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Diary - November 2010
Tuesday 30 November
There's no game tonight, but there will be a game of this in the snow laden Idle office of Cod Almighty tonight. A shame really, as it seems the Kettering manager Marcus Law is subconsciously shitting his pants. "Grimsby will go on a big run at some point," the Poppies boss said, "they are probably sitting in a prime position at the moment." Either that or it is a cunning piece of kidology. Law isn't sure the whens and how – "that [Town] could kick on at any point [or] whether it takes a couple of signings for them in January to do that" – but since he now is going to face Town a little later than planned, he's probably wondering when the rearranged game will be played. Possibly in January, after a couple of signings, when Kettering will win by four goals, and prove his mind trick to be a work of genius.
While the postponement extends Town's gameless period furthermore (after the weekend's game at York was put off due to the Minstermen's FA Cup commitments), it may give Neil Woods the chance to furthermore assess the suitability of Dean Sinclair. Yes, you read that right. Dean Sinclair. The man who had previously spent two loan spells at Town, and is now training with the club with a view to gaining a contract. With Andrew Wright's ill-timed return to Scunthorpe last week, this break in the Mariners' schedule could be a blessing in disguise, as Woods regroups his team into coping without Wright. Whether Sinclair could be a part of that, who knows. But everyone at Cod Almighty wishes Sinclair the best of luck proving his fitness. In the snow. The poor sod.
It's not just our club that has suffered due to the snow. There are loads more. And some of them even lower down the football pyramid than the place the Mariners currently occupy. Yes, dear Town fan, that is an ominous remark that there is further room for our beloved club to slip. But let's not think about that! Happy thoughts! Another such game abandoned due to the cold snap is the highly anticipated battle of the Boshells. I know. You're disappointed that'll you'll have to wait that little bit longer to see if Nicky ends up the victor.
With that quick skip through today's Town news, we'll end with the announcement of details of the third round FA Youth Cup home tie against Burnley, namely the time, the place: Wednesday 8 December, kicking off at 7pm at Blundell Park. Hopefully a few of you will put that in your diary, and take the time to see the new generation in as competitive-as-action as they get. My name was John Stapleton, and good day.
Monday 29 November
"Grimsby Town bosses will keep a close eye on the weather over the next 24 hours, with tomorrow night's match against Kettering at Blundell Park in mind," says the Grimsby Telegraph today apparently as clueless as your Guest Diarist as to what likelihood there is that the match will go ahead. The superb new official Town website has, of course, the inside track, having spoken to Town groundsman, Mike Phillips.
Mike, it would seem, has a cunning plan. The pitch is covered with snow and there's more forecast. So he is going to leave the snow in situ in the hope that it will insulate the pitch beneath from freezing. So Town can boast over-soil heating. Well, almost. If I had to guess, with every media outlet in the country shrieking about sub-zero temperatures, large snowfall deposits and the prospect of a biting north-easterly (straight from Siberia you know), I'd say it's most likely off. But if we happen to play tomorrow, I strongly suggest you arrive at the match with warm clothing, a positive attitude, a large dog to cuddle up to, and, most important of all, a flask of something hot. Definitely bring a flask – they are allowed, you know.
Of course a postponement will mean the Town players will have gone 'too long' without a match and whatever form they might have been coming into will evaporate. But sod that for a game of soldiers – postponement will presumably mean that the match will take place next year, at which point there has to be a faint chance that the club will have sourced at least one better midfield player.
But escape from such doleful musing – stick a Leslie Nielsen DVD on, gentle reader, and laugh like a drain. Maybe Johnny the snitch could help Woodses with his tactical and player-sourcing dilemmas? See yer.
Friday 26 November
After the last-minute Gobern-gets-smacked news item yesterday, your Guest Diarist can open with another bombshell. It doesn't have tabloid appeal like a 'nose broken in training ground bust-up' story but it is important.
The devil on my shoulder keeps whispering to me: "Thinking about how good Gobern was gonna be has become a complete waste of our time and the young mardy depressive is no longer part of anyone's plans so he can go and nurse his wounded pride along with his swollen nose and basically fuck right off and either leave or get humble and start pulling his weight." Deep breath, GD, deep breath. Listen to the bloke on your other shoulder: "He's a young lad. He's miles from home and maybe what he calls large urban living with posh shops and nightclubs and that. He's homesick, he's poorly and now his workmates have turned on him. Help him through and try to improve his mental well-being; send him flowers and that." Hmm, sometimes I don't know what to think.
No. It's worse than that, Jim. Plucky Scunny have recalled Andrew Wright. Our superb new official site has just announced this, citing an injury crisis at Wright's club. But a quick gander at the Scunthorpe site match preview of their home game to Coventry tomorrow reveals more talk of players returning from injury than crying off. The superb new official Town website, which is as we all know, a very accurate and official source of news, information and, god-dammit, facts, said in a separate piece yesterday that the loan window would be shutting at 5pm that night. So if that is really true, the timing of the recall by our plucky neighbours is about as cruel as it is possible to be in this world of windows, deadlines and moveable transfer feasts. When the loan window actually closes I have no flipping idea, because the rules on these matters are so complex, so arcane and so poorly published that it would take me as long to find out as it would take me to explain exactly how I feel about those turncoat Liberals. A long time.
Dave Moore(s) gave us another of his filmed subscription-only injury updates yesterday. Ademeno is the same as ever: fragile as hell. Arthur seems OK for now. Gobern's nose wasn't mentioned, for some reason. And, dah-dah-dah-dah! Steven Watt is hurdling. Yes, hurdling plays a big role in recovering from a crocked knee, it would seem. And Watt has reached the hurdling stage. Whether he will try a hammer throw when he gets to Moore-o's famous 'twisting and turning' stage remains to be seen, gentle reader.
Now folks, wind your regional stereotyping scorn-ometer up to maximum. Join with me and Diary reader Neil Drakes in boiling up some strong vitriol to pour over that BBC idiot Dan bloody Walker. Writing in his totally useless blog, which he actually gets paid to pen, creepy-Crawley-born Walker hams it up: "I have been to some amazing places since I started presenting Football Focus. Los Angeles, Amsterdam and Barcelona spring to mind. This week I was asked to go somewhere very special... Grimsby. Before you Grimsbonians out there get too excited, the visit had little to do with the club. I am sworn to secrecy about the reasons for our trip but let me just say that it was of historical significance and involved some snazzy filming down on the beach."
