After describing himself as “one of the greatest minds in football”, Sol Campbell now has the chance to prove it – with his first managerial gig.
The 44-year-old really has started at the bottom, as far as the EFL is concerned. Big Sol was yesterday appointed as gaffer for Macclesfield Town – who sit rock-bottom of League Two and four points from safety, despite a win at Exeter City last night.
So, can he weave some magic with the Silkmen and secure their safety? We look at what Campbell must achieve to ensure the Cheshire club beat the drop.
Get the front-men firing again
Goals have been the problem at Moss Rose this term. Macc are the lowest scorers in the division, with 16 from 20 games. In fact, they’ve only managed to score more than a single goal on one occasion since the opening day.
On paper, that shouldn’t be the case.
The pacy Scott Wilson hit 14 in the National League last term. Meanwhile former Plymouth Argyle hitman Nathan Blissett (nephew of the legendary Luther) netted in Leagues One and Two for the Pilgrims – and hit five in 16 with Macc last term.
Between them, the pair have managed a single goal in 30 league games combined. With the powerful Tyrone Marsh also failing to find the net, Campbell has his work cut out.
Use his contacts to bolster the squad
Having starred for the likes of Arsenal and Portsmouth, and won 73 England caps, Campbell’s likely to have a contact list the envy of every other League Two boss.
Now working with one of the smallest budgets in the EFL, the rookie gaffer will have to use them to full effect to booster Macc’s squad.
While the club did make a number of additions in the summer, it was very much a case of quality over quantity.
The arriving band of League One loanees and Non-League also rans have done next to nothing in improving the squad at Moss Rose. So Campbell needs to up the recruitment in January – and be ruthless in clearing some of the obvious deadwood.
Find a system that works for the Silkmen
Neither early-season boss Mark Yates or his caretaker replacements seemed to know how to set this Macc side up.
The former flirted with three at the back (to little avail), while joint-caretakers Neil Howarth and Danny Whitaker stuck with a 4-3-3 despite it clearly not working out.
With this being his first managerial post, Campbell’s tactical nous is something of an unknown. But the new boss will have to show he has a great mind for tactics if he’s to help Macc upset the odds of 1/3 for relegation.
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