The Grimsby Town FC


Question of the Week

Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?



The "Groves Out" Brigade

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 31/12/2003

A poster on the Fishy Message Board under the name of Yorkie_Haters_B1tch stated: "I was only saying the other day, I wonder how long it will be until the 'Groves Out' Brigade invade the Message Board again?"

Home > Features > 2003 Features > The "Groves Out" Brigade

The truth is, they have never gone away. Neither have his supporters.

But the difficulty we face in judging him, is that there always seems to be some confusion between his role as a servant of the club as a player and that of his current role as the manager and yet the similarities are as different as chalk and cheese (as the old saying goes).

But josnche had no difficulty at all in separating the two. He said;

"It's about time he stepped aside and let someone else have a go at managing this club. He has under-achieved time after time and shows no sign of improving as a manager. He picks the same team week in week out and then wonders why it doesn't win, he needs to leave and we need a manager that will drop players if they play poorly and reward players who play well.

Anyone that now wants to reply to this complaining that Groves is a good manager with a lack of resources then don't, because he has managed to get good players over the summer and we have a squad that is easily capable of challenging for promotion, but after seeing the performance against Peterborough, are we really expected to challenge against teams like QPR. We were absolutely abysmal, we need someone creative in midfield like Hockless or Anderson, but instead we stick with the unbelievable talent of Des Hamilton.

It's time for some major Changes around Blundell Park or we are going to grind to a halt and become division 2 mediocrity like Peterborough and that is NOT what any of us want."

gollyontheright adds:

"Firstly, I like him. He seems like a great bloke and few people have done more for Grimsby Town in recent history.

But, he's had 2 years. He took over with us in a bit of relegation trouble, and saved us with 8 wins and 8 draws from 24 league games. Last season was terrible and even considering the ITV digital fiasco was unacceptable in way of results and performances.

This season we have a good and strong squad compared to other Div 2 clubs, maybe only lacking a striker. Our performances rate between decent and abysmal, with only the odd good performance every now and then.

And before anybody has a go and says what do I know, I've missed only 3 games during his spell as manager: away at Millwall, home to Rotherham and the FA Cup replay at Burnley all last season.

This season has been a joke when you consider teams like Colchester, Luton, Wrexham and Port Vale are sat in and around the play-off places.

If we lose at Wycombe and then against Plymouth he will have to go in my opinion."

adman says;

We do have the basis of a great team here, but Groves just doesn't seem capable of motivating them into playing as a good team. Also, Groves does seem to play his 'mates' (Hamilton) and drops others (Hockless, Jevons and COOKE)!!!

I believe that unless its just one of those days that we seem to gel, Plymouth will come here and show us up. Also, I can imagine we will go and draw at Wycombe.

Groves just isn't cutting the mustard at the moment and improvement needs to me made, and soon."

Mertle points to the statistics regarding managers;

"you may get your wish. Since 1955 Allenby Chilton. The average lifespan of a manager in charge has been 2 years

Only Alan Buckley 5 yrs 5 mnths & 2.3, George Kerr 2.6, Dave Booth 2.10 have beaten this trend. What is quite noticable is that they were all succesful periods with promotions apart from Dave Booth reign. However he did achieve fifth in div2 (now div1).

Interesting is prior to 1955. In 35 years town had only 8 managers. 1955-1990 the same amount of years we had 16 managers.

So statistically Groves is in sack country."

Later he added;

"I do have my doubts about his ability to manage

However I was just pointing a statistical fact about Town. We simply rather frequently sack managers when things are going badly. 16 managers in 35 years is awful lot.

Since 1990 the trend, apart from Alan Buckley's reign, has not changed. Groves is the six (7th if we take it from 1990) manager in this period. Just as a high turnover of managers between 1955-1990.

Although some managers left without being sacked it just shows how things have gone on for years. I see little indication this constant turnover of managers changing."

RichMariner comments:

If you look back over the last two years, we've had very few things to celebrate. Certainly the ITV Digital fiasco didn't help, but it's not as if we're the only club it's affected.

Finishing bottom of any league is unacceptable, no matter what the circumstances are. You'd like to think that even with a small squad and a relatively inexperienced manager in the first division, that you'd at least fight until the bitter end. We went down with a whimper.

Perhaps Groves has been a victim of his early success, when we fought against the drop and assured safety with a game to spare. Since then, things have gone downhill and at the moment I'd like to think that we're at the very bottom - surely the only way is up from now.

If it isn't, and we do lose the next two games, then Groves has to go in my opinion. I like the bloke, he's done a lot for the club but football fans are only tolerant to a certain degree.

But this is where the problem lies. Chances are, we don't lose the next two. We'll draw them both, or win one and lose one, as long as it's just enough to keep Groves in the job.

technocod was more direct saying;

A lot of people said we should give him until Christmas before calling for his head, and I broadly agreed with that.

This has now past, and I cannot see results improving under the existing management structure. I think it is time for PG to bow out, rather than hang on in there until he is sacked.

DocTower posted;

I have not missed a home game this season. Town have not learned anything from last season or should it be Paul Groves hasn't.

The performances bar QPR have been grim. The crowd cannot be blamed for not getting behind the team or manager but enough is enough.

As for the Oldham game 5 of the 6 goals were the best we will see for the rest of the season but as a game it was awful. None of the players complement each other, no game plan, no leader ship.

Sorry to say it but now is the time for Paul to go, along with Macca who is fast becoming what Livvo was. No way is he a captain or a leader I still stand by what I said when he was on his way to Hull "Thanks for being a good servant but well past your sell by date"

Buckley to sort it out maybe?

Mike_67 has almost the final word.

"Question is: do you really think he's done well during his time in charge?

The league position and points tally suggest not.

I've never been a member of the 'Groves Out Brigade' but I'm not oblivious to the situation either.

We might be able to climb the table in the New year but on what I've seen so far this season it isn't likely. I hope I'm wrong because one thing that is obvious is that PG works tremendously hard to find talented players and run the team. He deserves to do well. The job, however, is based on results."

But the final word must go to Tony Butcher who has not voiced his opinion on whether Groves should go or stay but he has, in his reports, highlighted the inconsistencies displayed by the Mariners under the management of Paul Groves.

On The Brentford game:

"Now that really was a feast of fun, like a museum piece. Long ball opponents, concrete open terraces, and Town battle back to win away."

"This was a real team performance against a side whose style has traditionally been our undoing. The facts are pretty stark - Davison only had one save to make all game. They were quite easily repulsed by the stoic back four, tireless midfield and determined strikers. It wasn't great, but it was what was required. What's more, even the substitutions worked."

On the Peterborough game:

"It's games like these which show why Town won't go down, but won't go up either. For they lack the will to win, to be ruthless, to be professional."

"It was like watching a schoolboy game."

There are always differing points of view. The next article in this series will be devoted to those who feel Paul Groves should stay. So get busy! Let us hear your views either on the MB or click on here to send them direct to us at the Fishy and we will put it in the article.

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