Barnet Football Club



Ask Martin: Q&A Part 7

Josh Jones: How much of a future do you see yourself having with Barnet and what are you looking to do throughout the season to improve the team, results and final league position?

MA: Good question, Josh. I have signed a contract until the end of the season, so at the present moment I am here until then. I am very happy with the players that we have brought in and the changes that we have made. In terms of my personal commitment, I am just about to move into my house after five years of renting all over the country. I don’t have to move and I am happy. I feel I need some stability for my own personal health and happiness. On the flip side we have all seen what happens to managers if they don’t do well and if I could I would happily sit down now and work out a longer contract and I would stay and develop the excellent young players that are coming through at U16 and U18 level. Only time will tell.

Nick Speroni ‏(@PapaSperoni): Which one ex-Bees player would you bring into this squad now and why?

MA: Tough one. Grazioli, Plummer, Hendon, King. All good players and all great men.

Gareth Coates: If you had £100,000 to spend on one player who would it be and why?

MA: Gareth, I haven’t got a clue. Sorry, mate. I have not got £100k, and if you haven’t got it then there’s no point talking or dreaming about having it. Have what you have, get on with what you’ve got and make the very best of it and be grateful.

Anthony Miller: The team run hard, train hard, seem fit and yet they lose 5-1. Brentford are in a much higher league, but are Barnet good enough to go up and can you deal with that whatever problems there are?

MA: Anthony, you must remember that Brentford had players coming on fresh at half-time, and two of them cost £2m! They were fresh, fast, and their winger ripped apart every team in League One last season while their centre forward was the best around last year.  There is bound to be a gulf there and as I’ve repeatedly said all the players that night were set to play 90 minutes and that was key. I changed it near the end to a 5-4-1 because our players were exhausted. Oh, by the way, don’t forget that we beat Stevenage 1-0 and played superbly well against Peterborough, only losing 1-0 to a team who were in last year’s League One play-offs!

Adrian Brazier (@AdrianBrazier): When I met Martin at a conference in London an invite was given to come and watch training. Is that invite still open?

MA: Our training ground is open to all the public and I’d be chuffed to bits for you to come and meet the Barnet players. All of our training sessions are open. I can put the times and days that they take place on the website through Tom and I’d love for you all to come down.

Martin Smith: Will we play a more attacking formation this season, particularly at home, rather than rely on teams gifting us goals or making mistakes?
MA: I don’t know what formation you played last season, but we will play our way and we will do our thing to enable us to win and to make you people happy.

Michael Habben: Do you see yourself seeking out a goalkeeper long-term who is equally as experienced as Graham Stack at this level for competition between the sticks?

MA: The money has got to be spent effectively and efficiently and we have brought in Sam Cowler recently. Dillon Barnes has decided that he wants to pursue a career outside of professional football so he has gone but we also have a youth goalkeeper who will be top drawer in the future and Graham Stack will no doubt get the best out of him over the next two years.

Comrade 6079 ‏(@MinOfSteel): Save all the deaths in Breaking Bad or get promotion this season?

MA: Without a shadow of a doubt, get promotion.

Jack Larsson: What is your opinion on the ‘League Three’ proposition?

MA: There’s no way that it will work and there’s no way that it will be put into place.

Shaun ‏(@shaunosully):  How many of the starting eleven can you remember from your first ever Barnet team, and how do they compare to now?

MA: Not many of them and similar.

Stephen Milward ‏(@Steveuk005): When Barnet win the title this season will you stay to establish the Bees as a league club?

MA: Yes. Definitely.

Gareth Coates: I live near Nuneaton, would it be possible to buy you and the team a beer after the game when you are play here?

MA: We’d be happy to meet you and introduce you to all the players when we play away at Nuneaton but this team does not have beer after the game.

Jonny (@JonnyEnglishNYC): What would be your starting eleven made up of all the Barnet teams that you have managed?

MA:  Jonny, this is a good question. Our media man Tom will put together a list of all the squads that I’ve had during my time at Barnet and we will run a competition to see who can get closest to the team that I choose.

MA: Tom, do all the fans know that you support Gillingham? As a proper football supporter have you got any question that you would like to ask me?

TC: What is the one game that sticks out in your mind when you look back on your title-winning season at Gillingham?

MA: The last home game of the season against Wimbledon. We’d already been promoted but that was the day that we were crowned champions. It was a beautiful sunny day, the stadium was full and we played very, very well.  After all those years of fighting relegation battles, to build a team at short notice with no money and to win a championship by four points was quite unbelievable and something that I’d only ever dreamed about. Once you’ve done it, that feeling of winning a ten-month competition and being called a champion just does not compare to anything else. Now, Tom, we have to do it again.