McCall Sacked: Is Southend’s Powell Next?

Scunthorpe United sacked Stuart McCall yesterday, following a dismal run of results.

His win rate was 30%, with his loss percentage at 60%, it was this that cost him his job.

He had been at the helm for less than a year, managing The Iron for only 209 days.

209 Days doesn’t sound long and in some ways it’s not, but given that a new manager needs time to get to know his players, implement his ideas, then get the team playing the way he wants, without factoring in injuries and suspensions, then it’s a relatively short period of time.

This prompted speculation that Chris Powell, the manager at Southend, was going to be next.

A surprising factor in McCall’s sacking, is that Scunthorpe, though on a bad run of results, weren’t in the relegation zone. However, as you will have read above the loss ratio was very poor, and on paper 60% looks disastrous both to fans and the board, but when you factor in the well-documented, mitigating circumstances, then perhaps his record shouldn’t be as heavily frowned upon.

Though McCall and Scunthorpe parted company yesterday, Chris Powell at Southend was still in a job, despite suffering a 2-0 defeat to Peterborough at the weekend, a performance in which the players looked lazy and lacklustre.

Comparing the two teams’ records this season, on current form, Southend sit in 20th position, currently safe from relegation, just one place from the 4 teams below them trying to get out of the drop zone. However, they have not scored in their last 2 matches and during March alone have scored just 3 goals, conceding 12.

So whilst the speculation about Powell intensifies, it is worth remembering that Phil Brown, a previous incumbent of the hot seat, went through a similar rough patch during his tenure, so Southend do have a history of sticking by their managers, before pushing the panic button.

Phil Brown was in charge for almost 5 years, Paul Sturrock for 3 years prior, and before him Steve Tilson was in charge for 7 years.

All the named managers were able to achieve stability for a small town club, without massive finances, and kept them in the division they were in, or managed to get the club promoted against this backdrop.

With such a track record,  it could be argued that Powell will have time on his side, and the backing of the board, to help keep Southend afloat.

Appointed in January 2018, he inherited a side low on confidence and had only a couple of months until the seasons end in April to steady the ship.

Add pre-season into the mix and then you come back ready for the rigours of a new season. The fact that Powell hasn’t yet had a full season at the helm could be a major influence in why he is entrusted as club manager.

An organised, efficient manager; he gets his teams organised and hard to break down, so despite the speculation,  Powell could still turn things around.

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