David Artell wants to make sure he has a balance at Grimsby Town come the end of the January transfer window, trying to improve the squad while also being mindful of other factors.
There is a key point to be made during every transfer window – clubs at Grimsby’s level have to consider the ins and outs very carefully before they make moves and that includes how deals will affect the balance of the squad and the club’s finances.
Town have brought in three new players so far this window and are expecting some departures soon to balance things out, and Artell feels a “responsibility” as the man in charge to make sure every player understands their position within his future plans.
He said: “I’ve spoken to a few of our players who have had offers [from other clubs] and asked them if they want to pursue those opportunities. I don’t want a particularly big or bloated squad, and finances come into that.
“We’ve got to make sure things are balanced correctly, and I feel I’ve got a moral duty as head coach to make sure that is the case and do the right thing by the players we have and those we perhaps want to bring in.
“There are some that maybe have to leave, and I don’t want a big queue of players outside my door come May and tell them then that they’re not getting a new contract when I could tell them now.
“It’s part of my role and responsibilities, to be honest with the players to help their own futures but also help the squad harmony. If I know what I think of them now, then I should tell them, because that is what I wanted when I was a player.”
At the very least, the club are committed to Artell as the man to lead the team forward and with that comes the backing he will receive to make the right moves to improve the team.
The Grimsby boss has felt the support of the owners in approaching his role in the way he feels most comfortable doing and in such a way that will benefit the team best, including with transfers.
He added: “The owners have been fantastic in their support and I’m not just talking financially but as a whole. I think that is reflected in the whole culture of the football club, it is one big family and it’s quite clear that is the case.
“The recruitment is a big part of that – there is full autonomy in my role [over transfers], which you don’t always get as a head coach or a manager. They’ve let me, Joe [Hutchinson, head of recruitment] and the rest of the staff get on with what we need to do.
“We’re trying to improve but we can’t upset the apple cart because we don’t have the time to work with the players in terms of a pre-season to properly integrate them in, so we’ve got to be mindful of that.”
Things are becoming clearer for the club with each day and week that passes and there is an understanding that the short-term needs of the squad need to be served to set up the long-term aims properly.
That includes moulding the squad appropriately in this window to make sure all the players are clear on their roles so the club can start to plan for beyond this season as soon as possible.
Mariners chair Jason Stockwood explained: “You have to serve the short term in football to have permission to think further ahead. We’re hyper-aware of how that all works, as is David, but that is the nature of the game and we knew that when we first came into the club.
“You try to build a picture and have a sense of who would fit in our squad, but there are multiple parties in those conversations and things can change radically in a short space of time. We are at least getting a clear sense of the type of team David wants to build and how he wants to play.”
Original story at https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/sport/