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Why it was Right for Bennett to Move On

By: Ben Bowers
Date: 05/11/2009

THIS season has been one to forget so far for everybody associated with Grimsby. It was only a few years ago we were in the Championship (Division 1 then) and now we are facing exit from the Football League.

Possibly the person most affected from it is Mike Newell. He came into this job having had two successful stints with Hartlepool and Luton and now he is a laughing stock having done his reputation no good at all. I won't go into the details of it but there was one silver lining in the Newell Grimsby horror show - Ryan Bennett.

Newell managed to sell the most overrated player in Lincolnshire and it was certainly the right choice. It subtly reminds me of the recent Joleon Lescott transfer saga on a much smaller scale - an overestimated wantaway centre back who isn't even the best centre back at the club (I rate Atkinson more) and whose heart isn't there. He is then sold and turns out to be less good than expected. The one difference is that Everton didn't boast one of the worst goal differences in the league last season. It will result in a profit for a player who is nowhere near good enough for the Championship let alone League 1. Let me give you an example of this-Curtis Davies-also a centre back. Having just been flicking through all the match programmes I have accumulated during my life. I stumbled across a programme of my second club Luton (Davies’ first club) which had a profile of him. It said ‘I wouldn't be too surprised if he became part of the England setup in the near future.’ Now at his peak of his career not only is he not even the best Davies in England, he isn't even the first choice centre back at Aston Villa so it is unlikely that he will ever make it on international level. This is an example of potential being blown out of proportion and the winners being the selling club. It was also Newell who sold him!

I am not saying this as an excuse to support for Newell-who I still think is a top manager- but I am pretty certain that in 6 years when Bennett is at the peak of his career he is most likely to be at a club eligible to take part in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy seeing out the rest of his career without the promised land of fast cars and money.

Maybe I am being too harsh on Bennett. He may prove me wrong but I would like to know which fans voted him as player of the season? He was responsible for one of the football league’s leakiest defences while at the other end a certain Barry Conlon (co-starring Adam Proudlock ) were single handedly keeping Grimsby in the Football League. Also, why did Buckley make him captain? I know Bennett was popular with the players and the fans but who would put a 19-year-old as their captain of a professional team? It’s too much for the player himself and he has only experienced playing teams such as Rochdale and Bury week in week out. When Peter Sweeney came to the club-I would have made him captain straight away. A lively ex-Leeds player and one of our most creative players. I can't see anybody disagreeing with that choice.

Anyway I think we are the winners in all this since Grimsby obtained a very handsome profit from Ryan Bennett.

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