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

Van Piorsing

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Rather look at it as a Giggs's recommendation - Whilst I'm a fan of Martial - using Giggs as some sort of scout we listen by is bullshit.

I dont know why we ask him about a player in the first place, never mind spend nearly 100ml on his recommendations and his approvals.
There's still chance Martial and Dan James will come as success, but it's a fair point to make as time passed by, especially when we still don't have someone like DoF who could filter more through scout recommendations.

Hopefully Ole will deliver his own vision as his experience will grow while being our manager, that's pretty much all we can rely on for now.
 

MAME DIOUF 32

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I change my mind every other week on Martial. Right now I lean towards giving him next season. He might be the right player and I don't see any #9s out there we could get who I'd feel really confident would do a better job.
 

yan man utd

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At this moment in time for sure. What a header against Chelsea away and what a goal against city away too

He has the ability to manipulate the ball in tight situations plus he can drift into wide areas and collect the ball deep and distribute plus he can beat a man. Technically, there is no one better at United plus the players know him and he knows the player. Now our midfield is getting there, he will get better because he won’t have to DIY situations - Fernandes/ Pogba fit and /or additions and let’s not forget he’s been playing without Rashford. He and Rashford are potentially superstars and the healthy competition with Greenwood makes it a no-brainer....
 

Bebestation

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There's still chance Martial and Dan James will come as success, but it's a fair point to make as time passed by, especially when we still don't have someone like DoF who could filter more through scout recommendations.

Hopefully Ole will deliver his own vision as his experience will grow while being our manager, that's pretty much all we can rely on for now.
It was still going apparently after Giggs had advised us to buy a Welsh defender called joe Rodon from Swansea city.
 

Van Piorsing

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It was still going apparently after Giggs had advised us to buy a Welsh defender called joe Rodon from Swansea city.
That's true and honestly can't see Rodon or any other deal for defender happening anytime soon, unless we'll make serious clearout in defense which is taking forever. For now It will be extremely hard to find space even for Tuanzebe. Perhaps somebody someday will instill quality over quantity idea in defense and I doubt it's going to be Giggs with his views, otherwise we'll be signing half of the Welsh international team, even though they have very decent talents.

Solskjaer definitely going somewhere with signing Bruno and having Sancho in mind, so perhaps his route is the right one despite suggestions from others... and it probably happens all the time. Won't be surprised if he's still in contact with SAF or someona like that over bigger deals.
 

Bebestation

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That's true and honestly can't see Rodon or any other deal for defender happening anytime soon, unless we'll make serious clearout in defense which is taking forever. For now It will be extremely hard to find space even for Tuanzebe. Perhaps somebody someday will instill quality over quantity idea in defense and I doubt it's going to be Giggs with his views, otherwise we'll be signing half of the Welsh international team, even though they have very decent talents.

Solskjaer definitely going somewhere with signing Bruno and having Sancho in mind, so perhaps his route is the right one despite suggestions from others... and it probably happens all the time. Won't be surprised if he's still in contact with SAF or someona like that over bigger deals.
Apparently we've started to look a bit more at player data than we previously did & I think Woodward had meant this when he had said that there was a change in the way we were determining which types of players were actually suited to play for us.

I was jealous at the way that Leicester City were getting player after player on consistent quality and quantity - seeing them do it through player data as an important factor whilst we were kind of just gambling and seeing out who does well at times.

Bruno Fernandes had great stats at sporting lisbon, you could argue AWB should have had some world class defensive stats even at crystal palace as well - hopefully it continues and these players we are linked to have some good data. The names generally sound good.
 

RkkMan

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Whilst he isn`t perfect criticism is harsh. He has one of the best goals and assists per min ratio and finishing stats in the league despite being injured for 2 months and if the virus didn`t occur he`d be on over 20 goals in all competitions by now which is a respectable tally and statistically his best season. His all round game has also improved(work rate, off the ball movement etc) under Ole and he`s become a valuable asset in big games. People also forget he`s 24 turning 25 his best years are still ahead of him. If we can`t keep Ighalo a ST like Dembele would be decent competition for him while Greenwood is still developing to be our eventual no9.
 

