Sol Campbell might have been careful what he wished for. The former England and Arsenal defender had been looking for a way into management and when it came, it came at a cost.
Macclesfield Town were seemingly doomed at the point Campbell took over, bottom of the Football League without a penny to spare. It must have seemed a million miles away from the glitz and glamour of the Premier League.
Still, Campbell has attacked the job with gusto and as things stand, he’s on the cusp of pulling them out of the mire and securing their Football League status. They’re out of the bottom two, two points clear of Notts County and Yeovil.
In this weeks Football League Paper (Page 47), former professional Guy Branston stated his belief that the 44-year-old, who won 73 England caps, could cut it in League Two management.
“I love the idea that the former England defender is sticking two fingers up at all the people who’ve picked on him and mocked him over the years,” wrote Branston, who counts Rotherham, Torquay and Lincoln amongst his many former clubs.
“It’s a great underdog story and if he comes through and saves Macclesfield it will silence a lot of detractors. For that reason, I hope he comes through and, unless something goes wrong, I think he will.”
Rather ironically if he does save Macclesfield, it will relegate one of his former clubs. He played twice for Notts County under the impression they’d been taken over by a Middle Eastern Consortium, but that proved to be false and Campbell left after just two outings.
We’re surprised. Nobody saw him being a success at this level, other big names have tried and failed, Chris Sutton and Harry Kewell being two.
However, he’s shown real resilience and his side have been impressive of late. They held Lincoln City to a draw at Sincil Bank in recent weeks, no mean feat considering the Imps are the first club in the Football League to earn promotion.
Campbell might just have been right about his managerial skills after all.