Question of the Week
Will Paul Hurst stay at Grimsby?
Will It Ever End?
By: Bill Osborne
THE mailbag has been full again this week with everyone wanting to have their say. The Gob's and the Gib's are full throttle and today we present more views from the GOB side.
Gollyontheright airs his view with;
A lot has been said about the current plight of our beloved Mariners. A club which over the last 25 years has spent much of it's life punching above it's weight and defying the odds in Division 1. We went into each season in the 2nd tier knowing that we might struggle, but sure in the knowledge that if we did we would put up one hell of a fight to stay there.
When Paul Groves took over after 22 games of the 2001/02 season we were, but for an appalling Stockport County side, bottom of the league. After a worrying spell in January and February we went on a mini-run of battling away performances (beating Wolves, drawing at Forest and Norwich) and fantastic attacking home wins (thrashing Palace, Wimbledon and Burnley). It kept us in Division 1 with a game to spare against the odds.
Grimsby was hard hit by the ITV digital fiasco, but so were many clubs. We were always going to find it hard. We all knew we might go down. We did. But were was the fight? From February and March when you need the big performances, there weren't any. We beat Stoke at home. We battled hard at Ipswich and Forest only to drop 2 points at the death. The manner of home defeats by the likes of Walsall and Palace were unacceptable. We went down without a fight. Many managers would have been fired. Yet Paul Groves job was never questioned. We all accepted that he would lead us in the 2nd Division.
The fans never gave up. Like myself, many bought shares, renewed there season tickets, bought the new replica shirts and we were all expectant after Grovesie assembled a promising squad. A squad with much more depth than all but a few clubs in our new division. Many felt that the play-offs were a possibility.
The season started in positive fashion. More than matching Plymouth away scoring 2 good goals to be denied by 2 unmarked close range headers. All who went were positive about the future season seeing Town play so well at one of the expected contenders. With six games gone we had a 2-2-2 record. Not great, but as we all said better than 97/98 when we sat 23rd at that point.
Then it happened. A cool Friday night far up the East Coast. A team who we were 2 divisions above only 4 months earlier thrashed us. There incisive passing play carved us open at will. 8-1. The worst result in generations against a team who weren't even that good. There were a few murmurs against Paul Groves.
The players responded well. After a 2-1 home defeat by an excellent Swindon side we beat Chesterfield 4-0, got a good 0-0 at Sheff Wed and a hard earned, backs-to-the-wall win at Blackpool. Faith restored. It was a fluke result- Hartlepool at there very best, us at our very worst.
October was a decent month. An unlucky home defeat by QPR. The following poor performance at Brighton being the only set back, and even that was followed by wins over Colchester, Notts Co and drawing at Barnsley thanks to Tony Gallimore. The match at Barnsley, which in the whole we dominated was October 25th. Just a few days from being 3 months ago.
Since then? Nothing apart from a win at Brentford where we scored against the run of play with 10 minutes to go and hit them on the counter attack shortly after to record a 3-1 win. Prior to the Brentford match we had capitulated at Rushden and scraped a draw at home to Stockport.
Since the Brentford game we have been dreadful. Losing at home to Tranmere, followed by uninspiring draws against Bournemouth (away), Oldham (home) and Peterborough (away). The latter possible being the worst match of football any of us will ever be subjected to.
Going into the Wycombe game somebody said it was a no win game. We would get no praise for winning as it is expected. That was probably true. If we had won there would have been little celebration as "it's only Wycombe". What followed was unbelievable. It summed up how far we have fallen. No passion, no desire, no fight, no hope. In my opinion it was worse than Hartlepool. The fans loyalty had been pushed too far. Groves felt our wrath for the first time.
We played well against Plymouth, but never had that bit of quality to score the goal that would have sunk the runaway leaders. Passion, desire, fight were all evident. Even a little hope restored.
The week that followed has already been spoken about in depth. Cas left because of a fallout with Groves & Pouton was sold at a knockdown price. We arrived at Port Vale dreading what might happen. And it did. Big time. We showed some fight in the second half, but Port Vale were just going through the motions.
So, who is to blame for the current mess we are in. There are 3 candidates: the chairman & the board; the players and the manager.
The chairman and the board worked hard to give Grovesie a budget in the summer which allowed him to sign Davison, Crane, Edwards, Crowe, Cas, Anderson, Hamilton and Onoura. What more could they do?
The players have under performed badly. They aren't a team. They don't play like one, they don't fight for each other like a team does. They are not meeting their potential.
The manager has built his own team. The players he chose to keep and the ones he brought in himself. He fails to get the best out of them. He upsets many of the better players- Cooke, Jevons and Cas the most prominent. He's had a good go at it, but has failed. The Port Vale match was his 96th league match in charge. We have won just 24. We have lost 43! and have a goal difference of -47 over those 96 games.
Let's be honest, can we draw any positives from the last months? Can we see where the performances to win matches will come from? Can we honestly say Paul Groves has done enough to keep his job? I don't think he has.
We have a good squad. We have a dreadful team. The manager takes responsibility. The manager therefore must pay the penalty and lose his job. We can't afford to be sentimental. He will always be remembered in my heart as one of the best players I have seen for Town. It pained me to call for his head at Port Vale, but I did because I love this club and I only see Paul Groves further damaging it by staying as manager. Sadly the longer he stays the more chance that fans like me will only remember him as the worst manager the club has ever had.
Thanks you Paul Groves for all your hard work over the last 12 years, but please for the sake of Grimsby Town Football Club go now.
Pete Atkinson says;
I have heard so much now about sack the board etc. The only problem with the board is their lack of communication to the public of Grimsby. They are not honest and open enough. There has to be public debate and great annoyance from the fans or controversial articles from the GET before they show their hand.
The sale of Pouton whether you agree to it or not was done sneakily. Why didn't the board come out and say that Pouton could/would be leaving the club when challenged.
Let us know how much the club is saving in his wages and how much of that money will be given back to Grovesy for the purchase of other players either on loan or not. The sale of Pouton could easily have been given a positive spin however the PR of GTFC again let the fans and club down.
Tonight's game has finally for me nailed groves into his coffin. We do have a squad good enough of challenging in the top half of this league. Tactically he is naive. I don't want Grovesy using this club as a learning curve for his managerial career. I believe that the players have lost faith in him also.
Anyone else see Andersons reaction to Groves when sat on the bench after being substituted. The players are mainly all what groves brought in. He has failed to gel the team and promote a serious challenge for promotion. You can bemoan suspension bad referees injuries etc but in life you make your own luck.
As a person Groves seems to be a very nice man and has lifted trophies for this club at Wembley. For all that I applaud him but get out now so that we can still remember you being captain of one of the most successful GTFC teams and not for taking us into 2 successive relegations.
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