Is Martial the best dribbler in the league?

Untd55

Full Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
822
I think in terms of technical dribbling, it is Pulisic. Some of his dribbles are ridiculous, particularly since the restart. I think he could be a standout next season.

In terms of speed dribbling, it is Mane.
 

In Rainbows

Full Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
5,303
So therefore the likes of say, Drogba (power, determination, authority, pace...) was a good dribbler?

Hazard was the best I have seen in a while in the Premiership... Mane is the best I see right now, and even he rarely glides like a Messi etc. Martial in my opinion is pretty one dimensional in terms of being a 'dribbler'.
If you're just talking about overall dribbler, how much you complete per game (or 90 min) and your success rate defines how good of a dribbler you are. When you talk of Messi, Hazard, Ribery, etc... at their best, they average a lot of dribbles per game. Thus they are the best dribblers.

If you're just a kick and run merchant, it's more likely that you won't achieve those kinds of numbers. So trying to differentiate between technical or pace is meaningless until you add qualifiers like "who is best inside the box" or "who is best in packed areas." I didn't see the thread make that distinction, so I'm going by overall numbers.
 

Dominos

Full Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
4,745
Location
Manchester
I actually think his dribbling has significantly declined from his first season.

He played a lot on the left wing under Van Gaal and was terrorising full backs in that first year, under Mourinho that ability seemed to desert him and Ole has moved him up front which seems to suit him better where he actually has less opportunities to dribble.
 

Sparky Rhiwabon

Full Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2013
Messages
10,941
Successful dribbles all season
Traore 183
Zaha 163
Saint-Maximin 121 (in only 27 appearances)
Buendia 101
.
etc
.
etc
.
Martial 50

I’m going with “no”
 

Son

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Apr 24, 2019
Messages
402
There are no standout dribblers in the league as of now. Hazard was the best we had in the last 5-6 years.
Hazard was probably the best ever tbh. I can’t think of a better one in English football history apart from George Best.

Hazard at one point had more successful dribbles than Messi.
 

Ashish Negi

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Nov 13, 2017
Messages
143
Successful dribbles all season
Traore 183
Zaha 163
Saint-Maximin 121 (in only 27 appearances)
Buendia 101
.
etc
.
etc
.
Martial 50

I’m going with “no”
All of them plays in the wing. Martial have better close control and tight spaces dribbles.
 

Buster15

Go on Didier
Joined
Aug 28, 2018
Messages
4,804
Location
Bristol
Supports
Bristol Rovers
Successful dribbles all season
Traore 183
Zaha 163
Saint-Maximin 121 (in only 27 appearances)
Buendia 101
.
etc
.
etc
.
Martial 50

I’m going with “no”
Good analysis.
When he first came, he did or was given the opportunity to run with the ball. Even then, he had a habit of running into heavily defended areas.
I am surprised that people think he is a good dribbler.
United don't have such a player.
 

troylocker

Full Member
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
332
He is a decent dribbler with a few tricks up his sleeve for sure, but among the best in the league? No!
With a successrate of 51% and attempting 3,3 dribbles per 90 minutes he is not a very successful or a frequent dribbler.

Some number from our squad:
Rashy has similar numbers (49% successrate and 4,1 dribbles per 90)
Greenwood is more successful (64% successrate and 2,2 dribbles per 90)
Pogba is better in an area of the pitch where dribbling is a bit easier with more alternatives) (71% successrate and 2,8 dribbles per 90)
Fernandes doesn't dribble that much, but has a successrate of 69% on his 1,6 dribbles per 90
All our defensive players have better successrate of course, but like I said dribbling is easier deeper down the pitch.

The most notable dribblers in the league are:

"Kick-and-run-artist" Adama Traore (successrate 74% and 8,5 dribbles per 90)
Other good dribblers are Maximin, Buendia, Zaha, Djenepo and Boufal who are all frequent dribblers with successrate in the 60s
All players in smaller teams who doesn't own the ball and depends on attackers that can do things with less support.

People mention Pulisic, but he has the same successrate as Martial, but dribbles a little more often (great assist against Liverpool though)

What these numbers doesn't say anything about is the endproduct behind the numbers. Is it just showboating or does it help your team create good scoringopportunities? I am happy to say Martials' dribbles are mostly in the last category.

City (Mahrez, the Silvas, de Bruyne, Jesus, Aguero and Foden all have better numbers than Martial while Stirling is similar) and LFC (Mane, Salah, Firmino, Ox and Keita all have better numbers than Martial) has some great dribblers, but their playingstyle built more around passing than flair in the build up (like us).
 
Last edited:

georgipep

Full Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2015
Messages
277
Location
Not far enough
He is a decent dribbler with a few tricks up his sleeve for sure, but among the best in the league? No!
With a successrate of 51% and attempting 3,3 dribbles per 90 minutes he is not a very successful or a frequent dribbler.

