Martial's sprint endurance (or lack there of)

Discussion in 'Manchester United Forum' started by Raees, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. Dec 21, 2017
    #1

    Raees Fairweather Fan

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    For me the easy criticism to make of someone like Martial is that he can get predictable, just running straight at players and doesn't use enough of the skill he clearly has in his locker. It seems like he goes through the motions and takes the easy option sometimes.. all of these you see in a typical 'bad' performance of Martial. Now that has led many to call him lazy... but is it laziness, or a physical flaw he has?

    Every young winger/wing forward who bursts onto the scene and aspires to greatness in addition to the natural talent that Martial has, has always tended to have the ability to run at speed all game. Think of the young Cristiano, Robben, even the lightweight that was Messi.. even before that think of Giggs.. and looking at his contemporaries at the moment Dembele, Mbappe, Sane, Sterling.. or Rashford himself, these guys are like greyhounds, they can run all game - most of the time.

    Lukaku also shares this problem, they can't really run all day long.. I don't know if this is because they're more physically developed than your average elite striker/winger but not being able to be at the races all game is going to give opponents the opportunity to dominate phases of the game, even lesser opponents if they know you're not able to run at them for a while and hurt them.

    Now when Martial plays as a second striker, it is less of an issue because he can playmake a little, and pick and choose when he wants to sprint with the ball but as a winger, you need to have that sprint endurance to take the opponent on at any given moment during that 90 minutes. You need to be a roadrunner to play out wide, and I don't think Martial has that innate stamina needed to be a really top top wing forward. Its the reason why someone like Griezmann who came on the scene as a winger, gradually moved inwards because he too would never have had the sprint endurance to last out wide at the very highest level week in week out. Hazard's endurance and passion for running loads out wide is diminishing by the seasons and he wants to move inside and run less.

    I think it is a huge factor why he was dropped in the first place by Jose as he can't do the running needed out wide and why he needs constant rotation. Which begs the question, if we know he has this physical incompatibility with the demands of the position, why not focus on what he can bring to the game and play him up front or off Lukaku.. some of the best football he's played has been in that 3-5-2 as a second striker with the wing-back doing the running for him.

    I know some will argue well as he matures that stamina should come and it is something he can work on, but there is limitations on how much he can really push that sprint endurance.. it needs to be compensated for tactically.. either by supporting him with a roadrunner electric left wing back and livewire striker, which means his lack of running throughout 90 minutes isn't that much of an issue or push him closer inside and let him roam (able to play at a slower pace but wreak havoc when he decides to go through the gears).

    Thoughts?
  2. Dec 21, 2017
    #2

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate

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    Martial is a striker, I will repeat it until people stop with that nonsense. It's obvious and it has always been obvious, he isn't a wide player.
  3. Dec 21, 2017
    #3

    BigTimeCharlie New Member

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    That's funny, he played wide for Monaco and since he has joined united he has predominantly played as a wide player.
  4. Dec 21, 2017
    #4

    Inigo Montoya Leave Wayne Rooney alone!!

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    I think that's the problem;both he and Rashford operate better through the middle but they both can't play there. If we had a better wide right/left footed winger we'd be better
  5. Dec 21, 2017
    #5

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate

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    He played as an inside forward for Monaco in a counter attacking team, where he didn't had to play like a wide player, his role was to come late in the box and score goals. Then Jardim moved him inside.

    Edit: Martial from day one, has been a attacker that picks his runs, he has always played like a striker, he doesn't chase all the balls, he doesn't make all the runs, he doesn't comeback all the time, he doesn't mark a fullback or a deep midfielder. He picks his runs and scores goals.
  6. Dec 21, 2017
    #6

    Inigo Montoya Leave Wayne Rooney alone!!

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    Spot on. His goals for us have come from that position not as a winger
  7. Dec 21, 2017
    #7

    Dobbs Banned

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    He's still clearly a striker.

