EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal Invincible and Macclesfield boss Sol Campbell talks management, Arsene Wenger and coaching aims
PUBLISHED: 09:30 24 March 2019
Islington Gazette sports reporter Dan Mountney spoke exclusively to Arsenal Invincible and current Macclesfield Town boss Sol Campbell about his time in management thus far, the influence of former manager Arsene Wenger and his coaching ambitions.
Gunners legend Campbell took charge of the Cheshire-based League Two club in late November – his first managerial job – with the Silkmen four points adrift at the bottom of the table.
Since then, Macclesfield have won four and drawn six of his 19 games in charge, dragging them to within two points of safety.
The latest of those six draws was a 2-2 stalemate at Moss Rose against Stevenage on Saturday. Speaking exclusively to the Islington Gazette after the game, Campbell revealed that he is enjoying management despite the relegation battle Macclesfield are fighting.
“Working for three years on a UEFA A and B licence, management was definitely something I wanted to do,” he said.
“I think any job is challenging really. I have to assess what’s happening, work hard and with the situation we are in I need to work double hard.
“Yes, we’d like to be in a better position, but we’ve had our moments to get out and that’s the sad thing about it. We just need that mental block to remove itself.
“But I’m enjoying it. I’m enjoying the whole kind of process.
“Nothing is really straight forward in football, but as I say, I’m enjoying the challenge. Hopefully the lads are enjoying the challenge as well.”
Centre-back Campbell joined Arsenal in 2001, moving across North London in a controversial free transfer from Tottenham before leaving in 2006. He also returned for a short stint in 2010.
In his initial five-year spell at Highbury under Arsene Wenger, the England international won the Premier League twice, become an Invincible in the 2003/04 season, while also picking up two FA Cup winners medals and scoring in the 2006 UEFA Champions League final defeat to Barcelona.
When asked if he’d spoke to former boss Wenger before joining Macclesfield, Campbell joked: “Arsene doesn’t speak to anybody. He doesn’t pick up the phone.
“Arsene is a top man and a top manager. He’s very mathematical and system like, very calm, obviously with vast experience in many ways.
“I took elements from him but no, he doesn’t pick up his phone. He’s probably changed his number anyway.”
44-year-old Campbell signed an 18-month deal with Macclesfield, keeping him at Moss Rose till the end of next season.
Quizzed on his managerial aspirations, he said: “For me, it’s all about this job first.
“We need to get out of this and then obviously I’m here for another year after that. We can get a good pre-season under our belts and then go from there.
“I think it’s all about building and you can’t look to far ahead. It’s all about the here and now really.”