Has Martial done enough to be backed as our long-term #9?

Idxomer

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I find it odd that people ganging up on him now when he was our most consistent performer last season after getting back from injury and near the end when everyone was fatigued and not performing, he was the one coming up with big moments game after game.

Give the man a chance to get back on form before writing him off so easily.
 

Offsideagain

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As mentioned before, he is too inconsistent and looks moody sometimes. Keano has pointed this out before. Don’t know if it’s a positional issue or coaching problem or even trouble at home. He is clearly very talented but doesn’t display it it often enough. When he wants to be, he’s bloody unplayable.
 

Plymouth Red

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Deschamps was only recently commenting on how he's now hitting his potential. He wasn't great yesterday but thought he had a couple of dangerous runs at them and he'll be back scoring soon. With Pogba and Fernandes is midfield you end up with Mason and Rashford getting dragged away from Martial and they don't get to make the combinations.
These facts from Whoscored.com appear to point to Martial having a challenge on his hands when trying to impress at an international level

- Anthony Martial missed seven clear-cut goalscoring chances in the group stage of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League, at least three more than any other player.

- With one goal in 25 caps, Martial is yet to get going for the French national team

There's no doubting that when he's on top of his game, he can burn any defence. I just don't think we see him on top form enough. I also think he's never looked really happy and committed on the pitch.

Call it moodiness or apathy or lack of energy, or whatever but his demeanour isn't like Fred or Bruno or Ruud or Rooney and many others who have always looked like they were giving their all for the team. I don't think that's too much to ask for, personally.
 
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Stacks

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It all seems to be going back to square one. The same old story of some form, then out of form or injury or both and then some form again.

Sometimes it is the evil manager, sometimes it is not playing him in his favorite position, sometimes it is team mates not at his level, sometimes coming back from injury, whatever be the reason/excuse, things always seem to go up for sometime before going down.
After a point, it is all tiresome.
It's rinse and repeat for people and their favorite players. Or the astroturfing team employed by these players.

Saw this for Rooney. Saw this for Pogba. Even saw this for CARRICK, which is the funniest of all.
I just feel its too early to be casting stones when he was one of our better players in closing out the season.
I find it odd that people ganging up on him now when he was our most consistent performer last season after getting back from injury and near the end when everyone was fatigued and not performing, he was the one coming up with big moments game after game.

Give the man a chance to get back on form before writing him off so easily.
Its because of Paul Scholes' comment, claiming Martial tricked us.

These facts from Whoscored.com appear to point to Martial having a challenge on his hands when trying to impress at an international level

- Anthony Martial missed seven clear-cut goalscoring chances in the group stage of the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League, at least three more than any other player.

- With one goal in 25 caps, Martial is yet to get going for the French national team

There's no doubting that when he's on top of his game, he can burn any defence. I just don't think we see him on top form enough. I also think he's never looked really happy and committed on the pitch.

Call it moodiness or apathy or lack of energy, or whatever but his demeanour isn't like Fred or Bruno or Ruud or Rooney and many others who have always looked like they were giving their all for the team. I don't think that's too much to ask for, personally.
His international goal record is appaling. It works he was played 1100 minuted total and mostly out wide. He does have 6 assists. 7 goal contributions in 12 whole games aint bad.
On the flip side you could argue he is subbed on or off quite a bit due to an inability to justify a starting berth. Time will tell
 

RedDevil@84

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I just feel its too early to be casting stones when he was one of our better players in closing out the season.
Only if we start acting as if his United career started from last season. The opinion on him (at least mine) is taking into consideration how things have gone in past many seasons. It has been a long story of seeing some form and then not seeing it for long then some form again. Every time, we think he is going to kick off from that and fulfil his potential, he goes down. After a point it is tiresome.
 

wolvored

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I think he is a wide forward from the left rather than a CF. We attack sometimes and he is out to the left instead of being in the box, thats not a CF. He will score goals obviously from playing the CF role, but I would hope we give Cavani a chance there. For me Martial hasnt improved that much since his first season overall in his actual play and thats a concern. He scored more last season, but had more playing time as well. Will he ever be WC? I dont think so. I think we could do so much better with an actual CF.
 

Trip721

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Maybe it's a bit of Martial, but it's the coaching as well. We are utterly predicable with the ball in the final third. Get the ball outwide, short pass to Rashford, short pass back to wide player (meanwhile everyone is standing still), Rashford gets the ball again and it's either 1) try to dribble through and take a shot or 2) try a quick pass with Martial and one of them goes in on goal.
 