That's right – Grimsbonians. Now do you detect any hint of George-W-Bushism type word irony in that made-up word? I don't. Grimbarian, I am reliably informed by Cod Almighty literatus Pete Green (a properly educated scholar of English who could wipe the floor with an idiot like Walker), is in the Oxford English Dictionary. It is a proper word and any journo who can't research something as basic as that should be sacked. I dread to think what they were doing on Cleethorpes beach and to be honest I can't seem to face watching the smug idiot tomorrow lunchtime. Walker claims he coulda-been-a-contender but for his incredible faith in his imaginary friend in the sky which prevented him playing sport on a Sunday. According to Wikipedia he's a failed comic. And now, as far as Neil and I are concerned, he's a failed journalist too. He's a Christian so I suppose I should show some humanist charity and forgive him. But to be honest I'm struggling. And if that piece tomorrow belittles our home town in any way then I shall fucking swear very loudly at the telly. You have been warned Mr Walker. See yer.
Thursday 25 November
Five days since a game, five days 'til a game. You find your Part-Time Diary in a vacuous abyss of Mariner-related news. I'm going to be honest with you from the start: I've got nothing for you. Nada, zilch, zero. No proper news today. Sorry.
Got some non-news though. Cancellation is the order of the day. Garry Birtles has cancelled a signing session for his new book next month due to unforeseen circumstances. This could potentially scupper some Christmas gift ideas, but fear not: he will be back in the new year, hopefully. I of course offer my deepest sympathies if you are one of those affected by an unsigned Birtles biography this year. Keep the faith.
York have also pulled out of our game on Saturday due to unforeseen circumstances. They have to play Darlington instead due to both teams exceeding the Conference fixture computer's expectations by making the second round proper, and consequently ruining a perfectly good Saturday in York. The game has now been rearranged for Tuesday 11 January. Provided, of course, that York don't cause further inconvenience by getting entangled in some other replay/cup debacle and we end up shifting to another anonymous Tuesday sometime in 2011. The scamps.
Imagine if we had the temerity to reach the second round proper too, with all them big old League clubs. Then we'd have something to talk about, something to do at the weekend, some way of compensating for missing the closest, most picturesque and most exciting away day of this season's foray into non-League football. However, the one positive (which is actually a negative) is that we look increasingly likely to be playing them next year, with both clubs bobbing about mid-table, but your Part-Time Diary is still of the belief that a few good consecutive results and a few things going our way and... well, you know the rest; you've thought it yourself.
Woodses is preparing to throw caution to the sea gale on Tuesday against Kettering by playing an attacking trio of Coulson, Connell and Ademeno. Ademeno and Coulson need games but are well on the way to match fitness, says Woodses, adding that we can compete physically, even though our players are small, because they are strong and some are even six feet or taller. At our time of need Neil also asks us, the fans, for help: "I understand what people are saying, but if anyone can show me a six-foot-three mobile striker that scores goals and also holds the ball up, then do, because I'll go and get him." So send as many photos of Andy Carroll as you like to Mr Woods and, you heard him, he will go and get him.
Having written this diary with no news available, it has now been reported that Lewis Gobern has broken his nose in a training ground 'bust-up', believed to be with a team-mate, but that is all the Tellywag is reporting today. So, we could speculate, but we may accumulate to the wrong total, so we will have to leave that story for tomorrow. And there we have it, the end of your non-news diary. Adios.
Wednesday 24 November
In the bad old days of football, the first division was called the first division, the European competition for league champions was contested by league champions, and professional footballers actually gave a fuck about playing professional football. Furthermore, once the transfer deadline had passed, you couldn't sign any more players that season. Now, of course, with globalised free market capitalism having brought so much joy to all our lives, the powers that be have applied the same model to football – with spectacular results.
Just look at the vastly improved numbers of footballers that supporters get to see these days. No longer bored with watching the same old players play for their teams year in year out, bound by outmoded concepts such as 'loyalty' and 'stability', fans can now thrill to the sight of 46 or 58 different footballers representing their club in a single season! These days, then, with players stepping into and out of football clubs like commuters on Tube trains, we need half a dozen transfer windows a year just to keep up with the hugely inflated number of transfers!
So if you miss a transfer deadline, don't worry – there'll be another one along in a minute. And Town's superb new official website is on hand to keep you and your original/regular Diary up to date with it all. Apparently Neil 'This Club Is Fucking Massive' Woods "has just two more days to wheel and deal in the loan transfer market" and "has not ruled out bolstering his squad". Of course, the reason Woods has not ruled out bolstering his squad may be that nobody has asked him about it either way, so he hasn't had a chance either to rule out or rule in bolstering his squad, and the whole reason the SNOS has mentioned it may be to get you to sign up for those official text messages that wake you up at 3am to tell you nothing has happened. But on the other hand, Robbie Fowler has just been seen in a hotel on Bargate.
Grrrr, Scunny! We warned them last week about being 25 miles away from us, and have they listened? No! They're still about 25 miles away from us! The rotters! Grrrr! Er, except when they're lending us decent players – like that Andrew Wright, whose arrival from Glanford Park on loan the other month did much to improve the Mariners' misfiring midfield.
But will Wright stay after his loan expires at the end of December? Nobody knows. And that includes the Scunthorpe Telegraph. With pages to fill and webspace to populate, though, the Telewag's kid brother publication isn't afraid to have a guess. "With [Plucky Irons] boss Ian Baraclough suggesting last week that he is not afraid to shake up his squad during January, the former Liverpool trainee is likely to be allowed to leave," reckons the ST. "I love being out there every week," says Wright, which is more than can be said for most of Town's supporters at the moment.
Oh, and there was a reserve game against King$ton Communication$ FC yesterday, by the way, which Town lost five-nil. Jamie Devitt scored four of them. Do you think the Hullies will notice if we sneak over the bridge and swap him with Lewis Gobern?
Tuesday 23 November
Less-than-Idle Diary writes: What the fuck is a Celebration Gnome? Download? Search? What? Do people fucking sense-check those things? You know, just read them over to check they actually make any fucking sense?
Sorry. Little bit of SNOS Fury there. Seems to be a daily ailment. I won't read any more. Who knows what lurking horrors await in Player Sign PlayPal and FA Trophy Draw – Redditch at home. If I had it my way I'd amalgamate all the Town sites into one super site. Edited by us, of course.
