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Cod Almighty | Diary

That's Life

23 November 2020

Miss Guest Diary writes: Well that was a horror show, wasn't it. When I said in last week's diary that the omens weren't good for the game at Tranmere, I wasn't expecting that result. How to account for it? I admit I ceased to give the match my full attention after the second goal went in, but as far as I could tell all the players seemed to be trying their best.

I generally stay away from the #gtfc hashtag on Twitter after a bad result, but I saw some comments from a few of the folks I follow. No-one was calling for Holloway to be fired, but some thought he might "walk". Generally there seemed an air of weary resignation: performances are bad but we just have to grit our teeth and get through the season. One person suggested that the club's approach had been to do things on the cheap to remain solvent in the hope that Town would be saved from relegation by two other clubs going out of business.

A similar theory has been floated in this household: not that the club want others to fail but that they built the current squad of kids and non-League players in the expectation that the season would probably not be completed. The theory went on that, if it began to look like the season would go the distance, the dead wood could be trimmed and some judicious acquisitions made in the January transfer window. Well, the cull has started: it has been confirmed that Mohsni and Öhman have left the club. Or have they?

It is extremely unlikely Holloway would ever admit this was the plan and, even if he did, would we understand the message? I stopped playing close attention to his utterings weeks ago when he began ranting about the unfairness of the current situation and making cryptic remarks about chickens. You can try for yourself to unravel his views about the Town performance and the fans' discontent on Saturday. Good luck.

So should we as Town fans be gritting our teeth and seeing out this year with the hope of better things to come in January, or should we be bracing ourselves for a return to non-League?

On Saturday I watched three live games on TV: Newcastle v Chelsea, Tranmere v Town and Wealdstone v Sutton. By far the most enjoyable of these matches was the one at Wealdstone. I confess I feel a slight affinity to that club as I grew up in North London and used to park in their car park when visiting the nearby cinema. Also, when Stuart Pearce played for Wealdstone he lived next door to my best friend and mended her lawnmower. But that's a story for another day.

The game was a six-goal thriller. The score line went 0-1, 0-2, 1-2, 2-2, 3-2, 3-3, with Sutton's equalising goal coming in the 95th minute. The skills on show were obviously not comparable with those in the Premier League game, but we all know a good football match is about much more than silky passing and accurate shooting. The Wealdstone game brought back a lot of fond memories of Town's years in non-League. Frankly, I have had way more enjoyment travelling to places like Tamworth and Borehamwood and Alfreton that I have ever had, or expect to have, at Tranmere or Bradford or Oldham.

Writing in Saturday's Guardian, Gaby Hinsliff (who I am reliably informed started her career at the Grimsby Evening Telegraph) suggested that being good at something is overrated. In these strange times, it should be sufficient to give ourselves a break, do our best and not worry too much about winning. Obviously, the object of competitive sport is to win the game but if Town are doing the best they can with what they've got, maybe it's time to cut them a break.