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Collins: Sol can be a Celtic hero
Published : 03 Jun 2010 15:48:00
John Collins believes the prospect of regular first team football could persuade Sol Campbell to sign for Celtic. The former England defender, who is out of contract with Arsenal, last week revealed he had spoken to Neil Lennon about a possible move to Parkhead. However, with the Irishman still waiting to be confirmed as permanent Hoops manager, 35-year-old Campbell, who has previously stated he would prefer to sign a new deal with the Gunners, claimed that he is in no rush to make any decision. Former Celtic midfielder Collins, speaking today at Toryglen, Glasgow, where he launching a mentoring initiative for young players, insists there is one obvious hook for the ex-Tottenham stopper. "It's hypothetical but the attraction is a first team jersey," Collins said. "He's probably not going to get a first team jersey in the Premiership on a weekly basis but if he comes to Celtic there is every chance he could become a regular. "He was a top player, no doubt. "He's at the age where his legs are not as quick as they used to be but he still has an experienced head on his shoulders and he could maybe bring something to Celtic. "But Celtic already have a whole lot of centre halves that most of us haven't seen so I think they probably deserve their chance first." Collins believes Lennon deserves the chance to be Celtic manager despite his lack of experience. However, the former Hibernian boss warned the Celtic board that they would be asking for trouble if they install a football mentor above the Irishman without Lennon's approval, an issue that is reportedly proving to be stumbling block in negotiations. "No it doesn't surprise me (that Lennon is set to be given the job), they know Neil very well," Collins said. "He was a terrific captain for the club and has been coaching for a year or so with the reserves. "He came in at the end of the season and apart from the Ross County result, he did a fantastic job with eight victories in the league. "So good luck to Neil, it looks like he is going to get the job so I wish him every success and for me the logical thing is that he appoints his staff because he has to trust them and work with them to take the club forward "The manager makes the decisions. "He decides who his backroom team is going to be, who his coaches are going to be and he has got to be in control of that situation. "Otherwise you are asking for trouble if the club appoints someone above his head. "But it's a different ball game if he (the manager) appoints an older man to work above him." Collins revealed he had not applied for the Hoops job despite the fact that as an ex-Celt, who has already enjoyed success as a manager bringing the Co-operative Insurance Cup back to Easter Road, he was in some ways better qualified than Lennon for the post. "No, I didn't apply for the job," he said. "Celtic know all about me so obviously they felt I wasn't the man for the job otherwise I would have got a phone call."