The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Cwpan y byd? Dim diolch

10 July 2018

Sam Russell's appointment both as cover for and coach to goalkeeper James McKeown is being hailed as another Jolleyan masterstroke of smart housekeeping. At least until Jimmy Mac suffers a calamitous drop in form in August, so that Russell has to take his place and promptly drops a couple of crosses into his own net. If that happens, take my advice and set up your spam filter to capture all messages containing the phrase 'cheap option'.

It's still July and all we can do is speculate. Only time will tell if Russell proves effective in both his roles. One thing we can be sure of. Remembering his performances for Darlington in the 2000s, there are few current goalkeepers other than McKeown himself who know better what it is to turn in a top performance at Blundell Park. Sam Russell owes us about six points.

Imagine we are remaking Escape to Victory for the Grimbarian market. A Mariners team has to win a match to prevent all North East Lincolnshire being flattened. (The first of you who said "that would be an improvement", wash your mouth out.) The odds are against them. Carl Boyeson has been named referee. Neil Warnock has been drilling a crack team full of players sure to chill Mariners' hearts. Sam Russell is in goal. Harry Pell is in midfield and Dave Challinor is roaming the pitch ready with a career-ending tackle the moment any Town player crosses halfway...

You get the idea. Who else would be in a team of players against whom Town most inevitably founder, the very team our heroes would need to overcome to save for posterity the Dock Tower, the No 2 Refreshment Room and the pizza platter? Let us know.