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What Have We Got to Lose with Watkiss?
By: Dave Boylen
I think the time was right to replace Alan Buckley. I have got the utmost respect for Alan; he is the most successful manager this club has ever had and his record speaks for itself: three Wembley visits and promotions - they have all been in his illustrious CV at Grimsby Town.
I have to say as well that if the great Sir Alex came to Grimsby he would find it hard to be successful due to the constraints of lack of money at the football club.
The reason I thought it was right to replace Alan is this: I thought the players were accepting defeat to easy, especially at home. Take for instance the Chesterfield home game, alright we lost by only the one goal, but I thought the will to get the ball back off the opposition when we lost possession was poor. There did not seem to be a desire to die for the Football Club. Even in the first home game we could only draw with Rochdale 0-0.
The previous away game against Brentford we got a real good hammering by four goals to nil. Then we got a good away result at Lincoln 1-1, then Town went to Gillingham although by all accounts we played really well but got beat by three goals to nil.
In my eyes the players lack the passion they should feel for this club of ours. The bad run of results started after we got beat at Wembley last season where I do not think we actually won a game again which meant a miserable end to the season.
Alan decided to bring in some new defenders in the summer. Alright it takes some time for players to settle in, but up to now they have not really stood out any better than what we had last season, and this farcical situation with Martin Butler. Kick him out if he does not want to play for Grimsby, get somebody out of the Grimsby Sunday League who will at least be proud to wear the Black and White sleeves once again.
In my time at Grimsby Town, a period of thirteen years, I played under eight managers: Jimmy McGugian, Don McEvoy, Bill Harvey, Bobby Kennedy, Laurie Mac, Ron Ashman, Tom Casey, John Newman and five temporary managers: Dick Connor, George Higgins, Colin Appleton, John Fraser, Dave Worthington,
I actually was the manager for just one game when one boss got the sack. It happened on the morning of a Lincs County Senior Cup game where all the first team had to play, all the background staff had also gone with the manager so I picked the team, dropped all the prima donnas, and put the young lads in. I think we won by two goals to nil, so in effect I am the only Manager who is unbeaten at Grimsby! That's my claim to fame.
Back to the serious stuff though Town have got Stuart Watkiss in charge and I know from experience that usually players seem to breath a sigh of relief when the manager goes. Some like the outgoing manager, some do not, but - and I could never work this out - there is always an improvement in the results. It is trying to keep that up that is the problem and I have to say that and I know it is only the reserves that Watkiss has been in charge off but they have improved since he came to Town. The big question is this: could Stuart maybe with Macca alongside him do the big job, you just never know, what have we got to lose?
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