Van Piorsing

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Apparently we've started to look a bit more at player data than we previously did & I think Woodward had meant this when he had said that there was a change in the way we were determining which types of players were actually suited to play for us.

I was jealous at the way that Leicester City were getting player after player on consistent quality and quantity - seeing them do it through player data as an important factor whilst we were kind of just gambling and seeing out who does well at times.

Bruno Fernandes had great stats at sporting lisbon, you could argue AWB should have had some world class defensive stats even at crystal palace as well - hopefully it continues and these players we are linked to have some good data. The names generally sound good.
To be fair, Martial as a name sounded also good minus the price, but still being AS Monaco's finest talent just like Mejbri not so long ago, but when Tony came he almost immediately outshined Chicharito, Memphis, Falcao and Di Maria in matter of games. That move was by far the best thing from LvG. We could play the most boring shite and Martial was still looking exciting and unfazed by a dead football style. He got us through that dark era with some hope in talents like him while Di Maria was under the bed hiding from Jamie Carragher burgling his house.

Leicester definitely showed everyone the way things can be won without City's spending rate and we're slowly getting there. Dan James was a Spurs target, but we scooped him for a low price, Mejbri followed by strong possibility of signing Bellingham who looks like exactly kind of player that Leicester, Spurs or Southampton are after before making him a PL star.
 

Craig Ward

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For me, Martial has done well as our out and out #9 but to rely on him too heavily would be poor planning.

While he's done well, he's often been in and out of games and we know we need more options. Just look at Ighalo, he's come in and give us a real option there.

Martial is capable of game changing moments, but a club like ours should always look to improve. Martial can be improved, whether thats by increased quality around the squad or potentially being upgraded in the form of a new signing.

If we say signed a new player and he chose to up his game, its win win. We have better quality around the squad and hungrier players.

He's not ideal as our only #9 so we need a new signing or to keep Ighalo.
 

Zlatattack

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I don't think we should have a long term nine. We need to challenge our players in all our positions. If you're good enough you see off the challenger, if you're not they take your spot. If the right player is available at the right price and looks like they'll improve our squad, we should always look out for them.
 

Bebestation

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I'd like to see how Ighalo would do with Rashford out left and Greenwood out on the right - I really doubt the hype is going to last when you play 3 strikers in a system with hardly any creativity or cohesion bringing them together. Bruno Fernandes for all his magic cant bring together three strikers together.

Ighalo is heavily overrated because he was playing as normal striker in a system and doing well where we played with a normal striker upfront because Rashford was injured - we weren't playing that when Rashford wasn't injured. We played with two wide forwards aiming to cut in with Martial acting as a support striker bring players together.

We scrapped that when Rashford got injured. Do we need a normal poacher striker - yes, but to assume that they are going to fit in with Rashford and co isnt exactly right either because they aren't exactly creative players either.

Ighalo is heavily overrated playing in a system that changed when Rashford got injured. Let's see him when Rashford comes back and see who does better and also against the big teams - not these little Europa league teams but the big PL teams that Martial seems to be consistent against.
 

romufc

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Ighalo is heavily overrated playing in a system that changed when Rashford got injured. Let's see him when Rashford comes back and see who does better and also against the big teams - not these little Europa league teams but the big PL teams that Martial seems to be consistent against.
You do realise these are the games Ighalo was brought in for? Not the big PL games because we did well in those games anyway.

Ighalo is not over rated because no one actually thinks he should lead the line for us, he is a different alternative when we need to change things. Simple as that.
 

berbatrick

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He's had two seasons under a manager who trusts him and plays him (at least part-time) in the centre-forward role, and in both he hit or was on course to hit 20 goals within a pretty dysfunctional attack. The criticism here, it seems like mot people think he's a flop and a strong minoity want to sell him, is baffling.
 

romufc

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He's had two seasons under a manager who trusts him and plays him (at least part-time) in the centre-forward role, and in both he hit or was on course to hit 20 goals within a pretty dysfunctional attack. The criticism here, it seems like mot people think he's a flop and a strong minoity want to sell him, is baffling.
This is exactly what I do not understand. The seasons when a manager has given him the trust, he has shown he can deliver.

