The curious case of Martial’s finishing

Delano

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When he came back after Lockdown he looked like he was really starting to push on. I was excited to see where he would go this season, but for whatever reason, his finishing has completely regressed.

His finishing now feels awkward, almost like he is overthinking every opportunity and touch in the box. Unfortunately for us, even when he gets a goal, his confidence still seems shot to pieces.

To have a genuine chance at the title this year, we really need him to up his conversation rate.
 

Viral United

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he's just lost some confidence and is seeing a tiny goal in front of him - it happens.

Only way to get through it is keep getting chances.
Agree, but at what cost?
What if we had conceded 92 mins goal yesterday and only got draw, will we be that forgiving for him for missing those chances?
Right now our team carried by Rashford and Bruno. he has to step up soon.
 

Adam-Utd

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Agree, but at what cost?
What if we had conceded 92 mins goal yesterday and only get draw, will we be that forgiving for him for missing those chances?
Right now our team carried by Rashford and Bruno. he has to step up soon.
Obviously he does but there's no simple answer to that is there?

It's either drop him or play him until he gets better. Right now we don't have any better alternatives. I'd rather a misfiring martial than james or mata.

Anyway, seems like martial will be out for a few weeks now with a hamstring injury so hopefully this will give him a chance to reset.
 

SadlerMUFC

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The only team to score more goals than us so far this season is Liverpool, so while Martial may not be finishing, he has been a very important part of our success this season so far. Just imagine what it will be like when he does find his scoring touch...
 

dogwithabone

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He’s been such a disappointment this season. I thought after his blistering form last season that a real player had arrived but some of his misses this season have been really poor. That one last night had such a lack of conviction about hit - easy height for keeper, no real direction and so weakly hit. Whatever form you’re in that looked an easy finish for a supposedly top striker.
 

Herschel Krustofsky

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There's a video of Haaland bursting into the box in his thread on the transfer forum.

Whilst Martial is going through a rough patch, and I'm generally a fan of his, I never see the hunger evidenced that Haarland does.
 

Handré1990

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Biggest disappointment so far this season for me.
 

RashyForPM

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I’ve actually always thought of him as an inconsistent finisher, but a quick look at his XG to goals rate proves me wrong.

If he was such a good finisher beforehand though, then he won’t lose it. You don’t become a worse finisher overnight. You can only lose confidence.
 

Steven-UK

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Simply not good enough at this level, I feel, and no other top team would have him leading their line. Extremely lazy, and unless a potential goal opportunity is handed to him on a plate, he is not interested.
 

Foxbatt

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C'mon. Martial in the team is a lot better than him out of the team. Get Harland and play martial on the left and someone else on the right and what we need is a great CM.
 

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Look at it this way. 3-4 seasons ago Martial was at Kane / Vardy level in terms of finishing, now he is at Saha level.
Saha level? Saha was twice the striker Martial is, easily.

Massively underrated Saha. If not for injuries he would have been a brilliant signing for us.
 

Saddy

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If you watch the play leading up to the Pogba goal - Cavani is showing the usual sharp movement to find space in the box and move the defenders to create space for others - Martial just stood in the middle and easy to mark !
I'm presuming Martial will be missing on Sunday due to injury but he's the obvious upgrade for our strike force and would be ideal for PSG - nice easy league and the occasional big effort in the Champions League.
It's a shame because if he catches fire it would help our chances for the league title and his general play was better last night but his shooting has regressed - stats don't lie.
 

RUCK4444

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There's a video of Haaland bursting into the box in his thread on the transfer forum.

Whilst Martial is going through a rough patch, and I'm generally a fan of his, I never see the hunger evidenced that Haarland does.
You don't see it because he doesn't have it. This has always been my concern with Martial.

It's a trait that I feel you either have or you don't. It's hard to coach desire and hunger into a player.

It's why I've never backed him for the striker position, I'm happy enough with him on the wing, other than LW I wouldn't have him on the pitch to be completely honest and even then I prefer Rashford at LW.
 

