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Question of the Week

Will Grimsby get relegated?

Dark days
Dark days

Time For a Rethink

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 01/01/2024

GRIMSBY slumped to their heaviest home defeat for years but, in reality, it was only a matter of time before an opposing team took their chances and the Mariners were thumped. Mansfield was a warning that was not heeded.

Fans will point to Salford as an exception but they had not done their homework and studied the two previous games which Grimsby had faced and were in very poor form themselves. The new Grimsby way of playing is so easy to counter, and teams know they will be presented with a hatful of chances if they are patient. The Town side has been forced into a playing style completely incompatible with the personnel in the squad.

Grimsby, as they often do, started well. The Mariners dominated the first half hour. Eisa and Andrews both had chances before a Green cross to the unmarked Danny Rose in the centre of the goal saw the Mariners take the lead.

Town though eventually surrendered possession and Taylor surged past Waterfall and struck a fierce shot to level the game. Minutes later it was 1-2 when the Mariners failed to clear a cross and the unmarked Hutchinson made no mistake when the ball was played back in. It was brutal but Walsall had punished our mistakes.

Given the superiority up to the goal there was still hope going into the second but another defensive mistake saw Earing score. Grimsby had a good penalty shout for a challenge on Andrews which the ref didn't give but the ball went down the other end and Conteh stuck a foot, Earing went over it, and a penalty was awarded. Hutchinson added a second to make it 1-4.

The match was lost and Town's demoralised players had only nominal defence in place for Farquharson's 5th from a corner. The ref might have ended the game but played 5 mins of injury time, enough for Johnson to make it 1-6 and humiliate the Mariners further.

The entire approach under David Artell is completely wrong. Playing out from the back in theory might be a good idea but it has to be within the ability of the players on the pitch who were never brought to the club with that in mind as a key attribute. In theory, it might be possible to add some new players in January who might be better equipped but this is far from certain and has to be incorporated into the wage budget. In reality, we will never be able to sign more than a handful of fringe players at other clubs without much game time who are unlikely to be able to walk into the side and perform miracles.

The approach by the caretaker team of taking what we had and making small adjustments paid the best dividends of all the management teams Grimsby have had this season. Maybe their approach should be given more consideration, going forward?

The Mariners have no game until January 13th when they face Notts County at Blundell Park. Plenty of time for a rethink.

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