Yesterday I wrote about Grimsby Town’s perceived problems competing against the so-called ‘smaller’ sides in the division following defeat to Salisbury on Saturday. It means the Mariners have now failed to beat any of the four promoted sides this season, losing to three of them. They’ve also failed to score in any of those four games. The blog attracted an interesting comment by former Town midfielder, and current Eastbourne boss, Tommy Widdrington.
Based on size of fan base, budgets and history, there’s perhaps only Luton who are ‘bigger’ than the Mariners, as our recent visits to Wembley have proved. But being ‘big’ doesn’t guarantee anything as we’ve found out over the last three years. I think all fans are ‘aware’ of the Mariners being a Conference side now – it may have taken the 5-0 thumping at Braintree for it to sink in, but we all know it. However, have we ‘accepted’ it? Do we still view ourselves as, to pardon the expression, a big fish in a small pond? Do we feel we have a divine right to turn over some of these sides just because we’re the famous Grimsby Town?
I guess it’s a rhetorical question. I think once you accept something you lose some of the desire to change it. Should we accept that we’re ‘just’ a non-league club? Reading Alan Buckley’s autobiography – more on that next week – it’s easy to forget that just 12 years ago we were flying high in the Championship. Is it wrong to want to see the club return to those glory days? But are we being unrealistic in expecting our team to beat the sides we used to look down on a few years ago – just as the Wolves, Sheffield Wednesdays and the Manchester Citys used to do to us back in the late 90s. Have we accepted our fate of being a non league club? Should we accept it? And if we shouldn’t, how long before we should?