With a brief that involves preserving Macclesfield’s league status, the 44-year-old has a tough road ahead of him
Former Arsenal star Sol Campbell has defended his coaching credentials, claiming that people “don’t know half the stuff below the surface” when it comes to his experience.
The ex-England international was appointed as Macclesfield Town manager in November 2018 and he is enjoying the challenge of his maiden managerial role after enduring years of rejection.
Campbell, who once declared himself to be “one of the greatest minds in football”, previously missed out on jobs at Oxford United, Grimsby Town and Oldham Athletic, with clubs unwilling to take a risk on the two-time Premier League winner.
After completing his first month in the hotseat, he has reflected on the perception he feels has held him back in the past and emphasised that he is still passionate about the game.
“People talk about entitlement but I’ve done the hard yards,” the former Gunners defender said in an interview with the Daily Mail.
“I’ve done it the correct way with the coaching badges. I have done watching the games, I have done listening to managers, I have done travelling around Europe watching other managers train, I have done a bit of TV work to help with analysis. I’ve done all that.
“If you put a microscope on what I’ve been doing, you start saying: ‘Wow, he has done all that?’ That’s part of the trouble: I don’t think people know half the things I’ve done. I’ve done a lot of stuff behind the scenes.
“You would have seen me at games, talking to managers and agents. It’s like an iceberg with me — they don’t know half the stuff below the surface.
Campbell continued: “I was well prepared coming into this job. I’m adaptable. This was a fantastic opportunity for me to take and I took it.
“I could have been still waiting six months down the line. So now I’ve taken it, be happy.
“I could be still waiting. I could have turned it down. But I’m a different mentality. As a player and a human being, as I structured my life, it was totally about football. And the passion is still there.”
The 44-year-old’s brief involves extricating the Silkmen from the League Two drop zone and he has managed to put some points on the board as they head into the second half of the season.
The challenge is something that he has fully embraced and he is eager to prove a point.
“The only thing I can show people is how I conduct myself in the job as the manager of Macclesfield,” said Campbell. “That’s the only evidence I have. I’m starting again. Every manager had to start somewhere, so why can’t I start here?
“I have been waiting for this a long time. I may look cool and calm but, underneath, I’m boiling inside with passion and ideas.
“Yes, it’s my first job but I’m up for it, pumped up, ready, focused, adaptable. You’ve got to be social as well. I’m ready for all that.
“I can understand people have their idea about me because they don’t know me. Once you work with me, you see very quickly what kind of guy I am.
“You can’t get to where I got to and sustain it if I didn’t have something. You have to be solid and proper. I know where I’m going.”
While the early indications are certainly positive, Campbell is under no illusions about the task that lies ahead of him as he seeks to preserve Macclesfield’s Football League status.
However, he is confident that he has what it takes to achieve the feat.
“I have got to climb a mountain,” he admitted. “But I look at it another way. I have the tools to climb the mountain so I don’t mind climbing mountains.
“I have climbed mountains since I was growing up in east London in Plaistow. I’m not scared of climbing mountains. When you get to the top, the view’s great. That’s what it’s all about.”