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It's A Funny Old Game
Mind the cliche! By: Reginald Crow 30/04/2010
Grimsby Town A
01/05/2010   (Click date for match details)
League 2009-2010
L  0- 2
Attendance: 7033  (435 Away)
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Football Its a funny old game.  An overused cliché certainly, but very appropriate.

As I start, Fulham just 15 minutes ago qualified for the Europa League (a.k.a UEFA Cup) Final.  Fulham.  Do you remember them?  Last time we saw them (well 3316 of us did) was at Underhill in 1997 and we drew 2-2.  Yes that Fulham.  Talk about heading off in divergent paths, as in less than 48 hours we will know whether the agony we have all experienced since Tuesday night (if not before) will be extended by a further 7 days or not as we hope to qualify for the football league.

I didnt go to the Q&A session at the club tonight.  Ive heard it was positive, but you expect that, Tony K and Paul Fairclough arent going to stand there and say boys.. Were fucked.

Many questions have gone through my head since the Jolly Boys Outing turned into the Road Trip from hell.  How will I celebrate if we manage it?  How will I react if we dont?  Who got us in this mess? Who will get us out of it?   Why do I care?

The answer to the first is RUN!! Grimsby arent going to be happy, and the 1 mile to the station could be close to breaking the world record for the mile, followed by much singing on a train and a few beers in and around the Kings Cross area, Thats Lovely Alan.

The second I dont want to consider but I think it will involve copious amounts of alcohol a very long train journey home staring out of the window thinking about how I am going to bear getting through the week waiting for Rochdale at home.

How did we get in this mess?  First, you have to remember the name of the website.  Downhill Second Half is meant to relate to our ground.  Not our seasons!!  You could blame Ian Hendon, hes the man put in charge to keep us up, he took us to the top of league 2 on that Friday night in September at Northampton.  Memories, the Barnet Jukebox (as one Northampton fan put it) in full vocal voice, the Ahmed Deen free kick, the outrageous lob from Furlong, all soured by some horrible interviewing for the football league show which highlighted that no Barnet fan should be put on camera.  Ever.  Villages stint on late kick-off was the nail in the coffin on that one.  As I left that night, with very little voice left in my throat I commented to mates that we needed just a point a game to get to 50 points, the number that always gets you safe.  In fact we only needed 46.

Back to the matter in hand, Ian had the same amount of resources at his disposal that his predecessor had, he had higher league playing experience had worked under some great managers, and John Sitton (you, you little cunt, when I tell you to do something, and you, you big cunt...Hes available on youtube, I recommend it).  But hes not alone, what about our illustrious chairman.  A man who has kept us a float, rescued us, seen us into the conference and got us promoted again (aaahh, Halifax at home) and sustained us in the football league, battling councils, and built our very own Hive.  But is it worth it if we go back to the Conference.  One word. No.  He has said so himself, but he could have got rid of Ian Hendon, 6 weeks ago and didnt.  Why would he though?  There were many teams below us, Darlo were gone even then, Grimsby were going to need a miracle.  Cheltenham were in turmoil, as Martin Allen had got a little bit too big for his boots, and Torquay like us were finding league football as big a struggle as it was when they last left it.  Tony K was sitting pretty, I can get through the season, league football guaranteed and I can reassess Ian and see if this season was a little too tight.  Well miracles have been warming up and Tony has had to sack his first manager in 14 years.

Our saviour??? Paul Fairclough.  The guy whose blood was wanted by many a Barnet fan for the first few months of the 2008-9 season, before he left in a very subdued victory at Bournemouth.  No goodbye to the fans, a few words to his players, and gone.  Hed been treated unfairly, and yet the good grace of the man, he will come back to try and bail his chairman out (who doesnt have to fork the money on a bonus for another guy who rescues us).  And will also give Denis Signy the opportunity to hopefully use the pink champagne celebration sentence in his reports.

Will it work?  I hope so.  Its one thing bearing up for dealing with The Chavs playing league football, but the thought of The Chavs in the league and us not Oh good God!  Not to mention how we cope with trying to get out of the conference with the likes of Oxford, Luton, Wrexham, Kidderminster, Wimbledon, York all to compete with.  Im afraid Tony the buck does stop with you, but you are still a wonderful chairman who has kept us going, slowly progressed the club without destroying it for your own personal gain.

Blame, lies squarely with the players.  I mean, there is not one guy in the stands who would not get motivated for playing football for 25-50k per year.  I could do it.  But as Eric has alluded to in his earlier articles on here, you clearly cant.  No passion, no pride, no desire, and no acknowledgment to the people who help pay your wages.  Support is a 2-way deal.  We do our best so why cant you.  The sad thing is there are some players sat in the stands who are quality and we rarely see them.  One could be going to the world cup.  Granted its New Zealand, but its the World Cup!!

Why do I care?  Because for 20 years of my life (3/4s of it), a lot of money and a couple of proverbial heart attacks, my football club is always there.  Love, hate, tears of joy, tears of anguish.  We are no different to any other club, no different to any other fan, I just took half an hour of my time to write down this atrocity, trying to remember the times when football made me happy.

As I finish, Liverpool have just lost in extra time and havent qualified for the Europa League final.  Football Its a funny old game.  I just hope I can make that attempt for the record sprint time from Blundell Park to the Train station on Saturday, and I hope each and every one of you will be not far behind.  Fisher away, Chelsea away, Aldershot away, Man U away, Rushden away, Northampton away, can they be joined. GRIMSBY away???

COYB




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