Date: 16th December 2010 at 4:25am
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‘If you want to see a footballer squeezing every moment out of his chance, look at Blackpool’s DJ Campbell.

‘Life in football came late to him after he arrived via the non-league scene as one of those FA Cup giantkilling heroes whose one day in the limelight is often followed by a return to obscurity. Not Campbell. He deserves his place at the top table.’

High praise indeed for DJ from Sky Sports’ Jamie Redknapp.

Praise that you can’t really have a bone of contention with either; DJ has been brilliant for the Seasiders, both on loan and since he signed permanently.

Yes, he’s only scored three this season, but he has led the ‘Pool frontline admirably, causing Premier League defences up and down the land problems with his pace, skill, work ethic and movement.

Despite his size, he really does get up under defenders’ noses, and he fits into our system perfectly.

That said, DJ is yet to break his Premier League scoring duck at Bloomfield Road. Why is this?

Well for starters we haven’t played as many games at home as we have on the road, and perhaps we haven’t created as many chances, but I think the real reason that DJ is currently suffering from a Bloomfield Road hoodoo is a lack of confidence.

Although DJ is a bubbly character, all strikers thrive on confidence – just look at Wayne Rooney. When you miss some of the chances that DJ has (especially at home, where the misses are magnified somewhat), your confidence is bound to take a hit.

Combine that loss of confidence with the pressure of being relied upon to score goals to keep the Seasiders in the Premier League and you have a lethal mix. You only need to recall DJ’s reaction to some of his misses this season to illustrate my point.

So why is it the case that DJ is getting praise from the likes of Redknapp Jnr if he’s struggling to find the back of the net as regularly as he perhaps might?

I refer you back to my earlier paragraph about how he has led our attack; although it is often said that strikers are solely judged on the amount of goals they score, that isn’t always the case. Just look at the likes of Kevin Davies; a player renowned for helping to set up goals rather than score them.

DJ has always said that he sees his role as both a creator and a scorer, and whilst others continue to chip in with goals, his own lack of goals isn’t really an issue.

But write DJ off at your peril; his goal at Stoke showed that form is temporary and class is permanent, as like the true striker he is, he gambled on where the ball was going to fall and prodded it home in what will hopefully be the third of many goals for the Seasiders in the Premier League.

And with the goal securing such a big victory, the confidence is bound to be bubbling away inside DJ again and I certainly wouldn’t bet against him breaking his Bloomfield Road hoodoo against Spurs on Sunday.

All together now… DJ CAMPBELL, BLACKPOOL’S THIRTY NINE!

 

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