Is ex-Arsenal man being recruited by England for the right or wrong reasons?

Should Sol Work With England Under 21 by Dan Smith

The ex-Arsenal and Tottenham star Sol Campbell has been invited to work for the England under 21’s in November. For a man who has been very vocal about his struggle to get many opportunities since retirement, you know this is a role he will take very seriously. Sometimes in life it’s not how you get the ball, it’s what you do with it. No-one thought Gareth Southgate would lead the senior squad into a World Cup semi-final when he first became technical director. Our former defender has the confidence to believe he can make something of this opportunity. But is he getting it for the right reason?

He’s been critical in the past of believing it’s the colour of his skin why he’s lost out to other candidates for jobs, having to go all the way to Trinidad and Tobago to get a taste of coaching. He questioned the FA themselves about if that’s why he never captained his nation more. Instead of picking him based on his experience of winning at the highest level, it seems this is simply our games governing body being able to tick a box.

It’s crazy that in 2018 Dan Ashworth needs to introduce a NFL style Rooney Rule to force those with a BAME background (Black, Asian and Minority Ethic) to be selected for recruitment. So men suddenly not considered suitable now will get a interview purely based on an action plan to make those at Wembley look politically correct. That they need an action plan in the first place contradicts what should be a company following equal opportunities laws.

I have read Sol’s autobiography and learnt this is quite a complex character who analyses situations in great detail. Would it make him two faced to accept the invitation to be part of the staff for the USA/Croatia Fixtures? A voice who challenged the game to take a look at themselves now might sell his values to work for a bunch of suits, who are patting themselves on the back for doing something that in most businesses wouldn’t require it’s own separate legislation. So it’s great an ex-gooner is on the career path he’s wanted for so long.
But when Paul Elliot, chair of the inclusion advisory board, says, ‘I think In future we will look back at this moment as a defining one for coaching in this country’.

I agree with him but probably not how he wants me to do…

Dan Smith


  1. kev says:

    I must say I find it very very funny as to how someone can say comparing Fabregas to Cazorla is an insult.This statement is arrogant and insulting on its own.I’m sure most Arsenal fans would even laugh hearing this.I mean we need to be very objective in our points even though we have our favourites.I must say Santi Cazorla is a fantastic world class player and not just that but so so unique.However, the Arsenal Cesc Fabregas has always been the better player and he even had more talent than Santi Cazorla.People say Cazorla deserves to be compared with greats like Iniesta or Xavi but forgot how Cesc was being compared to Xavi due to his vision and passing ability despite not even fully being at his highest peak ie full potential which he never hit.I hate using stats solely to compare players so I will be honest and say that Santi only bests Fabregas in ball control.Fab easily trumps him when it comes to all other qualities required to control the midfield.The world top clubs were after Fab and he was from an objective point of view a more hotter property than Santi Cazorla due to being better.Look at the club’s Arsenal had to fight off season after season to keep Fab here.Do we remember Fab very well?I mean even when he was 16 years?I feel the competition is not even close.Fab had way more talent than Santi and if he had fully developed himself would’ve been the one true Xavi replacement.I mean when both were at their very best most top European clubs would’ve picked Fab because he was better and fabulous.

    1. Innit says:

      Different positions
      CAZORLA was better than Fabregas in his box 2 box central midfielder role
      Fabregas was better than Cazorla as an attacking central midfielder
      Both were world class players
      Having both together IS SHEER BLISS

      Thats what we are missing
      Box2box central midfielder of Cazorla quality and consistency of Fabregas was as a CAM

      what we need to challenge for the title in CAPS in my humble opinion: About 5 players

      lichtsteiner…TOP CB X 2…MonrealKolsanic
      Torreira……….CAZORLA quality b2b
      ………….FABREGAS quality CAM
      TOP WINGER…..Lacazette…Aubameyang

    2. Eddie Hoyte says:

      Definitely your decision is based on stats, Cesc got more assists and goals blah blah blah… I ain’t a kid, I watched Fabregas played for us and him leaving got to me more than Nasri or the RVP thing. Cesc was phenomenal, but there ain’t no way he’s a complete footballer over Santi Cazorla, put aside the Stats and compare their game play and techniques. Cesc was 2nd to none in his time, so was Santi, you might say Cesc has more assist and goals but don’t say he’s a complete footballer player over Santi who can do anything, I repeat anything with the ball at his feet, be it left or right foot

      1. kev says:

        I don’t base it in stats.I don’t like to use stats in comparing players that much because it does not give the best picture.I know you arent new here and you know me well over.I use the same basis as to why Auba shouldnt play at LW but people will base on his stats at Dortmund as a LW despite him being barely able to take on his man and his poor 1v1 decisions.If it were for stats Iniesta would never have been rated.Since 2011 Fabregas has been Arsenals best midfielder.Its a shame though how some if us have forgotten the things he could do.Im seven sure most Arsenal fans would agree with me that he was better even though most hate him for leaving.

