Question of the WeekShould England "Take the Knee"?
Where Next for Grimsby Town?
By: Richard Warman
WE drew. However, it felt like a loss, a loss at a morgue. Lost off the field, and on last night's evidence lost on it.There are so many questions that need answering as we move forward and hopefully not further backwards. Our once great club is a corpse of its former self, there is still life left in us but for how much longer.
Many refer to current tactics as ‘Sladeball’ however this is not Sladeball- his tactics before were well thought out, effective and brought some success. This turgid and timid imitation on viewings so far is actually more like ‘hope ball’ – no direction, no purpose and hurtful on the eye - effectively making fans ask the question "what do the players do during training in the week?" Furthermore, saying that a promotion push can be instigated with an engine room of Berrett & Summerfield is frankly insulting. Not that I have anything against these guys, far from it, they give 100% and are great professional's but their quality is just not good enough for an assault on the league.
The new stadium. Our twenty-year hope, our saviour, but is it anywhere near being built? We still don’t know, left in the dark; again. Over six months since any substantial news, waiting for 'football fortune ' to make everything right; it's been a long wait, and making a calculated guess we will be waiting a lot longer. Extreme leisure, can they deliver? Have they ever delivered a project on this scale? Looking at their web page it would look like at best they may have, at worst they definitely haven't. What's the contingency plan if the stadium can't be delivered?
Our goals. What are they? If we had a long-term model or vision for the future I'd be more than happy to wait for success (what even is success at our level: winning, playing attractive football, developing younger players or being more of a community club?). I honestly believe most fans would & could tolerate ups & downs if they knew they had something to look forward to, something progressive, something sustainable, something innovative that gave them an enjoyable Saturday afternoon; not the feeling of apathy, chore and habit that currently exists. We need to be proactive rather than reactive!
Our youngsters. Where is the pathway? Yes, sometimes the odd one gets a spot on the bench or a token twenty minute in the non-cup however more often than not they're either shipped out on loan and discarded or just be discarded and playing for Cleethorpes Town or Grimsby Borough. Surely, we have to be braver, bridge the gap and give them more chances. If they were/are substantially worse than what's in the first team then yes, they are not good enough- release. Although with a lot of the players that have faded away have they been any worse than what's in the first team? Even now Harry Clifton & Maxi Wright, look really good players. Will they ever get their chance? History suggests not.
As for our non-chairman, I'm not here to criticize – not my place. I genuinely believe he's a fan and has the best interests of the club at heart. But there has been mistakes and plenty of them, the problem is rarely he and anyone at the club have learnt from them (and worryingly do they even want to?) : PR disasters , the non-cup boo boo , home videos ; dark aged stadium tours the list could go on. We need to catch up, and quick; otherwise we will be left behind ever further than we are now. Telling fans that they will face a 10% price hike on season tickets, even though we don’t know which league we shall be in next season, was in my opinion a new low.
Our great fans. And you have been. Sticking through the club in its time of need. But how do we recruit more? we need more, as we have seen with Lincoln City down the road a good run and decent PR and anything and everything is possible. Why not? we need drive, determination and positivity in luring new fans into our club. Especially young ones — they’ll say we have tried before, well try again, we must do. Unless we just want to keep the regular four thousand home fans (yes if we are doing well we might touch five) our club needs to show us they mean business and aren't just 'happy with their lot ' which it does seem is the case at times. Come on now.
Things have come to a head. I think we all know it. And they will go one way or another, time will tell. I just hope it’s the right way for our great club and underappreciated fans. We need a plan. We need a future. And most of all we need hope.
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