Written by Barry Spence of Time Added On.
When Sol Campbell arrived at Macclesfield Town in November of 2018 it could have easily been viewed as a publicity stunt, but just a few months on, a previously outspoken Campbell has proved his worth and managed to keep The Silkmen in the EFL.
The former centre half has played at the highest level throughout his career and has represented his country on an impressive 73 occasions, so it was somewhat of a surprise when he rocked up at Moss Rose a few months ago.
Chosen as the man to replace Mark Yates after a winless start to the season, Campbell inherited a side that was 5 points adrift of safety having been promoted from the National League the previous season. A measly 4 points from their 12 opening league games was counter balanced with a decent Carabao Cup run before that was unceremoniously ended by West Ham in an 8-0 pummelling.
The board acted by dismissing Yates who had only been in charge for 5 months before opting for the former Arsenal man. He acted quickly in January window bringing in numerous players in order to make his mark on the squad. A dressing room gamble in many senses by adding 9 players in such a short space of time but he’s managed to make it work. If there was ever a signing in the Sol mould it was Big Zak Jules from Shrewsbury Town.
The Scottish defender conducts himself exactly like his manager used to. A strong, athletic and imposing footballer who likes to have good positional sense and is strong in the tackle. His name does make many look out for a Macclesfield result, however seeing how Campbell has conducted himself he’s all about embracing his role at the Cheshire outfit. His footballing past means nothing and it’s virtually un-relatable to the level at which he now finds himself making a new reputation.
What he’s had to work with is certainly less talent than he’s trained alongside in the past but having had the opportunity to see Macclesfield this season, what they lack in talent they make up in sheer willingness to work hard. In terms of League Two results he oversaw 7 wins & 10 draws in his 25 games and did make Macclesfield difficult to beat. A final day stand-off between themselves, Yeovil and Notts County ensued – and after a point against Cambridge plus other results going in their favour, their status was confirmed for another year.
With the likes of Bradford City, Plymouth, Walsall and Scunthorpe dropping in from the division above and the resurgent Leyton Orient joining big spending Salford City in coming up, the league is going to be one to keep an eye on in the coming months – very competitive.
He hasn’t been fortunate enough to have had the same opportunities as other England teammates Lampard (Derby) or Gerrard (Rangers) so has had to start his managerial journey at a much lower and tougher level. 1 st test as a manager has been passed, Will Sol stick around? The board and fans will certainly hope so.