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2023-24 Performances


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5.7 Season Average Rating
Appearances
11
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2
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HookedOnAPhelan

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I see people are starting to pretend he wasn't brilliant last season. Well, he was. Easily one of the very best CBs in the league, hardly put a foot wrong all season.

He's started this season poorly though. Not awful, but not to the standard he was last season. Hopefully he'll sort it quickly.
 

Lentwood

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I quoted you a third time for some examples in the Spurs game and you still can't explain exactly where he played poorly. Yet here you are asking for objectivity as if anything else is somehow bias. You've said several times now that he was poor in the thrashings last season like he was the sole or major reason (clue: he wasn't) and that he couldn't displace a City centre back has been for Argentina. Seems like you've got this idea fixed in your head and are ignoring the reality. Don't take my word for it, look at the other posts. Pretty 50/50.

I think both Varane and Martinez have their cons but as a pair, they are more than good enough. It's the players in front of them and the tactics from ETH that is the major issue atm. If you're expecting those two to be some giant defensive wall and to block out all opponent attacks, then you're wishing for the impossible; teams defend and attack as a team now. Yes a prime Rio and Vidic would be better but the underlying issues still exist and they would also be exposed.
I know you quoted me three times - I don't know what you want from me! You say give you an example of a poor moment from the Spurs game...I'm not really talking about "moments" I'm talking more generally about some concerns about his lack of pace and physicality. If you want "moments", how about the OG? Or how about the crazy tackle in the Wolves game? Or when Cunha breezed past him like he wasn't there? But as I say, I'm talking more generally about my concerns that our defence, whilst it's improved, still isn't of the standard required to challenge for a title.

For the record, I have my concerns about Varane too, probably more so than Martinez. He's not as good on the ball as I thought he would be, he's injury prone, he's not that brave, he also isn't that quick....

I also never said at all he was the sole reason for the thrashing. Although he was very poor against Liverpool and City away.

Look...at the end of the day, its a game of opinions. I've said time and time again I like Martinez. If I had to replace one of our CBs, it would be Varane. However, I still stand by the point that we've perhaps built him up on this forum to be a slightly better player than he actually is. He's somewhere between good and very good in my opinion...but he's not world-class.

If we want to continue to play this way with a high line and with pushing Shaw into midfield, I fear teams will run Martinez and Varane into channels and we'll be exposed.

Last we forget, its seems likely we were in for Kim in the Summer. We weren't going to sign him not to play! I think he'd have started on the bench and eventually replaced Varane by the end of the season.

And one last point, since you've demanded a response....that Chief man is going to be along in a minute to lambast me for this but....Maguire and Lindelof are not good enough for Manchester United. And the reason they are not good enough for United is not because they are bad players. Both are one of the first names on the team sheets for their countries. The reason is that United are attempting to play aggressive football and England and Sweden don't. So you say Martinez is being exposed by our style, and I agree with that, absolutely. And again, before Mr Chief comes along to lambast me, Martinez is a much better player than Maguire. But still...we're not going to change the way we want to play now, that much is clear. So Martinez and Varane are going to have to get used to playing in a system which from time to time will make their jobs more difficult. The very best could do it. Van Dijk did it superbly for Liverpool for a number of years, as an example.

Personally, and again, it's just an opinion...I like my CBs to be physically dominant. I like the CF to look at our CBs and think"f£%k, he's bigger than me, he's stronger than me, he's faster than me". I doubt that they think that with Martinez. I think they fancy that if they isolate him, they can beat him. The seasons I used to go to United every single week were 2005-2018 (missed Moyes season) and so I saw the entirety of prime Rio and Vidic. The number of times opposition CFs would just be dominated physically within the first ten minutes by those two and just give up was staggering. First few headers, Vidic would smash them. First few balls over the top, Rio would glide there at half pace and still beat them to the ball. Every move they made, those two were two steps ahead. I don't know what football you've played (genuinely don't, obviously, that shouldn't be read as a dig), but I've played with or against some really good players and there's absolutely nothing more soul destroying than playing against someone who is better than you AND more physically dominant. The moment that it dawns on you in game crushes you, you realise what "levels" means in football. Its the same at any level, physicality is increasingly hugely important.

