I noticed a really interesting comment in yesterday’s Grimsby Telegraph as Paul Hurst speculated that he may try new signing Jack Mackreth as a central striker during pre-season. I’ve written several times before that I think the Mariners need more pace throughout the side, but particularly in forward positions.
There were times last year, especially at home, where sides could double up on Scott Neilson, but a lack of pace across the park meant Town couldn’t make up for their opposition’s lack of balance. True, LJL, Ross Hannah and Alex Rodman aren’t slouches, but with the latter gone and the other two the club’s only strikers (at the minute), having different options can do no harm at all. Quality strikers don’t grow on trees and, let’s face it, in the last 10 or so years you can count Grimsby’s good ones on one hand. Quality strikers who score 20 goals and have express pace tend to play higher up the leagues, not in the Conference. Look at Jamie Vardy and Lee Gregory – neither of whom are lightning fast but the former will be in the Premier League next season and the latter the Championship. You could argue Liam Hearn would be League 1 or Championship bound had he not got injured and continued to score goals.
So if you have someone who does have that attribute who can play in forward positions, why not give it a try in pre-season? Mackreth may not be the answer, but then when Arsene Wenger signed Thierry Henry he was a winger who couldn’t hit a barn door. He later became Arsenal’s highest ever goalscorer. I’m not saying Mackreth will do the same, nor am I claiming he’s the next Henry, but it could be an extra option and give Town a different dimension. It’s also easier to bring in wingers than strikers…
(Photo taken from the official club website, http://www.gtfc.co.uk)