Sol Campbell has claimed he should replace ex-England colleague Gary Neville as a coach in Roy Hodgson’s international set-up, and believes his reputation in the game should afford him the opportunity to manage at the highest level.
This is not the first time Campbell has aired his grievances at the way in which he has been treated by the Football Association, with the former Arsenal defender suggesting he deserves more from the English game’s governing body.
Campbell made 73 appearances for England over a period of 11 years and finds it difficult to fathom that his country would rather recruit Neville, the ex-Manchester United captain, as a coach instead of him.
It is reported by the Daily Mail that Campbell was asked to suggest how England could stop conceding so many goals, to which he responded: “Get rid of Gary Neville and get me in instead. I’ve done all my badges.”
Campbell had previously expressed his exasperation that England had not been prepared to offer him a position despite having made himself available, and took it as something of a personal insult when Neville was recruited.
Neville holds UEFA A and B coach licenses and was added to Hodgson’s backroom staff when he was appointed manager in May 2012, having retired from duty with Manchester United a year previous.
He won eight Premier League titles and the Champions League twice during 19 seasons at Old Trafford, while the right-back also earned 85 caps for England between 1995 and 2007, an international career where he featured regularly with Campbell.
The ex-Gunners star would appear to have an issue with the establishment rather than Neville himself, although his comments about his former teammate are unlikely to go down well with the often outspoken 39-year-old.
Campbell is in danger of becoming something of a parody with his self-important assessments of his own career, calling himself ‘the best defender in the world’, but he does have a point when it comes to the lack of opportunities for black coaches.
Of all 92 clubs across the Premier League and Football League there are only two black managers, Chris Powell and Keith Curle, and there have been a concerning lack of opportunities, something Campbell has been keen to highlight.
As the 40-year-old states, given his achievements with Arsenal and reputation with England, he should be able to practically walk onto the staff of a top club. Only time will tell if this is the case.
There has been frequent talk about the introduction into football of something similar to the Rooney Rule, and the stats would seem to suggest that a measure like this needs to be taken to ensure equality.