Some number from our squad:
Rashy has similar numbers (49% successrate and 4,1 dribbles per 90)
Greenwood is more successful (64% successrate and 2,2 dribbles per 90)
Pogba is better in an area of the pitch where dribbling is a bit easier with more alternatives) (71% successrate and 2,8 dribbles per 90)
Fernandes doesn't dribble that much, but has a successrate of 69% on his 1,6 dribbles per 90
All our defensive players have better successrate of course, but like I said dribbling is easier deeper down the pitch.

The most notable dribblers in the league are:

"Kick-and-run-artist" Adama Traore (successrate 74% and 8,5 dribbles per 90)
Other good dribblers are Maximin, Buendia, Zaha, Djenepo and Boufal who are all frequent dribblers with successrate in the 60s
All players in smaller teams who doesn't own the ball and depends on attackers that can do things with less support.

People mention Pulisic, but he has the same successrate as Martial, but dribbles a little more often (great assist on Sunday though)

What these numbers doesn't say anything about is the endproduct behind the numbers. Is it just showboating or does it help your team create good scoringopportunities? I am happy to say Martials' dribbles are mostly in the last category.

City (Mahrez, the Silvas, de Bruyne, Jesus, Aguero and Foden all have better numbers than Martial while Stirling is similar) and LFC (Mane, Salah, Firmino, Ox and Keita all have better numbers than Martial) has some great dribblers, but their playingstyle built more around passing than flair in the build up (like us).
2nd assist in Chelsea's Sunday game came from Mount, not Pulisic.

I also don't think Martial is anywhere near the best dribbler in the league but there is one major difference between him and the rest you've compared to. He is and plays as a striker. Not much space to dribble when you are the furthest up the pitch and literally among the opposition defenders.
 

troylocker

Full Member
Joined
May 2, 2019
Messages
332
2nd assist in Chelsea's Sunday game came from Mount, not Pulisic.

I also don't think Martial is anywhere near the best dribbler in the league but there is one major difference between him and the rest you've compared to. He is and plays as a striker. Not much space to dribble when you are the furthest up the pitch and literally among the opposition defenders.
Sorry, my bad. I meant the one against Liverpool of course.

It is obviously more difficult to dribble in the number 9 position, but that doesn't mean the wingers mentioned aren't better dribblers. I also think Aguero, Jesus and Firmino is a tad better at it than Martial.

That said, I think Martial has taken massive strides this season. His movement, energy, finishing and end product is a lot better than what we have seen from him before. He is becoming the class player we thought we bought 5 years ago.
 
Last edited:

georgipep

Full Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2015
Messages
277
Location
Not far enough
Sorry, my bad. I meant the one against Liverpool of course.

It is obviously more difficult to dribble in the number 9 position, but that doesn't mean the wingers mentioned aren't better dribblers. I also think Aguero, Jesus and Firmino is a tad better at it than Martial.

That said, I think Martial has taken massive strides this season. His movement, energy, finishing and end product is a lot better than what we have seen from him before. He is becoming the class player we thought we bought 5 years ago.
The wingers you mentioned are better dribbles in my book but I would argue on Aguero, Jesus and especially Firmino. Regardless, I think to the OP, Martial is definitely not the best in the league. He is good, getting better and maybe with a shout as the best n9 dribbler (if that's something to be proud of or to care about)
 

In Rainbows

Full Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
5,303
2nd assist in Chelsea's Sunday game came from Mount, not Pulisic.

I also don't think Martial is anywhere near the best dribbler in the league but there is one major difference between him and the rest you've compared to. He is and plays as a striker. Not much space to dribble when you are the furthest up the pitch and literally among the opposition defenders.
Sure, but it's not like Martial has exclusively played as a striker for his career. You can compare his dribbling when played as a winger. It's clear he comes up short. He showed a lot of potential for it in his first season, but it hasn't transformed into being one of the best in the league. Now if you want to add a parameter like "in tight spaces" then it's likely he would be up there. However, he still isn't the best.
 

georgipep

Full Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2015
Messages
277
Location
Not far enough
Sure, but it's not like Martial has exclusively played as a striker for his career. You can compare his dribbling when played as a winger. It's clear he comes up short. He showed a lot of potential for it in his first season, but it hasn't transformed into being one of the best in the league. Now if you want to add a parameter like "in tight spaces" then it's likely he would be up there. However, he still isn't the best.
Which is exactly what I wrote, isn't it?
 

Glorio

Full Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2020
Messages
181
Which tells me much about how many 'watch' football nowadays. CR7 no longer has that explosive pace, but CR7 still has more than enough ability (and experience which is crucial... ) to use his ball skills, the ability to manipulate the ball to take opponents off balance, and then deliver his shot, pass etc.

Good dribbling requires intelligence and an outcome.

Rashford is a far better and more effective dribbler than Martial.

Martial should worry less about cutting inside on his right foot, which he always does, and work on using his left foot (like CR7 did...) and use his head as any very, very top centre forward should.
Rashford is far better than Martial at dribbling? :houllier:
 

MyOnlySolskjaer

Creator of Player Performance threads
Joined
Nov 27, 2014
Messages
18,357
Location
Player Performance Threads
Martial was a better dribbler in his first 12 months or so. I fancied him to skin his man every time he got the ball. Now not so much
Don't think much has changed. If you put him wide where there's more space and let him run at the byline he's just as threatening.