    You've got a point @Raees but like most strikers it's no surprise he doesn't have the ability or desire to charge around all game. It's like playing Aguero out wide.
  8. Dec 21, 2017
    #8

    roonster09 Correctly predicted France to win World Cup 2018

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    We don't have to play 3-5-2 to bring best out of Martial. We can play 4 man defence and push fullbacks higher up the pitch. For example, City plays with Sane and Sterling, both plays as wingers but plays close to the box as they have full backs bombing forward all the time to provide width.

    3-5-2 is all good on paper but for some reason we never control the game playing that. Play 4-3-3, Pogba anyways drifts wide. So if LB can push higher up the pitch, Martial can start closet to the box.
  9. Dec 21, 2017
    #9

    Raees Fairweather Fan

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    Yup exactly my point. I think we can continue to push him down this road, but I genuinely think he'll struggle to really kick on and be a Ronaldo level wing-forward. His physical profile and mental profile suits a second striker/striker much more.. you can see when he's played up front, his mood changes and suddenly he looks energetic because its more about little bursts of pace here and there mixed up with periods of link up play versus out wide where you need to constantly be on the run.

    I know what its like as as a younger player I'd be asked to play out wide and I fecking hated it, yes I was quick and skilful but I was knackered having to run at full pelt all game in a 11 aside pitch.. yet put me in midfield or somewhere central and I could last all game and run for fun because I could pick and choose when to run at full pelt and manage my energy better. Can imagine at the professional level, little details like that making a huge difference to performance level of a player.
  10. Dec 21, 2017
    #10

    Dobbs Banned

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    Yeah agree. Given his age a decision will have to be made soon on this.
  11. Dec 21, 2017
    #11

    Raees Fairweather Fan

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    Yep, which could lead to us seeking left and right wingers.. if the call is made that Martial/Rash are not suited to being the de facto first team left winger.
  12. Dec 21, 2017
    #12

    André Dominguez Full Member

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    He frustrates me. This is not how a 70M player is suppose to play.

    "We will regret if we sell him, blah blah blah..."

    We are an elite team, we are not suppose to teach the basics to the players who join this club. They are hired to improve and to win.
  13. Dec 21, 2017
    #13

    MadMike Full Member

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    I think if we can sign some top quality wingbacks/wide midfielders and a good #10... than the 3-5-2 formation might suit (primarily us as a team and secondarily) Martial better.

    I'm talking about this shape:
    [​IMG]

    He's better playing off Lukaku around the box. Lukaku himself plays better with either Martial or Rashford near him to offer link up, rather than being a lone striker with the occasional support from Lingard. We have plenty of very decent CBs that can play that system and cover well enough for the occasionally absent wingbacks.

    I think as long as Martial and Rashford are used as wide players with so much responsibility towards maintaining a team shape and tracking runners, they won't reach the potential they can reach as CFs.

    Finally Mourinho alluded to working towards a formation like when he tried to sign Perisic. He said that he's happy with Martial as a wide forward but he wanted someone to play the wing back/wide midfielder role.
  14. Dec 21, 2017
    #14

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate

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    Well, if you purchase a player who is playing a certain role and ask him to play a different one, you will have to teach that new role. The 70m won't magically turn him into a different player. And that's without even getting into the absurdity that a football club should and will have to develop young players.
  15. Dec 21, 2017
    #15

    André Dominguez Full Member

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    That's what youth teams are for. There's even a UEFA youth Champions League. And if after that they are good enough to get into the team, perfect. If not, we should rotate them in a win-win loan so he can gain match experience.

    Still, playing out of position doesn't excuse so many basic mistakes we see from Martial match after match.

    We cannot afford to wait long periods for a player to bloom, maibly if that player is suppose to be a key player in your squad. He's taking space from an actually player fit for that role.

    Yes, I'm still pisssed :D
  16. Dec 21, 2017
    #16

    MadMike Full Member

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    The feck are you on about? 8 goals and 7 assists in 1300 minutes (or 15 full games). You don't have to teach the basics to him, he's a very good player.

    All players have good games and bad games. Especially young ones. He's had a couple of bad games, that's about the extent of it.

    And he didn't cost 70m, it was 35m rising to 50m.

