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rocky marshall

The rotten apple spoils the barrel!

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Forgive me, but I have been overseas for many years, looking on from afar as the undulations of NCFC life has seen us lurch from Championship, to League 1, through the astonishing return to the Prem and now the ''yo-yo'' years. As I hadn''t been to many games I decided not to post... but recent events compel me to. So Ive taken time to review before posting and please correct inaccuracies.

My post could be seen as a side issue to many, and I could understand that. The fury is focussed on Alex Neil and the Board. Even the players. Yet, crucially, there is a fly in that ointment. We''ve heard from the players, the manager and the board - yet one man remains invisible, enduring, growing in power and presence... and crucially - SILENT.

It seems to me that there is one ever present through the last 10 years of turmoil - you might say the ''glue'' holding it together but for me is more the bind that stops our growth. Managers have come and gone during his tenure at NCFC - Worthington, Grant, Roeder, Gunn, Lambert, Houghton, Adams and now, surely, Neil. He''s seen them all off and yet still lurks in the shadows - now notebook in hand on the shoulder of the manager. He''s even seen off 3 CEOs!

Ricky Martin has prevailed. He has risen to heights far above his talents suggest. His appointment as Technical Director (in the vein of Dan Ashworth) was despite an open application process - yet again, the best talent was just done the corridor!!! He has never coached a single team at NCFC to my knowledge, yet oversees coaching, recruitment, medical, fitness and all football operations at Colney. I don''t believe he holds qualifications or has expertise in any of these.

To reflect on these individually;

Coaching - the Youth Cup is the obvious feather in the cap and a fantastic achievement. Begun by Neil Adams and Gary Holt, RM assisted after Holty left. Outside of that, in the last two years, where is the evidence of well developed coaches and well coached players? U23s are one off bottom of their league, after their relegation last! Outside of the Murphys, who is coming through who''s 1st team ready. Maddison is NOT a product of this academy. Toffolo is constantly out on loan. Declan Rudd? At an average of £1.5mill per year for the last 18 years, wheres the Return on Investment of £20m+ into the Cat1 Academy - Joe Lewis/Chris Martin perhaps (please add others I don''t know...)

Recruitment - an unmitigated disaster. He may have only just usurped the role but was part of the football executive board all along. Squad imbalance is a joke - yet no laughing matter. Inappropriate buys at wrong times have seen a glut of No.10s and little defensive cover. The age balance is shocking too - lots of old ones and young ones and no middle ground!

Medical - The injury stats at Colney are shocking - key players constantly injured, and normally long term. Continually we hear of players picking up injuries during the week! Are the best people working there - why did Neal Reynolds, highly experienced and valued, leave by the back door? Look at the TV on a match day (I often get to watch Premier League games live abroad!!!) and see the hordes of staff on duty. I mean it seems like theres 20 members of staff in the dugout!

Fitness - By all accounts, this team can''t hack the pace of the championship. Either mentally or physically weak, possibly both. To use the old adage, ''Wat R Dey Doin unt Tranun, Neul?! Neil may say they are fit enough, but observing the Huddersfield game via satellite showed me otherwise. Fit, but not fit for purpose. perhaps???

Football Operation/Colney - Way past its best days and way short of modern standards of training facilities. Compare Villa/Brighton/Southampton etc. In fact, don''t! Its been shown up recently when I believe players have turned down moves because of Colney. Please correct me if I read the reports wrong (admittedly some where via Twitter!!!)

So if the remit of Ricky Martins job was to oversee all of these areas and to improve them, then by my reckoning, a large proportion of the blame must be ushered in his direction. He is just as culpable as Alex Neil, the players and the board. And since the demise of McNally, he is possibly the most senior member of the football department. A failing football department... He is, in his role, the lookout on the Titanic. And we''ve not just glanced the iceberg, but gone steaming in, full speed ahead. He was happy to take the plaudits, now must face the jury.

And there m''lud, I rest my case... for now.

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So it''s simpler than anyone thought. We can keep the manager, coaches, players and board. Just dump Ricky Martin and all will be well.

Welcome back Rocky ☺

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Thanks for the welcome Nutty!

Not so much... more, when the ship goes down, make sure ''all'' the captains stay on board and go down with the ship. Neil, Martin, underperforming players and unreforming board members!

Ricky Martin can''t be allowed to jettison his lifeboat again!

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I guess Rocky. But this 10 years of turmoil has included three promotions including a Wembley victory and five premier league seasons. That''s not really a great period to find rotten apples. The previous ten years though...

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Interesting post rocky and says what i have been thinking for some while now about The Man from Mulbarton.

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NN you missed out one important thing that has also occurred along with the PL seasons, we had the lowest point in over 50 years of dropping into League One but that can''t be included as it''s a black mark against all concerned isn''t it?

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[quote user="nutty nigel"]Try 4 PL seasons![/quote]

Were not two of those seasons relegation seasons. I can''t think that they can be classed as successful or enjoyable.

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[quote user="Baldyboy"]NN you missed out one important thing that has also occurred along with the PL seasons, we had the lowest point in over 50 years of dropping into League One but that can''t be included as it''s a black mark against all concerned isn''t it?[/quote]
[quote user="Matt Hopkins"][quote user="nutty nigel"]Try 4 PL seasons![/quote]

Were not two of those seasons relegation seasons. I can''t think that they can be classed as successful or enjoyable.[/quote]
Thanks guys. I think you inadvertantly backed up the point I was making. let''s simplify it for you two : -
10 years of the rotten apple: -
2007/8 Rotten apple spoiling the barrel
2008/9 Rotten apple spoiling the barrel
2009/10 Rotten apple removed from the barrel or improving it
2010/11 Rotten apple still removed from the barrel or improving it
2011/12 Rotten apple still removed from the barrel or improving it
2012/13 Rotten apple may just be showing signs of decay again
2013/14 Rotten apple spoiling the barrel
2014/15 Rotten apple removed from the barrel or improving it
2015/16 Rotten apple spoiling the barrel again
2016/17 Rotten apple once again spoiling the barrel
Rather like "Delia taking a step back" this is not so much a rotten apple as a fiddler''s elbow...

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