AFTER just three managers in the space of 15 years, Southend United are now on the look-out for their fourth permanent boss since the start of 2018.

Sol Campbell’s departure from the Shrimpers was announced this afternoon after just nine months in charge.

But the former England international never really seemed entirely settled at the Shrimpers.

Make no mistake about it, the Roots Hall hot-seat is right up there with the hardest jobs in football right now.

The fragile finances, the late payment of players’ wages and a transfer embargo mean any manager would have found it tough going at Blues.

However, those issues are far from a secret in the footballing world.

And Campbell would surely have known the size of the task he was inheriting both on and off the pitch, especially after watching a club record 7-1 defeat to Doncaster Rovers just minutes after his appointment.

Campbell could certainly not be blamed for the club’s relegation but he appeared to be ground down by the issues he was continually having to face.

And instead of focusing on what he could look to try and influence it seemed as though he would often opt to look at what he couldn’t.

Speak to those inside the club and a lack of communication would also often be the biggest criticism of Campbell’s regime.

The 45-year-old is believed to have mainly only spoken to the coaches he brought in with him and had hardly any dialogue with the staff already at Roots Hall before his arrival.

Since the start of lockdown, it is also understood Campbell has had minimum dialogue with one or two members of the squad but the majority went 12 weeks with no contact at all.

And he often seemed not to know what was happening above him at Roots Hall.

With the coronavirus bringing even more concerns for lower-league clubs, now – more than ever – is a time for everyone connected with the club to dig in and attempt to make the best of an extremely tough situation.

As such, the Shrimpers are in dire need for a real leader who can bring a broken club back together in a bid to get them back on the front foot while finally generating a more positive environment which is far more likely to see the team produce improved performances.

Blues will face another huge fight next season and it is therefore probably best for all concerned that Campbell has departed.

Eighty per cent of fans agreed with the decision according to an Echosport poll held tonight.

But attention will now turn to Campbell’s successor and it is another huge appointment for Ron Martin.

Adam Barrett and Kevin Maher, both of whom have the club at heart, are among those to immediately be mentioned while Paul Tisdale offers a more experienced option.

However, the Roots Hall hierarchy must also learn from their own recent mistakes.

And it is time to appoint the best name not the biggest.


Sol Campbell leaves Blues after nine months in charge