Martin news was music to my ears

THERE are certain things in life which can't help but make your heart swell with joy. The birth of a first child, a good carvery, Ipswich losing in the play- offs…add to that list an East Anglian boy scoring for City.

THERE are certain things in life which can't help but make your heart swell with joy.

The birth of a first child, a good carvery, Ipswich losing in the play- offs…add to that list an East Anglian boy scoring for City.

The Man refers to Chris Martin using the broader term 'East Anglian', as of course, he is technically from Suffolk.

However, let's not be in doubt as to his roots, as Academy boss Ricky Martin pointed out: “He's from Beccles, and was a City fan long before he started coming to us as a nine-year-old.”

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Such details are manna from heaven for The Man - a proper City fan in the team; wonderful stuff.

It appears Martin is not one of these spineless kids who grew up supporting Man U.

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And he's not just any old Norwich fan either. Martin is one of those fine souls who turned his nose up at supporting his native Suffolk side.

If there were more people like him there wouldn't even be an Ipswich. Top man.

But I digress, the point is it will be fascinating to see where Martin goes from here.

Is he going to be another Ryan Jarvis - or can he come close to emulating Chris Sutton?

Hopefully Grant will make sure Martin's attitude remains spot on, and his first senior goal will be the start of his progress rather than the end of it.

Far too often young players get near our first team then deteriorate, or simply disappear.

The Man is a firm believer you can tell whether a player is good enough within 15 minutes of watching them play. I'm not saying Martin is a world beater - because he isn't - but there's enough there to work on.

One thing is for sure, as a City lad, he won't be short of support from the stands. OTBC.

t THE MAN was in a fish and chip near Farringdon in London this week and while waiting for his food was ruminating on what might happen in today's game.

At that point a middle-aged fellow walked in sporting a Norwich City jacket.

As is often the way with these out-of-Norfolk sightings, my idiotic knee-jerk reaction was to ask: “Are you a Norwich fan?”

It was greeted with a blank look - followed by the gent looking at the badge on his jacket - then the answer: “Yes”, as if to say “well I'm not an Ipswich fan am I mate!”

Given that this fellow popped up at the exact moment I was fancifully speculating about us beating Chelsea, I think I could be forgiven for considering him to be an omen.

Of course, such a result was a near impossibility.

What is a more promising omen is the fact we can still muster 6,000 away fans for the fixture - and 19,000 for the Blackpool home game.


THE MAN has spoken of this concern before - but it's worth mentioning again because Peter Grant revisited it.

Peter the Pointer (PTP) reiterated in the Press this week that the play-offs were not out of reach.

As Gary Lineker famously mouthed to the England bench after Gazza picked up a booking against Germany: “Have a word with him.”

Either that, or it's time for PTP to lay off Grandpa's cough medicine…

I'm sure it's just a diversionary tactic from Grant, but The Man is more than a little concerned at the post-Leeds vibe.

A few people seem to think that by beating the worst team in the league at home, we are now somehow out of the woods.

It is absolutely not the case.

We are in the thick of a relegation battle and are a long, long way off getting out of it.

I'm getting a distinct feeling of déjà vu in terms of the Leeds victory and when we beat Ipswich at home in 1995/6.

Right now the s**m are sweating about relegation - yet they are two points ahead of us.

Yes, we have two games in hand on them, but both are away from home which means a realistic yield of one point.

The failure to sign a striker in January - Chris Brown is not a prolific goalscorer - means the battle for safety is likely to go to the wire.

The Man would say this to the club: if there is still the technical chance of paying a loan fee to get someone decent in then do it.

Sure, it's a rotten thing to shell out for, but it's a hell of a lot cheaper than relegation.

Failure to strengthen - and a feeling we can 'make do' - has cost this club in the past. If it happens again there will have been no excuse for it.


SOME strong words from Brum porn baron David Sullivan last week.

In his programme notes the millionaire seethed: “Take a look around today, and I am sure you will notice the empty seats.

“Compare our attendances this season to Derby County, Sunderland or even Norwich City and you have to question whether Birmingham supporters really deserve promotion.”

The attendance for the game in question, against Stoke City, was 15k; a whopping ten thousand short of our last home league crowd. However, The Man is slightly perturbed by Sullivan's use of the expression “even Norwich City”.

Does he mean “even” in the sense that we are down near the bottom of the league, or, as I suspect, “even” in the sense that we are supposed to be a small-town club supported by three men and a sheep?

The truth is Birmingham have never been a big club. They are in a big city yes - but that does not automatically make them a big club.

On a separate matter, it's worth noting that during the game - which took Birmingham back into the top two - a section of fans were chanting “you don't know what you're doing” at Bruce.

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