That's what I want from an elite CB, as well as all of the defensive attributes. OK, it might not be fair to just single out Martinez because you could say Bruno is no Scholes and Rashford is no Rooney and Anthony is no Ronaldo etc...and it's all true...but these are the standards we need to aspire to if we want to challenge for trophies.
 

Ekeke

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Definitely a slow start. Not that big a surprise given its his comeback from injury. We should however be hoping he's back playing very well in the next 2 or 3 games, else it might be time to give someone else a chance until he looks sharper
 

glasgow 21

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Definitely a slow start. Not that big a surprise given its his comeback from injury. We should however be hoping he's back playing very well in the next 2 or 3 games, else it might be time to give someone else a chance until he looks sharper
There is an opportunity to sell him with Mount& Antony before the window shuts surely. We are broke anyhow so chance for a few pounds to buy a few better players on loan at least.
 

Bubz27

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There is an opportunity to sell him with Mount& Antony before the window shuts surely. We are broke anyhow so chance for a few pounds to buy a few better players on loan at least.
Is this supposed to be taken seriously?
 

Ekeke

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There is an opportunity to sell him with Mount& Antony before the window shuts surely. We are broke anyhow so chance for a few pounds to buy a few better players on loan at least.
We might be able to get a few pounds for Rashford too
 

sebsheep

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There is an opportunity to sell him with Mount& Antony before the window shuts surely. We are broke anyhow so chance for a few pounds to buy a few better players on loan at least.
Post of the year competition is going to be tough this year.
 

glasgow 21

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Post of the year competition is going to be tough this year.
If you are not identifying the sarcasm in my post, dreary me, today it is ETH doesn't know what he is doing brigade.
Thank god social media and 24hr Talknonsense wasn't around in SAF early years.
 

sebsheep

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If you are not identifying the sarcasm in my post, dreary me, today it is ETH doesn't know what he is doing brigade.
Thank god social media and 24hr Talknonsense wasn't around in SAF early years.
That's not how we do sarcasm. This is.
 

lex talionis

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Licha had the rash tackle that led to a proper booking -- but not a free kick in a dangerous spot -- and then the freak OG, which to be honest is as much on Onana as it is on Martinez.

That's about it. Otherwise he's been fine. Wolves barely laid a fang on us and in the Spurs match our front line dropped turds everywhere, Spurs grew in confidence and it was wave after wave of pressure on the back line.
 

criticalanalysis

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I know you quoted me three times - I don't know what you want from me! You say give you an example of a poor moment from the Spurs game...I'm not really talking about "moments" I'm talking more generally about some concerns about his lack of pace and physicality. If you want "moments", how about the OG? Or how about the crazy tackle in the Wolves game? Or when Cunha breezed past him like he wasn't there? But as I say, I'm talking more generally about my concerns that our defence, whilst it's improved, still isn't of the standard required to challenge for a title.

For the record, I have my concerns about Varane too, probably more so than Martinez. He's not as good on the ball as I thought he would be, he's injury prone, he's not that brave, he also isn't that quick....

I also never said at all he was the sole reason for the thrashing. Although he was very poor against Liverpool and City away.

Look...at the end of the day, its a game of opinions. I've said time and time again I like Martinez. If I had to replace one of our CBs, it would be Varane. However, I still stand by the point that we've perhaps built him up on this forum to be a slightly better player than he actually is. He's somewhere between good and very good in my opinion...but he's not world-class.

If we want to continue to play this way with a high line and with pushing Shaw into midfield, I fear teams will run Martinez and Varane into channels and we'll be exposed.

