Does He Rate Martinez At All?
Kenny Jackett commented today on his decision over the out-of-contract players at the club, and also explained why Martinez wasn't included in the 16-man team that faced Oldham last Saturday.
The Spanish midfielder has been left out on a number of occasions under Jackett, and Kenny gave the same response as always when asked about the 33 year-old: ''Roberto still has a role to play for us.''
Adrian Forbes, Kevin Austin and Brian Murphy are also out of contract but the manager has said he won't be deciding their fate until after the season ends.
Jackett says the League we're in will be considered when making his decisions and he said:
'I've thought long and hard about who will be offered new contracts,'
'You are looking at two different divisions we could be in next season and you are looking at being fair with people who have worked very hard for this club.
'But I'm going to wait and see where the remainder of the season takes us before committing myself on those four players. What division we are in has to be a consideration, plus I want to keep a degree of flexibility in my budget.
'All things considered, I feel the best thing to do is to leave it until the end of the season. Right now, we don't want to get involved in contract negotiations or disappointments over decisions.
He then went on to explain why Martinez was left out, each describing the role of the players he chose instead:
'My thinking at the weekend was that Andy Robinson needed to come inside and play that creative role,'
'He is very effective on the right or the left, but I've never really seen him as a wide player.
'He wants to play central midfield and when you look at his strengths and weaknesses, that looks his best position.
He then added:
'I went for Owain because I feel he can come on and score a goal for us, and the second midfield option I went for was young Shaun.
'That's because he can do something similar to Robinson. He is mainly a central midfielder but he can also play in a wide position. He has quick feet and he can beat a man.
Maybe I'm reading too much into those comments from today's 'Evening' Post that I read this-morning but in my personal opinion, it suggests the players mentioned can all play better roles than Martinez.
I'm not saying they can't but lately Martinez is only starting games if we are limited in the centre of midfield. Which was the case when O'Leary and Tudur-Jones were sidelined.
He may well have a role next season but that's likely to be on the bench, whatever league we are in.
I don't think it was a bad decision to bring Robinson into the centre. He's wasted out wide on the left and leaves us exposed by coming into the centre continually in games.
This means we only have the options of attacking through the centre or right wing, meaning our play is more predictable and it gives the opposition's right back an easier task.
I'll be quite surprised if Martinez is kept on. He's been messed about unfairly this year. He was promised a contract extension during the season but there's been no signs of any contract talks.
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