    I swear fans these days love to get frustrated and annoyed at the slightest. Jesus, it's the League Cup. We played a much changed team and the team, collectively, struggled with both motivation and some bad individual performances. But let's all concentrate on why our young forward did not bail us out of a bad team performance again, eh? Jeez
  17. Dec 21, 2017
    #17

    Raees Fairweather Fan

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    If you sign Griezmann and then use him as a winger or a left wing back at times, then that is £100m down the drain. Now the easy thing to say is he was a flop.. but football is much more complex than that.

    Martial may not be upto it, that might be true.. but for me the big issue at the moment is that I can see he is out of position. He's making a decent fist of it in looking like a top winger, but he looks tired and stops running alot and for a young man to look gassed as often as he does.. it suggests to me that he physically is struggle to come to terms with a wing position and it is not natural for him to be used in such a way.

    Doesn't matter how great a player is or how much you've spent.. the first thing you have to get right is working out which position, tactics suits the player you've brought or got. If the player is uncomfortable or unable to carry out the demands of a certain role, you can try to coach them into being comfortable but ultimately their may be certain limitations which prevent that player from fully adapting into that new role.

    For me we have seen him as a left winger for a few seasons now, and he's doing ok but for a lad of his talent, he could do even more and therefore instead of binning him, we need to do a root and branch review of how we are using him and whether we're tactically supporting him the best way we can. If he was to then play as a second striker/9 and then be shit, then get rid - end of. But I don't think we've got to that point yet.
  18. Dec 21, 2017
    #18

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate

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    Not really. Young players have a learning curve when they reach senior level, they don't magically become flawless it takes teaching and experience to get to a level where mistakes aren't visible and even then, most players are protected by tactical tweaks that allow to hide their deficiencies. So when you put players like Martial, Lukaku or Rashford in positions that exposes their weaknesses, you shouldn't blame them but the person who thoughts that it was a clever idea.
  19. Dec 21, 2017
    #19

    André Dominguez Full Member

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    I don't usually get annoyed by little, but I have such high expectations for this fella and I keep getting disappointed...
  20. Dec 21, 2017
    #20

    darksoulsmaniac Banned

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    I mean it's not Martial's fault United paid 70m to play him out of position for almost two years. Like other posters have said, his best performances come from playing in the middle; he's not a winger and he probably will never be.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2017
  21. Dec 21, 2017
    #21

    André Dominguez Full Member

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    The experience part is mostly true. Most of players need to gain match experience, just like a boxer needs to get in combat to see what works for him and what doesn't work and change his training according to that.

    But I get underwhelemed by the simple things he keeps missing. Makes me wonder if we are not watching Nani V2...
  22. Dec 21, 2017
    #22

    André Dominguez Full Member

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    Good post, very rational and with good insight.

    If we are going to keep him and make sure we will use him on his best, we would need someone to deploy a 2 mobile forward system, which is quite difficult at the moment due to strategical reasons.

    We will need to make decisions about him soon. Will we keep him and hope that he doesn't stall being out of depth, or should we love and let go (by a big fee, presumabliy).
  23. Dec 21, 2017
    #23

    Son Of Sam Banned

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    He’s the most frustrating player we have. He lacks that ruthless streak his peers possess in abundance and I think it’s laziness. He doesn’t make runs that gets him behind the defence line like Sane & Sterling....He’s so happy to receive the ball in front of the defence and then start his baby-step dribbling that doesn’t pay off all the time. I really think he’s not as intelligent as the hype surrounding him and his lack of intelligence hurts the team a great deal.

    Martial will certainly lose his NT place to Mbappe as the teenager is more accomplished. Kylian understands the role much better - he doesn’t want to dribble all the time, sometimes a simple 1-2 ball gets you past a defence line or he should be making runs like Vardy does where an over the top ball is all that is required to get him 1v1 against the goalie.