Last we forget, its seems likely we were in for Kim in the Summer. We weren't going to sign him not to play! I think he'd have started on the bench and eventually replaced Varane by the end of the season.

And one last point, since you've demanded a response....that Chief man is going to be along in a minute to lambast me for this but....Maguire and Lindelof are not good enough for Manchester United. And the reason they are not good enough for United is not because they are bad players. Both are one of the first names on the team sheets for their countries. The reason is that United are attempting to play aggressive football and England and Sweden don't. So you say Martinez is being exposed by our style, and I agree with that, absolutely. And again, before Mr Chief comes along to lambast me, Martinez is a much better player than Maguire. But still...we're not going to change the way we want to play now, that much is clear. So Martinez and Varane are going to have to get used to playing in a system which from time to time will make their jobs more difficult. The very best could do it. Van Dijk did it superbly for Liverpool for a number of years, as an example.

Personally, and again, it's just an opinion...I like my CBs to be physically dominant. I like the CF to look at our CBs and think"f£%k, he's bigger than me, he's stronger than me, he's faster than me". I doubt that they think that with Martinez. I think they fancy that if they isolate him, they can beat him. The seasons I used to go to United every single week were 2005-2018 (missed Moyes season) and so I saw the entirety of prime Rio and Vidic. The number of times opposition CFs would just be dominated physically within the first ten minutes by those two and just give up was staggering. First few headers, Vidic would smash them. First few balls over the top, Rio would glide there at half pace and still beat them to the ball. Every move they made, those two were two steps ahead. I don't know what football you've played (genuinely don't, obviously, that shouldn't be read as a dig), but I've played with or against some really good players and there's absolutely nothing more soul destroying than playing against someone who is better than you AND more physically dominant. The moment that it dawns on you in game crushes you, you realise what "levels" means in football. Its the same at any level, physicality is increasingly hugely important.

That's what I want from an elite CB, as well as all of the defensive attributes. OK, it might not be fair to just single out Martinez because you could say Bruno is no Scholes and Rashford is no Rooney and Anthony is no Ronaldo etc...and it's all true...but these are the standards we need to aspire to if we want to challenge for trophies.
Well I'm glad you've finally expanded on your points and to be fair, I think most people, myself included would agree on some of your concerns and points on an individual level i.e looking at our defence and their individual attributes holistically. Except, your first post after the Spurs game was to say Martinez plays like a really bad centre back and then when asked where you thought he did bad, you just kept spouting 'he's slow, he's not strong enough, he was bad last year in the thrashings, he's not really solidified our defence, he couldn't displace a 35 old defender for the national team' and a whole bunch of general sentiments.

You've also confounded two separate things 1) the performance and 2) the ideal. First, I think you're overstating the poor performances, which is why I asked you for some examples and yes I agree he was poor in those but that's not the whole picture; myself and a few others have thought he was 'decent' aside from that. Then secondly, your ideals are without context as well. Would peak Van Dijk or peak Varane improve this team? Absolutely but let's completely forget that monster midfield workrate trio at Liverpool of Fabinho/Milner/Wijnaldum and Madrid's Kroo/Modric/Casemiro.

As for the bolded, you could probably count on one or two hands, the amount of times Martinez got 'done' last year 1 vs 1 or lost an important header in a dangerous area of the pitch. Granted though and I will agree with you on this, is that he will have to improve or find a way to mitigate these sort of situations because the likelihood is that they will happen more compared to last year. However, it's also true that the team and ETH needs to improve massively as well because I don't think even peak Rio and Vidic could shut down the opposition attacks with such a porous team. There's a stat around saying we've already conceded the most shots and passes in our box out of any team.

Now if your ultimate baseline thought is 'can Martinez be improved on?' then sure I don't think anybody would disagree with you. In fact, I would go as far to say that if it was possible I would happily swap every player in the squad if we had unlimited resource. That's not the reality though so it's a bit bizarre to be so hyper critical of one of our best players last season and then hold him to this unrealistic ideal and judge his performance so harshly. I mean your opinion isn't 'wrong' but it's puzzling to understand where it comes from. You've said it best in your last line, if this is your take on Martinez then every player in this squad and their performances/deficiencies must be an eyesore to you. If that is the case, then fair do's.
 

