Rashford and Martial are a problem

Borys

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Quite an achievement to climb top of the league with neither forward performing.

Rashford is doing OK, Cavani as well but has not featured that much. Martial is in awful form for some time now, and Greenwood is a hardly getting a chance.
 

Mr H

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Rashford should be back to the LW position and Martial should be back up to him and Cavani for the LW and CF positions.

Maybe dropping him will do him good.
 

Pogue Mahone

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Quite an achievement to climb top of the league with neither forward performing.

Rashford is doing OK, Cavani as well but has not featured that much. Martial is in awful form for some time now, and Greenwood is a hardly getting a chance.
It is amazing really. When you consider the form we’ve seen from forwards in teams that win titles. I worry that it’s not sustainable. We need Rashford to regain the form from the beginning of last season and Martial his form from the end. If that happens - with Cavani in the mix too - we’ll be hard to stop.
 

Judas

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Rashford, who was nowhere near as bad as was made out in the match day thread, wasn't at his best, but provides the assist. I don't think he's that comfortable on the right, but he still made things happen.

You'd like to think it'll click for him and Martial at some point this season, and if it does it'll be a massive help because the difference it could make is, well you know.
 

RedorDead21

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luckily Liverpool’s forwards bar Mane ain’t playing well either. Course you’d expect them to get it together before we do as rashers and martial have always been inconsistent
 

Irwinning

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Anyone noticed Martial is trying more shots from outside the box recently? bet he has been told to up his game. He seems hopeless at one on ones at the moment.
 

Guv77

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Rashford is a million times better playing on the left. So he can cut inside...on the right he is pretty limited and tries one too many flicks and tricks.
If Ole had gotten 2 of Haaland/Sancho/Grealish..Martial would be no where near the first 11.
 

MasterCode

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Unpopular opinion but I still believe in Mason Martial Marcus (M.M.M) . And feel like they should be allowed to play into form. It's been a weird start for the youngins this season and I feel its a young Strikeforce with enough in it to devestate the league for years.

I do think Cavani is a great addition tbh and much needed experience (funny how nobody is mentioning Cavani's first touch, if Lukaku looked after the ball the way Edison did people would have a meltdown - I'm just being honestly objective don't attack me lol)

I think if M.M.M (should be allowed to play through their obvious dips I think the trio should figure it out together. Mason had to be taken out of the spotlight for obvious reasons - but I feel the time has come for them to kick into gear.

The "Elite" striker thing is an old school thing only a few teams have that nowadays.

Immobile
Lewandowski
Kane
Aguero
Haaland

I feel if the Utd Fanbase took the pressure off and rather than throwing money at the problem be patient enough to figure out how to get our current talents performing back to standard it would be more beneficial.

It's a tough ask to be patient when we are where we are in the table and fans tend to get ahead of themselves and become a little emotional - but I remind you Rooney had an incredible goal scoring season 09-10 (34) then recorded 12 the next - still won the league and he's still an all time great. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water just yet give it time - Rooney got back to goal scoring after that (34 again) and we didn't win it that year.

Patience
 
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Plymouth Red

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The "Elite" striker thing is an old school thing only a few teams have that nowadays.
I don't see it as elite. I see it as a skill and mindset issue. The CF is usually the focal point of an attack. We've had many such as RVN and Cole who were elite by any definition, but the way they played the position is what we lack at the moment.

I've always seen the role of a 9 as mostly operating in the box. This needs a certain sort of character and you can see similarities in the most successful number 9s in their prime - Benzema, Falcao, Ibra, Toni, Cavani, Lewandowski, Suarez, Shearer, Cole, Hugo Sanchez, Batistuta, Gerd Muller and pre-fat Ronaldo. But if you also look at players such as Vardy and Defoe, they did their work in the box mostly.

All of these guys put fear into defenders and generated confidence in their team mates, which encouraged them to get the ball to them in goal-scoring situations. They were reliable, quick to react, strong, aggressive, hungry, they bullied the opposition and above all, they wanted the ball in the net. They were also predators with a skill set to match including the ability to head a ball into the opposition's net.

Neither Martial nor Rashford play this way and I don't think they can adapt their game sufficiently. Greenwood? Maybe but for whatever reason, Ole doesn't want to give him a proper run at it.

I'd love to see a front three of Martial, Rashford and Greenwood terrorising defences but at the moment, it feels a way off and realistically, without a steady stream of goals from them, our title challenge will be made harder.

Personally, I would bring someone else in this month, even if only as stop gap cover for the rest of the season.
 

caid

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I dismissed this thread initially but you've obviously been right. Neither have been in good form this season and were pretty far in at this point. Rashford has impressed me for the impact hes had despite his poor form so ill give him that. Both have had better periods at the club. Martial in particular needs to kick on.
 

