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Question of the Week

Should Russell Slade be sacked?

Yes immediately
Give him one more game
No


 

POTW: Striker

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 29/03/2001

Every week from now until the end of the season, The Fishy's Richard Lord and Richard Hubbert will be reviewing Grimsby's rollercoaster season position by position, this week starting up front in what has arguably been the campaign's most controversial area of the pitch.

Position of the week: Striker

It has certainly not been particularly pretty up front for Town this year. The Mariners have called on the combinations of Jeffrey/Clare, Jeffrey, Allen/Jeffrey, Allen/Livingstone, Nielsen/Allen, Nielsen/Allen/Livingstone, Nielsen/Livingstone, Jeffrey/Nielsen, Donovan/Nielsen, Livingstone/Jeffrey, Jeffrey/Rowan, Allen/Rowan and most recently Donovan/Clare, Cornwall/Allen and Cornwall/Jeffrey to muster the goals for Town. That’s 15 combinations. 34 goals in 38 games tells its own story and it's clear to see that there has been absolutely no consistency in Town's strike force.

At least we saw a glimmer of hope in a few combinations, in particular the Nielsen/Allen/Livvo triple attack, which provided some exciting moments, until Allen got injured and Nielsen never quite played with the same conviction again.

With Nielsen returning to Denmark, Clare was farmed out to Cheltenham, Allen got injured, and Town were left with just Jeffrey, Livingstone and the inexperienced Rowan as strikers. It seemed that after two successive 3-1 home defeats to Crewe and Wycombe, there was no light at the end of the end of the tunnel, and relegation was a foregone conclusion. Then, came Michael Jeffrey, who before Christmas looked like the worst ever player to pull on a Town shirt. He suddenly sprang into life and forged a potent partnership with Livvo, after Donovan had failed to strike up front, and looked much more comfortable on the wing. Anyway, Town started winning and looked like a proper team for the first time in months.

Then - disaster. Livvo got injured and we're back to square one again. Rowan has been tried and tested, but is in the same bracket as the fit again Allen, Jeffrey and the re-emerged Clare. Town then missed out on Lee Matthews, who has got off to a blinding start at Bristol City, scoring in both of his two winning starts for the Robins. Lennie Lawrence did manage to get Luke Cornwall on loan from Fulham, but the 5'10" striker has not looked so far like the goal scorer that Town desperately need - history is hardly on Town's side either with "Super Luke" having just a solitary career goal two and a half years ago to his name.

Town seemingly play best with a big man up front. Without a player like Livvo, we're lost and as it stands now, without the burly striker's imminent return being a success, too many points will be lost and we'll be doomed. The following statistics tell their own story:-

  • Town's record with Livvo up front

    Played:21 Won:9

  • Towns record without Livvo up front

    Played:15 Won:2

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