Sol Campbell

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Bookmakers odds on next USMNT boss


After Sol Campbell (seriously) threw his hat into the ring to become the next U.S. men’s national team boss, now seems like a good time to check in on who are the current names being mentioned for the role.

Campbell told ESPN that he is interested in the vacant USMNT role as the former Arsenal and Tottenham star is currently the assistant coach of the Trinidad & Tobago national team.

“I think there is a lot of soul-searching [for the U.S. to do]. I think the main thing you’ve got to look at [with] America is where do they go now? They’ve invested a lot of money, and I think sometimes you’ve got to look in different area,” Campbell said. “You can’t always look in the same places. Yes, they want to keep it local, and they want to keep as much in USA with the players and the staff, but sometimes you’ve got to open up. I think there’s guys around the world who could contribute.”

“Maybe not [people] on their hit list, maybe not on the paper list, maybe not on the agent’s list, but guys who probably could help them in different ways on the field: attack-wise, defense-wise. Who knows? If they came to me, maybe I could help them out. Who knows? But I think they have got to start looking in different directions.”

Campbell’s coaching credentials are obviously limited but the former England international asking the U.S. to have a global coaching search isn’t asking for anything which hasn’t already been done. See: Klinsmann, Jurgen.

Of course, there is no imminent appointment expected with the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) presidential race happening in February 2018, so appointing a new boss between now and would be a big mistake if the coach’s philosophy doesn’t fall in line with whoever is the leader of U.S. Soccer moving forward.

Still, via betting site Oddschecker, it’s very intriguing to see some of the names being linked with the USMNT job. Here are the odds on offer…

Sam Allardyce – 1/2 favorite
Caleb Porter – 8/1
Gregg Berhalter – 14/1
Jesse Marsch – 14/1
Laurent Blanc – 14/1
Patrick Vieira- 14/1
David Wagner – 16/1
Peter Vermes – 16/1
Bob Bradley – 20/1

Sam Allardyce has already put himself out there with regards to the USMNT job and his vast experience leading club teams from ruin to redemption could work well in this scenario, even if Big Sam’s knowledge of Major League Soccer and the USMNT is vastly inferior to MLS coaches in the running.

Caleb Porter leaving his role with the Portland Timbers has led to plenty of intriguing reports and rumors but is he really the right man to lead the USMNT?

Other MLS coaches linked with the position are Jesse Marsch who continues to overachieve with the New York Red Bulls, while Gregg Berhalter in his uncertain situation with Columbus Crew could be a good shout, especially with his brother Jay playing a prominent role at U.S. Soccer.

David Wagner’s past as a USMNT player will resonate strongly with many involved in the American soccer community but he’s unlikely to leave Huddersfield anytime soon, and then there’s Bob Bradley on the list. Quite why he’s on there as he builds LAFC ahead of their debut season in MLS in 2018 says it all about these bookies odds.

Take it all with a hefty pinch of salt and expect no movement for a while as the USSF presidential election takes center stage over the next few months. When that concludes and a successor (more than likely) is selected to replace Sunil Gulati, then we should expect a new head coach to be appointed by the USMNT.

With no World Cup next summer or competitive games until 2019, what’s the rush?

We are talking about a nation which is not only 24th in the FIFA world rankings, but also one where the sport is growing an you get the sense a fine crop of players are bursting to come through and the 2018 World Cup could be the catalyst for significant change in the USMNT playing squad.

Time needs to be taken to assess who the best man for the job would be and, right now, nobody jumps off the page as the leading contender. After the World Cup next summer plenty of international coaches will become available as they come to the end of their cycle or they’re fired. In my opinion, why not wait until the end? Having an interim boss in charge for a friendly match in January and two more in March and June isn’t the end of the world and gives the U.S. plenty of time to make the correct decision moving forward.

This next hire is crucially important to the future of the USMNT.

Sol Campbell joins Trinidad and Tobago staff

Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images
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Sol Campbell is plotting the United States men’s national team’s demise.

The 42-year-old former Spurs, Arsenal, and Portsmouth defender has been hired as an assistant coach with Trinidad and Tobago.

