Could Sol Campbell actually get the Sheffield Wednesday job?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 16 August 2019, 15:02

The managerial merry-go-round is already dusting off the summer cobwebs and churning into action after bookmakers installed Sol Campbell as a surprise contender for the Sheffield Wednesday job following his departure from Macclesfield Town.

In the aftermath of Campbell’s Silkmen exit the bookies’ wasted no time in pricing him up in the next Sheff Wed manager market, with the former England defender propelled into the mix as the 3/1 (Paddy Power) second favourite to be named as the shock successor to Steve Bruce.

However, it’s the club’s current caretaker manager, Lee Bullen, who remains the red-hot favourite in the betting, 1/4 Bet Victor, and many people’s pick for the full-time job after conjuring up a 100% winning start to the season.

But could Campbell’s sudden availability in the Job Centre, and subsequent appearance in the betting market, now change anything?

After a period of frustration Campbell finally landed his first job in management back in November when Macclesfield offered him the job following the departure of Mark Yates.

Campbell arrived at Moss Rose seemingly restricted by his lack of managerial experience, but with a bucket load of confidence, having earlier proclaimed that had “one of the greatest minds in football”.

At the time of his appointment Macclesfield were glued to the foot of the Football League, seven points adrift of safety. In truth, few expected Big Sol to successfully preserve the club’s League Two status, yet he achieved this feat in incredibly difficult circumstances after he accumulated 31 points from 26 matches at the helm.

To put this into context, prior to his arrival the newly promoted club had only registered 13 points from their opening 20 games, three of which were recorded after his appointment (he was in the stands for the victory over Exeter).

Campbell’s side began the new season with a late defeat at Exeter, however they responded with wins over Leyton Orient and Blackpool in the league and cup respectively, only for the 44-year-old to then unexpectedly leave his post this week.

In a statement Macclesfield revealed that the decision was mutual, however The Mirror have since reported that the real reason Campbell left was because he had “not been paid for four months”.

Another speculative theory put forward is that he’s had talks with Sheffield Wednesday. This has not been confirmed, and in truth it seems unlikely.

There's no doubting that Campbell would jump at the chance to manage in the second-tier, although it goes without saying that the leap from League Two to the Championship is massive, as are the two clubs prospects for the current campaign with his now-former side Macclesfield tasked with staying in the Football League, whereas Wednesday have their eye fixed on promotion to the Premier League.

With this in mind, it’s difficult to envision the Owls taking a gamble on Campbell, who has only eight months of managerial experience on his CV. Yet the same could be said for Bullen. His start has undoubtedly been impressive - two wins out of two - but it’s early doors and history is full of examples of successful caretaker managers faltering once given the full-time job - Nick Daws and Dean Austin from last season - which perhaps explains why an official appointment has yet to be made.

Here at The Sack Race we still think that Sheffield Wednesday should do everything they can to lure over Chris Hughton. The former Brighton boss has previously distanced himself from the Championship vacancy, however Wednesday’s successful start to the season combined with Hughton’s likely urge to return to management could potentially result in a change of heart.

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Michael Jolley
(Grimsby Town)
15th November
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