The Postbag

Cod Almighty | Postbag

A pint of bitter

4 February 2018

Forgive me Cod Almighty readers for I have sinned. It has been several months since I last published a postbag.

Here are the letters you have sent us, in order of receipt. See if they tell a story.

A little cup of joy

Wasn't it wonderful to see GTFC so well represented on the television in the FA Cup during Shrewsbury versus West Ham? Oh yes, a manager who is referred to as "promising" in press reports, a centre half and a winger who performed rather well, and a goalkeeper recently on loan with us. So heartwarming.

Does it not raise the question as to why they all aren't still with us? But of course, Paul Hurst wasn't liked because he was from Yorkshire, that most unforgivable of sins, so the fans could never be expected to accept him. After all, Yorkshire's worse than the EU to Grimbarians. Pádraig Amond's doing quite well with Newport too, but what did we need a goalscorer for anyway? And the Irish are still going to be in the EU so that's no good.

All in all, we're going about things splendidly. Keep it up, whoever's in charge. Oblivion and Brexit beckon.

from Malcolm Carson

Speculate to accumulate

If the board release the money for proven players to get us, the supporters, on the edge of our seats, we would turn up in droves to repay the club. But most of all be honest with the fans as it bums on seats which help this club climb back up to where we want to be.

To be successful you have to buy to succeed as others have.

from Boey Wardle

Home failings

Perhaps someone at CA Towers could usefully do a comparison of GTFC home attendances under Hurst, Bignot and Slade?

I said to a friend of mine at home to Newport, the only entertaining game this season I can remember is at home to Swindon. He reminded me he had to work that evening so missed it.

15 home league games. Six defeats. Eight times we've failed to score at home. And to put this in context, we've not yet hosted the top two or the 5th placed side yet.


from Dan H

Letters Ed responds: Obviously, those statistics have changed since Dan wrote, not entirely for the better. If anyone fancies doing the comparison he suggests, CA will be glad to publish it

Jimmy Armfield

Everybody loved Jimmy Armfield.

The Express first hired him as a reporter and a colleague tells the tale of Jimmy trying to write his report in longhand. "I'm no good at this," he admitted. "I can't string two sentences together. They only took me on because of my name." And what a name. He later turned to radio and was excellent, and refused to go into boardrooms because he preferred to be with his "mates" in the Press.

At one post match press conference a well know manager lambasted those journalists present for what they had been writing about his team. "What do you effing lot know about football." A hand was raised at the back of the group and a quiet voice replied: "Forty three caps for England."

It was, of course, Jimmy.

from Steve Bierley

Runnin' around, 'round, 'round?

I saw that title of an article, and I just thought yes, wow: "Slade in flames". Just look up Slade's How Does It Feel and tell me it isn't a missing in action 70s gem.

Irrelevant, but relevant

from Ian Jackson

The smell of revolution

Warning! The smell of revolution is in the air.

Lately, one but cannot miss the politics which is oozing out between the lines from pieces posted on CA. That's fine as the writer can set the tone and direction of his/her piece as they wish, if only that they bothered to write it. All readers must be grateful for the effort.

However the tone has changed. We all enjoyed a moan, but now revolution is being proposed. So, some cautionary tales as revolutions rarely end up as envisaged. A lot of people are hurt in some way or another and the poison it spreads lasts for generations.

We still don’t know if Hurst left due to management incompatibility (Fell out with the ruling classes) the fans' bitching (The proletariat baying for blood) or to better himself (Greed according to CA, or advancement to others).

John Fenty bought the major share in GTFC as he is a fan of the club; he is not an Imp or Iron fan in disguise. But the steering of the club is somewhat erratic, and some fifteen (full time and interim) managers later, his CV is not looking good. However, the fans are not behaving, as such, any better either. The Checkatrade Trophy is boycotted, and any fan attending is vilified, but travelling to Stevenage FC to 'show them our disgust' at bra-gate is, well, promoted.

Just to get this straight, for the team we follow (I'm Grimsby ‘till I die) we cut its income as we are not happy with the Trophy format, yet GTFC is obliged to play in; but the club that we hate/dislike/take great umbrage with, Stevenage, we go down in droves and triple their gate income. That showed them!

Unintended consequences happen. Charlton Athletic FC in the noughties, "wallowed" mid-table of the Premier League. The boo boys nastily lambasted management and Alan Curbishley (who had brought them into the Premiership, and from a groundshare back to The Valley) as mid-Premier League was not good enough. They wanted Champions League, Bayern, Barca, Real. He resigned, hounded out (and his wife was ill), the boo boys were over the moon. They got Iain Dowie, relegation, and playing at Blackpool and Carlisle. Unintended consequences.

Russell Slade is not going anywhere soon. There is no Sam Allardyce in the fourth tier, no sheikh to invest petro-dollars; we have what we have. So what I am saying is: yes, keep the narrative going, show up bad decisions, but don’t start a Hull/Blackburn/Blackpool/Coventry type of revolt, it just might finish this club off.


from Janusz Przeniczny

Letters Ed responds: To correct Janusz on two factual points. Although I appreciate he was trying to make a wider point about what he feels is Cod Almighty's political outlook, no CA writer that I can think of has ever suggested Paul Hurst (or any other manager or player) leaving for a better job was an act of greed. And of course no one urged fans to turn up in droves to boycott the last Stevenage game because it was at the last Stevenage game that bra-gate occurred. The Mariners Trust has in fact called for a boycott of Town's next away game at Stevenage unless the issues raised by the stewarding of that game have been resolved.

Thanks to Malcolm, Boey, Dan, Steve, Ian and Janusz. You can send letters to Cod Almighty through our feedback page.