Former Feyenoord, Celtic, Barcelona and Manchester United forward Henrik Larsson has been looking for a route into English football management, and League One’s Southend United are set to give him the chance.
Larsson, 48, has managed at three Swedish clubs in his managerial career so far, overseeing no more than 200 games between the three, and having eventually left all three as well.
His last post was with Helsingborg in the Swedish Allsvenskan whom he departed in November 2016, and now he’s in the running for his first job in English football with Southend United.
The position has been available for almost 40 days now since Kevin Bond’s departure at the start of last month, and Larsson has been a front-runner from the off.
Though it looked like Larsson had ruled himself out last month when it was revealed that he and a consortium of ex-pros including Dirk Kuyt, Dennis Bergkamp and Ronald Koeman were plotting a bid to take over League One side Wycombe Wanderers.
But that rumour quickly died down and Larsson was back in the frame for the Southend job. And now this week, it’s being said that Kuyt will become his assistant at Roots Hall.
The question was put to Shrimpers on Twitter whether they’d be pleased with the appointment of Larsson and Kuyt, and fans could not be more divided.
Would you be pleased if Henrik Larsson was Blues' next boss with Dirk Kuyt as his assistant?
— Chris Phillips (@CJPhillips1982) October 13, 2019
For those that would welcome the appointment, having faith in chairman Ron Martin is a catalyst.
Southend fans have great respect and admiration for their long-term chairman, and believe that there’s ‘more than meets the eyes’ regarding the Larsson/Kuyt rumours.
Another factor for Southend fans is that some feel their situation simply can’t get any worse. Their team have picked up just four points from 12 league games this season, and sit in 22nd of League One with seven points parting them from safety.
But the opposing fans have raised concerns over Larsson and Kuyt’s managerial experience in the Football League.
It’s arguably the most cut-throat, unprecedented league system in world football and we’ve seen many a manager come and go in an instance.
Southend travel to Tranmere in League One this weekend, and fans will hope that the club can finally end their hunt for a manager before then.
Atleast with Sol Campbell he has experience managing in the English game, all be it not loads but would be more confident with Sol that we could stay up than these two
— Kevin Lowe (@kevinlowe12345) October 13, 2019
NO!! Never wanted anything to fall through as much as this
— The Custard Splat (@CustardSplatPod) October 14, 2019
We have just had *THREE* managers with 'knowledge' of the English leagues and it's got us nowhere. Not entirely sure why an insight into the EFL is a line in the sand for people. The players need some fitness and fight to claw some pride back and then a few points.
— Tim Hobden (@TimHobden1) October 14, 2019
Of what appears to be the two main choices, these are my preferred one. It does worry me about the inexperience and lack of knowledge about lower league but whatever he is, Ron is not stupid and I can't help but feel there is a lot more to this than meets the eye.
— Kay Fogg (@Kaylalula) October 14, 2019
It can’t get any worse than what we already have and as it stands relegation is almost certain. Larsson/Campbell/ Barrett I don’t care as long as they instil some pride and passion in to what’s possibly the worst team I have seen in my 17 years as a supporter
— Lee Sharratt (@sharratt1) October 14, 2019
It's a no from me although we can't get much worse after Saturday. On paper, Campbell is a much a better choice so what else are Larsson and Kuyt bringing to the table?
— Pete Chatterton (@Pete_Chatterton) October 14, 2019
Whoever takes the leash has a mountain to climb that's a fact and we need to get down to business straight away so L and K having zero experience of lower league English football worries me that and the fact of wages is another worry as they won't be cheap. Tbh I am on the fence
— ShrimpersTalk.co.uk (@ShrimpersTalk) October 13, 2019