Campbell, 42, is the son of Jamaican parents and has yet to move into management. The Daily Mail credits Campbell’s former teammate Thierry Henry with inspiring the move.

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T&T sits fifth in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, 0-2 but with better goal differential than basement-dwelling USA.

The Soca Warriors are home for Panama and Mexico in March, hoping to move up the table after losing at Honduras and home to Costa Rica in its opening matches.

T&T visits the USMNT on June 8.

Former Arsenal legend Sol Campbell running for Mayor of London


Mayor Sol Campbell. That has a ring to it, right?

Soon it could become a reality as the former England international has declared his intention to run for the Mayor of London in 2016 and represent the Conservative party.

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Campbell, 40 famously switched Tottenham Hotspur for bitter north London rivals Arsenal during his illustrious playing career which saw him play for England 73 times and feature at three World Cups, plus win two Premier League titles, two FA Cups and score in the UEFA Champions League final with the Gunners.

Since retiring in 2012, Campbell has been outspoken in the realm of politics and joined the Conservative party last year as well as lambasting the lack of racial diversity within the English Football Association.

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He has long been linked with running to become the local MP for Kensington and Chelsea but dismissed that opportunity earlier in 2015 and has now revealed his intention to be the Conservatives candidate to replace current London Mayor Boris Johnson who is expected to step down next year.

Campbell will join a debate with the rest of the Conservative party’s candidates on July 4 and although he is far from the favorite, he is likely to get plenty of support due to his star status as a former England captain and one of the best central defenders the nation has ever produced.

Speaking to the Sun newspaper, Campbell is already having a pop at other politicians and discussed what he could bring to the table.

“I’m going in with my eyes wide open. I know I’m not going to be a frontrunner.

“But I look at people who have been in politics for five, 10, 15 years, and muck up, you see them muck up and think, ‘you guys are supposed to be pro!’ People that have gone to Oxbridge, had thousands spent on their education, and I mean they are royally mucking up.”

“I bring something new to the table. This is a whole new road for me, something I can get my teeth into but I just felt it was something I had to do. I come from a working class background, it wasn’t easy for me at all, but I worked hard. And now it’s about giving something back.”

Zac Goldsmith and Stephen Greenhalgh will be his biggest contenders for the Conservative nomination, while Labour’s Sadiq Khan and Tessa Jowell are slight favorites to replace Johnson in 2016. Campbell’s ability to handle pressure was questioned back in 2005 when he walked out of Arsenal’s Highbury Stadium at half time after making two bad mistakes in the first half of their 3-2 defeat vs. West Ham. However, according to the interview with the Sun newspaper, he now believes he is ready to handle the pressure and power politics can throw his way.

Campbell was born in Plaistow, east London in 1974 and spent time at the youth academy at West Ham and then Tottenham, plus won titles and became a household name at Arsenal. His close links with several London teams makes him a unique character in England’s capital and although Campbell may lose plenty of votes in and around Tottenham (Spurs fans have never truly forgiven him for crossing north London), all he wants is one thing.

“I want to change London for everybody.”

If you only read one story on Sol Campbell today, let it be this one.

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And now for a story you didn’t realize you needed in your life.

The Guardian’s Daniel Taylor tells the tale of the former England, Arsenal, Spurs and Portsmouth back attending a seminar on the lack of black managers in English football. Clearly a very serious topic, and not one out of which you’d expect a light story to emerge.

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However, one did (though clearly it won’t be funny for Campbell and his ego).

As Campbell listened to a Football Association director explain why Gary Neville had been fast-tracked through the English coaching ranks to get alongside Roy Hodgson, Campbell decided to cut off the explanation by offering a simple rebuttal.

From The Guardian:

Ashworth started talking about the favourable impression Neville had made on Hodgson and the players and was running through the processes that were involved when Campbell put out his hand to interrupt him. This is when things started to get a little strange.

“But I am Sol Campbell.”

As you might imagine, that isn’t a particularly easy sentence to come back from. Ashworth did his best to continue because, well, what else could he do?

And we’d encourage you to click the link and read the rest of Taylor’s story, because Campbell takes his reasoning up a bit. Thanks for making our afternoons brighter, Daniel.