    He’s been a big disappointment this season. He has all the attributes to be a world class forward but the lack of intelligence and inherent laziness is killing him. As things stand, Sterling and Sane are light years ahead of him. Martial really needs to buckle up or leave the club. I’d take being effective on the pitch than the highlight dribbling he does every now & then. Those Highlight dribblings don’t hurt the opponents.
  24. Dec 21, 2017
    #24

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate

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    Martial has nothing to lose, he doesn't have a NT place and he isn't in a competition with Mbappé.
  25. Dec 21, 2017
    #25

    Invictus Best Poster 2015 Staff

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    Yep, agree with the thrust of the OP. Martial has the same problem as Rashford - he's a center forward and putting him on the wing does him no favors. Some players adapt to the change, but on a fundamental level, Martial still kinda plays as a Torres-esque center-forward with his movement and runs, and you can't always redefine players in a precise way when it goes against their innate game - especially in terms of making sustained runs throughout the game. José has done a good job in general, but one of the things that irks me is the reluctance to move away from the template of having a standard 9 as the line-leading striker. There's no harm in trying out Martial as the lone center forward when Lukaku is rested or when he was out of form - even yesterday, we gave time to someone who's 36 and won't be part of the big picture in Ibrahimović instead of playing Martial as the center forward - yes, Zlatan scored the goal but you don't develop players or build for the future by having tunnel vision about immediate statistical gain and evidencing a fair bit of favoratism.

    If we can develop this version of Martial:



    United could well have an Aubameyang level center forward (perhaps even better) in the medium to long term future because Martial has the potential to be that good - could be wrong, but I don't believe Lukaku will ever reach that standard because his fundamental skill set isn't as eclectic as Martial's as an all-round forward.
  26. Dec 21, 2017
    #26

    Son Of Sam Banned

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    France went to the last tournament with Griezmann, Martial, Coman, Pierre-Gignac, Giroud as their forwards.

    With the emergence of Lacazette & Mbappe, Martial’s NT place is being threatened. That’s the point I was trying to make.
  27. Dec 21, 2017
    #27

    JPRouve can't stop thinking about balls - NOT deflategate

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    My point is that he doesn't have a place, he lost it a long time ago. Martial is trying to gain a place, not keep it.
  28. Dec 21, 2017
    #28

    Red_toad Full Member

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    When does a player who's 22 and played over 200 professional games become a player, rather than a young player? I mean he's only got 6 more years before half the Caf will be saying he's getting too old ;).

    For me he's of an age and experience where he shouldn't be classed as a young player and that should no longer be used as an excuse. If he's not played well, then it's simply as he hasn't performed.

    As for his sprint endurance, obviously Jose' comments about his stamina/ fitness have some foundation.
  29. Dec 21, 2017
    #29

    Rawls You'll never find, that microfilm of mine

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    Is Martial as a CF really that Torres-like? I can understand the comparison in terms of their movement and the runs they make, but for me Martial is much more comfortable at dropping deep when playing as a CF than Torres, plus Martial has a much better all-round skill-set. Torres was an exceptionally deadly striker at his peak, but I don't think he was ever a great footballer in a technical sense. You mention Aubameyang later which is probably more of an accurate comparison in terms of playing style, although I think Martial has the capabilities to be a much, much more accomplished dribbler than Aubameyang.
  30. Dec 21, 2017
    #30

    buchansleftleg Full Member

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    Totally agree. He is a striker who can operate in wide areas. We need to improve our options in 4 out of 6 attacking positions.

    Valencia and young offer limited attacking width and we need some threat further up the wings too. I think with Martial's ability we could get away with just one other winger for now if we strengthen the right wing and right full back.

    If we had secured perisic things would be closer i believe.
  31. Dec 21, 2017
    #31

    Heath.1967 New Member

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    He is a striker and I think he does not have to have the sprint endurance, maybe just acceleration to pass 1 or 2 players on 1 on 1 situation.

    By the way, there is no striker in history who could dribble crazily bar Ronaldo Lima.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2017
  32. Dec 21, 2017
    #32

    Son Of Sam Banned

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    You are spot-on.
    I cannot think of any football skill Martial lacks. He’s got pace to burn, he can dribble, his finishing is the best in the squad, he can head the ball. He has everything you can require from a forward but............he doesn’t apply himself and that’s the biggest indictment of any professional footballer.


