Ian Holloway’s impact on Grimsby Town FC and the wider community

Ever since the day that Ian Holloway was announced as the new Grimsby Town boss on the last day of 2019 there has been a significant improvement in and around the football club. The team’s performances have been well above the poor standard set earlier in the season. The Mariners have picked up 5 wins, 3 draws and 3 losses since Holloway took charge at the football club. Considering that between 5th October 2019 and the last game before Ian Holloway took charge of Grimsby, the team managed to scrape together a mere 5 points in total, all of which were draws.

The players seem revitalised and there seems to be a real positive mood around the club and even when losing, the majority of fans have stayed positive. This is something that is uncommon at Grimsby as some fans can at times be very fickle instead of getting behind the team.

In the winter transfer window, Holloway got straight to work and in total signed 5 players in the short time he had to do so. These players go by the names: James Tilley, Bradley Garmston, Anthony Glennon, Josh Benson and Billy Clarke.

The youngster Tilley signed from Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion on a permanent deal, followed by Billy Clarke and Bradley Garmston who also signed permanently from their respective clubs Plymouth Argyle and League One side Gillingham. Josh Benson and Anthony Glennon both signed on six month loan deals from Premier League outfit Burnley.  So far, all of the players that have signed for the Mariners have not disappointed.

Three very impressive players so far during their time under Holloway go by the names Billy Clarke, Anthony Glennon and Josh Benson. Starting with the forward Billy Clarke has impressed me and other fans so far with his creative ability and quality with a football at his feet.  Scoring important goals against struggling Stevenage at Blundell Park as well as a  lead taking goal at Leyton Orient away, he is certainly contributing to on field matters.

Another player who has impressed me so far is on loan Burnley midfielder Josh Benson. He has filled in a role in midfield which was previously occupied by defensive midfielder Jake Hessenthaler. Hessenthaler has played a vital role in the Mariners’ midfield for the majority of the 2019/20 and 2018/19 campaigns under former manager, Micheal Jolley. Benson has had a very crucial role to play replacing Hessenthaler since his injury which has sidelined him for what could be the remainder of this season. I believe that with his cool playing style and ability to pass a football and start attacks, Benson has more than proved himself to be a very talented footballer and I would love to see his contract be extended come the end of this current season.

On loan Burnley fullback Anthony Glennon has been a fan favourite with his resilient defending as well as his influential attacking ability so far this season for the Mariners. Anthony Glennon has put in inspired performances against fellow League Two sides such as Leyton Orient, Bradford City and most notably Grimsby’s 3-2 win against promotion pushing Colchester United earlier this season. The talented fullback has played an important part in Town’s recent success on the football field and I believe if he does decide to extend his loan deal into next season he will play an integral role in the Mariners’ back line.

It is still yet to be seen whether Ian Holloway will take Grimsby back to the heights which the Mariners have reached so many times in the past most recently in 2003 when Grimsby sat top of the League Division one which is now known as the Championship. Town competing in a league as lucrative as the Championship is now is something a young fan like me unfortunately can never see us being able to achieve. However, anything is possible and Ollie claims he can take us to these levels to compete once more. Regardless, I have full faith in the newly appointed manager and I really hope that he and the team do as well as they possibly can.

Article by Young Reporter Billy Simons
First appeared in Grimsby Telegraph 17th March 2020