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GTFC: No Score
GTFC: No Score

The London Eye

By: Ben Bowers
Date: 05/10/2009

ON Saturday two teams met who both have an outstanding characteristic about their ground which away teams are not fond of. Grimsby are the closest ground to the sea and Barnet are the only professional club to play on a hill! This time they met at the hill and it was all downhill for Grimsby..

There seemed to be no shape to the Town team and whenever Sweeney got the ball in midfield, the only pass he could make was usually backwards - the wingers just aren't good enough. Grimsby were tipped to be challenging for the top of the table by the end of the season but at this rate they seem to have gone backwards and it is likely they will be challenging near the foot of the table.

What’s worse is that Barnet, who are progressing nicely under Ian Hendon, were not playing anywhere near their best and who knows what might have happened if they had been. Conlon was sent off and is now suspended so it is hard to find many positives in this sad tale.

Brian Clough’s autobiography says that being a good coach means every manager must know his best team, but at present Mike Newell doesn't even know who his best strikers are let alone his best team. When Newell was appointed, he said he would try and make Grimsby hard to beat, Barnet rolled over them and so have Crewe and Port Vale in recent weeks.

The main problem was that they just couldn't do the basics right. The passes were erratic, there was no communication, as shown when Atkinson very nearly scored an own goal due to a lack of communication between him and Colgan. They didn't look like a team which was cohering together, more like a group of individuals who had not mastered their individual jobs.

Living in London, I did not have to make the long journey but to see Grimsby languish at the foot of the table and that many fans to turn up is incredible. I truly do feel sorry for the many Grimsby fans who travelled so far to see the bad Grimsby turn up.

It was a blustery autumn day. The wind was worse than usual for London and Grimsby took up about a quarter of the ground. Barnet had veteran Paul Furlong up front who has recently turned forty. Grimsby started up front with Proudlock and Akpa Akpro; presumably Conlon didn't start due to fitness problems. Clarke on the left and Bore on the right were the wingers but they were no match for Barnet’s pacey full backs and wingers, and Barnet’s Adomah is one to watch. Grimsby did not seem to have a proper right back and Wood has yet to come good. There were three strikers on the bench for Grimsby, five in total, a midfielder and two youngsters. There is not enough strength in depth.

Danny North since the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy has not fulfilled his potential and now we have seen that we have better strikers. There is no-one except possibly Akpa Apro and Bore on a good day, who can produce a moment of magic and create something out of nothing, a Ronaldo-esque type of player.

This is the first time Barnet have beaten Grimsby at home and they will be up there at the top of League 2 at the end of the season. It also shows how far Grimsby have gone in the wrong direction. If we are going to do well in the near future, these are the sort of games which we have to be getting points. Barnet showed Grimsby’s weaknesses, and there are many of them which will have to be improved on.

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