The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Flower power

8 June 2023

Well, well, well. Wouldn’t you just know it — after weeks of nothing, Town’s media machine whirrs into action, just as your West Yorkshire Diary was about to commit to publishing today’s stream of consciousness, and announces our first signing of the summer.

Danny Rose (not that one) has signed on a two-year deal, and it appears money has exchanged hands. It’s not in our interests to know how much of it went straight into the pockets of Steve Evans’ ill-fitting tracksuit, but the fact that the club was willing to pay cash for this lad should appease our fiercest and most notorious social media critics in that we do have a plan, and we do want to score goals next season.

The Telegraph could say that Danny Rose to the occasion, but they won’t, because local journalists don’t write like that anymore. Expect something along the lines of ‘Hurst Reveals One Simple Trick That Leaves The Whole Of League Two Hating Grimsby Right Now’.

Okay, so now the news is dealt with, it’s time to move onto the gubbins I wrote ahead of time, on the assumption there would be zero activity down at the BP. Like I said the last time, sorry, it won't happen again.

If the 2023-24 season isn’t this season yet, but 2022-23 is last season, then you know we’re in football’s no-man’s land.

For what it’s worth, I’m of the opinion that our 11th-placed finish and FA Cup quarter-final appearance is still this season, on a technicality, but try telling that to someone who has already projected themselves into the future and is fuming that Hurst hasn’t signed any new players yet. (Edit: this hasn’t dated well)

It may be a competition reserved exclusively for the filthy rich, but there’s still one remaining club trophy that hasn’t been won yet, albeit in Europe, and once one of Zhang Jindong (net worth $7.4bn) and Sheikh Mansour (net worth $17bn) has his hands on it, only then will I consider this season to become last season.

For many, I suspect, the new season will start on Thursday 22nd June, which is when the fixtures are announced. Clubs can’t commit to printing z-cards of these for fans to collect for free from the ticket office because so many of the fixtures get moved. There goes another little piece of tactile nostalgia, lost forever to the overly sanitised corporate machine of modern-day football.

Perhaps, like me, you look for the true mid-point between seasons, using Town’s final game of this season (8th May v Wimbledon) and our first game of next season (likely 5th August) to measure it. As luck would have it — and it will be luck, because there’s no judgment among those who organise these things — the mid-point just happens to be Fixture Release Day™. Now isn’t that just lovely?

Do you like football? Do you like football management games? If so, you’ll like this next bit.

To help generate some Mariners fun this summer (and therefore avoid being drawn into the spurious transfer nonsense peddled on everyone’s favourite fish-based message board), Rich Lord has decided to simulate Town’s 2022-23 season using an up-to-date database on Championship Manager 01-02.

He’s publishing one result every day at 4.45pm on Twitter, so if you want to follow the fortunes of the simulated Mariners — which, let’s be honest, is unlikely to emulate Town’s very real and very extraordinary cup run — then give @RichMariner a follow, or search the hashtag #SimGTFC.

Pre-season kicked off for the simulated Mariners yesterday with a particularly unfriendly game against St Johnstone at Blundell Park. Today they travel to Boston without the injured Ryan Taylor. A simulated Cod Almighty was also proposed for this endeavour using AI chatbots to report on AI matches but, frankly, that’s when it all started to get a bit silly.

Enjoy the simulation (not that there isn’t enough of it in the game already). Ciao!