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Russell Martin may be gone, but his role at Norwich City shouldn't be forgotten

PUBLISHED: 17:43 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 02:06 17 January 2018

Russell Martin celebrates scoring City's fourth goal against Ipswich at Portman Road in April, 2011. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Russell Martin celebrates scoring City's fourth goal against Ipswich at Portman Road in April, 2011. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Focus Images 2011

Russell Martin has gone - but will he be back?

Soon to be new father, Russell Martin celebrates scoring City's equaliser at Liverpool
 in September 2015. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdSoon to be new father, Russell Martin celebrates scoring City's equaliser at Liverpool in September 2015. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

The defender’s loan move to Glasgow Rangers would in most circumstances appear to be the end of his Norwich City career: he doesn’t fit the bill in the club’s current policy document. He’s 32 years old, he has little sell-on value and, after years of riding the Premier League-Championship yo-yo, he’s probably one of the squad’s higher earners.

But Martin is also on contract to 2019, with an option to extend that deal. Were he to dig in his heels – and he wouldn’t be the first Norwich City player to do so – he might want to see out the storm on his terms.

It’s difficult to imagine Russell Martin sitting in the dressing room with the right hump on, never getting a mention in selections, training with the stiffs, just banking a healthy salary.

Why?

Russell Martin lifts the Championship play-off trophy in 2015. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdRussell Martin lifts the Championship play-off trophy in 2015. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Cast your minds back to 2009, when Martin was signed from Peterborough United, initially on loan but then, in January 2010, permanently. Then City boss Paul Lambert had some pretty stiff criteria for new signings: he didn’t buy anything broken and he most certainly eschewed those he couldn’t trust, who weren’t loyal and, as he said so often, who weren’t hungry.

This is perhaps tempting fate, but that is why Russell Martin will do the right thing for himself and for Norwich City. Because that is the way he has always behaved in his time at Carrow Road.

Martin was a member of that golden era who ripped up David McNally’s five-year plan as they plundered their way from the ruins of League One to the Premier League in successive seasons. He is the last of the Paul Lambert signings still with the club on the playing side – Wes Hoolahan the only other player who was also around at that time.

Hoolahan will be forever revered, but Martin may have to wait a while before some City fans reflect on his contribution to the cause and applaud him for his loyalty and dedication.

Russell Martin makes his way up the South Stand after the home match against Reading in April last year to the family of club stalwart Peter Oldfield, who passed away days earlier . Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdRussell Martin makes his way up the South Stand after the home match against Reading in April last year to the family of club stalwart Peter Oldfield, who passed away days earlier . Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Players like Martin are few and far between and whilst many vocal social media types have hidden behind their keyboards and fired vitriol towards him, they would do well to remember that Lambert, Chris Hughton, Neil Adams and Alex Neil all had faith in him.

Russell Martin has been a good servant to Norwich City and he will be just as good for Rangers.

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