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The Jevons' Situation

By: Richard Lord
Date: 06/09/2002

A lot has been made of Paul Groves' decision to let Grimsby striker Phil Jevons join up with Hull City on a season-long loan deal. Was it a good move from the gaffer or a blind one? Recent reports suggest his hand may have been forced into the move.

Phil Jevons, highly regarded as a future prospect by Everton fans, joined the Mariners for £250,000 in the summer of 2001. His early season partnership with Jonny Rowan helped Town top the league.

After knocking out the team he supported as a youngster in the Worthington Cup at Anfield, he notched a total of eight goals before the New Year. Jevons, by now playing with an injury, lost his form and a place in the team.

In fact, he has struggled to make a first-team start under the management of Groves. While Allen and Boulding were firing Town to First Division safety, Jevons sat on the sidelines and underwent an operation in the close season.

Following the departure of both Allen and Boulding, it has left the team thin on the ground and as a result given Jevons the chance to impress but he found himself behind Rowan and Livingstone before the arrivals of Robinson and Kabba.

Slipping down the pecking order, loaning Jevons out to a Third Division club appears to be a wise move by Groves, if not for financial reasons. It could possibly make or break Jevons' future career at Grimsby Town.

Groves will see it as a no-lose situation. If by the end of the campaign Jevons has shone and scored a hatful of goals for the Tigers, then Grimsby would have the benefit of Jevons for the following season.

Alternatively, he could return at the end of the season after failing to impress in the lower leagues, and Groves will have the simple duty of letting him go. Personally, I think Jevons will be a success for Hull City.

Some fans may see Groves' decision as shortsighted as three of our current strikers are on short-term deals. Robinson returns to Wimbledon in the near future, Kabba is on a three-month loan and Taylor is here until Christmas.

Rowan, Livingstone and Thompson are alternatives. Whichever way you look at it, Groves has made, or been forced into, a brave decision. There can be no question that since the Town boss became manager he has had to make some very tough decisions.

This is one of them and only time will tell if it pays off.

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