He has had to work with championship standard creativity this season in James, Lingard, Perreira and still managed to score goals.

I dont understand fans who bring up stats under Jose when he was never played in the correct position and Jose never wanted him there.
 

Bebestation

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You do realise these are the games Ighalo was brought in for? Not the big PL games because we did well in those games anyway.

Ighalo is not over rated because no one actually thinks he should lead the line for us, he is a different alternative when we need to change things. Simple as that.
And I agree with that. We need different alternatives as strikers - since I see Martial as a support striker/false 9 and Ighalo as a poacher striker.

People who say martial isnt good enough and want to go get another poacher striker are just shooting themselves in the foot - why not have a great false 9 player and a great poacher in the squad than 2 types of the same striker?
 

romufc

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And I agree with that. We need different alternatives as strikers - since I see Martial as a support striker/false 9 and Ighalo as a poacher striker.

People who say martial isnt good enough and want to go get another poacher striker are just shooting themselves in the foot - why not have a great false 9 player and a great poacher in the squad than 2 types of the same striker?
Fair enough, looks like I misunderstood you.

I don't know why we would want to spend money on another ST when Martial is doing a good job, there are other areas that need looking at first. We have to see what works for our team, Martial works well with Rashford. We can see he has composure, Ole is also working with him to score those poacher goals.
 

Luke1995

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The concept of a long term player can only apply if the player can do well week in week out. Otherwise, if there is a striker getting 30, 40, or 50 goals in the market, the club should be all over it.

Martial is not ruthless enough. He doesn't want to score badly enough. He is a fine option to have, but he isn't going to lead us to Champions League glory, which should be the aim.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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The concept of a long term player can only apply if the player can do well week in week out. Otherwise, if there is a striker getting 30, 40, or 50 goals in the market, the club should be all over it.

Martial is not ruthless enough. He doesn't want to score badly enough. He is a fine option to have, but he isn't going to lead us to Champions League glory, which should be the aim.
Yeah I can't imagine Martial as the no.9 in champions league winning teams like Bayern, Barcelona, Madrid, Juve etc. But the same could be said for Firmino before Klopp.
 

Luke1995

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Yeah I can't imagine Martial as the no.9 in champions league winning teams like Bayern, Barcelona, Madrid, Juve etc. But the same could be said for Firmino before Klopp.
Firmino works really hard. Martial has a Benzema-like attitude that smells like lack of ambition.
 

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Espn need good pundits like Higginbotham instead of those other clown that watch MLS and shit on our players consistently.

He even insinuates that throughout his United career he has had 2-3 chances per game but with bruno and more creativitity we should see 5-6 chances per game which increases his consistency. Most worldclass strikers at other cubs always have 7-8 chances per game. Context always matters.
 
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Dante

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Danny Higginbotham thought Sanchez was going to be a success at United and was unsure about Aubamayang going to Arsenal. I wouldn't take his opinions on strikers too seriously.
 

Sky1981

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Espn need good pundits like Higginbotham instead of those other clown that watch MLS and shit on our players consistently.

He even insinuates that throughout his United career he has had 2-3 chances per game but with bruno and more creativitity we should see 5-6 chances per game which increases his consistency. Most worldclass strikers at other cubs always have 7-8 chances per game. Context always matters.
Most worldclass strikers don't have threads on their football forums asking whether they're good enough
 

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It's hard to tell for long term. At this moment He looks more good than bad at the role. But Martial is one of those players you never really know about. A little bit like Nani. Even in one game, He can go missing for 10 minutes and do something incredible. He can make a lot of mistakes in one half and scores a magnificent goal in the second. No evidence to back him up as a long term striker. Especially with Haaland around, who's even younger and more reliable in scoring goals. Should always keep an eye on him, that lad still has 10-12 years of career ahead of him.
 

UNITED ACADEMY

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Danny Higginbotham thought Sanchez was going to be a success at United and was unsure about Aubamayang going to Arsenal. I wouldn't take his opinions on strikers too seriously.
You don't take everyone opinions seriously either. You take opinion that has some sense on it and his point about Martial does make some sense. To be fair though, his point isn't rocket science. If team can create more chances then it'll make forwards to have more chances to score more goals and Martial is known with his clinical finish when he has the chance on goal.
 