GueRed

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said it before he has poor levels of concentration and doesnt have the consistent determination and focus to be a top tier player let alone a world class number 9

sadly we dont have many options..we are where we are because we're having to rely on these kinds sorts

Mourinho was right about him after all
 

bsCallout

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After his stats last season I think people are jumping on him way too quick this season.

I would like to see him playing CF with us putting more balls into the box though.
 

Greck

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Consider myself a Martial fan but at United you can never do enough to be backed long term. Most you can do is buy yourself the benefit of the doubt for a couple games
 

lex talionis

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No. We know his talent, but his commitment and consistency are too poor to allow us to rely on him for the next 3-4 seasons as our main scoring threat.

Anthony has earned the earned the benefit of the doubt, but if we’re going into a cup final and he’s been off form for 6-8 weeks we’d be fools to believe he’d show up for the cup final.
 

Negative Red

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It doesn't matter who plays no.9 if they're getting limited service. He was one of our most consistent players last season, so in my opinion is the least of our worries. With that being said, no-one is guaranteed as a long term anything, just take it game by game, season by season.
 

poleglass red

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It doesn't matter who plays no.9 if they're getting limited service. He was one of our most consistent players last season, so in my opinion is the least of our worries. With that being said, no-one is guaranteed as a long term anything, just take it game by game, season by season.
service hasn't been great but he's missing chances in games he should be putting away. He's a bit like Rashford, good finisher but not clinical. They can score the great goals but not the easier chances they get. I think he's scored 1 goal in 7 or 8 games from open play and that was against Basaksehir. Confidence is low. Maybe with the threat now of Cavani might drive him on. Problem is with Martial if he's not in the mood he can't fall back on his pressing or hard work, because he doesn't really do that.
 

Chesterlestreet

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I like Martial.

But he's a "hope he proves me wrong" type of player.

Because what I honestly suspect is that he'll never turn into a reliable, consistent performer of the sort we (rather desperately, one might add) need.

To be clear, what we actually need from him if we're aiming for the top (and we are - right?) is...if not Lewandowski territory then certainly Harry Kane territory.
 

tjb

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For me, we either go two ways in that position. We either have him constantly competing/rotating with another striker who is at his level...therefore ensuring consistency like Benz/Higuain Drogba/Gudjohnsen/Crespo or even our Cole/Ole situation....or we sign a star striker. The truth is option 2 is unnecessary. We have Greenwood waiting in the wings for the future and Martial/Cavani or whoever after is good enough to use for now. Our main problem at the moment is getting the ball into positions where our attackers can create or take chances. We are far too slow at getting the ball to the final third of the pitch.
 

MadDogg

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Only if we start acting as if his United career started from last season. The opinion on him (at least mine) is taking into consideration how things have gone in past many seasons. It has been a long story of seeing some form and then not seeing it for long then some form again. Every time, we think he is going to kick off from that and fulfil his potential, he goes down. After a point it is tiresome.
That's harsh.

15/16 - he was definitely good. Coming in as a 19yo and finishing the season as our top goalscorer, also winning the Golden Boy award.
16/17 - was disappointing. He had personal issues involving his family at the beginning of the season, was moved fulltime into a new position that he'd only started playing the previous season and was stripped of his shirt number (not exactly great for confidence), so it's understandable that he started the season poorly. He did start looking like himself towards the end of the season, but yeah we'll put this one down as a poor season.
17/18 - was our best left winger for the first half of the season and indeed was starting to be our best attacker again. Then we bought Sanchez and instantly moved Martial out of position to the right and then dropped him despite the fact Sanchez was performing nowhere near the level Martial had been.
18/19 - Started the season behind Sanchez again, but eventually Mourinho had no choice but to try something new and he put Martial back in on the left. Martial instantly went on a run of form that literally kept Mourinho in the job for an extra couple of months. Unfortunately in the second half of the season (after Ole took over) he was in and out of the team with injuries and illness.
19/20 - Moved back to striker, he was arguably our player of the season and finished as our top goalscorer again. Particularly at the end of the season he was the main player dragging us through the last month

So really, he's only had the one poor season. Both seasons he played as striker he was one of our best players, and in two of the three seasons that he played on the left he was one of our best players for the first half a season then didn't get to play much in the second half through no fault of his own.

Note that I'm not saying he's been super consistent. But in four of his five seasons he's actually been one of our most consistent players when he's been able to play. There's not much he can do when the manager refuses to do anything other than play Sanchez and Lukaku in the two positions he can play despite the fact Martial was playing better than them.

There's definitely a question over whether he can take the next step up, but he's done well enough that he's rightfully being given the opportunity to do so.
 

eire-red

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Define 'long term'. Listen to the top players we've had in the past, they were completely focused on performing week in week out in order to stay in the team.

