Diary: The Margetts Question


The guy has only just arrived, so it is only fair to give Jonny Margetts a chance to show what he can do before we judge him. But a look at our new striker’s recent playing record does raise a big question about whether he will be a success at Glanford Park.

Margetts will get his first chance to impress and answer those questions in claret and blue a week on Saturday, when the Iron face Southend at Glanford Park. They will go into the game favourites with sports betting sites like Mansion88 after a solid start to the League One campaign.

I suspect only Graham Alexander really knows the chances of Margetts being a hit because only he knows whether he can in the long run accept the player’s apparent limitations where other managers have, it seems, declined to do so.

What apparent limitations? Well, let’s look at that recent playing record of Margetts’. Last summer he signed a one-year deal with Tranmere. However, he managed just two goals in 10 games and was soon sent on a series of one-month loan deals with Stockport, Altrincham and Southport.

Any fears that he had lost his scoring touch were dispelled as he scored a total of eight goals in 15 games for the three teams. But here’s the puzzle: none of those three clubs extended their loan of Margetts and at the end of the season Tranmere let him go. Why?

A clue comes from the reaction of Rovers fans. Some felt he had not been given a chance, but more thought he was an indulgence, someone who scored goals but ‘didn’t have the right attitude’ in putting in a shift elsewhere on the pitch.

This is perhaps getting to the bottom of the Margetts question: can an out-and-out goalscorer be accommodated in a team if he is not working hard as well?

Even Margetts’ seemingly impressive stint at Lincoln hints at this problem. Yes, he had scored five goals in seven games for Lincoln this season, but four of those came in one game. Which means that in five games he didn’t score.

One wonders whether it was this fear – that if he wasn’t scoring he wouldn’t offer much else to the side – which led the rather fixed tactician that was Mark Robins to rebuff Margetts last summer despite an impressive trial for United in which he scored two good goals.

Alexander seems to be taking a more adventurous view. In describing Margetts as a “natural goalscorer”, our current manager appears to know exactly what type of player he has bought and is therefore, one presumes, willing to indulge him. Hopefully, the Scunny fans will too.

But this tale wouldn’t be intriguing if we didn’t end it with another mystery. Why did we sign Margetts for money now when, as a free agent, we could have got him for nothing before Lincoln took him on earlier this summer.

I don’t know the answer. It would be interesting to find out.


Written by Matt Blanchard

Part of the team since 2007, before becoming editor in 2013. Undertaken the role of match summariser during Scunthorpe United live match commentaries for BBC Radio Humberside. Seasonal contributor to football titles FourFourTwo and When Saturday Comes and a finalist at the Football Blogging Awards in 2014.

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