Plymouth Red

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At a time when his confidence is in need of a boost, it’s a shame that he might find himself having to contend with this news.
https://www.caughtoffside.com/2021/...r-martials-wife-appears-to-flout-covid-rules/
The phrase Sod’s Law springs to mind but fingers crossed it’s a non-issue which disappears quickly.
As I posted last night, I thought he had a reasonable game but was trying a bit too hard, if anything, to score. He strikes me as a very temperamental player and I hope his route back to last season’s form isn’t thrown off course. We need him firing on all cylinders now more than ever.
 

Murray3007

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That goes against available evidences. He has always earned his spot under Mourinho on the field and he wasn't in competition with Ibrahimovic or Lukaku but with Rashford on the left wing. It's Rashford that competed with Ibrahimovic and Lukaku.
doesnt really 1st season here he played well, 2nd season he done well for 3 months competition with rashford, then sanchez came in, was poor for a good 18 months really, done well last season with no real competition and this year cavani comes in and all of a sudden he is poor again, simply for the wages he is paid he should be one of the best forwards in the league would prob struggle to have him in a top 10 attacking players
 

Dr. Mowinckel

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Saha level? Saha was twice the striker Martial is, easily.

Massively underrated Saha. If not for injuries he would have been a brilliant signing for us.
Saha was clearly better than Martial at their respective bests, but he was just as clearly a worse finisher. Saha's finishing was probably his biggest weakness, aside from his bones.
 

Brexit_Brigade

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then sanchez came in, was poor for a good 18 months really
He was probably the best player in the last couple of months of Mourinho's tenure, and largely good for the first few months under Solskjaer. So not really 18 months.

And he was excellent throughout the first half of the season Lukaku was signed (which was his third season), consistently getting goals off the bench and when he started. He fell off in the second half when Sanchez came in, yes.
 

lost7

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His finishing has been shocking this season (even during international duty with France), but I still think he's a very important player for our general play and when he's not playing we're far worse. Even against Burnley, while not exactly setting the game on fire, I honestly thought he was the best out of our front three, but of course missing that one on one at the end is not acceptable.

We all know he's a great finisher, though, so I really hope he can regain his confidence and start scoring goals. And there's no better place to start than at Anfield
 

Murray3007

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He was probably the best player in the last couple of months of Mourinho's tenure, and largely good for the first few months under Solskjaer. So not really 18 months.

And he was excellent throughout the first half of the season Lukaku was signed (which was his third season), consistently getting goals off the bench and when he started. He fell off in the second half when Sanchez came in, yes.

if that's what you want to believe, simply put we need better players here who can perform consistently which he cant do.
 

Brexit_Brigade

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if that's what you want to believe, simply put we need better players here who can perform consistently which he cant do.
Well no, it's not a question of what I want or don't want to believe. Your memory of those "18 months" was off, which is what I was referring to.

If he keeps playing like this he'll obviously need replacing.
 

Stig

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All this thread tells me is that we need a 'real' centre forward. Someone who stands in the box between the two posts and makes runs in the 6 yard box and scores one touch, one shot goals. Martial can contribute from the wing - so can Rashford but we, Ole, has to accept that they are not goal scoring centre forwards a la Vardy, Kane, RVP, RVN, Cole, Shearer.

We need a centre forward, goals win games.
 
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Murray3007

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Well no, it's not a question of what I want or don't want to believe. Your memory of those "18 months" was off, which is what I was referring to.

If he keeps playing like this he'll obviously need replacing.
no it wasnt off, he had the odd good game nothing special, hence his form was off
 

Brexit_Brigade

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One of my favorite things two weeks into posting on this place: the number of people who just keep replying "no you're wrong believe what you want" when presented with a debate/counterpoint containing examples and evidence.
 

city-puma

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It’s not his fault to miss the one-on-one against Burley for the ball Cavani flipped. If you watched the replay, he almost twisted his left ankle when he adjusted balance just before shooting. It’s due to the sh!t pitch.
 

VeevaVee

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Always thought his finishing was overrated on here anyway to be honest
 

LUC1f3R

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Only good attribute for Martial is his holdup play (he links other players really good). Whereas, his finishing is awful and movement inside the box is non-existent.

We can see Rashford is not effective in RW and is a completely different player at LW.