Nobody should have some divine right to stay in the team no matter what, Martial needs to deliver consistent performances week in week out that merit him a place in the team.

I'm not claiming that he has or has not done that, I'm simply saying that it the ask of a striker at a top club. If he can keep doing that, then of course he should stay in the team, but I don't buy this idea of having a good season or two gives you a definitive right to be perpetually in the team.

All players should be picked on form and merit. You don't leave your forwards on the bench if they're scoring/creating, or if not doing then that then having a positive impact on the team in another sense. If Martial does that, then why wouldn't he be in the team? If someone can do it better and is available, then why not go for them?
 

RedDevil@84

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That's harsh.

15/16 - he was definitely good. Coming in as a 19yo and finishing the season as our top goalscorer, also winning the Golden Boy award.
16/17 - was disappointing. He had personal issues involving his family at the beginning of the season, was moved fulltime into a new position that he'd only started playing the previous season and was stripped of his shirt number (not exactly great for confidence), so it's understandable that he started the season poorly. He did start looking like himself towards the end of the season, but yeah we'll put this one down as a poor season.
17/18 - was our best left winger for the first half of the season and indeed was starting to be our best attacker again. Then we bought Sanchez and instantly moved Martial out of position to the right and then dropped him despite the fact Sanchez was performing nowhere near the level Martial had been.
18/19 - Started the season behind Sanchez again, but eventually Mourinho had no choice but to try something new and he put Martial back in on the left. Martial instantly went on a run of form that literally kept Mourinho in the job for an extra couple of months. Unfortunately in the second half of the season (after Ole took over) he was in and out of the team with injuries and illness.
19/20 - Moved back to striker, he was arguably our player of the season and finished as our top goalscorer again. Particularly at the end of the season he was the main player dragging us through the last month

So really, he's only had the one poor season. Both seasons he played as striker he was one of our best players, and in two of the three seasons that he played on the left he was one of our best players for the first half a season then didn't get to play much in the second half through no fault of his own.

Note that I'm not saying he's been super consistent. But in four of his five seasons he's actually been one of our most consistent players when he's been able to play. There's not much he can do when the manager refuses to do anything other than play Sanchez and Lukaku in the two positions he can play despite the fact Martial was playing better than them.

There's definitely a question over whether he can take the next step up, but he's done well enough that he's rightfully being given the opportunity to do so.
I am not discounting his issues in previous years. I had put several posts where I have said Martial was affected by family problems, Sanchez forced into his place and he had injuries and he is a player who needs a different approach by manager etc.
But my point being after 4-5 years, if he still is struggling with consistency (injuries, formations, managers, his mind, whatever be the reason), it is time to think that it is not working out for him here.
And it is not just Martial. Everyone from Mata to Blind to Herrera to Pogba, all have/had things which could have made them work here, but for a variety of reasons, they never could be effectively utilized by us.

At the end, it comes down to whether it has worked or not. If it does not, that player cannot be a long term hope.
 

Borys

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I rate him as the most talented in our squad, up there with Greenwood. His work rate isn't great, and he is very inconsistent but yeah he's good enough.

I'd take Haaland and Kane over him for sure, but I wouldn't count on us getting any of those two.
 

MalcolmTucker

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His last 3 seasons he's scored at a decent rate in the league;

19/20 - Man Utd - 30 (1) games - 17 goals - 155 minutes per goal
18/19 - Man Utd - 18 (9) games - 10 goals - 168 minutes per goal
17/18 - Man Utd - 18 (12) games - 8 goals - 176 minutes per goal

That's an average of 166 minutes per goal over 3 seasons. For context, Mane's average is 171 minutes per goal over the last 3 seasons.

He's started this season in poorly, really needs to build on the form he had at the end of last season otherwise I can see Ole looking for a replacement in the summer,
 

Plymouth Red

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Define 'long term'. Listen to the top players we've had in the past, they were completely focused on performing week in week out in order to stay in the team.

Nobody should have some divine right to stay in the team no matter what, Martial needs to deliver consistent performances week in week out that merit him a place in the team.

I'm not claiming that he has or has not done that, I'm simply saying that it the ask of a striker at a top club. If he can keep doing that, then of course he should stay in the team, but I don't buy this idea of having a good season or two gives you a definitive right to be perpetually in the team.

All players should be picked on form and merit. You don't leave your forwards on the bench if they're scoring/creating, or if not doing then that then having a positive impact on the team in another sense. If Martial does that, then why wouldn't he be in the team? If someone can do it better and is available, then why not go for them?
I agree starting places should be earned and retained on results on the pitch.

