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The next 3 months are a real crossroads for the Martin era. Plenty to like so far but I’ve not totally warmed to the guy yet, there is a big ego in there (if he was a vegan sausage roll he would definitely eat himself). But then you hear the charity work, how he’s really taken to the area etc and it’s a real contradiction.

I think the reason for my reservations is that as well as being a pure football disciple (which I am totally on board with), he does have a bit of an overly stubborn streak - for example, still playing Lati as wing back when there is clearly a more sensible option in the short term of Sorinola to rwb, and Manning or Ogbeta (ahem!) at lwb.

I also read his comments today that: ’’….we are going to have to be different because of the financial limitations we have, compared to the majority of the league being honest… and… it's a challenge we have embraced. We know what we have to work with, we try to do the very best we can within that…..’’

All this starts to sound like some issues and frustrations may be ramping up, and potentially some reputation management based on his concerns.

Ultimately, he now needs a decent start to the season (top half) and evidence that the obvious issues of last year are being addressed.  It will be an interesting couple of months and I really hope it all clicks.



  • I dont agree with most of that.

    I think he was being very honest, if you watch rather than read the interview.

    Stubborn could be good. He was stubborn at MK, and they really didnt want him to leave.

    If our owners ditch him, after 3 months, then they'd be crackers. And I dont see him walking, certainly not this season. Maybe next summer. Who knows. But my gut thinks not, either.

    His comments about resources are sensible management of expectations. Not piling pressure on the players or himself, while still stating he wants to do well, and he wants to get us promoted. But he's not going to promise something that's impossible to guarantee.

    And do you disagree with the financial situation at the club in comparison to others?

  • It prob does read a bit harsher than I intended with hindsight!  But you disagree with the wing back situation??  I just can’t understand putting Lati out there, and I do find that really frustrating (abs fine option for centre back btw).

    I also think while our overall budget is probably low; I’d be surprised if it was close to bottom based on the wages being paid etc. I do accept we’re a bit hampered with wasting a proportion of that budget on some unwanted players; but I doubt that’s unique across the league. 

  • I think our wages are the lower end of the scale. Some clubs seem to use rich owners to somehow navigate the fair play system in a way we cant. Nor do I want us to.

    as for Lati at right back. What are the alternatives?

    I know Sorinola can play right as well as left. But Martin brought him in to specifically play left, and being a young player, new to this level, he obviously wants to play him in his most comfortable position.

    Lati is learning the job. it's not ideal. but what's the alternative.

    For me you play as many of the players in their best/favoured positions as possible.

    And it's one game in. Maybe, especially if we dont get a RWB in, he'll change his mind, and switch him to the right and play Manning. Too early to say just yet.

    I mean, who will he drop to bring Ben back in. or will he leave Cabango on the bench. For me he plays. But if Wood and Darling are doing it on the pitch, he may need to wait.

  • My impression is that RM and the owners are united in the approach outlined by him today,and I suspect and that was part of the agreement at his appointment.

    He seems to accept it as a challenge worth taking, and is prepared to give it a good go,hopefully the owners will reciprocate.If he succeeds his stock will benefit greatly,as will the club and us as supporters.

    It is part of coaching to develop players into different roles,we can all recollect that happening many times in the past, and If he can make an additional WB from the existing squad who can fault that.

    For me , seeing how the next few weeks progress is all part of the amazing hold the game has.Here's hoping for a good first 10 games.

  • All the managers since returning to the Championship have had to manage expectations based on what went before in the Premier League years.

    Cooper, and Potter before him, needed to deal with some very tricky transfer windows based on what was made available to them and, crucially for Potter, what was taken away.

    If my memory serves me well, Potter almost walked based on how his first transfer window at the club panned out.

    Cooper couldn’t wait to leave before what was likely going to be a summer transfer window that wouldn’t deliver for him.

    My best guess is that the ownership more than likely promised much to get all our managers signatures on the dotted line.

    I felt sorry for GP for the way he was treated and I didn’t blame him for leaving while he had the chance to do so.

    Cooper’s second January transfer window was a shocker and one which, in hindsight, most definitely kiboshed his chances of getting the club back into the Premier League.

    Russell Martin has had his very own shocking January transfer window, where practically all the targets that were agreed on had the plug pulled on them. I think everyone can be in agreement that the O’Reilly deal that didn’t go through was a catastrophic error of judgement on the ownership’s part, especially for the amount we could have bought him for. It remains to be seen how much he will be worth to Celtic when they do go on to sell him, but on the footballing side it’s safe to say that he would have bolstered the midfield unquestionably.