JohnnyKills

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Unpopular opinion but I still believe in Mason Martial Marcus (M.M.M) . And feel like they should be allowed to play into form. It's been a weird start for the youngins this season and I feel its a young Strikeforce with enough in it to devestate the league for years.

I do think Cavani is a great addition tbh and much needed experience (funny how nobody is mentioning Cavani's first touch, if Lukaku looked after the ball the way Edison did people would have a meltdown - I'm just being honestly objective don't attack me lol)

I think if M.M.M (should be allowed to play through their obvious dips I think the trio should figure it out together. Mason had to be taken out of the spotlight for obvious reasons - but I feel the time has come for them to kick into gear.

The "Elite" striker thing is an old school thing only a few teams have that nowadays.

Immobile
Lewandowski
Kane
Aguero
Haaland

I feel if the Utd Fanbase took the pressure off and rather than throwing money at the problem be patient enough to figure out how to get our current talents performing back to standard it would be more beneficial.

It's a tough ask to be patient when we are where we are in the table and fans tend to get ahead of themselves and become a little emotional - but I remind you Rooney had an incredible goal scoring season 09-10 (34) then recorded 12 the next - still won the league and he's still an all time great. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water just yet give it time - Rooney got back to goal scoring after that (34 again) and we didn't win it that year.

Patience
Great Post.
 

JohnnyKills

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I don't see it as elite. I see it as a skill and mindset issue. The CF is usually the focal point of an attack. We've had many such as RVN and Cole who were elite by any definition, but the way they played the position is what we lack at the moment.
Worth remembering that Cole's form during his first two years was as bad as Martial's this season. Between January 95, when he signed, and the winter of 97 when he scored that hat-trick against Barnsley, he couldn't hit a barndoor - in fact I thought of him when Martial was missing those chances the other night.

Also, RVN's spell at the club coincided with a dip in the team's form. We won the league for three consecutive years before he arrived and three consecutive years after, but we only won one in six when he was around. So having a '9' doesn't necessarily bring success.

Not disagreeing that Martial is struggling (I've said previously in this thread that it might be best to get rid) but some of the arguments against him seem a bit OTT.
 

Plymouth Red

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Worth remembering that Cole's form during his first two years was as bad as Martial's this season. Between January 95, when he signed, and the winter of 97 when he scored that hat-trick against Barnsley, he couldn't hit a barndoor - in fact I thought of him when Martial was missing those chances the other night.

Also, RVN's spell at the club coincided with a dip in the team's form. We won the league for three consecutive years before he arrived and three consecutive years after, but we only won one in six when he was around. So having a '9' doesn't necessarily bring success.

Not disagreeing that Martial is struggling (I've said previously in this thread that it might be best to get rid) but some of the arguments against him seem a bit OTT.
You're quite right that Cole's first couple of seasons were not as productive as his 97-2000 peak but even then he still scored 25 goals in 61 matches, which was a pretty good start to his time with us
My point was more about how he played and RVP too. I personally like to have a number 9 who causes defences problems in the box and gets on the business end of crosses and through balls. Of our current crop of youngsters, I only see Greenwood as maybe having this ability.
 

one340

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Sometimes I think their versatility can hinder them because it seems like one season, they're the main CF and then we rotate them out to the wings. Immensely talented these two but Ole should really sort out and stick each one in a single position. I think this is why sometimes they go on goal droughts, especially Martial.
 

JohnnyKills

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You're quite right that Cole's first couple of seasons were not as productive as his 97-2000 peak but even then he still scored 25 goals in 61 matches, which was a pretty good start to his time with us
My point was more about how he played and RVP too. I personally like to have a number 9 who causes defences problems in the box and gets on the business end of crosses and through balls. Of our current crop of youngsters, I only see Greenwood as maybe having this ability.
Yeah but it's worth remembering that United were dominating teams back in Cole's time, so the strikers were getting millions of chances every game. I used to go quite a lot back then and remember Cole being given a real hard time for his profligacy those first few years (in fact I think Red Issue ran a front-page mocking him the day he scored that hat-trick against Barnsley, which turned everything around for him).

But you're right, we need a 9 in the squad. I just don't think we need to make it our main priority, as our team isn't really set up to play towards a centre-forward (our wide players can't cross for one thing). Plus, as another poster pointed out, there aren't many good 9s going around any more.

Actually, I think the Cavani model is spot-on - have an experienced guy on the bench to come on if plan A isn't working.
 

