Saturday January 20 2018
Campbell: 'I'd love Italian job'

Sol Campbell admits the prospect of coaching in Italy is high on his agenda following a string of knockbacks, as he observed Milan and Sampdoria at work.

The ex-Arsenal defender has been frozen out of the coaching scene in England since retiring from a playing career that earned him 73 international caps and two Premier League winners' medals in 2011.

Over the past six years, Campbell has spent time readying himself for a managerial career and issuing come-and-get-me pleas to clubs.

But those calls have gone unnoticed, including by his former manager Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, leaving the 42-year-old questioning the recruitment system across England.

"It has been weird going from the top to having to start again," Campbell told Football Italia's Ed White, following a guest appearance at an event in Rome.

"I've applied for three or four jobs and had two interviews and got nothing. I know that's not the same for others in the same position as me. There is someone that has already had three jobs from simply being in the right place at the right time."

In January 2017, Dennis Lawrence invited Campbell to assist him within the Trinidad and Tobago national team, an offer which was accepted.

But the former England man has made no secret about wanting to manage in his own right and with opportunities limited on home soil, Campbell has began to look elsewhere.

He has spent time observing the coaching at Milan and Sampdoria in the last two years and has started learning Italian as well as other European languages.

"I would come to Italy," Campbell added. "But it has to mean something to me. It has to be a project for me."

The issue over the number of black Coaches has been a hot debate in the English game in recent years.

Less than 10 per cent of managers in England's top four tiers are from black and ethnic minority backgrounds. 

Research presented by the Sports People's Think Tank in November reported that just 22 of 482 senior coaching positions held in England were for BAME candidates.

The Football Association announced earlier this month that it would introduce its own version of the 'Rooney Rule' system when interviewing for future positions in the England set-up. 

The rule, developed in American football, requires NFL clubs to interview at least one BAME candidate for each head coach or senior football vacancy.

English Football League clubs - those from the Championship to League Two - agreed to introduce their own version of the rule from January 1.

However, Campbell questioned whether the system would ever be widened throughout the Premier League.

"It works in America because every club is a franchise and it can be managed through, but everything is different in England. 

"It won't work unless the culture of individual clubs changes."

You can find more of Ed White's work on Twitter @EdWhite2507, Instagram @edwhitemedia and Facebook @EdWhiteMedia.

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