Barnet Football Club



Ask Martin: Q&A Part 6

Tom Rose ‏(@_tomrose): Which is your favourite and least favourite ground to go to? 

MA: I enjoyed going to Wembley to watch the League Two Play-Off Final. You can see Wembley from our training ground and it would be a privilege to lead a team out there. To manage at, well there’s very few because everywhere I go the other supporters give me a load of abuse, except at my old clubs, apart from one, where I always get a very good reception. As a player I loved playing at Old Trafford. In terms of a least favourite, I don’t have one. I enjoy going to every ground because I always meet nice people and they are always good places to go.

Jake (‏@BarnetFan): What is the trickiest team talk that you’ve ever had to give in your career?

MA: Burton away. Shirt was off, jumper was off and it was Braveheart at his best. Thankfully it worked.

Peter Beuker: Why do Barnet not have a co-operation with either a Premier League club or a big foreign club?

MA: Good question, Peter. Yes, that is something to think about for sure. I could see a Championship club loaning five young players in order to develop them for men’s football for a club like Barnet. That could happen.

Christopher Emery: Does it feel better building this team where you have just had to add to some key areas rebuilding a whole team from scratch like in 2003?

MA: I am very, very lucky in that there were several good players already here. Many of them are young, full of energy and on the way up. The more senior ones that have been brought in have embraced the changes. I remember going out scouting every day, working seven days a week to find players to bring to Barnet, the likes of Simon King, Chris Plummer, Ian Hendon, Giuliano Grazioli, Liam Hatch, Danny Maddix, and trying to persuade them all to come. They were a great bunch of lads and all of them were free transfers apart from Hatch, who I remember turning up here to sign wearing an Arsenal shirt, size 15 white trainers and skin-tight drainpipe jeans. I wondered what the hell I was signing. Great times.

Rhys Marsh ‏(@RhysMarsh_BFC): Did you shave your head to look more meaningful and scary?

MA: No. Some lovely little Thai lady, whom I asked for a Grade 3, slashed right through the middle of my head with a Grade 1 blade and then asked me if I liked it? It was too late. Five minutes later I was bald.

Dave Carey ‏(@David__Carey ): Do you see the league being more competitive this season after the ‘Big Two’ in Luton and Cambridge were promoted last season?

MA: I honestly have no idea.

Oliver Miller: Describe how it feels to be saved from relegation on the last day of the season.

MA: It is tiring and it drains you of energy, but of course, it is an amazing feeling.

Martin Smith: What are your main goals for the season in terms of the league and cups and what would in your opinion be a good season for the club?

MA: I have discussed this with the players and the players have set their targets and their goal for this ten-month competition. We are all together and fully focused to achieve a dream. However, it should stay private and remain within the dressing room. In my opinion, what will be a good season for the club? The answer is obvious. I have one champion’s medal and I want another one.

James Wood ‏(@james82wood): If Barnet get promoted, how are you going to celebrate?

MA: Slow drive home, cup of tea, feet on the sofa, X-Factor, Chinese takeaway, Match of the Day, bed. Then probably sleep through the whole of Sunday apart from a walk with Monty. The same as when I won promotion with Gillingham.

Billy Bubb: How do you rate the youth-team at the moment? Anybody to keep an eye on?

MA: Loads to keep an eye on. You should come and watch them.

Gareth Coates: Why do you think that many teams don’t play 4-4-2 anymore?

MA: Lots of teams still play 4-4-2 but of course there are trends. Soon, after Holland did well in the World Cup you’ll see people playing 3-5-2. I don’t do all that I just do it the way I think it should be done.

Jonny (@JonnyEnglishNYC): Which Premiership player would best fit into the system that you’re installing in the team?

MA: Blimey. There’s far too many to mention. Carlton Cole.

Jack Larsson: Can the players interact with fans more this season?

MA: Yes of course. What do you want me to do to get more interaction? If you have any suggestions then e-mail Tom and we will see what we can do.

Adam Whiting: You have returned to our club on a number of occasions so you obviously like us quite a bit, but what do you know about the history of Barnet? Do you know on what date the Battle of Barnet took place?

MA: I know nothing about the history of Barnet apart from Billy Meadows, Stan Flashman and John Still. Many good players have been at Barnet and gone on to play in the Premier League as well as coaches Mark Robson at Norwich City and Ian Culverhouse at Aston Villa. As far as the Battle of Barnet goes, I’ve no idea!

Loic Hernandez ‏(@hernanezz1):  Could you come down and take a session with one of the academy teams one day?

MA: Maybe.

Mark Whitelegg: What is Martin’s favourite pre-match meal?

MA: At the moment, salad, fruit and water. In the past, a fry-up at a café!