Travelling home Monday evening, I listened to former Spurs, Arsenal and England defender Sol Campbell talk on the radio about his autobiography, which was being released at a book shop near you. What a berk. The comments he was making about why he wasn’t England team captain for ten years, and that he was the best centre half in the world at the time, led me to expect the next thing he was going to utter would be something seriously eyebrow raising from the Gospel According to David Icke. Honestly.
Campbell was a reasonably useful central defender in his pomp, straight from the Jack Charlton School of Big Strong Boys at the Back. He did possess great positional sense, was very good in the air, but a bit of a ‘hoofer’ and the small, nippy forwards like Michael Owen and Robbie Keane would skin him alive. Bobby Moore, he wasn’t. I’d like to think I’m the best writer in the world, but I know I’m hardly Lord Tennyson or Chaucer. We all like to believe we’re the best there is, whether it’s driving our car, cooking a meal, doing some D.I.Y, but we all know the reality of the situation. I think Campbell has sadly lost his. But not his ego. Apparently.
As to his ‘suggestions’ he was not given the England captaincy due to his ethnic origins – bollocks. Every club manager the world over picks his team’s leader, his on field representative. This will be normally the player that all others look up to, all the others respect or a more senior chap with a wealth of experience in the game. At the time of Campbell representing his country, Tony Adams, Alan Shearer, then David Beckham were captain due to they were respected by their peers, and had strength in personality. Campbell in time achieved same, but only in the twilight of his career when he joined Portsmouth. Several clubs over the years have had black players as their team captain – Dion Dublin at Coventry City, Rio Ferdinand at Leeds United then Manchester United, Vincent Kompany at Manchester City currently.
It is a tad distasteful Campbell has waited till now to voice these opinions, as to back when he was actively playing. But then, they do say indifferent publicity is better than no publicity at all, and Campbell has a book out at the moment.