Cod Almighty | Diary
The one about the search for a loan striker
10 September 2015
What a difference a week can make – and, more so, what a difference a win can make. Let's hope that with this comes the much-needed confidence that football thrives on – the players, the fans, the manager and also our non-chairman. No more need for a midweek vote of confidence in the Telegraph which does little else but put the wind up the manager, who must be aware of the Neil Woods fiasco. (Do chairmen actually write these or do they buy them in template form from WH Smith, like a tenancy agreement or a last will and testament?)
No need, either, for the players to draw straws to see who has to issue the obligatory "we've not been performing as well as we know we can and therefore we must do better" statement – although I've been expecting one from Omar Bogle. Bogez has been beating himself up about his profligacy in front of goal, and despite scoring against Boreham Wood on Saturday he wasn't happy with his performance. Seriously mate, don't worry too much about scoring a screamer from distance; there's no need to control it with your chest, juggle it and volley it over the keeper every game. We'll be just as happy with a tap-in or a scuffed shot amid a goalmouth melee. Just keep knocking them in.
While we're on the subject of the Telegraph, is it just me or has the sports reporting taken something of an upturn of late? Has the tone changed a little? It seems to include more than just perfunctory match reports, "sorry, we'll improve" pieces and a platform for Fenty. Questioning seems a bit tougher and pieces like those published on Monday this week seemed to offer the sort of insight and thoughtfulness which have often been missing.
The "trust in me" piece was interesting in that it seemed a little more personal than previous interviews with the gaffer and I think went some way towards endearing Hurst to fans yet to be totally won over. OK, not everyone believes in him and there are some fans who are always going to be sceptical. But it's a start, and good to see the club taking notice and giving something back in return for the investment made by the support.
In the Telegraph today Hurst/Hurts talks about renewing his search for an additional striker as the emergency loan window opens. Cover for Podge, Omar and JP would seem to make a lot of sense and either a young striker from a higher division or even a tried-and-trusted warhorse would give the boss an option off the bench. I think, too, after the last few games and the backlash on social media and the radio he will resist the temptation to drop an in-form player for a debutant, however good they might seem.
As with his dealing during the summer, Hurst is playing his cards close to his chest and not naming names – although he hints that he is renewing interest in players he enquired about during the transfer window. Hopefully Blissett is not an option any longer. Like many, I don't see him as adding much to our squad. But who would? Here's my wildcard suggestion... Lenell John-Lewis. Think about it. The Shop, back on loan after a barren start with Newport. Hurst knows how to get the most out of him and our more attacking approach this year would suit him when partnered with Bogle or Amond. Yeah?
As well as plenty of players out of contract, there seem to be plenty of clubs with a fully loaded roster who are struggling for gates right now and maybe Town can take advantage of that. There's even a fairly local side, a short trip up the A180 who would seem to have too many forwards available for selection. What about Kevin van Veen? Paddy Madden?
A player in the spotlight and linked with a move to Town – by fans and former schoolmates, at least – is young Adam Drury. Drury is a local lad who came through the youth system only to be torn from Town's grasp by the mighty Man City and then spat out like so many other players as they bought success like the rest of us might buy a pint and a bag of scratchings on a Friday evening.
Matt Dannatt wrote in the Telegraph about how romantic, sentimental supporters love to see a home-grown talent turning out for the Mariners on a Saturday. But even on non-contract terms it would be a risk. Drury appears to be highly rated, but his career so far amounts to nothing more than a few short-term loans at Burton and St Mirren and most recently one week with no appearances with Town's Wembley conquerors Bristol Rovers. He's a winger/full-back, but do we need another on the books? It's unlikely to happen and if we're going to bring a local lad back to Blundell Park then I'd like it to be Dayle Southwell, who is turning out to be a cracking player now he's getting regular starts for Boston.
Another former Grimsby striker (although he only made ten appearances for us) is Richard Brodie, now with Aldershot Town, of course and due to line up against us on Saturday. Brodie's a Marmite player and has something of a reputation for disrupting a team, but right now he seems to be a reformed character and in form too, named Shots player of the month for August, having bagged four goals so far this season.
I wrote about the curse of the former player a while back and I picked out Brodie as an example of a former player who had returned to score against us. That goal came almost exactly a year ago, specifically Saturday 14 September 2014. A year on and we're better than that, we're better than last year and we're back to winning ways after last week's visit to Boreham Wood. I think I'm speaking for everyone when I say do not want to see any "Shots on target" headlines following the game. Let's make those journalists work a little harder – and most definitely harder than this.
See you next week. Let's be careful out there.