    3. Goonerboi says:

      Imo Fabregas was far superior to santi attacking wise. Where as Santi was more of a complete and balanced midfielder. Fabregas had a lot more potential but I’d say they ended up being just as influential as each other. Both are vastly superior to Ozil imo

  2. Dan says:

    Fabregas was better
    Spain manager agreed

  3. John Doe says:

    Only so called Arsenal “fans” can insult our players while overrating other teams in PL.

    That “fantastic” Liverpool team and the “magnificent” spurs are showing their true level in champions league.

    This season is a process for Emery but I’m sure with buying a center back and a winger , we are going to dominate PL next year.

  4. ken1945 says:

    Can we PLEASE stick to this important subject?
    There’s another post for the Caz/Fab debate.

    I am so pleased that Sol has been offered this opportunity to show what he can do.
    There is no doubt in my mind that the Fa have made this decision for other reasons than his ability, but it does give Sol the chance to go out and just prove all the doubters wrong.
    Jon Fox, myself and so many others are in agreement that it doesn’t matter what you are, where you come from, or what politics/religion you follow.
    This is a football site dedicated to Arsenal and gooners.
    The fact that one of ours (and an ex spud to boot) has finally been recognised is fantastic news.
    I agree, his autobiography is compelling reading.

    1. ken1945 says:

      By the way, if Phil Neville can be offered a job within the FA, it beggars belief that Sol had to wait for so long to be offered ANYTHING from this antiquated FA board.

      1. ozziegunner says:

        ?spot on Ken.

    2. waal2waal says:

      …Good Call Ken1945 – though (wittingly or unwittingly) many here will choose to avoid addressing Dan Smiths comment for fear that to do so requires comment and analysis thats a bit beyond their own caring, own personal interests or beyond their own depths…

      1. jon fox says:

        A perceptive and accurate comment you make.

    3. jon fox says:

      Well said Ken, on ALL your points. Why Fabregas and Santi are even being compared at all and especially on THIS thread, escapes me entirely. Both were fine but different players. I like fine wine AND a nice cup of coffee but would never compare them. END OF! As to Sol, who is clearly a deep thinking and sensitive soul, which is wonderful (and so should we ALL be too), I am very pleased that at long last he has been offered a path into coaching at a decent level. On the wider racism aspect, it is obvious that over many past decades there has been either a conscious or unconscious bias against black manages/ coaches by those who appoint them. This is clearly lessening but is not tolerable at any level in a civilised society. It clearly still exists; you only have to compare the huge percentage of black players with the paucity of black managers/ coaches to see this truth. Though, personally, a fully fledged old git with a comprehensive list of faults, I long for the day when football is only about people; not black/ white/ straight/ gay/ religion or none or any other nonsensical perceived “difference”. Society is clearly moving in the right direction. I just bloody well wish it could get ALL THE WAY THERE TODAY( or better by far, long, long, long ago). I am sure the vast majority of us feel exactly the same too.

      1. ken1945 says:

        Jon, if we had real Fa, Eufa and Fifa officials who acted properly, this could be cut out immediately.
        ANY club or it’s supporters who chant racists slogans, display banners that are racists, let off firebombs, attack opponents modes of transport etc etc should be:

        1. Thrown out of the competition if it’s european and banned for five years from re-entering until that club can PROVE they have solved the problem.
        2. Any club or it’s supporters featured in a home tournament (premier league etc.) should have twelve points deducted and fined the total amount of their highest home match revenue.
        3. Any “fan” caught attacking other fans, mode of transport, smuggling into grounds banned material should be sent to prison, banned from all football grounds world wide and publically identified.

        Instead these clubs are fined the equivalent of one days sales of hot dogs and told not to be naughty boys, the “fans” are lauded with gang names and allowed to dictate who sits/stands in certain areas of the grounds.

        “kick out racism” is just a convenient slogan for ALL the above to hide behind and pretend they actually care. They do absolutely NOTHING to try and eradicate this scourge in the game of football…shame on them all.

        The amount of corruption within our game is tremendous (Blatter just the tip of the iceberg) and until we get someone willing to address the situation, take on the clubs and their supporters, this situation will never end.

        That’s one of the reasons I have supported Arsenal my whole life. I can honestly say I have NEVER seen any of the above examples being carried out by any gooner, and that includes the 70’s.
        That’s why the Iwobi scenario is/was so ridiculous, if he plays for us then he IS ONE OF US and long may it continue.

        1. jon fox says:

          A wonderful post which speaks volumes for you as a human being. I agree totally, though I did hear a very few racist comments back in the Neanderthal severties on the North Bank. Few in total but even one was one too many. We have come a long way but, as you say, the lickspittle and corrupt authorities are still complicit. Shame on them!