Sayros

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Danny Higginbotham thought Sanchez was going to be a success at United and was unsure about Aubamayang going to Arsenal. I wouldn't take his opinions on strikers too seriously.
That was hardly an outlandish take at the time, to be fair.

ESPN has such terrible punditry, that Danny looks like a genius by comparison.
 

jamesjimmybyrondean

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It's hard to tell for long term. At this moment He looks more good than bad at the role. But Martial is one of those players you never really know about. A little bit like Nani. Even in one game, He can go missing for 10 minutes and do something incredible. He can make a lot of mistakes in one half and scores a magnificent goal in the second. No evidence to back him up as a long term striker. Especially with Haaland around, who's even younger and more reliable in scoring goals. Should always keep an eye on him, that lad still has 10-12 years of career ahead of him.
Good post. The bolded part is my issue with Martial. I've seen posts that say he's hold up play is a strong quality of his while another says his hold up play is shit. It's because Martial is inconsistent even during matches. I'll give him another season and use this one to focus on more pressing positions.
 

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United fans in a nutshell:

When he plays on the LW after LVG left: "FFS, play him upfront! Clueless!"

When he finally plays upfront for almost a year: "Not good enough, sell him."

Give him time.
 

Ace of Spades

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Good post. The bolded part is my issue with Martial. I've seen posts that say he's hold up play is a strong quality of his while another says his hold up play is shit. It's because Martial is inconsistent even during matches. I'll give him another season and use this one to focus on more pressing positions.
Agree with this. Inconsistency is the problem, and that is fine as he was young and not a regular, but now that he has been given the responsibility he needs to up his own game and improve his consistency. For now, I will keep him, but next season we should be seeing even better from him hopefully if he wants to cement that position as his.
 

Sayros

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Agree with this. Inconsistency is the problem, and that is fine as he was young and not a regular, but now that he has been given the responsibility he needs to up his own game and improve his consistency. For now, I will keep him, but next season we should be seeing even better from him hopefully if he wants to cement that position as his.
He's been his most consistent this season, I expect that to continue with more creativity injected into the midfield.
 

RedRonaldo

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Martial is a very odd case. On one hand he is not the type of no.9 striker (with good movement and finishing) we wish he was, but on the other hand he is always able to have those wow moment and score those impressive goals we never expected.

At the end of the day, I think he goalscoring stats (16 goals in 34 games this season) proves his worth to be considered as our long term no.9 (if he maintains or improves it)
 

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I think he's getting there. Got some stick on here, but the last couple of months of football, he got into more duels than before. We have to remember he hasn't played up front consistently for a long time, so we'll have to be patient. Needs to get stuck in more, like other talented players does. Calvert Lewin/Richarlison and our very own Solskjær back in the day springs to mind, when thinking of players who learned to get stuck in and play physical. The worst of Martial is when he's not focused/hungry, but it seems like there's been a shift there.
 

Paul778

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How is this thread still going?

Look at all of our main strikers from 1993-2012 and tell me which of them Martial is comparible to? He's talented enough cutting in from the wings but still massively inconsistent there.

As for being the focus leading the attack you need someone who's always switched on, always trying to be in the right place. Ighalo has shown what a difference the right sort of player, motivated, playing in the right position can be.

I'm not anti Martial. He's clearly a talent and has played top notch for us in patches. But betting the farm on him is something else
 

wythyred

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I’d be more than happy going into next season with Tony as our main striker.

An interchangeable attack with Rashford and a new RW would work perfectly.

That’s not say I’d turn my nose up at a top striker coming in (Kane).
 

Bebestation

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Most worldclass strikers don't have threads on their football forums asking whether they're good enough
Theres threads on this forum saying that Firmino is shit and kante is overrated.

Ultimately a large group of fan's understanding of football will always be questionable and that includes mine and yours.
 

Art Vandelay

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United fans in a nutshell:

When he plays on the LW after LVG left: "FFS, play him upfront! Clueless!"

When he finally plays upfront for almost a year: "Not good enough, sell him."

Give him time.
You just described someone who's been given five years and two positions.
 

