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It should start regardless whether glow plugs and glow plug relay are all fubarred unless very cold.
Next time it does not start, crack open an injector union to confirm if engine is getting fuel. It might be injection timing which is wrong if fuel is getting to injectors. These engines have a RAM or MAA pulley on the injector pump. Over time the internals of this pulley suffers a bit of wear leading to retarded timing. Engine will then be very difficult to start cold. Wear in the RAM pulley does not explain intermittent no start unless there is a problem with glow plug relay. I suggest you go to a garage that has the equipment to measure injection pump timing, have timing measured and adjusted.
Currently in tolsen's garage:
Trekka 1.9 DCI, Smart Cabrio Cdi (65 - 85 MPG) & Ford Transit 2.2 Duratorq TDCi