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Groves Must Go - Maybe!

By: Tony Hamilton
Date: 10/03/2003

IN my 20 years of watching Grimsby Town, the football this season has been the worst, and it's all down to one man - Paul Groves.

His tactics have been abysmal and the way he sends the team out to play at Blundell Park has shown his lack of experience in the managerial game.

After Lennie Lawrence was sacked, I truly thought that Paul Groves was the man for the job but unfortunally I have been proved totally wrong in my judgement. The thing Groves is lacking is an assistant manager with some experience of the job as Graham Rodger,in my opinion, is not up to the job either. I've seen all the home games this season, and I knew all along that we were relegation material.

It's OK saying that the Club have no money, but that excuse wears a bit thin because not many 1st Division teams have spent money on players this season, but have used the newly altered loan system to prop up their shortcomings in their squads.

Also to blame are our board, by risking the Club's future in Division 1 by giving the manager's job to someone who lacks the credentials to manage a team in this division.

It wouldn't be so bad if Groves had a bit of experience in his management team but looking at them all, they are still wet behind the ears in the management game. So I wonder if the board are going to carry on with Groves and seeing Grimsby Town doing what Stockport did last season by getting hammered every game and driven into Div 2. If that happens, it's going to be one hard fight to get our Division 1 place back, as the lower you get in the divisions, the harder it is to get out.

Unless things change at Blundell Park quickly, the crowds we get will dwindle and people who have got season tickets will not renew them because of the appalling season they've sat through in all weathers.

Going back to the tactical side of it, when Groves had a fully fit squad for one of the few times this season, he decided to play the same system as we did at Ipswich - the 4-5-1 formation and most of us know you never play that at home because unless you've mastered that system it can be a total failure, which it was against Coventry. Why does he insist on banging long balls into our small centre forwards because this proves what a bad tactician he is, as most clubs can use this silly tactic to their advantage?

The only people who can change the fortunes of the Club, before it's too late, are the board of directors, as they have the power to hire and fire the manager and if they did take that step by changing the manager and advertised there could be a few surprise applicants for the job.

".…we'll be in the 2nd division playing in front of 3000 fans!…."

If they can't afford to sack Groves why don't they bring an experienced head in to help him through this bad period, like Middlesbrough did with Bryan Robson because it would save us a lot of money by not dropping down a Division, and hopefully it would help Groves to be a bit more aware of the way he sends his team out to play.

Because if something isn't done soon, next season at Blundell Park we'll be in the 2nd Division playing in front of 3000 fans.


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