    Based on this I don’t believe that he is cynically trying to preserve his reputation by laying it all on the ownership. He doesn’t strike me as being one to throw people under the bus unnecessarily.

    He is simply confirming what we as fans already know. That there are financial constraints which will hamper our chances of landing the players that the scouting department have earmarked for the club, just as it was in the previous window.

    And as for doing things differently, isn’t that the style of football that has brought us the most success? To me his comments are an honest appraisal of the season as it stands which is the same, by and large, as every season that we’ve witnessed since the drop down a league. And we all have to suck it up, just as all the managers have had to, from GP through to the manager who is now at the helm.

  • the other thing I would say about Martin is he is a man with a hell of a lot more control than the other managers have had - certainly since the end of the season.

    The whole backroom staff at the club were appointed with his approval, and they seem to be working to his say-so - from recruitment to the way the U21s and 18s are set up, and which players he wants to see stepping up etc, especially since Allen was shown the door.

    was there a falling out between Martin and Allen. Or Allen and the Board, or Winter?

    I guess we'll never know. But the power at the club is more with Martin than anyone else (bar the owners) right now.

  • Used to love Crossroads, Benny, Miss Diane, Sandy, Meg Richardson….classic.

    I see the Joke from the Smoke is still around, any inside tips, if my memory serves me right you was always good for something hot off the press.

  • and the T stands for...


  • Tremendous 👍

  • not temperate, obviously? 🤫

  • Even after yesterday, I’m 50:50 on the current set up. As mentioned at start I’m always up for possession, passing football as a priority - and Martin delivers on this.

    BUT, there are long-standing issues with the way we set this up which have to improve/change - and these didn’t just arise over the 2 games this season.

    Going back to the original topic I raised here, I don’t think it was unfair to say the next 3 months are massive for us; and I don’t think that’s too early for a proper review.

  • One whole season's practice and we still are suckers for a counter attack

    Says something and it's not improvement

    Earlier today GP said " it's not about star players, it's about the collective"

    In other words, the team and its organisation

    We have a lot of agendas (?) going at this time of year - stars wanting to get to a better league, a third of the squad still to be moved out with 3 weeks of the window left, new players to settle in

    It all unsettles the players

    Mid October and we might see what we are capable of

  • edited August 11

    When Martinez ran the show we played 4-5-1 with two attacking wingers overlapped by right and left backs with one dropping back when the other went forward to always maintain a defensive 4. The midfield 3 were always moving together and pushing high and keeping the 3 across the pitch. They would each offer runs and options all the time together with the wingers/backs so we were always moving quickly looking to find space. Laudrup moved Routledge and Dyer in closer off the flanks to support the lone striker so we effectively had 3 up front. He still though maintained the 3 across the middle. This made us defensively tight down the middle too. What we have is a poor mans version because the 3-4-3 is slow and only works offensively if we shift it quickly and leaves us exposed if we get caught by a quick counterattack. I honestly believe If he doesn’t change and put 3 across the middle and reemploy the wingers/backs i think it will be the end of him as we can’t keep conceding like we are. Just my humble opinion for what its worth.

  • Wingers are out in the cold as they’re so passé by the looks of things unfortunately.

    And yet the success that they brought to the Swans can be in no doubt, so why they can’t be drawn upon and utilised in any managers system and tactics, even as a plan B, is beyond me.

  • well, let's hope Martin is picking KOL's knowledge of those eras.

  • Trust me if we had the quality of Routledge or Dyer in the squad they would be in the team - we are playing without wingers because the cupboard is bare

  • Or we simply haven’t looked to sign any wingers, and have got rid of the ones we have

  • I like wingbacks, but they need gas and an engine. They also need imo decent wingers or midfield players that understand and either fill in or pick up the role. As miketasmania said above, that is what we had and what worked well for us historically during our successful periods. But we also moved the ball with speed and pace, countered fast and kept teams guessing. In essence we mixed the game up.

    The only thing the opposition knew about us was, we would hurt them, getting the ball from us would be hard and we had pace. They had to try and set a game plan up to play us.

    Now, we seem to move like sloths, no forward momentum and I believe even rookie coaches can set a team to get one or three points against us without a struggle.

    That said, if we look at some of our better goals last year, there was quality, slickness and movement.

    To say I'm confused is an understatement. I hated the style of SC but it brought results, RM brought us the first double, with ease, some amazing goals, a move back towards the football we loved, but we on a whole, look pedestrian and lost and the team look deflated.

  • The features of our wing backs is that :

    (1) The first choices are not natural wing backs and struggle with the finer attacking attributes

    (2) They are played so far forward , they may as well be proper wingers but they then have problems getting back when the opposition breaks away

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