England and Arsenal legend calls time on management career

England and Arsenal legend calls time on his career as a manager – despite claiming he was ‘one of the greatest minds in football’ just five years ago

  • An Arsenal and England legend has given his last team talk as a manager 
  • He ended his hunt for a manager job after three years out, but loves coaching 
  • What’s the story with Raheem Sterling? Listen to It’s All Kicking Off 

An Arsenal and England icon has officially quit management despite once claiming he was ‘one of the greatest minds in football’.

He built a career as a Premier League winner and was a regular for his country but did not reach the same heights in the dugout. 

His second and last managerial job ended in 2020, when he was sacked at a beleaguered then-League One club. 

Oxford United turned him down for his first job in 2018, prompting him to announce that he was ‘one of the greatest minds in football’ and ‘wasted because of a lack of experience’.

He was outspoken in calling for a culture change to allow more black coaches to be given management opportunities, a worthy cause which he put his weight behind. 

A former Arsenal and England star announced that he will not apply for more managerial roles

Sol Campbell ‘loves coaching’ but has called time on his management career after two jobs 

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The individual in question is Sol Campbell, who managed Macclesfield Town and Southend United but has been out of a management job for more than three years.

They were two of the most challenging jobs in the Football League, both at severely embattled teams – Macclesfield were wound up in 2020 and Southend United have dropped into the National League and have been beset with financial issues. 

While he still loves coaching and wants to stay in the world of developing footballers, Campbell will not be applying for more management jobs.

He told PA: ‘For me, it is about getting opportunities to fail.

‘Some of my peers have had jobs and it’s not worked out and then they have had opportunities again straight away, they’ve always had a lifeline.

‘That is a nice position to be in. I am not in that position, I would love to be, but those situations are not coming to me. I would love to be involved in football and have chances, but that is not happening.

‘You have to look at football in a different way and that is what I am going to start doing and hopefully it will work out and I will be able to help players, just in a different way.

He did a respectable job at Macclesfield and Southend despite each club’s troubles but has not had a managerial job for almost three-and-a-half years 

Campbell has been outspoken about the lack of opportunities for BAME coaches – Vincent Kompany is the only one in the Premier League 

‘I love coaching, so I am going to go back into football in a meaningful way. I have had to go away, studied at Harvard. I want to be in football in a meaningful way. It won’t be on the sideline.

‘I am not applying any more for jobs. I’m happy to be in a different space now and one I want to be in.

‘Football needs that diversity in terms of management, but for me it seems to have gone backwards in some cases.’

Alongside Vincent Kompany in the Premier League with Burnley, there are just four ethnic minority managers in the EFL: Darren Moore (Huddersfield), Liam Rosenior (Hull), Valerien Ismael (Watford), and Dino Maamria (Burton Albion). 

That’s despite the Rooney Rule being introduced in the EFL in 2016/17, making it compulsory for clubs to interview at least one BAME manager for all managerial and first-team coaching roles, provided they get an application.

Campbell continued: ‘We need to understand not everyone is going to make it to be an amazing manager, but you have to get the opportunity or a chance to prove yourself right or even show you can do the job.

‘Sometimes you get to the stage where you can’t fail. Sometimes you have to fail to suceed, but if you don’t get that opportunity how can you succeed?

He once purported to be ‘one of the greatest minds in football’, citing his playing experience

Darren Moore is one of just four BAME managers in the Championship, League One, and League Two

‘There are a few managers who are slowly having diversity in the backroom staff, that can help.

‘Some of the top managers know if they could diversify their coaching staff it would help. That is a start.

‘They are the ones in a strong position, where they have won things and are at great clubs.

‘I think that is how people should start thinking, that is an easy way to kind of get experience and get through the door. Some of the top, top managers have to look at their coaching staff and mix it up a little bit.’


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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