    It’s pitiful to be honest. A player like him with all the natural abilities he’s got should be a national treasure. What a waste of talent.....
  33. Dec 21, 2017
    #33

    Invictus Best Poster 2015 Staff

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    The comparison was in terms of movement and general runs in and around the box as regards the approach - Martial is similar to young Torres at Atlético in that sense:
  34. Dec 21, 2017
    #34

    Smores Full Member

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    People are far too willing to excuse him from any criticism, whether or not he'd perform better as a striker (we've little to go on) he should still be performing in the position he's currently played in.

    I can't remember a player of his talent and hype that so frequently failed doing the same thing. It infuriates me that he continues to just try and run the diagnol into little space and through 3 defenders. It happens a few times every game, he's got to wise up.
  35. Dec 21, 2017
    #35

    red4ever 79 Full Member

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    Ive seen a picture of him today morning coming out of that dressing room after the match smiling at the Bristol City Players. Enough said
  36. Dec 21, 2017
    #36

    NFM New Member

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    Is he as good as Sane on the wing? Is he as good as Jesus as striker? No where near the standard of either, and they are his peers.
    Just not good enough, nor has any consistency. Recover the fee and get a real winger. Rashford, forgetting his awfulness last night, is a far better prospect as striker.
  37. Dec 21, 2017
    #37

    André Dominguez Full Member

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    He really needs to be more determined and needs to get more game-smart. We could easilly forgive his lack of discipline in the offball movements if only he was one of those players that the opponents get nervous when the ball gets to his feet. But the truth is not even Bristol City players get affected when he gets the ball.
    In fact, I feel more visible fear from the opposite players when Rashford has the ball than Martial.

    Martial fans need to understand that we only get so pissed off because we have enormous expectations from him, he has the potential to be a Ballon D'or, but years keep passing and we don't see upgrades. How many years will he need to adapt? It's been quite a seasons.
  38. Dec 21, 2017
    #38

    Son Of Sam Banned

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    You can tell a dangerous player from the way they stride when they get the ball. Sane, Rashford, Mbappe, Sterling. The way they move the ball - you just know something is about to happen. You don’t get that feel with Martial. It’s like he takes joy in beating players by manouevering the ball between legs, excellent foot work, close control but he doesn’t really eat up the space in front of him for the quick destruction of opponents.

    It’s easier to deal with the threats he carries than Rashford.
  39. Dec 21, 2017
    #39

    Fortitude TV/Monitor Expert Scout

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    You're reinforcing the point of him being an actual striker shunted wide here. None of those players you've listed are as much of a sheer panic-induced threat in and around the box precisely because of Martial's close control and quick feet. All of those mentioned there have a much longer stride and dribble gait, which is suited to play further from the box and D.

    Martial's fleet-footedness is akin to a young Kun Aguero (the Atletico version) or Cassano and it's almost a guarantee that he would draw countless fouls and pens or be allowed by by defenders too scared to stick a foot out in such close proximity to him. I was going to say Romario, but that's another level entirely, but the principle of short-burst, explosive dribbling in close quarters is prevalent in Martial just as it was the little Brazilian.

    The problem we have is that Martial needs a highly technical forward to bounce ideas off of. He makes rapid give-and-goes all the time and really thrives in compacted scenarios, which is the antithesis of what those around him (except Pogba) want to do. Put a couple of technically strong players next to Martial, leave him high and central, and he will look like a different player to what we're seeing.

    Even as a wide player, he, as a wing-forward in a 4-3-3, would look like a much better player than when asked to try and do the conventional tasks of a 2-way wide-man. Martial's skillset should rarely see him leave the final 3rd of the pitch, and all that running in the wrong direction is blunting a tool that should be sharp and ready for attacking phases of play whenever they emerge.

    If we actually end up with a support-striker ala Griezmann or Dybala, I can't see Martial wanting to stick around for much longer, because they would be coming in to take what should be his position, and have him shunted permanently wide in a system that would require him to work backwards far too much, which is something he might opt out of if he can get a central gig elsewhere.
  40. Dec 21, 2017
    #40

    RDCR07 Not a bad guy (Whale Killer)

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    The hell are you talking about? He is most unpredictable player we have and he is only one who can easily get past his opponent. He can down the line or cut in. And a majority of the time, he WILL get past his opponent.