What were you doing on the 22nd October 2007? Tough question I know as we’ve all slept since then but one man may well remember exactly what he was doing that day, and that man is Fraizer Campbell.
After joining on loan from Manchester United, Campbell made his home debut at the KCOM Stadium against Barnsley and netted twice. That was the start of a glorious loan season for Campbell in which he and the rest of the squad gained legendary status as City were promoted to the promised land of the Premier League for the first time in our history.
Fast forward almost exactly ten years to the day to October 21st 2017 and Campbell was again the hero as he scored the winning goal ironically against Barnsley but this time at Oakwell to give City their first away win in 14 months. A lot has gone on in the ten years between those two games and Campbell has endured a rollercoaster relationship with the City faithful in the last decade. In the 07-08 season the Manchester United loanee could do no wrong as he struck up and unlikely yet brilliant partnership with local hero and veteran Gipsyville legend Dean Windass.
Campbell was City’s top goalscorer that season netting 15 times in 37 appearances and that led City to the play-off final and we all know what happened there. For those of you who were asleep or on Mars that day I will recap for you, Campbell chipped a brilliant ball to Dean Windass who volleyed it home from 18 yards to send City fans into absolute delirium. Beers showers don’t do it justice. Absolute scenes.
At that point it seemed like the lad could do know wrong but then sadly it all went downhill. He returned to Old Trafford that summer and despite a club record bid of £7 Million from City, Campbell instead went on loan to Spurs. That would not be the last bid City put in for Campbell in the years to come either but he always refused to return and favoured big money moves to Sunderland, Cardiff and Crystal Palace. His goal and celebration for Cardiff on the final day of the 2012-13 season that almost scuppered City’s promotion didn’t do much to help his cause. The bastard.
Every time he played against City he was met with chants of “Der der der der Greedy Bastard” as the once heroic young star had become the arch villain in the eyes of City fans. It may have come as a bit of a shock then when Leonid Slutsky chose to bring Campbell back to the KCOM in the summer.
It’s fair to say the transfer was met with mixed reviews by the City fans not least for his past rejections of the club but also for his dodgy injury record. Whilst it has not been a blistering start to the season for Campbell things have started to pick up recently especially in the recent home win over Birmingham. His record for City speaks for itself as in the 16 games he has scored for City they have won 12, drawn 4 and lost 0 which is pretty impressive.
With Abel Hernandez out for the foreseeable future and with Jarrod Bowen still only a youngster who will have peaks and troughs in form City are crying out for a goal scoring hero. Could that man be Campbell? Well we have now come full circle in our story and back to Oakwell last weekend. Campbell came on as a sub, scored the winner and milked the adoration he received from the travelling City army, “your not greedy anymore” they sang which is certainly an improvement for the striker.
After a ten year period Campbell has gone full circle from hero to zero and back to hero again as he gave City their first away win in 14 months. Can he hold onto that heroic status? Only time will tell but take our advice Fraizer—keep banging the goals in and you won’t go far wrong.