Who doesn’t love a little bit of preamble,tournament nonsense? If you’re feeling in the mood for some unfounded analysis and laughable footballing opinions, then look no further than former Arsenal and Tottenham centre-back Sol Campbell.
Sol was on fine form at William Hill’s Euro 2016 preview evening, providing the attentive audience with some real gems of banal wisdom. Having confused Gareths Bale and Barry on three separate occasions, eluded that Hodgson should fear for his job and produced a series of substanceless answers that would have made his former-mayoral campaign team proud, it was ultimately Campbell’s claim to an England coaching position that raised more eyebrows than his switch into conservative politics.
Sol Campbell believes he is the answer to England’s defensive issues, explaining that he would relish the opportunity to work with the coaching setup of the national side. Campbell is seemingly still slightly tender about being snubbed for a role in favour of Gary Neville four years ago:
“I asked to help out with the defence four years ago but isn’t that Gary Neville’s job?
“If they want someone to come in and help the young defenders I would absolutely do it, I’d do it all day long.
“I’ve just passed all my coaching badges, I’ve coached around the world and I love England. I’ve been with England since I was 14 years old at Lilleshall, it was my dream.
“I would do anything for England and I’ve always thought I could bring something to the defence in a coaching capacity.
“So yeah, I’m here if they need me. But would the FA come back? Who knows?”
Campbell played 73 times for England, representing The Three Lions at six major international tournaments and spoke to the FA in 2012 about a coaching role, but was overlooked in favour of former teammate Gary Neville.
Despite never reaching a semi-finals in his international career, Campbell competed for his country during a golden period for English centre-backs: tussling for his starting place alongside John Terry, Rio Ferdinand, Jamie Carragher… and I suppose Ledley King could be placed in that category, before it was discovered his legs were made of tin foil.
Whilst Roy Hodgson’s men head to Euro 2016 with a wealth of attacking options, their ambitions in France may yet crumble with their flaky back line. But fear not Roy, footballing psychology expert Sol Campbell can provide the solution:
“You have to get into these defender’s heads,
“I know a lot of people do videos and things like that but I need to be on the pitch and see what they see.
“You have to be out there and ask, ‘what are you seeing there?’ You look at their physicality, their technique and you get everything up to the standard you need for international level.
“There are minor details in everyone and it’s about seeing the right details to make a difference. If you’ve played that position and in those tournaments it’s easier to see those details.”
To win the tournament, England are 8/1, Wales 66/1, Republic of Ireland 100/1 and Northern Ireland 250/1 with the event hosts, William Hill. The odds on Sol Campbell to be England’s next manager? Well that depends on how Smalling and Cahill fair in France.