Gutless. Match report: Grimsby 0-1 Carlisle

The only thing worse than Grimsby Town’s current predicament is that supermarkets are already playing Christmas songs. That’s not on.

Forget today’s 1-0 defeat to Carlisle at Blundell Park. It’s been a shambolic week off the field as Honest John did that thing that all self-respecting professionals do when times get tough and splurged a big steaming pile of childish passive-aggressive bullshit on a messageboard forum because some fans dared to make the outlandish claim that his time in charge of our football club has been anything less than rosy.

Of course, nothing is as rosy as those heavily-tinted specs Fenty’s wearing these days. You know the ones – they make you look at Paul Hurst and think, ‘Wow, he’s a bit dour and Yorkshire and all that. I don’t care if he runs the club sensibly and has a long-term vision for the club that requires a few adjustments here and there – he never invited me to his wedding. What do you mean he didn’t know me when he got married?’

They’re also the specs that make you look at Russell Slade and not see a massive bald-headed football dinosaur looking straight back at you.

Russ shuffled his pack today but it made no difference – we still can’t score. At several points it seemed Carlisle let us walk right through them but Scott Vernon is having such a crisis of confidence right now that he’s not even sure he exists. Funnily enough it’s a crisis of confidence that has trundled on since the day he signed his two-year deal with us.

I refuse to boo any player that represents the Mariners but I won’t dress this up on here. He may as well have not played today, such was his contribution to the match.

We’re so bad right now that we’ve started dragging the talented Siriki Dembele down to our level.

On first half chances alone, Town deserved to be in front. On general play, 0-0 was a fair scoreline. We worked their keeper a bit, but we didn’t take what chances fell our way. Then, with 20 minutes to go, the only player in the division older than our back line headed home a simple cross and from then on we went to pieces.

Rumours that Slade has put in a call to see if he can sign Clint Hill are unsubstantiated, but that shouldn’t stop Fenty from publishing an overly-aggressive and badly-worded press statement on the Grimsby Town website to refute the rumour, and then blame Radio Humberside’s Matt Dean for it.

I won’t bother going into any details about the match because there really isn’t any point. We lost at home to a run-of-the-mill mid-table side without scoring. What else do you really need to know?

We look entirely pedestrian. We can’t expect to win games if we can’t score, but what troubles me more is the lack of fight and passion. However, those concerns pale into insignificance against the backdrop of John Fenty – the non-chairman of our proud football club who uses pseudonyms rather than his real name to patrol social media and challenge fans who don’t agree with him.

No one is perfect, but his pure pig-headedness and refusal to look facts in the face is startling. Rather than own up to just some of the many horrible decisions he’s made, he’d prefer to challenge fans to ’10 rounds’.

He gift-wrapped the best manager this club’s had in the last 20 years and delivered him to Shrewsbury. He didn’t come out in support of the fans who were unfairly treated at Stevenage. He voted for the Checkatrade Trophy format that none of us wanted. He employs staff who accuse our fans of being bullies. He allegedly told some of them to fuck off at Accrington. He won’t tell us how long Slade’s contract is for.

And, despite all this – and more (believe me, there’s so much more) – he really does believe he’s open and honest.

John Fenty claiming he’s open and honest is like Shane MacGowan claiming he’s always enoyed a full set of pearly white teeth.

I’m not a fan of Russell Slade, but I don’t think sacking him will do any good because the man responsible for finding his replacement is the most untrustworthy thing at this football club. His track record in managerial appointments is abysmal.

Grimsby Town have gone from having a young, up-and-coming manager at the helm, who signed up-and-coming players who wanted to prove they had a career in the Football League, to having an older manager who signs older players who have nothing to prove to anyone. They’ve enjoyed a Football League career and they’re ready to bow out with a nice, juicy contract from the suckers at Blundell Park. What do they care if we fall back into the abyss? Their futures aren’t on the line.

If today’s defeat to Carlisle showed anything, it’s that we’re repeating the same mistakes that got us into non-league in the first place. The squad that got us promoted into League 2 just 18 months ago would wipe the floor with this lot.

For the good of the club, John Fenty, you have to step aside and let someone else steer the ship. You are all at sea.

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