In the absence of that, thank the Lord for the professionals over at the Grimmo Telegraph. Woods is eyeing a Wembley return after the FA Trophy draw paired Town with Redditch United. The Riby Square researchers reveal that "the route to the final at Wembley on May 7 includes four rounds, followed by a two-legged semi-final", which on paper looks like an short and simple ride. The Town manager seems to reckon similar, hoping Town live up to their supposed billing as favourites for the trophy "as an ex-League club". But with Redditch rooted near the foot of the Conference North, we know how these things work, eh, readers.
There's more positive news as der yoof have made it through to the third round of the FA Youth Cup, after a penalty shoot-out at Port Vale. The kids' reward is a home tie against Burnley. No word on how many further rounds they have, nor where the final is held. Anyone?
I started this short diary off with swearing, and I'll sign off with some swearing thanks to a rather splendid interview with Barry Conlon. "I've been a dick along the way," the Big Bad Fucker teases. And with that, dear reader, go and read more. It's a fascinating look into the mind of a journeyman footballer who pissed away his career.
Monday 22 November
It's hard to believe your own eyes sometimes. Your Guest Diarist witnessed the one-all home draw with Barrow on Saturday but by Monday morning I can't really tell you whether Town were shit, unlucky, or just Town. If you read the Grimsby Town superb new official website report, we dominated them completely. But the Barrow fans' email newsletter thingy quotes one of the away contingent: "First of all, Grimsby did not dominate the whole match as their official website suggests. We played really well at times and were on top for several periods of the match. We played good football with Sheridan spraying some good passes and leading by example with his tackling, running and enthusiasm." Hey buddy, that's superb new official website – homage where it is due. And no, we didn't ask your permission to quote this, for reasons explained elsewhere on our site.
But as one set of messageboard folk scream how utterly utterly horrible the whole two hours at Blundell Park were (and I have to admit the sight of the Town chairman ostentatiously wolfing a cheeseburger as he walked through the Pontoon, just to show us all what delicious and good-value snacks can be had on match day, was a sight that has haunted me all weekend), I can still faintly remember quite enjoying myself watching two average Conference sides finding ways to avoid beating each other. Manager Woods, in his (paid-for) post-match comments saw what I obviously missed, citing "countless goalmouth scrambles". Countless is a hell of a big number, right? Now I'm even losing even my most tenuous grasp of the English language. Tony Butcher has written a match report too – read it here. If you can't be arsed – and you should be, gentle reader; get a grip – then it says "it was unedifying, uninspired and unsurprising". Maybe we did have countless goalmouth action but as sure as eggs is eggs we didn't have countless shots did we?
Third paragraph in and Woodses is still talking to the press. Sixteen minutes in rambling total. He's told his subscribers everything he has ever told them before at least twice. Here's a few grains from the winnowing: Ademeno's other hamstring was tight so he was removed as a precaution; when we play 4-3-3 it's alright when we are attacking but we get outnumbered in midfield when we don't get possession to the three frontmen. Woods is plainly struggling to decide how to play against Conference opposition, saying every formation he picks always has a negative side to it. Oh. Thank God, he's finally shut up.
In other news, John McDermott has a Herculean task on his hands after agreeing to get Danny North fit after the former Town striker showed up to explain that the Irish have stopped playing football for a few months for reasons, well, I think I will leave it to them to explain. Danny needs 'international clearance', though, before he can actually play for Harrogate – very grand that sounds, eh? And the first round draw for the FA Trophy happens this lunchtime – very exciting: very, very keen to find out whom we have drawn, I am
A new facet to our non-League life. In the league we play, we draw, we look enviously at the likes of Crawley and Luton thrashing the opposition. We dream that Connell will one day put a full shift in, that Ademeno will one day play ninety minutes fully fit. Even that one day he'll score. But at least the cheeseburgers are officially tasty – that's one problem fixed with only the tiniest globule of ketchup on that tie to spoil the day. See yer.
Friday 19 November
Nestled almost stubbornly in ninth place in the table but a tantalising three points from a play off spot. Fresh from four points gained from two tricky away fixtures and at home to a team decimated by sickness, who haven't won away yet, and who have just been plundered by 'moneybags' Luton losing their star striker in an immediate loan-to-signing-in-January deal. Facing a club with two managers, and if their supporters' daily email round-up is to be believed, a club prone to argumentation now and then. In a position where their squad is almost all fit and available with the top scorer in the entire league and a pair of fresh, agile cohorts who should look very dangerous at this level in Ademeno and Coulson. And a winger in goal-scoring mood in Eagles. What, your Guest Diarist muses on this foggy Friday morning, could possibly go wrong gentle reader?
Town manager Neil Woods has given a free Barrow match preview on the club's superb new official site which offers unrivalled coverage of all things Grimsby Town. In it Mr Woods explains that goalkeeper Arthur is as available as he can be given he has two more training sessions and a warm-up to get through without nobbling himself again. And Peter Bore and Lee Peacock have turned up wanting to train with the first team of all things! Woodses also admits that he is not picking Lewis Gobern at the moment because he is a bit sulky and has been a bit shit in the reserve games. What a signing he is turning out to be – he needs Mardy Diary in closed session for five minutes to explain one or two things to him in plain English. If you are reading Lewis, and want a free trial therapy session, come to the back of the Pontoon about five to three tomorrow.
So, having said all that, and taking in to account what Messrs Eagle and Kempson (whose turn it is to tell the Telegraph we've-been-a-bit-shit-lately-but-we'll-get-better-soon, honest) have to say, well what chance of a nice home win tomorrow folks? Eagle rambles on about he is not a winger but actually a cunning new type of winger who cuts inside all the time (due to absence of pace) and works hard defensively and how he would like to score at home one day. To be fair to the lad though he has scored some cracking goals away lately. Whilst Kempson just wants to be a first choice centre half and reminds us that anyone can beat anyone in this division as Barrow proved with their excellent home win against Wimbledon.
It is a home game we really ought to do our damndest to win because with an FA Cup weekend taking place without us thereafter it's ten days of message board whinging if we don't until we take on Kettering at home on Tuesday 30th.
To pile it on a bit more Barrow have midfield player Robin Hulbert suspended tomorrow and their loan keeper Mark Halstead has been recalled by Blackpool a week earlier than they would have liked. But they have a secret weapon in the former player who was shit but is bound to play well against us in Marc Goodfellow.
