Whether hard-pressed Luton Town boss Mick Harford had to 'beg, borrow or steal' from his opposite number at Carrow Road is probably something of a moot point.
Either way the two Academy youth products that Glenn Roeder recently labelled 'Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum' have now found themselves 30 points adrift at the foot of the League Two table after Harford today signed Messrs Martin and Spillane on loan for the season.
Both were notable by their absence for the 08-09 first team squad photo this week; both were, presumeably, en route to Kenilworth Road where a long, slog of a season awaits as the Hatters start the campaign a record-breaking 30 points adrift following various financial misdemeanours by the previous regime.
“We need to bring in at least nine players,” Harford was quoted as saying this week. “And 'I've started to make a lot of calls. We're going to use the loan market, and we'll try to beg, steal and borrow from other clubs to boost the squad.”
Cue the phone call to Roeder and the City chief's decision to let Harford give his teenage pair a spot of tough love at the very foot of the English Football League ladder.
Harford is certainly no shrinking violet – not if his playing days are any guide. It could be quite a boot camp for the Canary Academy pair. In fairness, both had returned to pre-season in decent shape.
But with Roeder moving in for the likes of Portsmouth 18-year-old Omar Koroma and, reportedly, Spurs 19-year-old Troy Archibald-Henville so it was clear that neither Martin nor Spillane were likely to figure large.
“He [Martin] looks a lot slimmer and is working hard,” said Roeder recently, after the Beccles youngster had a season he would rather forget last time round.
He wasn't shown the door in quite such a hurried a fashion as the rest of the 'Plymouth Brethren' but his 'efforts' in that infamous 3-0 defeat at Home Park last autumn have never wholly endeared him to the manager.
His off-the-field run-in with the Waveney Valley LVA hardly helped his cause.
Spillane, likewise, had returned in decent shape and featured at centre-half in the opening game of the summer against Gorleston.
Roeder had already noted that the two had decided that they were better off putting a spot of distance between themselves – certainly when he was watching.
“They seem to have decided to put eachother at each end of the running line; they've decided to cut the string between them,” added the Canary boss, clearly a big fan of tough love.
“They've taken my advice on that. They're not running around with eachother like Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum – like they used to.
“And I think that I've made them realise that if there's only one of them going to make it, that one is the one. Dog eat dog. And if I get ne player from the two I'll be delighted; if they both turn out players, then we've hit the jackpot.”
All of which suggests that today's season-long loan move to the Hatters will provide a make-or-break season for the pair.
Ryan Jarvis was the 'Mr Loan' last year. But despite having all the ability and more to shine as an England Youth international, he never made any real impression at either Kilmarnock or Notts County.
Both Martin and Spillane should be able to cope physically with the bumps and knocks you get at the foot of League Two; it's whether attitude-wise they fancy it that will be the key to their prospects this season. And, indeed, beyond.
Otherwise, it was all deathly quiet on the transfer front.
Master Archibald-Henville was presumed to be a dot of an 'i' and a cross of a 't' away, as for the one 'big' signing that Roeder has long been mooting that remained as cloaked in mystery and intrigue as it has been all summer.
Where the glaring hole in Norwich's 2008-2009 armoury is, is glaringly obvious – as is at least one player who could fill said hole.
After that, however, and it is all anyone's guess.