” he said. “I had been training for three days — just three days. I am three weeks behind everyone else in pre-season. Don't they know I have just got married and been on honeymoon?
“I accept that the picture wasn't flattering, and I do need to catch up on my level of fitness, but the training kit was not very flattering and showed up all sorts of things.
“The truth is that I am now in better shape than when I started off back at Arsenal after a long lay-off. I got myself back into shape at Arsenal, and I think I had a reasonably good end half of the season.”
Campbell rejoined the Gunners in January this year having walked out on Notts County last September.
"I am a naturally big guy, but I cannot rush my conditioning, otherwise trying too much too quickly could result in injuries," added the former Tottenham and Portsmouth defender.