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Alan Buckley - The Future
By: David Wilkinson
TODAY'S appointment of Alan Buckley puts an end to a very sad era for Town and 'could' be the start of a renewed future. There is no doubt that he was treated very shoddily when sacked by the Club.
The succession of managers that followed have taken the Club right back to the position Alan found them in when first appointed in the late '80's.
Whist our fortunes revived briefly under Russell Slade I found it difficult to be enthusiastic about a team that simply ground results out of unimpressive performances - never convincing and rarely entertaining. Who can forget the long balls into the air chased willingly but usually despairingly by Michael Reddy and nearly always to no avail?
Some of the football played by Town - under Alan Buckley - in the early '90's was the best seen at Grimsby since I started to watch them in 1966. Critics say his style was a little predictable - and perhaps it was - but it was also effective and did something for the Club that no other manager has done since Lawrie McMenemy.
It made Grimsby well known and respected throughout the footballing world. As we climbed that table pundits, other clubs and their supporters recognised that we were something special - we had style about our play, we entertained and the Club had a status that it has long since lost. Success on the field is reflected in raising the profile of the area as a whole - which is something Grimsby as a town needs desperately.
We may be asking too much to think that can be re-created overnight. It can't - so the Club and it's supporters must have realistic expectations. Survival this season - steady progress up the table would be success given our current predicament. Next season - who knows? but hopefully a base can be built from which we can challenge for promotion.
We must also be realistic in our expectations of the man himself. He is a PR disaster and there is no reason to think he will change. People have variously described him as "rude" and "brusque" and he has little time for fools. So what? I don't expect to be inviting him round to dinner and there is no reason to suppose David Smith can't handle the PR side of the Club's activities. If he is allowed to get on with his job of managing the team then let the players speak for him when they perform on the pitch.
A new and proven manager - progress on the new stadium - a competent and ambitious Chairman - this could be the formula for a return to where we belong. But, for goodness sake, when we get there don't blame the Manager for not getting us into Europe!
Bill Coxon, who lives in Canada, has been supporting Town all his life and often flys over to se them. Bill says: "At last GTFC have come to their senses and hired AB back, he should never have been fired in the first place.
I stopped supporting the Mariners after the board hired one dud after another, everything they did was on the cheap, starting with Grovesy. I was proud to support Town at Wembley and the quality football they played.
Lets hope AB can bring the glory days back. Good luck AB and Up the Mariners"
Dave Boylen also has his say on: The Boylen Column
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