Four different ways Sol Campbell can fix struggling Southend United

James Richards by James Richards / 28 October 2019, 08:17

After a rather protracted search and recruitment process, Southend United finally have their new manager in place and he has already got his coaching staff with him.

Sol Campbell, a player who graced the Premier League and became the first England player to play in six consecutive international tournaments, will have his work cut out if he is to get a tune or perhaps even a slight wheeze out of the Blues current squad but then he’s used to adversity, isn’t he!

It will be a challenge but here four things Sol Campbell has to do in order to get Southend United out of trouble...

Show them how to defend

This might sound easy given his vast experience and expertise in this department but looking at some of the comical defending at Roots Hall this season, it’s going to be one hell of a task.

Campbell did at least get to see exactly what he’d let himself in for as he observed from the stands Doncaster beat the Shrimpers, albeit with nine men, 7-1 on Tuesday.

Although they are not going to concede seven every week (at least Ron Martin’s blood pressure doctor is certainly hoping they don’t) they must tighten up after conceding a whopping 43 goals already which amounts to 2.86 goals per game.

Across the 44-game season this would see them ship just shy of 126 goals – a figure would deserve to see them relegated to Timbuktu let alone League Two.

He lined the Shrimpers up in a 3-5-2 formation in the defeat against Ipswich, a formation which served him really well at Macclesfield where he, arguably, had a harder task to perform. Three at the back should help them become less porous but it may take a few games.

Attacking trident

At Macclesfield, Campbell was able to get the front three of Harry Smith, Scott Wilson and Elliott Durrell firing and this will give him confidence that he can do the same with Simon Cox, Tom Hopper and Stephen Humphrys.

The trio are probably Southend’s best players with Humphrys already showing his class in fleeting spells this season. Tom Hopper’s return is a huge boost for the Shrimpers, and he reminded the Blues faithful what they had been missing with his well taken strike at Tranmere.

Recruitment

There is no hiding from the fact the team assembled by Kevin Bond this summer was not good enough to compete in League One.

In fact, unless results improve before January a number of those signed could be taking a long walk off a short pier (or a longer walk off a long pier in Southend’s case) to allow new blood through the door.

Campbell is well connected, and his name alone should be able to help the club attract a decent calibre of player but a he needs to make sure they are still within touching distance of safety in order to sell the club to new recruits as a going concern in League One.

Keep XI players on the pitch

Four red cards in a season may not sound huge but it is the joint worst disciplinary record in the third tier this season along with Tranmere and Accrington while the Blues have also picked up 30 yellow cards.

The odds are already stacked against them, so keeping eleven players on the pitch is vital in order to give them a fight chance of survival.

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