New Boys – Chris Martin
Its day 2 of 30 days of Ramspace so let’s get cracking with a new boys feature on our new Striker Chris Martin.
We’ve obviously done the classic Clough “try before you buy” thing but here’s an absolutely glorious piece direct from the club where he’s been resident since the age of 10. Clough likes a player with issues – he’s got one here! Enjoy.
Chris broke onto the first team scene back in 2007 having made an impression playing in the Youth sides. Then manager Peter Grant said he had no hesitation in playing the young striker. It was clear that he had an eye for a goal, so much so there was much hype that Sir Alex was interested in taking him to Manchester although nothing more was done or even heard.
He struggled a little the next season to earn a place, then a very dark time descended on the club and Martin himself, when Glenn Rodent (Roeder) became manager. Martin was constantly criticized by Roeder always questioning his effort and being banned from a number of pubs in the Beccles area led to more criticism from Roeder.
Roeder finally sent Martin to Luton Town at the start of the 2008-09 (along with Spilliane) season with Roeder famously naming Martin as “tweedle dum” This decision was met with criticism from most Norwich fans feeling that the pair should have been given a chance instead of relying on the high amount of loanees that Roeder had brought in. ( I think that his treatment was disgusting and could have destroyed a young player but the way he dealt with that, shows his character. (The Rodent was an arsehole of the highest order not only young players did he pick on but seasoned pro’s as well so don’t read too much into the way Martin was singled out; still it was a disgusting way to treat young pro’s)
However Martin had very successful time at Luton, helping them to win the Football League Trophy, scoring a goal in their 3-2 victory over Scunthorpe at Wembley. He ended the season as top scorer with 13 strikes.
He came back to Norwich for the next season and found himself in the starting line up, but was dropped after playing in the now famous 7-1 opening day defeat to Colchester. In came yet another manager Paul Lambert who installed Martin to the first team alongside Grant Holt this paid dividends with martin finishing the season in L1 with 23 goals in 48 starts.
He struggled a little at championship level, it looked a little too far for him at that time, he lost his place despite scoring a couple of odd goals, it was decided that he would be better served going out on loan first to Crystal Palace, where he scored his first goal in over a year against Derby (sorry). He ended up with just 7 goals in 26 appearances. He was later loaned to Di Canio’s Swindon, where he was highly thought of by the Italian who was prepared to pay for a longer loan out of his own money. Di Canio did have criticism of Martin over his fitness and then his attitude over extending the loan and quickly fell out of favour and was returned to sender.
He then joined You guys and you know more than me.
For me personally, I love it when a home grown player makes the grade, but martin was an enigma not just to me but many fans, it is clear he has talent, a very good striker of the ball, but attitude and a seemingly lazy approach on the field. I could never work out if he was lazy and not interested or that was his style (still can’t tbh) He had many many chances in the first team but such was the need to hit the ground sprinting it was always going to be hard for him.
The truth of the matter the way City progressed (successive promotions) was a lot too fast for Martin and other players, there was no time to be able to get bedded in, he had to make an impact instantly, I always thought that was unfair on him.
At times I thought he was going to throw it all away by his off field antics, being banned from Pubs, having a fight when out one night, I am sure that this was behind the loan moves.
Overall I know the lad has bags of talent and technique, he needs a little more time than others in the team, he does appear to look lazy more a case because he is not that type of player who chases around like a greyhound. If he has someone to act as the target type man, Martin I am sure will really show the potential, that was clear with Holt at his side. But not having seen him for a long while I cannot give anything up to the minute.
Given a good run with people accepting his style Chris will do well, can’t see him being a super striker (He will now) or anything like that, but he will do a damn good job if his head is right and he is handled correctly, I think also being away from his roots will be another plus in his development. I wish him all the very best and hope he can help in turning your fortunes round, back to something like the glory days.