Sky1981

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Theres threads on this forum saying that Firmino is shit and kante is overrated.

Ultimately a large group of fan's understanding of football will always be questionable and that includes mine and yours.
Probably, but it's understandable given Firmino and Kante isn't exactly our players.

Plus the thread isn't about whether Martial is wordl class, it's simply asking whether he's done enough to even considered not being sold or benched.
 

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You just described someone who's been given five years and two positions.
Right, but when was the first time he got the mantle as the first choice striker?

He's new to this role, whether he will become a success or not, he needs more time.
 

Art Vandelay

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Right, but when was the first time he got the mantle as the first choice striker?

He's new to this role, whether he will become a success or not, he needs more time.
That's fair enough, but I think it's a bit unfair to paint fans as impatient when they've had 5 years of watching him. Him moving to striker position is supposed to get him to realise his potential and push us forward, not buy him more time.

I think a natural striker would improve us and Martial isn't a good enough reason to ignore that for now. We need to improve in several areas all equally important.
 

Rawls

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Truth be told, I don't see why it is that Martial is such a topic of discussion given that other positions are much more troubling in terms of a long-term fit. Obviously, we don't have someone of a high calibre to play on the right side of attack right now, and it could also be argued that improving CM, CDM, CB, and LB to an elite level are all more pressing concerns right now than improving at ST.

I think you can break down any squad of players into three groups: those who are obviously not good enough and definitely need replacing, those who are possibly good enough but we aren't sure, and those who are definitely good enough and are sure-fire long-term starters. Obviously, you want to always get rid of the first group of players in all situations; in the second case, you only get rid of those who are potentially good if there is no deadwood in the squad and if the squad is by and large made up of elite players. I find it hard to believe that this current United side is mostly made up of elite players and would find it even harder to believe that there is no deadwood in the squad. Therefore, it makes very little sense to get rid of Martial any time soon. If Martial was to remain in the unsure category and the squad around him improved, the case for getting rid makes a lot more sense, but that is not the case right now so I don't see any reason why we should get rid.

Even at that, I also find it strange as to what people value in a striker. People complain about Martial not being a proper CF but do you need a proper CF to succeed in the modern game? A False 9 isn't a proper CF but that doesn't mean you can't succeed by playing one. Similarly, I always feel that one of the key distinguishing aspects of a CF is good hold-up play. In that instance, is someone who consistently makes good runs behind the defence but can't hold the ball up well a useful player? Of course they are so it's not really that important whether or not a player is a proper CF. Again, I'm talking more in general terms here as people are often critical of Martial for not making runs in behind, but the point I want to make is just because he doesn't play up front in a similar style to a CF doesn't mean he can't play up front.

Moreover, I think we have to re-assess how we define the quality of attacking players. Football as a game is a low-scoring game so any individual goal is very significant in a way in which scoring a three-pointer in basketball is not. Therefore, imagine a striker who has maybe 40 actions in a game. Imagine then that about only 20% of those actions are successful. Then imagine that out of those successful actions, 12.5% lead to a goal. If these figures took place in a game, a striker would average either a goal or an assist per game. Over the course of a 38-game season, this would be an outstanding record given that the most productive of last year's top PL scorers finished on 22 goals and 10 assists. So obviously a striker can have a monumental impact whilst not being very efficient. Ultimately, if a striker frustrates most of the time but has a good scoring rate, I find it hard to to understand the argument that they have no place in the team. Looking at ProSoccer Reference, only 7 players have a better Non-Penalty Goals Per 90 Ratio than Martial (0.53) in the PL this season, namely Vardy (0.61), Aubameyang (0.62), Aguero (0.9), Ings (0.68), Mané (0.61), Abraham (0.6), and Calvert-Lewin (0.61). Given such productivity, I find it hard to see why people seem to think Martial has not been delivering the goods. If anything, our ability to score goals has likely been hampered by having zero reliable goalscorers outside of Martial and Rashford for most of the season (Greenwood hasn't played enough so I'm leaving him out) and having not had either Bruno or Pogba playing for most of the season. Therefore, I don't really see how it is that Martial is the one holding the team back and is in need of replacing.