A-man

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Licha had the rash tackle that led to a proper booking -- but not a free kick in a dangerous spot -- and then the freak OG, which to be honest is as much on Onana as it is on Martinez.

That's about it. Otherwise he's been fine. Wolves barely laid a fang on us and in the Spurs match our front line dropped turds everywhere, Spurs grew in confidence and it was wave after wave of pressure on the back line.
I don’t agree with that. I think he was quite poor in general and there were also specific situations where he could have done much better. As examples, against Wolves Cunha passed him with ease two times.

For me there are two things. The first is he has not played well. It was the same in his first matches last season and I am really not worried about that.

The second thing is what many already have discussed. He might get problems this season if we try to play a high line. He is not fast and he hasn’t great awareness of the area behind him and opponents can run in behind him. We saw this a few times last season but since we played a low defense this was never a concern.

If we are going to play a high line, he will have more space to protect behind him and he will be more exposed and end up in more 1v1 situations. He heavily relies on tackles in those 1v1 situations, and I think success rate last season was around 60%, which is quite normal, but it anyways means players will slip through every now and then. So far, after 135 minutes he has 4 succesful tackles out 9 attempts, and has been dribbled 5 times but that will hopefully improve as the season continues.
 

Conor

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I don’t agree with that. I think he was quite poor in general and there were also specific situations where he could have done much better. As examples, against Wolves Cunha passed him with ease two times.

For me there are two things. The first is he has not played well. It was the same in his first matches last season and I am really not worried about that.

The second thing is what many already have discussed. He might get problems this season if we try to play a high line. He is not fast and he hasn’t great awareness of the area behind him and opponents can run in behind him. We saw this a few times last season but since we played a low defense this was never a concern.

If we are going to play a high line, he will have more space to protect behind him and he will be more exposed and end up in more 1v1 situations. He heavily relies on tackles in those 1v1 situations, and I think success rate last season was around 60%, which is quite normal, but it anyways means players will slip through every now and then. So far, after 135 minutes he has 4 succesful tackles out 9 attempts, and has been dribbled 5 times but that will hopefully improve as the season continues.
You forgot another point: he doesn't fit your agenda!
 

TrustInJanuzaj

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I see people are starting to pretend he wasn't brilliant last season. Well, he was. Easily one of the very best CBs in the league, hardly put a foot wrong all season.

He's started this season poorly though. Not awful, but not to the standard he was last season. Hopefully he'll sort it quickly.
It always happens on this forum, and it makes for the most tedious discussion. Why is it that some football fans are not only reactionary but then apply that to past performances too? The revisionism is so frustrating to read. He genuinely put in at least a 7/10 performance in all but about three games last season which is incredible consistency for a CB.

I agree he hasn't started the season at those same heights (and he looked off it in pre-season), but as the other more rational posters have mentioned, he's come off a major injury and is getting up to speed. I'm not worried about him, he will have another excellent season befitting his qualities.
 

Lentwood

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Now if your ultimate baseline thought is 'can Martinez be improved on?' then sure I don't think anybody would disagree with you. In fact, I would go as far to say that if it was possible I would happily swap every player in the squad if we had unlimited resource. That's not the reality though so it's a bit bizarre to be so hyper critical of one of our best players last season and then hold him to this unrealistic ideal and judge his performance so harshly. I mean your opinion isn't 'wrong' but it's puzzling to understand where it comes from. You've said it best in your last line, if this is your take on Martinez then every player in this squad and their performances/deficiencies must be an eyesore to you. If that is the case, then fair do's.
I say that though, do I not, in the last paragraph. It is unfair to compare Martinez with Ferdinand or Bruno with Scholes or Rashford with Ronaldo.