Sibbo has been on the email saying: "I remember seeing Barrow play at BP in one of my first visits to the ground. I know for sure it was a night match and most probably Tuesday November 17th 1964. If so, the F.A.Cup first round replay saw Town draw 2-2, with Ron Cockerill scoring a penalty. After two draws, Town won the second replay 2-0. To be honest I can't recall the game itself but I did see Ron play on several occasions. Memories are what keeps us all going at the moment. Keep up the good work." Thanks mate – I gather there were a lot of Town luminaries at Ron's funeral including Neil Woods, Ian Fleming and Dave Smith from the club and Graham Taylor, Matt Tees, Dave Worthington, Brian Hill, Jimmy Thompson, Ray Lancaster, Clive Wiggington, Harry Wainman, Alan Buckley, Brian Clifton, George Kerr et al. There's a minutes applause for the big man before kick off tomorrow so turn up early and let's clap to the memory of a legend. See yer.
Thursday 18 November
Bottom-of-the-barrel diary writes: There are doubtless those of you who think that all the Cod Almighty Diarists live together in one big house of fun, like The Beatles did in Help! Unfortunately this is not the case – until today, that is. By sheer chance four of our 'top' (hmm – ed.) writers find themselves closeted together in a spacious des-res Lincoln way, so this diary will be the first ever written by the GTFC equivalent of the Fab Four.
Town news! Woodseses says that Bradley Wood will end up in midfield, which sounds a bit like the witches' prophecy in Macbeth:
John: "Great news. We need a bit of energy and aggression in there, instead of the Stepford midfielders we've had for the last few years."
Paul: "No, no, no, that's just wrong!"
George: "Well, that's just like Danny Butterfeet all over again."
Ringo: "Probably right but he has to curb his tiger feet. That's neat."
As is the modern groovy way, our own Rocket Ron will be commmemmmorated (note to self – use spell checker on this one) not with a minute's silence but with a minute's applause. Should there be an apostrophe in "minute's?" I'm really not sure, even if I think really hard about it. The Fab Four unanimously say: great idea. Great servant to the club, thoroughly deserved and more fitting for a sporting hero to receive applause than silence.
So, with the immediate news out of the way, what would the four diarists have asked John the Con at Fanny's Forum?
John: "What about that tree, John?"
Paul: "Are there any plans to improve the ladies' toilets at Blundell Park? I do not want a new stadium, just new toilet facilities."
George: "What about the orange, John?"
Ringo: "At what point will you stop subsidising the club, Mr Fenty? Because at the moment the club is being run on a benefactor model rather than a commercial model. And yours and even Mr Parker's cash won't last forever will it? And no I don't give autographs."
Because York City won their cup replay last night, we're not playing them on Saturday 27 November, but on an indeterminate sodding Tuesday flipping night in the future, by which time the sapling that is Bradley Wood may well have matured into an oak... tree... sort of thing... in the Town midfield. Oh dear.
The Fab Four, all together in unison: "Bollocks!" Let's just go to York anyway, even if it is on a school night and we'll end up getting home past our bedtimes, when we should be sleeping like a log. Hang on, Guest Diary is serenading me with a lullaby:
I'm so tired, I'm feeling so upset
Although I'm so tired I'll have another cigarette
And curse Sir John of Fenty*
He was such a stupid get.
Good night good night everybody
*with apologies to our beloved chairman but it scanned too well to miss it.
Wednesday 17 November
Grrr, Scunthorpe! How dare they be about 25 miles away from us? The rotters! Your original/regular Diary understands football well, and that means I take football's local rivalry thing very seriously indeed. However, Scunthorpe United are not just based 25 miles away from Grimsby. Sadly for us real fans, they are also, at least for the moment, about 84 metric fucktons better than Grimsby Town. And as a result, the two clubs are unlikely to play each other competitively for a very long time.
By way of consolation, though, there are always reserve fixtures. One of these happened last night. Significantly for Mariners fans, Kenny 'Gloves of Steel' Arthur played the first 45 minutes without rupturing his oesophagus and should now play for the first team against Barrow this weekend. Another run-out for Lewis Gobern will see the former Bastard Franchise Scum winger in contention too. Oh, those pesky Scunnies won 3-0, and Paris Cowan-Hall had a good game for them. So shall we go and throw something at a copper, or should we visit a public convenience in Bottesford and leave it in a fairly untidy condition?
What's that? Fans' forum, you say? Oh, well, if we must. Let's not sell Alan Connell, eh, because he's quite good. Oooh, that Mike Newell, his eyebrows were too close together. "By enlarge," said John Fenty (Con), being misquoted by the Grimsby Telegraph because Northcliffe Media thinks it's a good idea to enlarge its profits by using the Microsoft Word spellchecker instead of employing sub-editors, "every manager since I have been chairman has got what they asked for in terms of bringing players in." Most of these players, of course, then have their contracts paid up every time Fenty changes his mind about who should be manager, and the chairman goes on to explain that this has cost GTFC more than £200,000 in recent years. "Clearly we need to do better," said the chairman, in a late bid for the 2010 Yorkshire and the Humber Understatement of the Year award.
Oooh, but what about that evil Nick Colgan? Oooh, he's a bad man. You abuse him, and he abuses you! Oooh! The nerve of it! Happily, that nice John Fenty is on hand to clarify the situation. "He won't be playing for Grimsby Town going forward," explained the councillor. This is highly reassuring to the Diary, who always gets terribly nervous when a goalkeeper pushes up to the opponents' penalty area when his team wins a 92nd-minute corner. But why won't he be playing for Grimsby Town going forward? They won't tell us. It's another unsolved mystery to be filed away forever with the issue of why the three-year Jarvis sponsorship only lasted nine months. Still, why worry about genuine accountability to supporters, or the continued failure of Fenty's vanity-fuelled benefactor model of running the football club, when you can fret about the quality of the Blundell Park beefburgers?
A couple of emails have reached the Diary – the first from Chris Beeley in response to Idle Diary's outpourings here yesterday. "Enjoyed the Diary today," he writes, citing the "Burn after reading" header, "but where was the reference to Barry 'Coen man' Conlon? Ah, f*** it dude, let's go to BP." Those are Chris's asterisks, I hasten to add; Cod Almighty's style guide instructs its authors that "if you want to swear, just fucking swear".
Chris continues: "I am probably jinxing the whole thing here, but I am quietly optimistic at the moment. Let's face it, we have seen Town play sh.. er, sorry, poorly a lot this season but we're still ninth, there's a long way to go, and Peacock's not likely to be in the team for a bit. I think Woods has signed more good 'uns since the summer (Connell, Ademeno, Eagle, Wright, O'Donnell, Garner, Watt) than bad 'uns (Gobern, Kempson, Cummins); jury still out on a few (Hudson, Samuels, Ridley, Arthur), but there's a nucleus there. Bit of nifty business in January and we might just tiptoe into fifth place and then who knows?" Perhaps, though we ought to give Gobern, at least, the benefit of the doubt too: his excellent display against Luton showed the ability is there if he can stay fit enough to use it.
