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Arsenal Legend Sol Campbell Reveals He Was In England U21 Running


Arsenal Legend Sol Campbell Reveals He Was In England U21 Running

Sol Campbell has talked about the ‘hurt’ he’s felt from not hearing back from managerial vacancies and revealed he was part of the process to find a new England under 21 boss.

Campbell had an incredible career and was one of the best centre backs for England in a generation where there was some excellent competition.

The former Arsenal centre back, who was part of the Invincibles in 2003/04, has the sort of CV that would normally make him primed for a good managerial job, as the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney have found.

However the 46-year-old has found it more difficult than his former teammates and has only had opportunities with Macclesfield Town and Southend United to date, and he’s opened up about his struggles.

“I’m not going to lie. It hurts, don’t get me wrong,” Campbell told the Mirror about the 16 jobs he’s applied for, “It hurts when you don’t even hear back from people. It just goes into a black hole, your CV.

“If I had the chances that some of my other friends, team mates I’ve played with, they’ve had three, four or five clubs, good clubs, Championship clubs who had a bit of money at the time.

“They’ve been backed, given them a go, it might not have worked out, but they had a go, they had a good 18 months or two years to see what they can do, that’s all I need. I’ve had two clubs with no budget and it’s not been the best start.”

Campbell played with Lampard, who got a job in the Championship with Derby County and then after one season with Chelsea. Image: PA Images
Campbell played with Lampard, who got a job in the Championship with Derby County and then after one season with Chelsea. Image: PA Images

The former centre back, who controversially moved from Spurs to Arsenal for free during his playing career, took over at Macclesfield with the club bottom of League Two.

They were five points adrift and in financial problems but the former Portsmouth defender took them to safety before leaving soon after.

He took over at Southend with the club in similar conditions and couldn’t bring any players in but this time couldn’t save them from relegation.

Despite not having a job since last year, he was headhunted as part of the process to find the new England under 21 manager.

“It was an honour for those guys, I think it was Nolan Partners, the headhunters, to seek me out and ask if I would like to apply,” Campbell said.

“It was fantastic to be involved in the whole process but I just wasn’t what they were looking for. The process was great, I loved it. Good luck for them in the future. It’s a great organisation. It was nice to be a part of it.”

Campbell during his Southend days. Image: PA Images
Campbell during his Southend days. Image: PA Images

The 73 capped former England star has spoken about the role of racism in his struggles to get jobs in the past but he does sound more positive.

“I like to think the glass is almost a thin pane of glass now, not a thick piece of glass, I feel there are movements in there but I feel that we can’t just see through it but there has to be some type of breakthrough so things can just flow now.

“Everyone is trying to make it work, so everyone can see what the blockage is, why is it so difficult to get into the game and manage.

“Diversity is good. It’s proven to be good, open and people understand that. Talent should not be held by colour and it’s not held by colour and everyone has to understand that opportunities should be given. Talent that comes in all shapes and sizes.”

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