Dave Martin – victim of the formation?
If Dave Martin was ever going to get a chance to play, you’d think it would be now. His most direct competitor, Stephen Pearson, is injured for the foreseeable future, whilst the rest of our attacking options are diminishing week by week. Yet despite all this, Dave Martin is yet to play a single minute of competitive football this season.
It doesn’t look good for Martin. He didn’t even make the bench at Leeds; then at Crewe,
Ben Pringle was called upon to play left of the front three. At Coventry, we had even fewer options; Commons started centrally with Moxey starting on the left. With Pearson in the mix, I’d say Martin is currently fifth in the cue for the “inside-left” role at best (in no particular order – Commons, Pearson, Pringle, Moxey…maybe then Martin). With Clough currently looking for more options in the forward three, Martin doesn’t seem in his thoughts. Martin has played as a makeshift centre-forward for the reserves but that doesn’t seem to a first team option either. So, Dave sits on the bench when there’s space and watches the walking wounded troop best as a better bet to get us an equaliser
So what’s gone wrong? Well, we had Martin on an extended try-before-you-buy at the end of last season so Clough would have known exactly what he was getting. The only rational explanation is that Martin doesn’t fit into the new formation, which is not about getting the ball wide and slinging crosses in. With money at a premium, it would be a shame if one of our new signings didn’t have a role to play. A bit like Clough buying a new album on midi-disc, only for Johnny Metgod to turn up from the World Cup a month later with an mp3 player – “it’s the future Nigel”. It doesn’t make Nigel’s new album bad but it does make it slightly obsolete.
Martin must be looking at Millwall wondering if he’s made the right move, whilst Clough must be looking at the budget and wondering how to create some space. What’s the odds on Martin going out to “get some games” next week?