TrustInOle

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For whatever reason, their problem is consistency. On their day, both are unplayable but lack the history of doing it over a full season. With a settled team finally on the horizon, maybe their consistency will begin to fine tune and, as seen last year, we have the potential for an absolutely lethal frontline, with the creativity of Pogba and Bruno supplying them.

I still have faith. :drool:
 

Plymouth Red

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Yeah but it's worth remembering that United were dominating teams back in Cole's time, so the strikers were getting millions of chances every game. I used to go quite a lot back then and remember Cole being given a real hard time for his profligacy those first few years (in fact I think Red Issue ran a front-page mocking him the day he scored that hat-trick against Barnsley, which turned everything around for him).

But you're right, we need a 9 in the squad. I just don't think we need to make it our main priority, as our team isn't really set up to play towards a centre-forward (our wide players can't cross for one thing). Plus, as another poster pointed out, there aren't many good 9s going around any more.

Actually, I think the Cavani model is spot-on - have an experienced guy on the bench to come on if plan A isn't working.
Back in those days, do you think the team from front to back was more focused on scoring and testing the goal keeper? It feels to me that our players then used to be willing or encouraged to have a go from outside the box and at distance, without being too concerned if it didn’t come off.

Today the approach seems much more clinical and focused on clearer chances. Just interested in your take on the difference, if any.
 

MadDogg

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Worth remembering that Cole's form during his first two years was as bad as Martial's this season. Between January 95, when he signed, and the winter of 97 when he scored that hat-trick against Barnsley, he couldn't hit a barndoor - in fact I thought of him when Martial was missing those chances the other night.

Also, RVN's spell at the club coincided with a dip in the team's form. We won the league for three consecutive years before he arrived and three consecutive years after, but we only won one in six when he was around. So having a '9' doesn't necessarily bring success.

Not disagreeing that Martial is struggling (I've said previously in this thread that it might be best to get rid) but some of the arguments against him seem a bit OTT.
One in five years, not six. Sorry, that just jumped out at me. :lol:

Otherwise I largely agree.
 

He'sRaldo

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I'd wager the main problem with Martial is that we don't have wingers.

When AWB crosses in, it's usually Martial who scores from his crosses. Problem is, Rashford and Greenwood don't really play as wingers and cross it in, they always try to cut in and shoot. That's fine for 1 of the wing positions but for both of them it's overkill, because it means we're essentially playing with 3 strikers instead of 1 striker and 2 forwards.

The ironic part is that the player who plays the most like a provider on the wings is Martial, but he can't assist himself if he's playing out on the left. What that means is that most of the chances he gets when playing as striker are through balls, which for some reason he's been fluffing this season.

But in any case, through balls are harder to convert than cutbacks, so we should definitely be looking to instruct Rashford and Greenwood to get to the byline more often and put in good balls for the striker to get tap ins.
 

-Supreme-

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We could do with stronger competitions for both Rashford and Martial.

Hopefully Cavani will remain injury free, we get rid of James and bring in a LW this summer.
 

Sayros

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We could do with stronger competitions for both Rashford and Martial.

Hopefully Cavani will remain injury free, we get rid of James and bring in a LW this summer.
Guessing you mean RW since it is infinitely more of a priority? Neither Rashford nor Martial are fit for that position either, but they can cover the LW.
 

-Supreme-

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I'd wager the main problem with Martial is that we don't have wingers.

When AWB crosses in, it's usually Martial who scores from his crosses. Problem is, Rashford and Greenwood don't really play as wingers and cross it in, they always try to cut in and shoot. That's fine for 1 of the wing positions but for both of them it's overkill, because it means we're essentially playing with 3 strikers instead of 1 striker and 2 forwards.

The ironic part is that the player who plays the most like a provider on the wings is Martial, but he can't assist himself if he's playing out on the left. What that means is that most of the chances he gets when playing as striker are through balls, which for some reason he's been fluffing this season.

But in any case, through balls are harder to convert than cutbacks, so we should definitely be looking to instruct Rashford and Greenwood to get to the byline more often and put in good balls for the striker to get tap ins.
Agreed.

We are in major need for creative wingers and not forwards that can play in the wider positions.
 

-Supreme-

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Guessing you mean RW since it is infinitely more of a priority? Neither Rashford nor Martial are fit for that position either, but they can cover the LW.
Personally LW is just as important as per the posts above.
 

JohnnyKills

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We could do with stronger competitions for both Rashford and Martial.

Hopefully Cavani will remain injury free, we get rid of James and bring in a LW this summer.
Genuinely think our roster is ok as it is, although if Sancho's available maybe we'll go for him.
 

