Sulzeer Jeremiah Campbell is not a modest man. In fact, he can be an arrogant prick if truth be told. A few weeks ago, at a time when food banks, poverty and homelessness are at disgustingly high levels, he even tweeted his displeasure at his designer label being unable to sort out his trousers. Hate to break it to you, but we don’t give a toss.
Upon being appointed Macclesfield Town manager this week, he didn’t play the game. “I’m looking forward to getting the know the lads” – nope. “We’ll take each game as it comes” – not for Sol. Instead, he decided to embellish his own qualities just a tad by claiming he was “one of the best players in the world”. Erm, possibly in your mum’s opinion Sol.
Player or manager?
I mean don’t get me wrong, he was good. Very good, in fact. He was part of an exciting England side under Sven Goran Eriksson, and was part of the ghastly Arsenal side after the turn of the century. YES I’M BIASED. An enormous frame would win challenge after challenge but still be able to play a calm pass. One of the best in the world? Nah, don’t think so Sol.
What in the name of god almighty has that got to do with being a manager?? For fuck’s sake man, your finally flying the flag for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) managers, albeit at the very bottom of the football league, and you decide to lead with a self-obsessed line about your playing credentials? I don’t know where to start on this really.
Firstly Sol, you’re now a MANAGER. Not a player. The cult of former professionals automatically gaining respect as a manager is insane. Now at this point, I do want to make it clear I am blaming not just him, but the wider public, i.e. you, dear reader. Why the playing credentials have even the slightest bit of relevance of a new manager are quite beyond me.
The hard graft
This is the let’s-play-fair part. Campbell has worked bloody hard to get to this point. By his count, he’d sent in up to 15 job applications, and travelled a fair whack to interviews. He admits that he had to graft just to get this opportunity. It’s a sad state of affairs given he has the UEFA Pro License, has shown willing to work anywhere – he even admitted last year to the Guardian that he would be willing to work for free if it meant getting on the ladder – and despite the shades of egocentricity he is a worker.
Which brings us to point two: why in the name of all that is holy would you, having been through all that to finally, FINALLY, get a professional management job, would you end your opening press conference by saying how lucky THEY are to have you? It’s not exactly the brightest move mate. I mean they very well might be the lucky ones; don’t look a gift horse in the mouth though.
BAME managers are treated poorly. It is a simple fact. I believe Campbell when he says he has had to break through barriers to get to where he is. There are now eight BAME managers in the football league, but given their representation in the playing ranks, there is a distinctly unsettling disparity when it comes to management positions.
I want to be all in supportive of Campbell. In one sense I will be, as his dedication and work ethic, endorsed by his managers when he was a player, are a credit to anyone. Willingness to start at the bottom, however enforced by circumstance, deserve enormous credit too. I will even go as far to accept his arrogance if it is the price of him earning respect and success that he deserves. Just try a touch of self-awareness mate, for your own sake.