My frustration comes from the wildly unbalanced way in which this forum tends to either a) champion a player to imaginary heights that they can never hit or b) castigate a player until the entire world believes they wouldn't get into a Sunday League team.

I think the truth is, most, if not all of our players, fall into the "very good but not elite" bracket. Once people start to understand that, they'll probably understand more about why we keep finishing 2nd or 3rd or 4th or whatever and stop blaming tactics/systems and/or scapegoating individuals.
 

criticalanalysis

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I say that though, do I not, in the last paragraph. It is unfair to compare Martinez with Ferdinand or Bruno with Scholes or Rashford with Ronaldo.

My frustration comes from the wildly unbalanced way in which this forum tends to either a) champion a player to imaginary heights that they can never hit or b) castigate a player until the entire world believes they wouldn't get into a Sunday League team.

I think the truth is, most, if not all of our players, fall into the "very good but not elite" bracket. Once people start to understand that, they'll probably understand more about why we keep finishing 2nd or 3rd or 4th or whatever and stop blaming tactics/systems and/or scapegoating individuals.
The bolded therein lies the crux of our discussion, which ironically in my opinion is exactly what you're guilty of.

Martinez was objectively really good last year and many will attest to that. It's not some fanboy cult or overrating, he passed the eye test in dozens of games. Yet here you are comparing his performances not befitting of an idealistic Ferdinand/Vidic/Van Dijks. Yes he has fundamental flaws, which has been exposed these past two games but you've extrapolated these as if it was issue that had happened over and over again last season, which isn't true. Your language reeks of 'gotcha, told you he wasn't that good' with 'he got massive benefit of the doubt last year', 'couldn't displace a 35 year old at the world cup', 'he's so slow and strikers will fancy their chances against him' etc etc. If you was talking about Lindelof, fair enough but arguably one of our top 2-3 players last season and our most proactive defender?

Like I said, it's puzzling where this comes from and yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

Also for the record, whilst Martinez has a lot of credit in the bank for me, I'll still call a spade a spade if his performances don't improve or get worse.
 
Man Utd 3:2 Nottingham Forest

Revan

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Far from his biggest fan, but him getting skinned such easily at the end of the match, is something that you would expect from Maguire. Similar stuff to that and the memes get born.

Other than that, his passing is gorgeous. Don't see what the fuss is about though, really do not understand's Caf obsession with rating him. Outside of passing, he is a painfully average defender.
 

Bobski

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Think he is a way off his best physical level due to the injury recovery, and he was always a little lacking in speed and power, needs to be 100%, then his game functions much better.
 

Lentwood

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The bolded therein lies the crux of our discussion, which ironically in my opinion is exactly what you're guilty of.

Martinez was objectively really good last year and many will attest to that. It's not some fanboy cult or overrating, he passed the eye test in dozens of games. Yet here you are comparing his performances not befitting of an idealistic Ferdinand/Vidic/Van Dijks. Yes he has fundamental flaws, which has been exposed these past two games but you've extrapolated these as if it was issue that had happened over and over again last season, which isn't true. Your language reeks of 'gotcha, told you he wasn't that good' with 'he got massive benefit of the doubt last year', 'couldn't displace a 35 year old at the world cup', 'he's so slow and strikers will fancy their chances against him' etc etc. If you was talking about Lindelof, fair enough but arguably one of our top 2-3 players last season and our most proactive defender?

Like I said, it's puzzling where this comes from and yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

Also for the record, whilst Martinez has a lot of credit in the bank for me, I'll still call a spade a spade if his performances don't improve or get worse.
Actually the opposite...im accusing people of making polarisation errors i.e. all of our players are either amazing/terrible. I said Martinez is our best CB...so not sure how you come to that conclusion really.

I did say he was slow and I stand by that. That's his biggest weakness imo, bigger than his lack of height, which he seems to manage pretty well.