"Enjoying Humberside's commentaries at the moment too," adds Chris. "During the Cambridge game, after a Town player had raised his foot a little too high as a Cambridger stooped to head the ball, we were reminded of John Newman's old saying 'if he puts his head that low, don't disappoint him'. Keep up the good work, CA."
So, thanks to you all for reading, to Chris for that excellent email, and to Richard Lord for asking in another: "Has the Diary ever thought about abbreviating 'Tell The Telegraph We've Not Been The Best Lately But We'll Get Better Soon, Honest' to the simplified and more digestible 'TTTWNBTBLBWGBSH'? Ironically – well, incredibly – that actually means 'cry for help' in Welsh. Coincidence?" Surely not, Richard. Several of the CA team can remember Tony Rees making that very utterance in a phone call to Alan Buckley shortly after the latter joined West Brom and was replaced as GTFC manager by Brian Laws.
Tuesday 16 November
Hello there, fellow Town fans! Bit peaky out, don't you think? I tell you what though – the night skies have been absolutely glorious due to this lack of cloud. I bet they'd look even better with the Conoco refinery burning off, like a blazing Eiffel Tower. Ah, Paris, je t'aime.
Steve Croudson donned the goalie shirt again at the weekend to show true grit for his now obligatory superhero cameo. The man who wasn't there, Kenny Arthur, is looking to make a "return" tonight for the stiffs against Scunthorpe. Yesterday it was Woodses, like a serious man, who remarked about giving King Arthur the right amount of time to return "right" for the club, rather than breaking down. We're not presuming for a second he'll be in contention for this upcoming weekend's match against, um, Barrow is it? Sorry – Town's fixtures this season blow across my mind, like a black hat through Miller's crossing.
While life moves in ever decreasing cycles, your Idle Diarist thinks that life is moving towards something more formulaic. Life is full of scenarios, formulas comprising elements, repeated with the odd little tinker here and there. One of those formulas you can rely on is seeing the intolerable cruelty of Town youngsters come through the ranks, hang around the away trip coaches, on the verge of making that breakthrough, and are then are inevitably released, like maim rabbits for the pack hounds to chase down. It was never a case of O Brother, Where Art Thou? You could reliably presume that they'd end up at Armthorpe Welfare.
These days more and more ex-Mariners are popping up playing for Grimsby Borough. Check out this report and see how many you can count up. Go on. Maybe we could turn it into a game of Play Your Cards Right. Higher! Higher! Looooower!
What's Borough's nickname? Gah! If only I had the time! Like Barton Fink I'm starting to feel the pressure of the 2pm deadline. So, dear reader, I'll end by asking you if you wouldn't mind researching that little fact for me. Ta-ta!
Monday 15 November
Town won 3-0 away on Sat'day. They had five chances and finished three. Outplayed the first half the Kitten kept them in it with an excellent shot-stopping, heart-warming performance. Here, see for yourselves via these excellent Hayes video highlights on that YouTube suggests your Guest Diarist. Great goal from Robert Eagle wasn't it? More match fitness minutes for Coulson and Ademeno but Arthur is very nervous about his hamstring so didn't even warm the bench.
Town were tactically outdone in the first half by a cleverly set up opposition midfield Woods told the world afterwards in his press interview, but a reshuffle to 4-3-3 with Connell in the Black's hole seemed to work a treat. The manager was as honest as ever freely admitting his side had played nowhere near as well as the finishing scoreline suggested. But, hey, we were due a 'wonder goal' having seen a load of opposition ones this season and Connell's injury-time penalty was as well taken as ever.
The question is now whether Woodses writes off Arthur for a bit longer until he stops his phantom hamstring tightness attacks completely. And if he does do (Grimbarian double performative!) then it's whether he can be arsed to loan a keeper or whether he just says sod it and keeps risking his Kitten's shoulder.
Don't tell the RSPCA or they'll be down on Town like a ton of bricks. Croudson was our bestest player I reckon (I didn't actually go to the game you understand but I know we was shit apart from three goals so our keeper must have been brill and those highlights prove it so there). See yer.
Friday 12 November
Wimbledon, Luton and Crawley have drawn no more than three matches apiece this season. Town have drawn seven and look likely to continue in similar vein. Manager Woodses raved about the midweek draw against a Cambridge team who have drawn six times themselves. Two teams who ought to be doing better in this division, but lack the winning mentality. Your Guest Diarist, as regular readers will know, is an admirer of Woods the man and not one to call for rash sackings. I am not wavering either, more resigned to the fact that unless things change on the field then a lot more points will be dropped to unfancied opposition because there is a complete lack of winning mentality at the club from the very top to the very bottom.
I, of course, blame the chairman, who will bluster his way through the fans' forum next week talking the same old tired claptrap. For it is Fenty who has led us down the path through three relegations, multiple managerial changes and the costly embarrassment that was the failed new stadium project with nary an apology or explanation other than to keep blaming ITV Digital year after bleeding year.
Buried in the free-to-air Hayes & Yeading pre-match interview, Woods admits that "there was one pass too many" in some of the Town attacks. Neutrals at the Cambridge match (if you can call away stewards and bored coppers neutrals), to a man, made the Arsenal comparison. Too much coaching from Woods, it looks like to me: we have a genuine lively goalscoring partnership if Ademeno keeps fit to partner Connell. Just tell them to score goals, I say.
The players whose turn it is to tell the Telegraph we've drawn too many lately but we'll win one soon, honest, are Coulson and Atkinson this week. "Being hard to beat is what you want away from home," burbles Atko and then goes on to tell us he is a hard man as well as a culture bunny. Coulson, at least, says he is fully fit again.
As for who will play tomorrow, well, Woodses says Arthur is raring to go (until he pulls something in the warm-up, no doubt). And Bore is a bit better but might not brave the trip, while Wood is still a bit groggy but undoubtedly will. Garner's hamstring is niggling, according to the manager (Woods likes dropping Garner or playing him out of position so he looks stupid). But nothing negative said about Ademeno, Gobern and Coulson so if they need matches he needs to pick them.