MasterCode

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I don't see it as elite. I see it as a skill and mindset issue. The CF is usually the focal point of an attack. We've had many such as RVN and Cole who were elite by any definition, but the way they played the position is what we lack at the moment.

I've always seen the role of a 9 as mostly operating in the box. This needs a certain sort of character and you can see similarities in the most successful number 9s in their prime - Benzema, Falcao, Ibra, Toni, Cavani, Lewandowski, Suarez, Shearer, Cole, Hugo Sanchez, Batistuta, Gerd Muller and pre-fat Ronaldo. But if you also look at players such as Vardy and Defoe, they did their work in the box mostly.

All of these guys put fear into defenders and generated confidence in their team mates, which encouraged them to get the ball to them in goal-scoring situations. They were reliable, quick to react, strong, aggressive, hungry, they bullied the opposition and above all, they wanted the ball in the net. They were also predators with a skill set to match including the ability to head a ball into the opposition's net.

Neither Martial nor Rashford play this way and I don't think they can adapt their game sufficiently. Greenwood? Maybe but for whatever reason, Ole doesn't want to give him a proper run at it.

I'd love to see a front three of Martial, Rashford and Greenwood terrorising defences but at the moment, it feels a way off and realistically, without a steady stream of goals from them, our title challenge will be made harder.

Personally, I would bring someone else in this month, even if only as stop gap cover for the rest of the season.
I think we have to remember history contextually, and be honest about Martial's actual progress and take everything in when describing his role as a no 9.

Prior to Ighalo signing for Man Utd and after the sale of Lukaku there was a problem where fans, pundits, etc complained about our hold up play up front and how the ball wasn't 'sticking' "Rashford and Martial are similar Yada, Yada, Yada" we brought in Ighalo and the narrative was "fantastic look how he holds the ball up Martial will learn from him" welp, the point is he did. Martial's hold up play improved a lot since Ighalo came in and if everyone is honest at the time this is what we asked for - this is good and bad btw.

In terms of the team's quick transitions, the way we play the ball has to stick when it goes up top to whoever is receiving it and they have to be able to look after it our midfield then tend to race the opposition to threatening positions. This was the reason why IMO we lost to Arsenal Martial's suspension meant Rashford and Greenwood were trying to play Arsenal's defence on the turn and Gabriel, Holding and Tierney were very aggressive and stopped them from doing that.

Personally, I've never seen Martial as that sort of striker and feel eventually he will grow into more the Anelka kind of forward, link up, isolating defenders and off the shoulder (if he also learns to mimic Cavani), but the hold-up aspect to his game isn't a bad string to add to his bow (even if in the short term it's taking away from his natural game currently) based on how we play now the fans should recognise the sacrifice. ( I recognise this sounds slightly like Scouse Bobby Firmino excuses)

The other issue is before when Martial was required to learn to come deep and link up this was prior to Bruno when there was a big gap at times between transition. Now that problem is no longer there we have Bruno, but he's been asked to do several things for the team and hasn't really been catered to as a striker like Say what you see Bayern do for Robert.

He does strike me as the sort of player who has always been one of the best in his team throughout his youth and pro career, hence he plays with that cocky demeanour (which I like) but I don't think that means he doesn't care or isn't feeling the pressure. Pressure created diamonds and I feel all strikers go through this - it'll be good for him.

However all that being said in all honesty he also has to become far more clinical he has missed some sitters so far this season, but he has enough cachet with me to be patient considering he was at one point our most clinical player I will not throw him out with the bathwater and feel he should be allowed to play himself into form. I feel he is talented enough to bring what he is learning in terms of being an attacking pivot, all together to compliment his natural game.

As soon as he starts converting again - I think a lot will be forgiven. But we have to stop thinking attack the market every time a player is going through a development curve. I honestly think some of our legends would not have made it with today's throwaway mentality honestly - people romanticise C Ronaldo today but I remember how people used to talk about him before he started peaking through his development for United, I don't think he would've made it here today the way some fans just become so impatient.
 

Sayros

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Personally LW is just as important as per the posts above.
I am playing catch up but I have to disagree, while it's true that Rashford tends to cut inside and shoot rather than cross, he's still capable of a few solid 1-2 crosses a game even with that tendency, despite being on his weak foot. It's something that can also be ironed out through coaching and more instructions about his role on the team. However, that RW is an absolute black hole of creativity. Neither Rashford or Martial have shown an impact from there, and with a proper creative winger there (someone like Sancho or Dembele for example), it will make up for whatever tendency to cut inside might come from the left wing. Then a CF can be considered and there's good depth between the CF, LW, and RW position between Rashford, Martial, Greenwood, and whatever RW/CF targets can be gotten in the market.
 

