Celtic legend Henrik Larsson "not on the verge" of becoming Southend manager

By David Walton

September 23, 2019

Southend chairman Ron Martin has surprisingly stated that Celtic legend Henrik Larsson isn’t on the verge of becoming their new manager.

Larsson was pictured at Southend’s 1-0 win at MK Dons at the weekend (Sky Sports). This comes after plenty of media speculation regarding him potentially becoming the new head coach of the League One club.

The Celtic icon hasn’t ever managed in Britain before. A move to Southend, therefore, would be an extremely intriguing appointment given his status in world football.

Henrik Larsson is looking for a new managerial gig (Anders Ylander/Ombrello via Getty Images)

However, chairman Martin has dismissed any idea that his appointment is imminent. Speaking to the Southend Echo, this is what he had to say:

“Having Henrik Larsson join us on Saturday was simply part of the continuing interview process. I have a number of people to see this week and shall also be talking further with Henrik.

“This necessary due diligence to find the best option for the club is also not a negative reflection on Gary Waddock (caretaker manager) who is, in any event, well placed to influence our thinking.

“Whilst it is possible I am, nevertheless , doubtful a decision will be made, and implemented, by the weekend.”

Is this Henrik’s first step on his road back to Paradise?

Sure, nothing has been confirmed according to Martin. But you can’t imagine Larsson was there if the initial interview didn’t go well.

There’s obviously a theory that he could’ve just been there to see the team he’s interested in managing. Perhaps it doesn’t mean he’s definitely going to get the job. It could easily have been Henrik just taking the initiative here. But in any case, he’s certainly in the running.

Larsson has never managed in Britain before (Stu Forster/Getty Images)

A reunion one day back at Parkhead will hopefully be in the pipeline. Granted, Larsson failed to make a success of it with Landskrona Bois and Helsingborg respectively. However, he has plenty to offer the game, and he’ll command plenty of respect in British football.

Any return needs backed up with success

But if there is to be any return to Parkhead, he’ll need some managerial success to back his case up. Granted, Neil Lennon walked into the role back in 2010 with no experience of managing a senior club under his belt. Larsson, however, has some demons to rest after his time in Sweden.

Will Larsson return to Celtic as a coach or manager one day? (Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images)

Hopefully, this is a role he can walk into and come out of the interview process as the prime candidate. Larsson is looking for his fourth job in management after his second stint with Helsingborg came to an end in nasty circumstances. He was reportedly the victim of online trolls after a defeat to third-tier Oskarshamn (Sky Sports).

Some clubs just don’t fit certain managerial styles, however. It’s also worth remembering he had a reasonable spell with Falkenberg where he kept them in the Allsvenskan. But Henrik will be keen for further success to overshadow his relegation with Helsingborg back in 2016.

With a bit of luck, he finds that success at Southend, and in the distant future can find his way back to Celtic Park one day.