Finally, my senility was charmingly exposed in a mail from Richard Lord who pointed out that he had told us a bit about Fleetwood in his Rough Guide to the club at the start of the season – including the fact they play the Pugwash theme when they score (see yesterday's diary). It really is a good idea to re-read our Rough Guides when we are about to play someone. Especially today, when the CA lads are too busy fighting the cuts and being dynamic at work and that to compile a pre-match factfile. Here's a useful snippet from the Hayes & Yeading one: "On a positive note, at least we can say Town are undefeated against Hayes & Yeading." Except we then went on to lose at home to them a bit dismally. Anyway, at least we didn't draw. See yer.
Thursday 11 November
It's a wild old November day and during the minutes silence at 11am to remember the fallen your Guest Diarist's mind cast back to that sad elegiac story Cod Almighty ran last Christmas about brave Town skipper Sid Wheelhouse. Hasn't there been enough war? All this talk of fighting in foreign fields in the name of freedom – well, I don't know about that really. We have invaded Afghanistan at least four times in the last two hundred years and got the best part of nowhere haven't we?
Moving on to a cheerier topic, Cod Almighty's Pete Green was on the late-night Tony Livesey Radio 5 show last night, where they were discussing the annoying habit an increasing number of clubs have of playing 'goal music'. If you have even the vaguest interest or opinion about this I urge you to have a quick listen. Pete's topic starts at about 1h 54m and lasts less than ten minutes. Well worth it actually, if only to find out that Fleetwood (bless 'em) play the Captain Pugwash theme every time they score. Joyful, magnificent, nostalgic and perfect to do a crazy-because-we-scored jig to, eh?
You think there's no news today? Well, I can tell you that Michael Leary, Lewis Gobern and young Corner are heartily sick of the A1 this week. Less than 24 hours after their horrible late-night return journey from Cambridge (complete with multiple road-closed but not closed and let's send you towards Grimsby in a due westerly direction highway authority idiocy), the lads had to endure an evening drive up to Gateshead in a minibus with the reserves. Apart from these three, of course, it was all young lads, save good old Dave Moore who acted as manager, physio and (possibly) driver. So they lost 4-2 but young Mulready attracted attention again with a decent display and a goal, I'm told.
That Pugwash thing has made me determined to try to get to Fleetwood in February when we play them. It'll be the first time I can recall wanting the opposition to score at least once so I can witness the Pugwash dancing. As long as we bag a couple though, obviously. I'll be back tomorrow with some news about the Woodses masterplan for Saturday. Let's hope it involves Bradley Wood at right-back. See yer.
Wednesday 10 November
A decent performance and draw away from home, against a side with a strong record on their own patch. Had this been achieved in the context of a winning run, the supporters would go away quietly satisfied. Because it happened after another half-dozen games without a win, though, last night's 1-1 at Cambridge is prompting many Town fans to unprecedented levels of militant protest against the Fenty/Woods regime. Furious supporters are threatening not to attend the Mariners' next home game against Barrow a week on Saturday if the weather hasn't improved by then, and some have even gone on the internet to say they don't like being in the GM Vauxhall Conference very much.
Your original/regular Diary came to the conclusion some time ago that the removal of Neil Woodses should not even be on the agenda and the manager should be left to get on with the job. Partly this is because John Fenty's usual cunning strategem of sacking a manager when Town are in the bottom half of their division only ever seems to make things worse. There's also the fact that Russell Sladeses got off to a very similar start to Neil Woodses, not many years ago, that a bunch of cockends held up a 'Slade out' banner in the Pontoon, and a few months later we came within a whisker of promotion. And let's remember that none of us actually know whether Woodses has any idea about tactics and things like that, because we all know fuck all about that sort of thing really.
But let's look at what would happen if Woodses were to get the heave-ho. Oooh, who's going to get the job next? Oooh, I think it should be so-and-so. Oh, it's not, it's thingummy. Will he be any good as so-and-so? Don't know. Let's give thingummy a chance and see. Oh, he's loaned two players from Rotherham. Oh, they've gone. Now he's paid up the contracts of some players signed by the last manager. Hmm, we haven't won many games yet. Let's give him a chance though. Look, he's signed some players permanently on 18-month contracts. They sound good. Oh, we still haven't won many games. Should we start thinking about sacking him? No, not yet. Now's he's paid up some more contracts. Just one or two more signings. Oooh, a 20-year-old midfielder who came through the ranks at Derby and made one substitute appearance in the League Cup in 2008. We still haven't won many games though. Let's sack him. He clearly doesn't know how to motivate players or do tactics. Thingummies out! Oh, John Fenty has sacked him! Well done, John Fenty! Oooh, who's going to get the job next? Oooh, I think it should be so-and-so...
So there's one reason above all else that I believe we should just leave Woodses in situ and see what happens. And that is that sacking the manager has become the most utterly fucking tedious thing imaginable.
Tuesday 9 November
An extra few days to pause for breath and recover some fitness, or long enough without a game to lose focus and momentum and allow minds to wander? Your original/regular diarist would be tempted towards the latter downbeat interpretation if the Town first XI had actually had any focus and momentum to lose. As it stands, we are supposed to interpret the ten-day gap between the Mariners' last game – a disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Eastbourne Borough – and tonight's trip to Cambridge as a chance for Town's walking wounded to get back to health. I'm still not sure how that's supposed to work with Straight Peter Bore having picked up a hip injury from nowhere at all, the confirmed absence of Lee Peacock (groin) and Dwayne Samuels (not very good), and permacrocked custodian Kenny Arthur still only 50/50, but there you have it.
Charles Ademeno could start the game, though, even if he won't last the full 90. Lewis Gobern is back in contention as well – give the lad chance because we've not seen the best of him yet. And the Mariners' strengthened attack coincides appealingly with a crisis in defence for our hosts. So it's not all bad. Which, of course, is our way of guaranteeing a heavy defeat with no goals at all for Town. Go and read our full match preview if you dare.
By the way, is it just me or does that Albrighton lad at Aston Villa look like a sort of teenage John Fenty? No? Just me then. See you tomorrow.
Monday 8 November
Ooh-er! Defensive crisis at tomorrow's opponents Cambridge – two centre-halves injured and one suspended means, unless Martin Ling can take someone suitable on a last-minute loan, that they'll have to play someone who's capable of playing there but doesn't normally get picked. Your Guest Diarist, standing in for a ridiculously busy Mr Mardy Diary, has done eleven seconds' research and come up with this bombshell. And that'll have to do you for news, gentle reader, because the only other bit concerns Town having some youth trialist games and the amazing reportage on the SNOS that kids have applied to play.