Sayros

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My front 3 going forward the next few years would be
Rashford - Greenwood - Sancho
Greenwood has to show more this season though, right now he's not playing much because he's probably not showing enough in training and when he's been on the field he's usually been the worst of the front three.
 

-Supreme-

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I am playing catch up but I have to disagree, while it's true that Rashford tends to cut inside and shoot rather than cross, he's still capable of a few solid 1-2 crosses a game even with that tendency, despite being on his weak foot. It's something that can also be ironed out through coaching and more instructions about his role on the team. However, that RW is an absolute black hole of creativity. Neither Rashford or Martial have shown an impact from there, and with a proper creative winger there (someone like Sancho or Dembele for example), it will make up for whatever tendency to cut inside might come from the left wing. Then a CF can be considered and there's good depth between the CF, LW, and RW position between Rashford, Martial, Greenwood, and whatever RW/CF targets can be gotten in the market.
Now we have bought Diallo for the RW who we have invested a considerate sum on a young player that will need time to make the position his own so this position is no longer a priority when it comes to new transfer additions.

Rashford can play on both sides of the pitch, but I have preference of him playing on the right as he is less predictable and is more suited to develop his all round game IMO.
 

He'sRaldo

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Personally LW is just as important as per the posts above.
We may not even need to dip into the market if we can teach Rashford and Greenwood how to be providers as well as goalscorers.

I think that's the best option all things considered, especially seeing as Rashford Martial Greenwood was a prolific trio last season.
 

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I thought this thread was dramatic initially but I’m starting to agree, if I’m honest. I rate both of them highly; they’re really good players. They do so many good things within one game. What they don’t do is score enough goals. This looked like it was starting to change last season but the pair of them (and Greenwood, although understandable) have dropped the ball.

I feel we’re one of them exploding away from mounting a real shot at this title so they better pull their fingers out. If this continues until the end of the season then we’re going to need to spend.
 

BenitoSTARR

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My front 3 going forward the next few years would be
Rashford - Greenwood - Sancho
Greenwood can’t hold the ball up. He’s got a lot to learn still and you can see he’s not comfortable in the striker role against men yet.
 

Sayros

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He is still a kid
He is, but it doesn't change the fact that right now he's not a solution. He's going through a sophomore slump, that happens, but then we can't definitely say he's going to be the forward of the future for this club, it all remains to be seen. I think we all know the potential is there, but it's still a long road to becoming the forward of the future for the club like many suggested.

Now we have bought Diallo for the RW who we have invested a considerate sum on a young player that will need time to make the position his own so this position is no longer a priority when it comes to new transfer additions.

Rashford can play on both sides of the pitch, but I have preference of him playing on the right as he is less predictable and is more suited to develop his all round game IMO.
I hope Diallo works out, but I don't know if it means the RW is sorted. This team needs depth anyways, if any of Rashford, Martial, or Bruno get injured, just one, and it's big trouble. Diallo is probably not the answer at RW, at least not right now. Also surprised you prefer Rashford on the RW compared to the left where, to me, he's far more impactful because of the way his game is tailored at the moment. He is definitely not less predictable right now IMO, and while he does lose possession quite a bit, I feel I see it more prevalent from the right to the left, but that could just be my imagination and it's still a small sample size.
I do agree though it will be better long-term for his development if he can figure out a way to be as effective on the right than he can be on the left, and may be worth the growing pains if he buys in like he has been so far. It's not an easy adjustment for him to make but he's
 

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I'm probably Martial's biggest fan on the Caf and am desperate for him to crack it at United. During our games I probably watch him more closely than any other player, hoping he'll turn the corner.

But starting to think it's best for everyone if he moves on.

It's not so much his lack of goals. He still creates chances and wins penalties. If he worked hard and gave his all in defence, his contribution would be fine.

But when we're defending, he's non-existent. He just stands there and watches the opposition pass the ball round him, or makes a half-hearted attempt to close someone down. Then when we get a counter, he doesn't even bust a gut to keep up with play.

He's had five managers now - Jardim, LVG, Mourinho, Ole and Deschamps - and none of them have been able to get the best out of him. Even Fergie might have struggled to unlock his talent.

Maybe it's best for everyone if we cut our losses and move onto someone more reliable.
Martial has never been good enough. I see Fred a small guy holding off 2-3 players and coming off with the ball and it’s hard to digest how little of a fight Martial has in him.
 

zizou81

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Their problem is that the coaching staff havent fixed their offside / timing runs issue for several years now. It's embarrassing. Such a basic skill to learn. Maybe loan them out to Leicester to learn from vardy. Ffs...