The Monday Profile: Chris Martin

Posted by on Jul 26, 2010 in The Monday Profile | 2 Comments

The Carling Cup of 2008-9 provided little respite for a Luton Town squad predestined Calvinist-style to relegation that season, shorn as they were of 30 points at the starting gate. It was a right Royal romp as the Bedfordshire club left Berkshire with a 5-1 battering, but my chief memory of the evening was a truly snarling performance from Luton’s centre forward – one Chris Martin. His namesake once sang of Trouble and this petulant, scowling individual peppered the evening with a series of contretemps with Stephen Hunt, himself far from accustomed to turning the other cheek.

A leafing through the scanty programme of that night revealed Martin to be on loan from Norwich City, themselves hardly setting League football alight at the time. No Future once wailed the Sex Pistols and I immediately consigned him to the section of my mental filing system under that heading. Though only 19 at the time, a temperament that would have made a Gila Monster blush seemed confirmed by the kid’s background: fallings out with former boss Glenn Roeder, a tendency to turn evenings down the pub into a bit of a rumpus and being branded “SuperChav” by now defunct website City ‘Til Die hardly promised a star in the creation.

This all shows how much I know. Luton did indeed slip out of the league but Martin did himself no harm with eleven goals and he netted a screamer as the Hatters defeated Scunthorpe to win the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Wembley, a quiz question-inspiring match between teams who would start the subsequent campaign three divisions apart. Despite a goggle eyed celebration, the East Anglian born and bred used his rave reviews to return to Carrow Road in the Summer. Would he rise to the challenge?

The answer has been a resounding yes. New boss Paul Lambert showed faith and the result was a 23 goal season. Four of these may have been in the annihilation of Paulton Rovers, but he also netted the clincher in the tense 1-0 defeat of Leeds – the match that saw the Canaries grab a semi-solid foothold on the Championship perch. Still only 21, he’ll look forward to the season with immense confidence and we’ll look forward to charting his progress on brand new blog Little Norwich with great curiosity. Indeed, the Norfolk club’s results in friendlies have been eye catching with a win over a Premier Leaguer already.
Rob Langham
Rob Langham (pen name: Lanterne Rouge) is co-founder of the defiantly non-partisan football league blog, The Two Unfortunates, a website that occasionally strays into covering issues of wider importance. He's 47 and lives in Oxford while retaining his boyhood support of Reading FC. He tweets as @twounfortunates and has written for a number of websites and publications including The Football Attic, The Inside Left, When Saturday Comes, In Bed with Maradona, Futbolgrad and The Blizzard as well as being nominated for the Football Supporters' Federation Blogger of the Year Award in 2013.

2 Comments

  1. Lloyd
    July 27, 2010

    I haven't seen him play, but your description of Martin reminds me of Ashley Barnes, who Argyle flogged to Brighton a few weeks ago. Although nicknamed 'parsnip' on the Harpers Park training ground, there was nothing sweet about his demeanour during his stint at Home Park.

    Apparently his bad tackle in a friendly while on tour with Albion in Portugal this Summer started a brawl which led to the abandmonment of a game. It'll be interesting to see which way Barnes goes.

    Reply
  2. Stanley
    July 27, 2010

    The match report in the Brighton Argus (http://www.theargus.co.uk/sport/argusgeneralsportsnews/8291641.Algarve_aggro_nothing_more_than_a_culture_clash) suggests that tales of a mass brawl were somewhat exaggerated.

    As for Martin, he'll be one to watch this season. Excellent in League 1: composed on the ball and an accurate finisher in and outside of the box.

    Reply

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