Cavani is sharp inside the box, while his holdup play is not the same as Martial he more than makes up with his other contribution (being physical, aerial prowess & better finishing than Martial for now)

So, why not drop Martial, play Rashford-Cavani-Greenwood and bring him on as an impact sub????
Btw haven't seen Martial much at RW (he was awful in the few games I saw), why not try him there for a few games??

I believe Greenwood & Martial to be rotated at RW till Diallo/ Pellistri shows improvement...
 

Plymouth Red

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All this thread tells me is that we need a 'real' centre forward. Someone who stands in the box between the two posts and makes runs in the 6 yard box and scores one touch, one shot goals. Martial can contribute from the wing - so can Rashford but we, Ole, has to accept that they are not goal scoring centre forwards a la Vardy, Kane, RVP, RVN, Cole, Shearer.

We need a centre forward, goals win games.
Summed up perfectly.
 

TheNewEra

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I don't think Martial is the player United need going forward to be dominant in Europe and the League.

Rashford is fine but I think an upgrade to Martial in the long run would be a good thing.
 

Mr Smith

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Simply not good enough at this level, I feel, and no other top team would have him leading their line. Extremely lazy, and unless a potential goal opportunity is handed to him on a plate, he is not interested.
I disagree that he's not good enough, but what might be true is that he's not mentally tough enough. The weird thing this season is that his general play has actually been quite good, he's just been woeful in front of goal, which indicates confidence in that part of his game has completely deserted him. I'd still keep playing him as I think he will play through it, but I am concerned about his apparent mental fragility; can we afford a striker like that if we want to consistently challenge for the league over the next few years?
 

Can7onA

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He's currently at Nani levels of frustration. All the talent in the world yet can't seem to string 2 good games together.
 

DRJosh

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He's currently at Nani levels of frustration. All the talent in the world yet can't seem to string 2 good games together.
agreed although Nani had occasional moments of sublime genius with his dribbling and long range efforts. Martial doesn’t seem to be as explosive a player but I guess that’s more down to his style
 

MetoTTT

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Saha level? Saha was twice the striker Martial is, easily.

Massively underrated Saha. If not for injuries he would have been a brilliant signing for us.
I agree. Saha was such an exciting striker. Shame he was injury prone. He could've been world class here...really.
 

Maticmaker

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The potential with Martial is there, we all know that and many opponents crowd him out in the final third because they know he can be devastating especially when running into the box; however Martial needs to find ways to surprise opponents, whether this is dropping deeper and/or arriving later in the box. don't know, but many teams have his measure now in the final third and know what to do to crowd him out or block him, the onus is on him.
Rashford looks distinctly unhappy when he has to take the right wing to accommodate both Cavani (CF) Martial out left, but he soldiers on and keeps trying, which is one of his greatest strengths. There is little time now between games to work out ideas between these three, on the training pitch, so it will have to develop 'on the hoof' and/or 'learning on the job' . Just think what we can do with those three when they do get it right...warms the cockles of your heart just thinking about it!
 

Murder on Zidane's Floor

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Yeah I don't know where he got that from. He was looking last year like he could get to that level if he kept improving but no chance was he there 3 or 4 years ago.
Players regularly banging in twenty plus PL goals a season. Martial is nowhere near those levels.
 

Zen86

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Martial has always been the complete epitome of a confidence player. Yes he's had some very good periods here, such as last season, but that has nearly always been sandwiched between patches of poor form. He's been consistently inconsistent since arriving.
 

Withnail

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doesnt really 1st season here he played well, 2nd season he done well for 3 months competition with rashford, then sanchez came in, was poor for a good 18 months really, done well last season with no real competition and this year cavani comes in and all of a sudden he is poor again, simply for the wages he is paid he should be one of the best forwards in the league would prob struggle to have him in a top 10 attacking players
He hasn't been the same since Sevilla and there was no Cavani then.

His finishing has been shocking this season (even during international duty with France), but I still think he's a very important player for our general play and when he's not playing we're far worse. Even against Burnley, while not exactly setting the game on fire, I honestly thought he was the best out of our front three, but of course missing that one on one at the end is not acceptable.

We all know he's a great finisher, though, so I really hope he can regain his confidence and start scoring goals. And there's no better place to start than at Anfield
He got his first goal against them so why not?