But we did get a couple of nice responses to my appeal to the older generation to tell us about Ron Cockerill, who died last week. Alan Dickens was first, saying: "Big Ron was a big bloke and a terrific wing-half (no. 6) for Town – a legend, in fact, along with others such as Whitefoot, Connor, Boylen, Groves, Childs and Chatterley. Apart from a cannonball shot (think he got about 30 goals in 300 games and 25-30 yarders were his stock-in-trade), my distinct memory of him was coming out in Town's new gobsmacking strip in 1960 of white shirts and red shorts – we couldn't believe it either and Ron did a few twirls and curtsies in the centre circle, laughing like a clown as if to say 'nothing to do with me'. Sorry to hear Ron's gone – probably the best left-sided midfielder Town ever had."
And then David Elvidge: "I was saddened to read in last Friday's Diary of the death of Ron Cockerill. Ron was part of the '60's team I used to watch from the Osmond. He was a giant in more than one sense and never gave less than 100 per cent in every game. Indeed, I can never recall a bad performance from him. I think it was a match report from our dear friends at the Telewag headed 'One Out the Barrel from Worthington' (a rare goal from Dave Worthington) which got some of us reaching for dictionaries after describing Ron as 'the phlegmatic Cockerill' (I thought it meant that he had played despite having catarrh). Thanks Ron for being such a loyal and dependable player for Town."
But there's a sting in the tail from David as he can't help wondering what would have happened if Town had been brave enough (or daft enough, depending on your point of view) to have given son John the manager's job after he had been caretaker no fewer than three times as managers came and went at Town. Both son and father had their playing careers ended by injury. There's a school of thought, apparently, that neither got the best treatment from the club maybe, but let's hope it was just a case of always being hardest on the ones you loved the most. See yer.
Friday 5 November
Nine more games in 2010 is today's Cod Almighty useless statistic. Nine more chances for the Town team to try harder and be better. Nine more faint possibilities for Neil Woods to have a full squad to pick his best first team from. Nine more games for Mr Gobern to produce that dog-eared sick note from his mum. Nine more chances for Mr Colgan to get over his sulk. And nine more times for Town fans to wonder whether our expensive squad will start to reliably win games at last. Your Guest Diarist, facing up to an ITV weekend of FA Cup action without our beloved Town, has briefly contemplated going to Boston to watch their reserves play Grimsby Borough reserves. If only to watch it from the Fantasy Island stand.
But, meantime sad news has come in of the death aged 75 of Town stalwart Ron Cockerill who played left-half for Town for ten years from 1958 until injury forced his retirement. I was a nipper of ten when I first saw him play in the mid-sixties so any assessment of how good he was is dodgy to say the least. So if you are older than me and have memories, please drop us a line.
Sheffield-born Ron, who had converted from centre-half when he joined Town from Huddersfield, was a right big hard bugger who played 294 games for Town and banged in 27 goals. I say banged in because his nickname was Cannonball, apparently, (although I remember it as Rocket Ron, which has a much better ring to it) – when he hit them, he really hit them (shots or opposition players). But he could pass it as well as wingers like Brian Hill would no doubt attest. Younger readers of course will know more of his sons John and Glenn, who both had successful playing careers. It's a sad day for the Cockerill family, and for Town. I gather Ron still used to regularly watch Town until his declining health stopped him. So let's mourn the passing of one of our legends. I hope we get the chance to give him a clap at the next home game. See yer.
Thursday 4 November
Reserve Team Diary writes: Do you ever get asked which Premier League team you support? As a Town fan exiled in West Yorkshire I get asked this all the time. Usually by Manchester United supporters, who were born and bred and in Leeds or Bradford. My answer, of course is to say I don't. I support my hometown team. Why would I do anything different? The Premier League bores me. It is so predictable. Only two or three teams have a chance of winning it. About five teams fight it out for a European place and the rest just are just happy to survive. Every other division of the football league is more unpredictable and exciting than the Premier League. Town have proved it by being relegated so often in recent years.
In a way the unpredictable nature of the football outside of the top flight gives me hope. Town have been playing poorly but we are still only six points off the play-offs. There are 29 games left in this season. It's more than enough time for Neil Woods and the squad to sort things out, to string together a run of results and for Town to drag themselves up the table. The first team could do worse than look to the youth team for a spot of inspiration.
The signing of Andrew Wright until the end of December seems like a step in the right direction. I'll be honest: I haven't actually seen him play yet. But from all accounts he's the kind of player we need. Someone with a cultured right boot to complement the sideways passing tendencies of Hudson, Leary and Cummins.
Now that Kenny Arthur is nearing match fitness again Richard O'Donnell has returned to Sheffield Wednesday. It's clear to see that the young keeper has learned a lot during his time in Grimsby, showing off his new-found ability to Tell The Telegraph We've Not Been The Best Lately But We'll Get Better Soon, Honest. To be fair it's a skill that will come in handy given Wednesday's recent run of form.
Finally, do you get the feeling that Notts County fans had a lucky escape?
Wednesday 3 November
"Grimsby Town supporters erupted when John Steeples wove through the club's opponents in Division Two clashes during the 1980s," is not how your original/regular Diary expected the first GTFC-related news story of the day to begin. Steeples, as we all know, made only seven appearances for the Mariners before sloping off to Scarborough in 1982 without having troubled the scoresheet. But in these straitened times we must take whatever we can get. So let's put doubt aside and celebrate the fact that Steeples' daughter Kelly has been named the UK's outstanding new teacher of 2010. Well, it's probably the closest the Mariners will come to any kind of success while John Fenty remains at the club, right?
Speaking of Fenty (Con), keen-eyed readers may be wondering why successive diaries this week have yet to mention the chairman's latest interview on the Mariners Player subscription web service. This is because he says absolutely nothing you haven't heard a hundred times before during the course of his disastrous tenure in charge of the club. Give him another ten years and there'll be no building left.
There's another thing we haven't picked up recently here, but this time it's one we should have: a lifetime achievement award for the late Keith Alexander at last week's Black List Awards. At a time when it's still astonishing how few black footballers seem to get a crack at management, it's important to recognise what Keef achieved in the game. Apart from anything else, it's good to commemorate his life in any way at all because he was such a nice bloke and – from a more parochial but no less valid perspective – because of how fondly remembered he is as a GTFC player. But let's still hope his work can lead in some way to a much wider pool of candidates in future for the newly renamed Keith Alexander Award for black coaches and managers.
