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Where Grimsby Town are Right Now

By: Ben Bowers
Date: 06/12/2009

I think most of us would have preferred Russell Slade at the helm. This was the man who built the most successful Town side of the modern era - a few of them have gone on to better things (aka League 1). He had the right balance in the team. The experience of Whittle, the drive of Kalala and the goal scoring threat of Jones; they were all Slade’s players.

But that is all in the past. Slade has gone and we are stuck with the cheap option of Neil Woods. He looks like a nice guy but it feels a bit like same old.

At the weekend against Dagenham, the opposition had 72% of the possession. Even though they are 5th in the league, it seems like Woods has not instilled belief into the team. I think the determination is there but the confidence is not and Woods has not taught them how to win games and it could be a while before our next win. This is my team report of Grimsby Town:

Goalkeepers - As long as Tommy Forecast never returns to Grimsby, all is just about fine in this position. Colgan has started to impress me lately after a slow start and injury. He may be no Phil Barnes, but he is experienced and we are in safe hands for at least the next year.

Defenders - Since Bennett has left (though we are yet to reap the rewards of selling him), we look like four average defenders. Widdowson isn't as good as I first thought . Atkinson needs to take leadership of the back four more. Stockdale has to drop deeper as he has lost some of his pace which he had earlier in his career but Bore looks a good right back if necessary and Lancashire needs to concentrate more but he is young and improving after a slow start.

Midfielders - Sweeney looks like the only midfielder who can score a goal and pass a ball. Leary just seems off the pace and has not had one good game since joining Grimsby and this is an area where Woods needs to strengthen. I have been impressed by Shahin and Hegarty looks to be coming on but all our wingers seem to be inexperienced and we need a winger who is at the peak of their game - not including Jamie Clarke.

Strikers - This is the position which I find most frustrating. How, with so many strikers, have we only managed to score twice in our last seven games? After the Northampton game I wrote that Akpa Akpro and North should be given a chance to play up front-I changed my mind after this barren spell. Strikers are there to score goals and which two players scored the most goals last year? I point you in the way of Adam Proudlock and Barry Conlon. Put these two up front and maybe add in the impressive Coulson for a bit of variety and it could just be the right formula to keep Town in the Football League.

All in all we are an underperforming team with a manager whose players are not yet playing for him. We may as well give him a chance if he is the best we have got. He seems a nice guy but he needs to win over the players before it is too late because if not.... Grimsby Town will be playing non-league football next season.

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