Ben Marshall has been talking honestly about his two respective spells at Millwall.
The 29-year-old, whose currently playing his football with 12th tier side Stoneclough following his release from Norwich in July 2019, initially moved to The Den on loan in January 2018, and quickly became a regular under Neil Harris.
Marshall would score three times and provide five assists in 16 appearances as the Lions came within touching-distance of finishing in the play-offs, after an incredible 17-match unbeaten run.
Despite his successful period in South Bermondsey, the midfielder opted for a move to the Canaries that summer – with the Canaries offering a better financial package than Millwall.
But Marshall struggled for opportunities at Carrow Road, featuring just five times, and returned to The Den on loan in January, although his second stint in SE16 was far less productive.
Marshall would register just one goal this time around, a penalty in a defeat to Leeds – with the goalless draw at Stoke in April 2019 his most recent appearance in the professional game.
“At first I was like ‘no chance, I ain’t going on loan there,'” Marshall told Undr The Cosh. “But I loved it. We got near enough to the play-offs and Neil Harris was brilliant, and the squad.
“That perked me up a bit. At the end of the season that was when Norwich came in.
“The first loan spell was brilliant and the second loan spell was terrible. I don’t know why. We weren’t winning and my performances weren’t there.
“I was probably falling out of love with it and my head wasn’t all there. I was down.”
It’s great to see Marshall shed the light on what went wrong during that second loan period.
Having been outstanding during Millwall’s impressive unbeaten run under Harris during the 2017-18 campaign, it was surprising to see his level drop so much during just 12 months later.
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What’s even more disappointing here is to see such an incredibly talented footballer wasting his career playing at such a low level.
Having been on the books of Leicester and Stoke, there’s no way Marshall should be playing outside of the Championship – let alone before his 30th birthday.