Five candidates to become Grimsby Manager: Could Robbie Stockdale be the perfect fit?

Gabriel Sutton by Gabriel Sutton / 25 November 2019, 14:46

After Michael Jolley’s exit by mutual consent over a week ago, Grimsby Town are still looking for a new manager.

We profile five possible candidates in the next Grimsby manager market.

Kevin Nolan

Why he should get the job

Kevin Nolan did a reasonable job at Notts County.

He kept the Magpies up in 2016-17, then led them to a top seven finish the following season, before being dismissed after just five games of the following campaign.

The former midfielder, famed for his ability to get on the end of Andy Carroll’s knock-downs in his playing days, loves at target man.

While at Meadow Lane, he tended to play to the strengths of Jonathan Stead and Shola Ameobi, so he would look to build this Grimsby team around James Hanson.

Why he might not

Nolan always wants to let out his emotions in full.

He will shout at officials if they get a decision wrong, he will give his players big hugs and at times treat them like friends.

That tends to work in the early stages of his managerial regimes, but there sometimes comes a point at which he needs to keep a distance from his players 

Verdict

The fact BetVictor are content to offer 6/4 quotes on Nolan, and odds no shorter than 8/1 on anyone else, suggests the rumours may have substance.

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Robbie Stockdale has been Sunderland caretaker on three occasions

Robbie Stockdale

Why he should get the job

If there is one reason to be excited as a Grimsby Town fan right now, it is the thriving academy.

Neil Woods has done an outstanding job with the youth and in the last couple of seasons, we have seen Ahkeem Rose, Harry Clifton, Max Wright, Mattie Pollock and Ollie Battersby all become respected components of the first team squad.

There is another very promising cluster of talent coming next on the conveyor belt, too.

We do not know what the club’s future is at boardroom level and Grimsby are highly unlikely to get relegated, so it makes sense to make the next appointment primarily about youth development.

Robbie Stockdale is a well-regarded figure at Blundell Park, he loves nurturing young players and he has worked with Neil Woods before; he also has experience of managing in the Premier League and Championship with Sunderland, albeit on a caretaker basis.

Why he might not

Has not managed a team on a permanent basis before.

Verdict

An intriguing punt at 14/1 with WilliamHill – could be the perfect fit.

Anthony Limbrick

Why he should get the job

Anthony Limbrick has been a respected coach at Grimsby.

He also knows the existing squad and will thus already have an inkling as to how to get the best out of the group, which may mean the club will not have to spend so much in January and next summer.

Why he might not

Limbrick’s only experience as a permanent, senior manager came at Woking, with whom he oversaw relegation from the National League in 2017-18.

That is not to say that the coach might not have learnt from his time there, but Grimsby is a bigger job so one wonders whether he has done enough to prove himself.

Plus, the two performances in Limbrick’s spell in interim charge do not suggest he can quickly remedy the team’s recent problems.

Verdict

There may be better options elsewhere.

Pete Wild

Why he should get the job

Pete Wild is proving a managerial gem.

Plucked from Under-16s coaching when Frankie Bunn was dismissed at Oldham, Wild oversaw a return of 10 points from six games, then another spell of 14 from nine after Paul Scholes’ short stint.

He also led the Latics to a shock 2-1 FA Cup win at Fulham – not knowing he’d take charge of the team that day, Wild had pre-booked to go to that very match in the away end!

It is easy to presume that Wild’s results at Oldham were down to his affiliation with the club, yet he is also doing a fabulous job at Halifax Town, who are fourth in the National League with one of the lowest budgets. 

Why he might not

Wild has always been based in Royton, a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham.

The jobs he has had have been at Boundary Park, a 25-minute walk from the centre of Royton and The Shay, a 40-minute drive away.

Grimsby, by contrast, would be a two-hour drive away so Wild would either need to commit to a lengthy commute or re-locate to Cleethorpes.

Verdict

Would be a fantastic appointment at 6/1 with PaddyPower – but only if the logistics work.

Simon Weaver

Why he should get the job

Simon Weaver has overseen eight years of consistent progress at Harrogate Town.

The Sulphurites finished bottom of the National League North in 2009-10, the former defender’s first season as Player-Manager, but they were reprieved due to Northwich Victoria’s demotion.

Harrogate’s problems were down to the difficulties Bill Fotherby had in funding the club, but once the chairman handed the keys to Irving Weaver, Simon’s father, results changed instantly.

The club continually progressed under the Weavers, enjoying a historic FA Cup run in 2012-13 then turning professional in 2017, the summer before they won promotion to the fifth-tier, followed by a Play-Off finish last season.

Weaver likes attacking, purposeful play; his current side plays to a target man in John Beck, but then likes willing runners like Brendan Kiernan, Jack Muldoon and Jack Diamond to feed off him; that template could work well with Grimsby’s current group.

Why he might not

Most of the best-performing sides in League Two have been able to make high-profile additions.

Exeter have added Nickys Law and Ajose under Matt Taylor, Richie Wellens has attracted high-profile performers to Swindon plus Keith Curle’s Northampton have lured Alan McCormack and Nicky Adams.

Additionally, Bradford have a former Championship boss in Gary Bowyer, Cheltenham’s Michael Duff has an excellent knowledge of the Under-23s scene while Ryan Lowe has brought much of the promotion-winning Bury side to Plymouth Argyle.

Because Weaver has spent his entire post-playing career in non-league, there is a danger that he might not possess the contacts required to improve this Grimsby squad in the transfer window.

Verdict

Weaver clearly has a lot of qualities as a manager, but his contractual situation has not been disclosed by his employers. If significant compensation is required, Grimsby are likely to look elsewhere.

Managers Departed

Last man down

Daryl McMahon
Daryl McMahon
(Macclesfield Town)
2nd January
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