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Up Against The World

By: Alex Green
Date: 30/08/2009

I'M a relatively new supporter of the Mariners especially in comparison to a few who frequent The Fishy's forum.

Since 1995 I have called Blundell Park my home and Grimsby Town my team and since then whether it be through the years where I was a season ticket holder (5 in total) to a casual observer my love has never diminished for this club.

Back in the days which I now think upon as my golden years as a Town fan 1997-2002, I felt we had our backs against a wall. It was us versus everyone in the entire world, I don't just mean us as fans but as a club as one whole entity. I felt the players cared unbelievably for this unattractive and miniscule club fighting against giants of Division 1 and that they felt a part of something special. That feeling and emotion transcended from the pitch to the terraces. I never questioned any of my boyhood list of greats who I have had the privilege to watch, they may not have been greats in the terms of many but to me they dazzled me with their skill and commitment.

The likes of Livvo, Macca, Pouts, Allen and Donovan always seemed to enjoy being here - I have never and will never question their commitment to Town. I may be totally wrong but it's how I felt. I believed they were here to stay to help and perform not just to please us but for themselves as a team. I felt that team spirit lifted us through some of the really dark days but it never lessened our drive and determination. I felt like that until 2003 which culminated in us being relegated to this league. That day at Tranmere in May seemed to break my trust in the players, gradually the old guard were replaced not by a new one but with journeymen desperately scrabbling for a place in football, wanting to earn money and disappear the moment a new offer appeared.

Now I don't care for any of the players on that pitch apart from Danny North, as a local guy naturally. I feel I'm going through the motions with this bunch of players, hoping rather than believing they are the team that will make me feel like I did those years ago. I don't believe they care for this club or for the fans in particular. I know it is pretty hard for me to ask for that level of commitment especially as most haven't been here for long but that cohesion that existed between the fans and the players was one of this clubs greatest assets. I loved the rapport us and the players had. We knew they weren't perfect players but they gave their all and now as my memory turns to nostalgia they now never did anything wrong either.

The lack of affection is shown in how quickly many turn on the players just as today when after going 1-0 down against the run of play the murmurs and grumbles started to grow. I don't think it is all aimed at this current team either. I think it is a few seasons worth of anger been released in desperation more than anything. For too long have the fans not had anything to enjoy in the league and as the current players under perform the seasons of underachievement and no hopers manifests itself into the current state of unease. Until something magical happens, and heavens know what, that will be it will continue to spiral. One day us as fans need to state enough is enough we can't keep demanding the head of a manager who fails to succeed instantly this isn't just a new problem which was created by Buckley, Rodgers or Slade. The problems we face now are years of underfunding, and malaise and until we pull together as one unit we will find ourselves feeling like this every Saturday evening. I hope I'm not the only one that feels this way anyway.

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