Sol Campbell: ‘Macclesfield fans will probably think: what’s going on here?’

first_img Sol Campbell has signed an 18-month contract at the Football League’s bottom club. Photograph: Simon Cooper/PA Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger Share via Email League Two Paul Ince, a former Macclesfield manager, claimed it was “sad that someone like Sol has had to go to that level to get a job”. Ince’s former England teammate appears to have no qualms about managing a club with three wins from 20 league games this season.“You have to start somewhere,” Campbell said. “I am prepared to start anywhere. The opportunity came up and there was no messing about. It was very clean. It was one agent and the owner, very simple, and I like that, a little bit old school really. Now there’s usually 10 people between you, the owner and getting the job. I liked that scenario. You’ve got to take your opportunities and I felt it was the right time.“Not taking this and maybe waiting another year – I can’t see the point. Going with England and the Under-21s was great for me. I was halfway through that when I got the phone call. Sometimes you’ve just got to roll with it. Football is always moving and you’ve got to keep up with it. If this scenario had popped up five years ago then, who knows, I might have looked at it a totally different way. But for now, where I am in life and wanting to get going, it was perfect for me.” Pinterest Sol Campbell Facebook Share on LinkedIn You’ve got an international footballer who has been one of the best players in the world coming to your clubSol Campbell Topics features Reuse this contentcenter_img The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Share on Twitter Sol Campbell arrived a few minutes late for the debut press conference of his belated managerial career having overrun with his first full training session at Macclesfield Town earlier in the day. He apologised to those assembled in the McIlroy Lounge at Moss Rose, looked and sounded remarkably at ease in his new, humble surroundings and preferred to thank the club that has given him the opportunity rather than dwell on the many who did not. But there were hints of dismay at what has been an exhausting path from celebrated player to manager of the Football League’s bottom club. Campbell said it had taken seven years, approximately 15 job applications and endless soul-searching before landing his first managerial post. Other England internationals of his generation, notably Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, did not have to wait so long or accept an offer from the 92nd-placed club in English professional football. Was the defender capped 73 times by England ever given feedback on why that should be?“Some of them did, yes,” said the 44-year-old. “You get the whole thing about inexperience and I can understand that but then you look at other players a lot higher than me and the same type of career and they have the same kind of [coaching] experience. It comes down to relationships, how you click with the owners and interview process. Many things can come into the equation.” Share on Facebook Macclesfield Sol Campbell finally gets his chance to manage after years in the shadows Passion for football – “a magnet” as Campbell described it – peppered the former Tottenham and Arsenal defender’s unveiling. He does not need whatever money he is being paid by a club who returned to the Football League last summer following a five-year absence but nor is he working for nothing, as he once proposed he would do to get a chance in the managerial game. “For me it is all about the football, about getting on that ladder,” he said. “I am not saying what I am on now but it is all about the football.”There was only one moment when Campbell’s self-confidence veered towards arrogance. He otherwise appeared genuinely delighted to be given the task of steering the Silkmen towards safety having signed an 18-month contract on Tuesday. “I know Macclesfield fans will probably think: ‘What’s going on here?’” he said. “But you’ve got an international footballer who has been one of the best players in the world coming to your club. I think there’s a nice mutual balance there. There is give and take.” Read more Twitter Share on WhatsApp Race has been cited as one factor. Campbell is only the eighth black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) manager currently in England’s professional system having decided “to do things properly” when he retired from playing and obtain his Uefa pro-licence plus international coaching experience with England’s Under-21s as well as Trinidad and Tobago. “I’m not going to go down that road and state the obvious,” he said. “You just want the situation to become normal, so that you are not seeing black and white, you are seeing a football manager.”He added: “As long as I do a good job and do it professionally and people see the quality, and see who I really am, then I think that’s all you can do in football. Whatever comes after that, whatever attitude comes from that through success, although I hope I’m not judged just on success, I hope I’m judged on what kind of ship I run. I think in the end football wins hopefully, and people start looking at all scenarios. In the end I just want to be a manager. Forget whatever colour you are – that’s the way it should be really. I’m thankful for the opportunity here.”last_img