Southend United’s dreadful season continued on Sunday when they were dumped out the FA Cup by non-league Dover Athletic.
The Shrimpers went into the game looking for some respite from a disastrous league campaign which has seen them lose fourteen of their opening seventeen games. However, they were unable to overcome a Dover side who booked a place in the second round with an eighty-fourth-minute goal from debutant Ruel Sotiriou.
It was no more than Dover deserved after they controlled much of the game and created the better chances. The result leaves Southend with nothing to play for other than a desperate fight against relegation from League One. If the latest setback wasn’t enough, news emerged over the weekend the club was due back in court in early December to face a winding-up petition brought by HM Revenue & Customs.
The massive job ahead of new boss Sol Campbell is quickly starting to dawn on the three times FA Cup winner. He told the Southend Echo it was going to be challenging to reverse the losing mentality, which has steadily engulfed the club in recent times. He said: ‘It’s difficult when you’ve had this for eighteen months, but I have to try and somehow turn this around because it hurts me.’
‘We do things in training, but we don’t transfer it into games.’
‘I know it can happen because I’ve seen them do it, so I don’t know if it’s confidence or what.’
‘But we have to talk and work it out.’
Judging by the social media reaction to the result from many Southend fans, they agree with their new boss that he faces is a monumental task. Plenty of fans have either given up or just want to get rid of their under-performing squad and start again, with the players and controversial chairman Ron Martin receiving the most criticism.
Here is a selection of furious fans responses to the latest devastating blow on Twitter.
This is downright embarrassing. Dover played us off the park.
Not one of them deserves the privilege of wearing the shirt.
— Paul Samouelle (@paul_samouelle) November 10, 2019
Embarrassing. Time for a massive clear out. League 2 next season sadly. These players are far too lazy and overpaid.
— Andrew Styles (@AndrewStyles5) November 10, 2019
We can concentrate on relegation now.
— Mike Jolly (@djmikejolly) November 10, 2019
Gosh…never saw that coming! Make the players walk home, they’re not worthy of a lift
— Dave Smith (@smudger_d) November 10, 2019
I can't explain it, the only clear reason can be is The Chairman has a £10m bet on us being named the worst League 1 team ever in order to finance the new stadium??
— David Warren (@DavidWa18425508) November 10, 2019
I think I have just observed the worst game of football by a professional team ever. Can't create chances, can't pass, can't tackle, midfield non existent, no passion, no talking, no team playing. The only player I rate at this time is Elvis, but he can't do it on is own. Awful.
— Dawn (@Dawn53117444) November 10, 2019
Oh Southend mark my words never going to watch you play again this season
— Lewis Vanner [Official] (@reallewisvanner) November 10, 2019
Announce relegation no passion nothing
— kamba_a1 (@AhmedKamba_22) November 10, 2019
— Jason Hoskins (@JasonHo94454369) November 10, 2019
This is an all time low
— Declan McGhie (@Declan_Mcghie) November 10, 2019