This becomes problematic when there’s inade competition for plac. Th arrival of Telles seemed to be followed by an upturn in Shaw’s performance. It may have been a coincidence but I don’t think it was.

Martial, Rashford, Pogba, Maguire and one or two others have not had anyone behind them breathing down their necks, until quite recently. I think we need even more squad competition which probably will need to be via purchases for the next two seasons and then it looks like it will come from today’s junior teams.
 

Mr PG

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This is the problem with this club. Fall in love with certain players and unwilling to part with them even with better alternatives available. 5 years of Martial should have given anyone the answers they seek.
 

Bestietom

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It depends on the manager really. If say, Poch was to take over I think he may go for a more proven goalscorer who would give us 30 goals a season ...
 

UpWithRivers

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This is the problem with this club. Fall in love with certain players and unwilling to part with them even with better alternatives available. 5 years of Martial should have given anyone the answers they seek.
Exactly then again we are still waiting to see if Pogba will ever be consistent, then will Rashford be the player we think he will be, then Greenwood, then is Maguire good enough. Will De Gea regain form. Will Wan B the answer with his lack of attacking ability. Is Fred and McTominay good enough.
We dont have one single player you could bet your house on being consistently good. Game in game out. Year in year out. None. Nada.
 

Red00012

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Well it’s like this we won’t win a league with him up top. We won’t win a league with Lindelof and Fred either in our team. But they’re as good as what we have so they have to play.
Give Greenwood 2-3 years and hopefully he can lead the line.
 

el3mel

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We'll never challenge for the league or win it as long as he's our main number 9 that's I'm sure about. Way to inconsistent for someone approaching 25.

Good player to have around. Won't want him sold but I think it's time to start investing in a better number 9 if our ambition is ever to challenge for big things.

But if we're content with top 4 every year and we think this is good enough target for United every season then yeah he'll be good enough for this.
 

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He'll have another purple patch and everyone will get hopeful again, but another dire spell will be right around the corner. I think Ole would swap him for a top quality striker in a heartbeat given the opportunity.
 

pascell

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His place in the team is up for grabs imo, he's nowhere near deserved the no.9 position as he's too inconsistent. His last 4/5 games have been performances which if someone like James gave us, he would be hugely criticised.
 

Foxbatt

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He was terrible today. I do not know what happened to the Martial of last season.
 

Dominos

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He scored 23 goals last season without being the penalty taker, and he missed 13 games through injury. He could have potentially been looking at 30+ goals last season without injuries or if he took pens, and that's not in a great team either. Thinking about it like that I think we're potentially being a little harsh due to his bad start to the season.

What does disappoint me though is he doesn't seem to have developed the poachers instinct you want from your number 9, too many games where it doesn't really look like he'll get on the end of any chances or really look like scoring. His finishing has generally been good since we signed him which is how he scored a lot last season despite not really looking like a consistent goal threat. However the rare occassions where he has looked like a goal threat this season his finishing has also been woeful.

I'd drop him for Cavani for a few games or potentially drop Rashford and move Martial out wide.
 

Sayros

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He was very good last season, but to start backing up that belief, he had to come out swinging this season. It's typical of him to go hot and cold. In the past, during the Mourinho era, you could argue it's because he was mismanaged and never given a true run of games. Ole has given him that and he's screwing it up. I don't think he was as poor as some make it out, as if he was the worst player on the pitch or something, but he's not banging them in and that's what you need from a #9, end of story. He has to hit the ground running and he's already failed that. Now he might turn it around, but it's not going to convince the noise around him to change at that point.
 

Dominos

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He'll have another purple patch and everyone will get hopeful again, but another dire spell will be right around the corner. I think Ole would swap him for a top quality striker in a heartbeat given the opportunity.
23 goals with no pens over a season (where he missed 13 games through injury) is a pretty long purple patch no?
 

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I think if Ferguson was in charge he'd be wanting to go out and buy a proper goalscorer like Cole or Van Nistelrooy. Martial scores some lovely goals but you don't consistently challenge for and win the league if your centre forward isn't a nailed on goal scorer.
 

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I enjoy watching Martial play football at his best that's why I've felt he is still decent enough as a squad player but after seeing how stagnant he was on the pitch today I realised that enjoyment can be bought on by someone else.

A good player. I'm okay if he stays but I think his time is up and Pochettino's line up as next manager and his history of a certain type of striker like Kane, Llorente, Jenssen, Osvaldo etc will not leave Martial as one of his favourites.

His wages need a vaccination aswell because they are hugely inflammed not enough intrigue other clubs either.