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Things just go from bad to worse for the Mariners according to season ticket holder Shaun Bennett. Here is his latest laments from Blundell Park…

A New Low

site dedicated to all things League One & TwoAnother week, another shambolic mid-week display, another vote of confidence from the board, our best player sold to Shrewsbury, a peaceful protest against the current regime and another off-field disaster with regards the Sam Allardyce style entrapment tapes of John Fenty saying some things that he probably shouldn’t have said. What this fiasco demonstrated was firstly, the lengths some people will go to in order to make John Fenty out to be some sort evil and demonic figure and secondly the way social media allows every Tom, Dick and Harry to broadcast unnecessary and immoral videos to the world.

The week started badly, after an unlucky home defeat to Luton last Saturday where you could argue we deserved something, no such argument would carry any weight on Tuesday night. We were awful. Reduced to 9 men, Karleigh Osborne and Luke Summerfield squaring up to each other, a 3-0 defeat, barely an attempt on goal, a dismal post-match interview where Slade trotted out the same lines about it being the ref’s fault and that we could easily won. Even if it were true (which is wasn’t) you’re a bit naïve saying it as you should know that people won’t like it. Humans are pre-programmed to be fallible (not inflammable) and in my experience, more accepting of failure if the person responsible is honest and forthright. Football managers are a different breed, obstinate in the extreme and almost always convinced that they’re right. You have to have the courage of your convictions but I wish Slade was more open about the patent decencies in his tactics, performances and team. We were awful on Tuesday and showed that ill-discipline and poor results go hand in hand.


we sold our top scorer to Shrewsbury after he had seemingly engineered a move to Shrewsbury on deadline day. Sam Jones’ attitude has been questionably in recent weeks and has looked a shadow of the player that scored 7 goals in 16 at the back end of last season and prompted several pundits to say “he’s the man”. But something was amiss, his performances have dropped right off this season and the glaring inadequacies in his game have become more obvious as a result of his goal scoring dropping off. I for one hold Slade responsible, he was great under Marcus Bignot but Slade’s “style” has sucked the life out of him and left him wanting out. To add insult to injury the club have lied to its supporters in recent weeks by saying he “has a virus” when he had obviously tripped over his pet lip. Rumours suggest that he had also got an offer from Lincoln so it is clear we were keen to get him out of the building at any cost, which suggests a fall out. You have to keep your best players happy and performing well, that’s how you win games, that’s how you get promoted but we ignore these rules.

Sadly, a much-improved performance on the field will be overshadowed by these tapes being released (a point made obvious by me writing this article). We got a goal in only the 4th minute through debutant Simeon Jackson who, to me at least, looks like a real fox in the box style centre forward who will finish chances (when and if they come along). We played more football than we have done in previous weeks and Slade showed more intent by playing 4 (yes you read that right) 4 strikers at once with two utilised in wide roles. The lack of cutting edge was still inescapably evident though. Despite lots of possession in and around the box we failed to create any real opportunities, until the dying moments when Jamille Matt, on the penalty spot with only the keeper to beat blazed over spectacularly and showed that however many strikers you have if they can’t finish then you are in big trouble.

Ultimately, we have now only collected 4 points out of a possible 33 and if the slide doesn’t stop we’ll be waving hello to Dover Athletic and Boreham Wood all over again. Mallik Wilks certainly showed that he is a player of genuine substance, he has pace to burn and a trick up his sleeve and if utilised in the right manner could be a real menace for opposition defenders in this league. The thing is I and many others don’t trust the current setup to utilised Dembele, Jaiyasimi, Wilks and Vernam in the best way.

Within hours of the game, some attention and trouble seeking “supporter” placed videos of “private” conversations with John Fenty on Twitter, an act utterly deserving of being banned from social media or banned from Blundell Park in my opinion. I made my feelings quite clear about John Fenty on here last week and I still maintain that his poor decisions have been the driving force behind our current predicament. However, I never once questioned his integrity and would never hoodwink someone into disclosing information shouldn’t be available for the world to hear. The problem is what Fenty said, in the main, was very true. He said that Paul Hurst left because the “fans were t**** to him, he hated the fans” and I don’t disagree with that. That afternoon at Halifax when we lost 4-2 and there is a very vocal minority shouting “Hurst is a w***** and Hurst Out” should have been given the footballing equivalent of being hanged, i.e. banned for life. It was utterly ridiculous and would certainly make someone question why should they work under those conditions. It is also true that if it had been down to the same “supporters” then we would have sacked Paul Hurst 10 times. All football fans are fickle, and the human condition is to want what you haven’t got but I find those issues are exaggerated amongst some Town fans.

The fans were a huge factor (combined in my opinion with the impossibility of working with Fenty) in pushing Hurst away to Shrewsbury. Secondly, he questioned Akwasi Asante’s application in training which is the polar opposite of what has been reported on social media and the Fishy in recent weeks. I don’t know who to believe but I do think having 7 strikers ahead of you in the pecking order because your manager has a pathological fear of the previous regime would demotivate you for certain. Fenty also pointed out that if we hadn’t signed two more strikers and took the total to 8 then we’d still have moaned that we didn’t have enough fire power and none of them could score so we needed some more strikers. In that situation some “supporters” would twist the argument to whatever suited their agenda.

 


 

The peaceful protest outside the ground before kick-off didn’t attract nearly as much support as those who organised it suspected it would. The photos I saw showed perhaps a maximum of 200 “supporters” getting very angry about the regime in an utterly futile attempt to show that some fans have had enough. That wasn’t even 10% of the gate, which just proves that it is a “vocal minority” and that Fenty is right to want someone who isn’t just a chancer coming in and sucking the club of any soul and assets that it has left. Some seem to want him out at any cost but because of the loans and shares we would go under if he just walked away and pulled his money out. I therefore believe that it is extremely foolish to do things such as entrap him because he might just go “f*** the lot of them, here’s your football club” and walk away with his money and at real risk of going under. I don’t want that I understand that Fenty stepped in after the ITV digital collapse and saved us from administration but I also vehemently disagree with some of his poor decisions that have left us scrabbling for survival in the 4th tier after we should have learned from the last time.

The week was just another week at the office for Grimsby Town fans of late. We seem to be spiralling towards relegation with worrying speed. I just hope upon hope that there are two teams worse than us. Barnet look as though they will be, whether Chesterfield and Forest Green are remains to be seen.

 

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