Skip to 4:37, this is what we saw of him all of 15/16.


Just that now he's more central, it's more congested and he's using his dribbling skills as part of his hold up play.
 

Number32

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jan 11, 2015
Messages
456
You all forgot Raheem Sterling, may be because of his weird hands wave.
 

acnumber9

Full Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2006
Messages
15,097
Is there anything Martial isn’t the best in the league at? Best dribbler, best finisher, best passer, best at being a false 9 who doesn’t have to score goals unless he’s on a run of scoring goals in which case he’s the best at that too.
 

MyOnlySolskjaer

Creator of Player Performance threads
Joined
Nov 27, 2014
Messages
18,357
Location
Player Performance Threads
Is there anything Martial isn’t the best in the league at? Best dribbler, best finisher, best passer, best at being a false 9 who doesn’t have to score goals unless he’s on a run of scoring goals in which case he’s the best at that too.
His short passing and heading are areas he could really work on to polish his game further.
 

Santoryo

ripping the reward
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
4,811
Isn't Traore the player with the most dribbles and successful ones this season?

As a striker Martial doesn't even attempt to dribble that much but he's quite smooth in his dribbling which is pleasing to watch.
 

RUCK4444

Full Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2015
Messages
2,331
Location
FIFA Headquarters
Adama wins but its due to explosive pace more than technical ability imo. Martial doesn't try to dribble past players anywhere near enough, like say Maximin. If he did he might be in the discussion.
 

Santoryo

ripping the reward
Joined
Apr 10, 2014
Messages
4,811
Also posters taking offense to a question asked by the OP come off incredibly salty which they are. No need to get triggered :lol:
 

romufc

Full Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2019
Messages
4,846
Adama is a great dribbler and has comparing a striker and winger on dribbling is not apples with apples.

Martial is operating in the No.9 role where he has in most cases the CB's and DM in the area and in most cases the full backs when they tuck in.

It is alot harder to dribble when you have no space, Adama does very well dribbling past people and running into space.

Martial cannot do that, he has to rely on very his close control and if you watch his close control dribbling, it is fantastic, which is why we win so many penalties too. He is the best technical dribbler I would say.
 

Eleven-Eighteen

Full Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2015
Messages
703
Seeing a lot of Traore talk. He's more effective at taking the ball forward due to his pace and strength. His close control is nowhere close to that of Martial, Kovacic etc. If Martial was told to just get the ball to the touchline without trying to get into a shooting position, he could do it far more successfully as well
 

fps

Full Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2018
Messages
3,830
Amazingly, the only players who completed more successful dribbles than Adama this past season were Messi and Neymar.

I wonder if a top 6 club will go for him in the summer.
My feeling is he’ll be one more season at Wolves then off for a lot of money, maybe Juve, somewhere like that.
 

Annihilate Now!

...or later, I'm not fussy
Scout
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
37,860
Location
W.Yorks
Saint-Maximin or Mahrez in terms of skillful dribbling, Mane or Adama in terms of pace/power dribbling (if that makes sense...which it probably doesn't).

I think Rashford is our best dribbler.... he's the one from our side that I'd back to beat a man from a standing start.
 

Slik

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
132
I think the poster should have rephrased. Martial is certainly not the best dribbler in the league but he is definitely one of the smoothest dribblers. His dribbling style looks beautiful on the eye. But there are more successful dribblers like mane, adama traore, salah etc. They are better dribblers. Martials dribbling looks so silky though like he is not touching the ground with his whole feet. So looks like he is gliding on water. Hopefully the more he matures his dribbling success rate will go up. Since he seems to be improving in a lot of things now.
 

Greck

Full Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
3,824
As a CF he doesn't exactly take players on like when he plays LW. His raw number of take ons must have dropped from previous seasons especially now that he's playing as a hold up striker, what I'd like to know is how his efficiency compares to previous seasons
 

SadlerMUFC

Full Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2017
Messages
2,958
Location
Niagara Falls, Canada
I think it comes down to what it means to be a great dribbler? Does it mean what player has the most take ons? If so, then I think that goes to Traore. I'm sure he probably has a lot of failure with his take ons too though. He's just such a direct player. But for me, the player who is the best dribbler is David Silva. He's so good at dribbling in tight spaces and getting himself free to find a pass. So it may not count as a take on, and his game time was limited this year compared to the past, but he's still such a good player and dare I say it (considering he played for City) a class act...
 

Sayros

Full Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2015
Messages
3,440
Allan Saint-Maximin is the best dribbler in the PL, he's above everybody else for me purely in that skill. I think Martial is one of the best in tight spaces, with 2-3 defenders around him. He can worm himself out of situations I don't see anybody else in the PL capable of, but it's rare and he doesn't use his dribbling as much as he perhaps could. Pulisic is also one to keep an eye on, he's been fantastic lately.