Have to say overall I thought he was OK today, but again well off his best from last season.
 

aeh1991

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He looked better than the last game which is really relieving. Far from his best form, but positive signs
 

Rossa

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Actually the opposite...im accusing people of making polarisation errors i.e. all of our players are either amazing/terrible. I said Martinez is our best CB...so not sure how you come to that conclusion really.

I did say he was slow and I stand by that. That's his biggest weakness imo, bigger than his lack of height, which he seems to manage pretty well.

Have to say overall I thought he was OK today, but again well off his best from last season.
Is he slow? I’d say he’s quick on the turn, good acceleration and surprisingly good agility. Top speed average. Slow he is not.
 

Dan_F

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Far from his biggest fan, but him getting skinned such easily at the end of the match, is something that you would expect from Maguire. Similar stuff to that and the memes get born.

Other than that, his passing is gorgeous. Don't see what the fuss is about though, really do not understand's Caf obsession with rating him. Outside of passing, he is a painfully average defender.
Probably because he was playing much better last season when everyone was rating him so highly?
 

criticalanalysis

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Actually the opposite...im accusing people of making polarisation errors i.e. all of our players are either amazing/terrible. I said Martinez is our best CB...so not sure how you come to that conclusion really.

I did say he was slow and I stand by that. That's his biggest weakness imo, bigger than his lack of height, which he seems to manage pretty well.

Have to say overall I thought he was OK today, but again well off his best from last season.
Let's just move on mate, no hard feelings.

I actually thought he was poor today and his worse game of his season :lol:. Not really bad but some poor judgement and mistimings.

As usual really good with the ball though.
 

Lentwood

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Let's just move on mate, no hard feelings.

I actually thought he was poor today and his worse game of his season :lol:. Not really bad but some poor judgement and mistimings.

As usual really good with the ball though.
Yeah I meant it all in good faith - clearly we all want what's best for United. Nice to have a disagreement that doesn't get nasty or stupid to be fair on here.

I really hope we sign a more mobile partner for him, think that will really allow him to get on the front foot and make the most of his natural aggression
 

M Bison

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First half I thought he was really poor and really rash, not as bad as vs Spurs but still miles off it and was half expecting him to come off for Lindelof.

Second half was much better and far more composed, hopefully we continue to see that improvement.
 

Revan

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Probably because he was playing much better last season when everyone was rating him so highly?
Except the passing (and leadership), I do not think he was. He was slow last season too, he was very dribblable and he was poor in the air.

Better than Maguire and Lindelof, but I do not get how people watched him play and were saying he is better than Varane (and at least a few people were saying he is the best CB in the world, with more putting him as the best in the league).
 

Dan_F

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Except the passing (and leadership), I do not think he was. He was slow last season too, he was very dribblable and he was poor in the air.

Better than Maguire and Lindelof, but I do not get how people watched him play and were saying he is better than Varane (and at least a few people were saying he is the best CB in the world, with more putting him as the best in the league).
I thought he had really impressive aerial stats last year? He did get dribbled past a few times but almost all defenders do.
 

jem

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I thought he was much better today. His passing and composure on the ball makes such a difference.
 

Revan

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I thought he had really impressive aerial stats last year? He did get dribbled past a few times but almost all defenders do.
Well, he is small so people said that he is gonna be a liability in the air. Then Caf said that Baresi was as small but was a beast in the air, and then denied the reality that Lisandro is, as you can expect from a CB of his height, bad in the air.

He attempted 63 aerial duels last season, and won 32, for an aerial duel win rate of 50.7%, which has to be one of the worst in the league (11th percentile). This season he has won 1 out of 4 (albeit the sample is so small that is meaningless).

For comparison, Lindelof whom Caf claims is shit in the air, won 33 out of 53 attempts last season, so a win rate of 62.3%. He attempted nearly as much as Lisandro despite playing far less. And Varane who is great won 42 of 58 (72.5% win rate).