“I'm a winner and I want to pass that on.”
Arsenal 2004 “Untouchable” and former England international defender Sol Campbell is here; here to bring more belief and know-how to Trinidad and Tobago's World Cup qualifying effort.
Campbell landed at Piarco International airport yesterday afternoon for his first visit to T&T. But he is determined for it to be a successful one, as an assistant to new national coach Dennis Lawrence.
And speaking to the media briefly yesterday, Campbell was clear as to what he can offer a squad currently without a win after two matches in the CONCACAF Hexagonal qualifying series for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“I can bring a lot to the table,” he said. “I'm vastly experienced in international football and football in general. I've got an eye for detail, I want to pass that on. I think with Dennis at the helm, together with the whole squad, with the whole coaching squad, we can do something great.”
Campbell, part of the Arsenal team with Thierry Henry and Patrick Vieira that won the English Premier League playing unbeaten in 2003-2004, also detailed some of the things his new team would have to do to be successful.
“There's got to be discipline; there's got to be skill, there's got to be a classic way of defending and then allow the last third to be more flamboyant. But there's rules everywhere, there's rules of how you get over the line in international football. It's almost a little bit like a chess game. I think the sooner the players understand that, I think the easier the games will be for them and they'll enjoy the games.”
Like Lawrence, Campbell is an unknown quantity in international football when it comes to coaching.
But he said he was motivated to start off with the T&T job because of Lawrence.
“He's an upstanding kind of guy, he's proper,” Campbell said. “I don't mind working with him because he's very experienced with (Roberto) Martinez at Everton, so he knows his football, he has Trinidad and Tobago in his heart.”
Campbell was expected to get straight to work last evening, joining the T&T squad at a training session at the Ato Boldon Stadium ahead of tonight's friendly match against Barbados.
“Dennis has been with the team for at least two full weeks now. He knows the players inside out,” Campbell noted. “The (Pro League) season finished mid-Feb, so he's had a little bit of time to prepare the team; so for me, it's a chance for the players to show Dennis what they're really about.”
With zero points so far in the “Hex”, Campbell is under no illusions about the difficulty of the job ahead, but he is a believer.
‘It's a tough group, but I think the main thing is the players have to believe, and that's what Dennis is definitely gonna do for the team and I will bring that belief as well, because I'm willing them to qualify.”
T&T next play Panama in the World Cup qualifiers on March 24 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.
Sol Campbell arrives in T&T to take up Assistant Coach duties