A dominant defender in his day and a divisive figure for more reasons than one, Sol Campbell spoke to JOE about his coaching ambitions, the current state of Arsenal, crossing the North London divide and why that England side never won anything.

One of the most common criticisms of modern football, aside from extortionate ticket prices, oppressive political regimes using football clubs to exert soft power and impractical match scheduling for travelling fans, is the fast-tracking of high profile retired pros straight into high positions in coaching and punditry. Many of England’s ‘golden generation’ have walked into positions in punditry, coaching or both. The outlier is Sol Campbell who, despite being Sol Campbell, has not been able to form a second career in either field.

He desperately wants to get into coaching but is struggling to find an inroad, even towards the bottom of League Two. Grimsby Town recently sacked Russell Slade after a winless run of 12 games and interviewed Campbell for the vacant position. The Lincolnshire club opted to hire Michael Jolley, whose coaching credentials include a relegation from the Swedish Premier Division with AFC Eskilstuna.

It’s not the first time an EFL club has overlooked him when hiring a new manager. Oxford United also interviewed him but decided to give Derek Fazackerley his first job as a manager at the age of 66. Campbell faces the conundrum of needing experience under his belt to get a coaching job and needing a coaching…

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