Harry Redknapp: Southend United’s New Biggest Fan

Harry Redknapp: Southend United’s New Biggest Fan  - FootyNews.co.uk
NEW MALDEN, ENGLAND – JUNE 08: Harry Redknapp manager of the Rest of the World takes part in training during Soccer Aid for UNICEF media access at Fulham FC training ground on June 8, 2018 in New Malden, England. (Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

Things could not be worse at Roots Hall. Southend United began the season full of optimism but now find themselves in a dogfight at the depths of the League One table.

Last week it was announced that Chris Powell had been relieved of his duties. This came after a miserable run of eleven games without a win.

His successor is former Bournemouth boss Kevin Bond who, with the help of lifelong managerial sidekick Harry Redknapp, will hope to turn the club’s fortunes around.

Harry Redknapp: Southend United’s New Biggest Fan

Southend’s Nightmare Season

Overall, this season has been a living nightmare for their fans. Ravaged by injuries, tactical inadequacies and sub-par football, Southend have sleepwalked to relegation and seldom displayed any sign of fight or character.

Their side’s last win came three months ago against bottom-placed Bradford City. Since then, the Shrimpers have accumulated a paltry four points out of a possible 36.

This desperately poor form has caused a catastrophic decline from 10th to 20th in League One. Following Chris Powell’s departure, the Blues sit in a truly devastating position, gasping for air above the relegation zone.

Harry Redknapp stated that he is “desperate” for the Shrimpers to stay afloat and will attend Saturday’s clash against Fleetwood Town. “I’m going to be the biggest Southend fan”, he continued, but also conceded the difficulty of the task in hand.

With six games remaining, Bond has bravely assumed the role to try and prevent Southend returning to League Two after a four-year absence. More commendable, perhaps, is Redknapp’s decision to voluntarily support such a turbulent and frustrating side.

The Name’s Bond; Kevin Bond

New manager Bond, who worked closely with Redknapp at Tottenham Hotspur, Portsmouth and Queens Park Rangers, has declared himself capable of keeping Southend in League One.

This bold assertion has for some, however, suggested a degree of naivety. His confidence is admirable, but steadying the ship and guiding Southend through a tumultuous League One storm will be no easy task.

To help keep this promise, Bond has called upon the services of the current ‘King of the Jungle’. Though it is an unofficial role, Redknapp recently attended Boots and Laces training ground to motivate the players and whip them into shape.

At this desperate stage, Blues fans will take all the help they can get. Equally, they will hope that Redknapp’s cheeky and cheerful personality will be displaced by a harsh, no-nonsense approach.

Unenterprising, disjointed and dispassionate, it will take a Herculean effort to reverse their horror-show of a season. There is a sour and pessimistic atmosphere pervading the club at present, with fans venting their frustration with such an uninspiring appointment.

More than anything, the Southend faithful will be wishing him the best of luck. In truth, attempting to resuscitate such a terrible campaign will be fraught with challenges.

Nonetheless, there is a willingness to rally behind the new boss. Though his experience has been questioned, Bond has entered the role with a sense of conviction and confidence.

Can Southend Survive?

The Blues face Fleetwood on Saturday and Southend fans are crying out for a win. Bond will rapidly need to identify a winning formula and dispel the chaotic on-field meddling that, despite an injury-stricken squad, was so commonplace under Powell.

Off the pitch, equally, the attitude of the players desperately needs reinvigorating. They find themselves in a dogfight and will need every ounce of passion and grit they can muster.

There is plenty of quality that has not been unlocked this season, notably in players such as Michael Kightly and Luke Hyam. Bond must seek to incentivise, motivate and manufacture the attractive brand of football that has proven so evasive.

Throughout the season, the Shrimpers have been out of ideas. Youth hasn’t helped in revitalising the squad or reaped any palpable reward, nor has relying on experienced players. The Southend faithful will hope that Bond can strike a balance and energise the wounded animal he has agreed to supervise.

Looking forward, Southend have a relatively straightforward run-in compared to their relegation. As has been proven, however, League One is an unpredictable division and for Southend things scarcely go to plan.

Their fate will be decided, ultimately, by the fixtures against Wycombe Wanderers, Walsall and Rochdale. Fail to pick up points in those vital clashes, then a return to League Two surely awaits them.