      2. Abel says:

        Did you just admit to racism in English football? You had me convinced racism had been eradicated in UK!

  5. Declan says:

    For the article Dan, I applaud and agree with your sentiments, for once.
    Regarding this Santi- Cesc thing, Santi was skilful, left foot or right foot, it didn’t matter, he would pass defenders and lay on chances, and score great goals. But statistically, Cesc scored twice as many goals as Santi and made more assists.

    1. Eddie Hoyte says:

      Declan tell em let em know… the stats are totally different but when it comes to game play, it’s a different world. They ain’t on the same level, nothing Santi couldn’t do with the ball.
      If anyone insists to judge based on Statistics, hell you can as well say Ozil is a better player compared to Xavi or Iniesta… total rubbish

      1. kev says:

        Stop with this stats thing.I judge them based on how I see them on my TV.The Arsenal Fabregas was easily the better player and most Arsenal fans and top European clubs would agree with me.You can debate all you want but Cesc would win the argument if it came to that.Its unbelievable this is a question tbh.

    2. Dan says:

      Thanks Declan ._.I thinklol

      1. Declan says:

        Eddie and Kev, I saw both play in most of their games, home and away, I judge what I saw. The ‘damned lies and statistics’ were thrown in to the pot as evidence of what I saw. I loved them both but in ‘ team’ game, Cesc stood out for me.

  6. ThirdManJW says:

    We’re seeing a lot of these ‘quota’ appointments in all areas of employment because of political correctness. Throughout the years, many have strived for equality of opportunity, which is fantastic, and the correct thing, but unfortunately, many are now trying to force through equality of outcome…which is a terrible thing, and it actually goes against human nature anyway! Equality of outcome basically means that if you’re not of the desired gender, colour, ethnicity, etc, you could miss out on a job even if you’re easily the most qualified.

    I am not saying this is the case with Campbell, but if it is, is that not racist?

    1. ThirdManJW says:


      There seems to be a big debate about Cesc, and Santi going, that I obviously missed the start of. Both amazing players, love them both (probably more fond of Santi), but Cesc was the better player for me. Would have been very interesting if we had resigned Cesc, instead of getting Ozil.

  7. waal2waal says:

    Sol was my favourite defender (at arsenal) and a big influence in the england team: Seems you’re suggesting he’s something of a maverick and perhaps he is? Or you could be suggesting Campbell is undeserving of such an office and that somehow he’s being used? Again this could be the case.

    What counts in this small matter is Sol’s inclusion indicates (once and for all) that the English FA’s hiring and executive has issued a statement of intent showing it gives a damn about eradicating racism and seeing the poison is well and truly kicked to the kerb:

    better to institute an action plan than to have no reference or template whatsoever? Good luck to Sol Campbell, i hope he meets success and adds value to that appointment – its a defining moment indeed.

    1. jon fox says:

      Well said and spot on too! Sol is clearly a sentitive man and HOORAY FOR THAT! Would that we all were too!

      1. waal2waal says:

        I congratulate *Dan Smith (Admin) for caring enough to present the post that he did AND ALL who were mindful, articulate and considerate enough to return with a response.. #COYG

  8. Phil says:

    It has been well documented in the past that Black Players were denied the opportunity to go into Coaching and Management solely based on their colour.While there was no doubt some obvious early examples of this (Chris Kamara at Bradford).I just do not believe the FA have ever been prejudice when it comes to colour for any role.
    Sol Campbell has often suggested he was continually frustrated in his attempts to get a role back in football.But did he do himself any favours along the way with his constant criticism of Club Chairmen and owners?He has now been given a role that a lot of coaches with far more experience and proven abilities have been overlooked for.I trust he appreciates this gesture by the FA and it enables this very complex but intelligent man to begin a career in Football he feels he is overdue.

  9. D says:

    “No-one thought Gareth Southgate would lead the senior squad into a World Cup semi-final when he first became technical director.” I’m sorry, but who exactly did England beat for anyone to think that we overachieved? Literally the only teams we beat we extremely poor, and anytime we came up against a half decent side we failed miserably. I guess that’s what happens when you’ve got so many Spurs players in your team.

    1. Phil says:

      D-I believe we have previously decided that nobody actually gives a flying toss about England.It says everything about Southgate and his squad that he is only able to pick a side made up of those perennial Spud bottlers who proved again and again that they believe their own publicity and think they are better than what they actually are
      I’m pleased for Sol and the fact he is with the Youth sides keeps him away from Kane’s Klub which can only be a good thing.

    2. Dan says:

      D- so you believed when he first got job as technical director he would go on to world cup

      Read what is being said

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