Let's return, then, if we must, to the 2010-11 vintage, and the slender hopes of betterment held out by the return to fitness of Charles Ademeno. In yesterday's friendly at Alfreton Town, the Silver Dude made it through 90 minutes for the first time since he appeared for Crawley at home to Tamworth on 17 April (watched by a crowd of 755). The match was arranged largely to assist the recuperation of Ademeno and mystery goalkeeper Kenny Arthur, but the latter failed to appear after – yegods! – pulling a hamstring in training yesterday morning. Another injury returnee, Lewis Gobern, scored twice and then got injured again, while midfield plodder Michael Leary added two more from the spot in a four-all draw. As well as the walking wounded, the Town XI comprised reserves such as Robbie Stockdale and young fringe players such as Tom Corner and Josh Fuller, so you can all have a day off from demanding the public disembowelling of Neil Woodses.
Last up, good luck to the Myspace Mariners tonight, when they host Stourbridge in the first round of the FA Youth Cup. If I were in town visiting my mum I'd certainly excuse myself for a couple of hours, as three quid seems a price well worth paying to go and see a successful team. For now the Diary is going off to wonder whether, in these straitened times, I can afford a tenner for the new Eux Autres album. So long.
Tuesday 2 November
Idle Diary writes: "A boy from Grimsby who did alright," is the humble summary Kevin Drinkell provides of his football career, as he pops up in today's Grimsby Telegraph in an all-too-brief video interview. Drinks, plugging his autobiography, inevitably compares Town now with the situation at Town when John Newman took the likes of Drinkell and Tony Ford "and dropped them into the first team", the club also down on all fours back then as well. Similarities in the club's position, sure, but one thing stands out as being more evident: Newman had a good set of youngsters to bring through. Can the same be said for Neil Woods, the current manager, and the man who has been responsible for looking after the Town youth for the past few years?
What is the team missing, then? Team spirit, reckoned Drinks; meaner stuff, said Richard O'Donnell yesterday; and now it's the turn of Neil Woods to roll out today's What The Club Needs To Be Challenging For Promotion. It's... fitness. If only there was a consensus of opinion here, folks, then we'd all know. Still, there's a whole week until Town's next competitive match (away at Cambridge), so plenty of time to get more, erm, fitness sorted, eh, Neil?
And seven more days of us trawling the internet waves to keep these lunchtime round-ups going, hopefully not resorting to the current fad of dropping song titles into our prose. Maybe we can get our paywall sorted at last (worked for Murdoch's Times, eh!). Or maybe the Town players can start openly dissing each other and their boss to the local rag. Anything, please! Give us news!
Christ. This is what not making it through to the FA Cup proper has done. It's just sunk in. Shit isn't it?
Monday 1 November
White rabbits, it's a new month folks! To paraphrase manager Neil Woods's post-match interview, Town passed it around a bit in the first half but never really threatened. Your Guest Diarist was mildly surprised when Coulson's shot found its way (without deflection) through a forest of legs and into the net. "If we go behind we lose, if we go in front we can maybe at least draw," I thought during half time.
To continue with what the manager said afterwards, they had a rousing talk at half time about kicking on and winning the game, but the players never got going at all in the second half. Faithful Dale tried to find questions which accentuated the positives, licking Woodses' open sores with the alacrity of an old spaniel. But Mr Woods got as near to the brutal truth as he ever has saying the Town players didn't lift the tempo; the play to within 45 yards was OK but after that basically clueless; and the defensive failings are all still there.
What Woods didn't say was how truly awful Peacock was. Immobile, a casual fouler who can't come close to fooling even these Conference referees, and basically a pointless selection. Yes, pointless in every single bloody way. Dare I say it – was he actually trying all game? Mr Peacock doesn't just give up on lost causes: he appears to give up on most causes. And Coulson, his goal notwithstanding, was a mile off the pace – but at least we can be confident that he will improve with matches. You have to whether question Peacock ever will.
But there is a way forward, gentle reader! If Ademeno can stay fit then his brief cameo at the end of the game showed us what he will do. Ademeno bustles, Ademeno strains, Ademeno don't give up when he gets tackled – he just wriggles and worms away to get to the ball. Ademeno looks strong, Ademeno appears to have pace. Ademeno lasted 20 minutes without limping off! We need another striker real bad, folks. Connell took his penalty with brutal efficiency, but he's not playing as well as he was, you know. His strike rate may not continue and he needs a settled partner who does not sport a tired Mohican and has more than the pace (and enthusiasm) of a horse on the way to the knacker's yard. Let's hope that Charles stays fit and shoulders the load with Connell because his enthusiasm might be infectious. And that's what fans and players need – a player to rouse, a player to set examples.
Eastbourne manager Garry Wilson has been railing to his local paper about the referee (Steve Ross) who has awarded three penalties in a year against his side. Wilson doesn't actually complain that the spot kicks shouldn't have been awarded, and doesn't appear to believe in buttering up the ref before the game as he claims he greeted the sight of Mr Ross with a less than jovial: "Oh no, not you again." Connell was looking for the penalty alright, but the defender Nelson made enough of a mistake to ensure he got it in my view. Neither side was good enough to win on Saturday and I'm surprised that Woods was upset enough to comment on the lack of backing from the home fans. It was a nothing game between two woefully mundane sides – sorry, an entertaining four-goal thriller draw.
Finally Alan Richardson wrote to the diary at the end of last week about – well, let's let him tell the story: "Sometimes taking the mickey out of Town's marvellous website is just too easy. I clicked on to see what was happening (if anything) to be greeted with a big "Jobs @ BP" splash across the page. Surely even Town can't be advertising for new players on their website, although I'd say it's well worth a try. The reality is that they wouldn't be advertising as they don't seem to have clocked the need for three or four new players, particularly in midfield. What really made me chuckle was the bit at the end of the job description:
"The post holder will be required to work some evening [sic.] & weekends... to be prepared to travel... to fulfil criteria/meetings required by Comic Relief."
"I think it's great to see that Comic Relief have included our football club on their list of desperate cases that need their help. Bring it on. To be honest, I haven't got a problem with Comic Relief running our club – they couldn't do any worse." Thanks for that, Alan.
Hmmm, now I can imagine Lee Peacock with a red nose and matching red Mohican – time for a career change? Go to the SNOS to apply, Mr Peacock. Today. See yer.