Sol Campbell was one of the most decorated English players of his generation, claiming two Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a League Cup during a glittering five-year stint at Arsenal. Yet the former defender is having a tough time in management, with clubs appearing unwilling to offer him a job.
“I’ve applied for England Under-21s, Bristol Rovers, Bristol City, I had a chat with Swansea, MK Dons, Doncaster, Ipswich, Preston – the list just goes on over the course of a couple of years in recent times," the 47-year-old laments to FourFourTwo.
After retiring from playing in 2010, Campbell has served as the manager of Macclesfield Town – whom he helped beat relegation from the Football League on the final day of the 2018/19 season – and League One side Southend United. However, at both clubs he left his post amid financial issues which predated his arrival.
Now the phone has stopped ringing, and Campbell tells the new issue of FourFourTwo that he feels he may need a fresh start elsewhere, or in an alternative job role, if he is to get his career back on track.
“I’m open to going abroad as well, and if a manager said, ‘Sol, would you come in and work with me’, I’d look at that too – I nearly helped Thierry Henry with the defence when he was managing in Canada, but then there were the travel restrictions with quarantining and it didn’t work out," explains Campbell.
"But ultimately I want to be a number one. Ideally I’d love a team in England. I know football inside-out, I’ve played at the highest level – I know that doesn’t mean everything, but it means something. I can pass my knowledge on. I need a better environment, a foundation where I’m not constantly putting fires out every day, where I can concentrate on the team."
Despite his respectable performance at Macclesfield, Campbell is worried he might never find another role in management.
“It’s tough when you’re not getting an opportunity and you’re getting overlooked. I love being around football and I don’t want to lose that. But when you’re on the sidelines, it does test that love and commitment – it’s not easy to carry on when you’re not getting interviews, and sometimes I don’t know why. Forget who I am and what I’ve done, just see if I can fit into your club.
“The sad reality is I might never get a club again. I really don’t know. Maybe I need some divine help from God, but I’ll keep pushing – I’m a trier, and I’ll keep trying. I’ll visit clubs and I’ll keep my knowledge up. If it happens, I’ll be prepared.”
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