The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Someone left the cake out in the rain

22 April 2024

Miss Guest Diary writes: Too good to go down. That's what David Artell said about Town several weeks ago, and it turns out he was right. Thank goodness.

Did you agree with him at the time, because I didn't. I was one of those staring fixedly at the table and making calculations about how many points Town would need to stay up and where they might come from. Panicking when I should have been noticing what was actually happening: that since the debacle against Doncaster which caused the abrupt change of tactics, Town have actually been doing OK. I'm not saying that it has been a feast of footballing entertainment but, in the 14 games since that humiliation, Town have had five wins, five draws and four losses. That kind of form over a whole season would put us on the fringes of the play offs rather than circling the drain.

I'm not going to start fantasising about what might happen next season after Artell has had an opportunity for more recruitment in the summer using this 'data' we hear so much about. A lot will depend on how much he has to spend and who is available and keen to come to Grimsby, but I am encouraged that he has the humility to admit when something isn't working and do something about it. Though for the sake of all our stress levels, I wish he'd done that a month earlier.

Listening to Chairman Wow's interview with John Tonduer on Saturday suggested to me that Paul Hurst was not so flexible. There was talk of "game models" (which I gather means style of play) which needed certain types of players to implement but that, although the data had identified suitable players, they were not signed. Looking back, the chairman regreted not insisting on these signings and takes responsibility for the failure. Then there was some confused recipe metaphor about lasagne and eggs – who puts eggs in a lasagne? – but, reading between the lines, it sounds as if Hurst refused to follow the 'recipe' and ignored the data. As someone put it more simply on Twitter – Hurst was wanting to bake bread but the owners wanted him to bake a cake.

The one disappointment I have from Saturday was the absence of little Harry. I'm not particularly surprised he was absent from that day's team – he's not had the best of seasons and I thought I saw him limping during the Colchester game. But at the end of the match the whole squad seemed to be there on the pitch – even Ringo who hasn't featured for weeks, and Danny Rose trundling around with a big boot on, but no Harry. Or was he there and I simply didn't spot him? It's no secret that Clifton has been my favourite Town player for the last three seasons. He is out of contract in June – could we really have seen the last of him? I do hope not.

One more game and we can put this season behind us. It'll be interesting to see what 'game model' Artell employs at Crawley on Saturday now we longer need the points.