The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Trained badgers

1 December 2023

Last week I committed the ultimate diarist's faux-pas and told my reader I was looking forward to the Sutton game. Subsequently, and I believe also consequently, the match turned out to be one of the most stressful I've ever seen. Every time a stripey miscontrolled the ball, passed it into touch or looked forward into acres of space and went backwards my blood pressure spiked a little bit. If I hadn't made a conscious effort to calm myself down halfway through the second half I might have done myself a medical mischief.

Watching the highlights against a team on Tuesday night, however, was a joy. We seemed to move with purpose and passion and many ten-yard passes were successfully completed. Can a new manager really make that much difference in a couple of days? Even though the other team could well have pissed on our strawberries by scoring a last second winner (which their striker inexplicably muffed) the highlights and the testimony of the brave souls who travelled to the town where the other team lives were heartwarming and positive.

This weekend should be a free hit as we travel to the dreaming spires of the city and the steaming piles of shitty housing estates for an FA Cup 2nd round tie against the Oxford Uniteds. However, looking at the weather forecast I have my suspicions that the Town players will all be around Michele Effete's house tomorrow afternoon drinking hot chocolate and playing Monopoly. Is that what footballers do when a game is postponed? I bet the sensible ones do. I have the feeling that the naughty ones, like Danny Rose, pretend to be poorly then sneak around the other players' cars drawing heavily stylised male genitalia in the frost on their back windscreens. He's just got that look about him.

Our Gibraltan (Gibraltorian?) international manager is an interesting man. He's clearly a chap who can't sit still and is constantly trying to improve himself by taking on various degrees and reading books by self-help gurus called things like Lance Scubadiver or Chuck Gold. When reading his profile I get the impression of a sort of footballing Michael Jolley. His degree in Forensic Biology suggests to me a possible TV series. By day, David R. Tell guides Grimsby Town to promotion from the fourth division. By night, with the aid of his trusty sidekick Shaun, he solves crimes that have a biological component. Another three points safely in the bag, David heads out on Saturday night on the trail of the murderer who uses trained badgers to commit his grisly crimes. Could be a mixture of Ted Lasso, Midsommer Murders and Springwatch. Come on, you'd watch it. Admit it.

These are always sweet days before the start of a new season or before a new manager has the chance to change the team around. Possibility is in the air! We've had a lot of false dawns at this club, but one of these days we're going to get a real dawn. Perhaps this is the one. We deserve it.

However, I suspect there may be small gap before we get on with things and welcome David's ex-gang Crewe next Saturday. Get your Christmas shopping in now. If you leave it to the last minute you'll get stressed, you'll get indigestion and you won't be able to watch us beat Mansfield on Boxing Day, and you'll only have yourself to blame.

If tomorrow's match is on and you go, I salute you.

Finally, in the wider world of football, Scunthorpe have managed to buy their own ground (boo! er, hooray!), and the extraordinary and immortal football gods of Wrexham are due to play Yeovil in the cup tomorrow. Put your house on a home win there. There is literally not a single solitary chance in hell there will be an upset.