The curious case of Martial’s finishing

DrRodo

Full Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2014
Messages
1,288
Location
Chile
I dont wanna complain much since we are top of the table.

But personally, Martial has been the most dissapointing player for me because of his finishing. I reckon if he was banging those sitters we would be 9 points clear at the top rn. I really like the guy but if he cant score those one on ones we really need to upgrade on him.
 

crossy1686

Full Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2010
Messages
14,845
Location
Manchester, England
I dont wanna complain much since we are top of the table.

But personally, Martial has been the most dissapointing player for me because of his finishing. I reckon if he was banging those sitters we would be 9 points clear at the top rn. I really like the guy but if he cant score those one on ones we really need to upgrade on him.
We'd also most likely still be in the CL too.
 

SS

Full Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
4,210
Location
UK
With so many strikers around him at the club (including Ole), it's baffling that he still won't shoot with anything other than a side foot. Was fair enough on the LW, but at striker you need more strings to your bow in that department.
 

Withnail

Full Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
8,201
Location
The Arena of the Unwell
With so many strikers around him at the club (including Ole), it's baffling that he still won't shoot with anything other than a side foot. Was fair enough on the LW, but at striker you need more strings to your bow in that department.
I take your point and he does need to add things like the header he scored recently but passing the ball into the corner was never a problem for him before.
 

tomaldinho1

Full Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2015
Messages
6,875
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.
You have to wade through it and likely ignore a number of posters sadly.

Slightly different opinion on Martial but I think he looks too heavy footed - almost like he's been sacrificing dynamic strength work for more static/explosive stuff. Part of me feels, given the need for Martial to hold the ball up more as a 9 the club is trying to add a few kgs onto him and it's adversely affecting him - same as with Lukaku who even came out and said he'd gained too much muscle mass and was too heavy (no shit) and apparently is 10kgs lighter at Inter.

I feel Martial's great qualities are in his close control (which seems worse now), finishing from his right foot and ability to move at speed with the ball close to him. I understand, to a point, the pundit narrative of a 'proper No9' scoring more tap ins and his header against Villa was class but it looks, to me at least, like it's coming at a cost. It would be logical that his form will now start to steadily increase after acclimatizing to the added weight but, so far, he seems that little bit slower and heavier to me.
 

SS

Full Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2016
Messages
4,210
Location
UK
I take your point and he does need to add things like the header he scored recently but passing the ball into the corner was never a problem for him before.
Of course, he was our most reliable finisher until this latest rut. Definitely think it's a confidence thing, but if he at least worked on other forms of shooting (laces, etc), it'd surely mitigate how bad his finishing can get during times like this.
 

L1nk

Full Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
Messages
1,612
I would honestly replace him with an out and out striker asap, not saying it has to be Haaland, but him or someone similar, he hasn't kicked on like we wanted him to, despite looking like sometimes he would
 

boxykronikle

Full Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2008
Messages
445
Location
Nilai, MY
He wouldn't get us 30 goals per season. That's for sure. I was banking on him to be that but he has been disappointing.

He wanted to play more central role and no.9 and his wishes has been granted by Ole. Currently, he is displaying crap. I do hope Ole drops him for Cavani and let him think for awhile.

IMO, he was better when he was playing from LW.
 

Judas

Open to offers
Joined
Jun 28, 2010
Messages
20,891
Location
Where the grass is greener.
It's certainly not the season we all hoped he'd have after last season, in fact so far it's been the exact opposite. Instead of kicking on, it looks more like the great form was once again one of his hot streaks.
 

Borys

Statistics Wizard
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
4,618
Location
Bielsko Biala, Poland
Martial has been best goalscorer in last two seasons combined (goals-expected goals based on xG) in EPL. This season he's 10th worst, 8th worst as far as forwards are concerned, 458th place out of 467.

Last two seasons:


Shocking form.
 

Nytram Shakes

Full Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
4,169
Location
Normally dark rooms
In fairness I don't the Martial or Rashford are really clinical finishers. Doesn't mean they are bad players, but I think it limits them as strikers.

I also think its a problem with the way football is these days, Young strikers seem to have to spend their late teens early 20's playing on the wing to get game time, personally, I think this messes up their development so when they do get pushed into the middle they haven't developed that clinical instinct.

It's one of the reasons top quality strikers are so sparse in modern football.
 

joemacwalls

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jan 7, 2021
Messages
6
In fairness I don't the Martial or Rashford are really clinical finishers. Doesn't mean they are bad players, but I think it limits them as strikers.

I also think its a problem with the way football is these days, Young strikers seem to have to spend their late teens early 20's playing on the wing to get game time, personally, I think this messes up their development so when they do get pushed into the middle they haven't developed that clinical instinct.

It's one of the reasons top quality strikers are so sparse in modern football.
I agree with this. In the days of 4-4-2 young strikers would get a chance in their natural position. With one centre forward, they rarely get any game time unless they play wide or go on loan, with those on loan generally becoming better strikers imo. I can see the same thing happening with Greenwood, would like to see him get more time as the central striker.
 

Plymouth Red

New Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2004
Messages
475
Martial has been best goalscorer in last two seasons combined (goals-expected goals based on xG) in EPL. This season he's 10th worst, 8th worst as far as forwards are concerned, 458th place out of 467.

Last two seasons:


Shocking form.
I agree. Stats like these are facts rather than opinion. I don't personally see Martial as a CF and maybe this supports the opinion.
However, as facts, they also show how for example De Bruyne and maybe Audebamayang too have fallen off a similar cliff. Hard to explain away, but something's clearly gone wrong for several formerly reliable players, Greenwood among them too.
 

youmeletsfly

Full Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
1,457
I agree. Stats like these are facts rather than opinion. I don't personally see Martial as a CF and maybe this supports the opinion.
However, as facts, they also show how for example De Bruyne and maybe Audebamayang too have fallen off a similar cliff. Hard to explain away, but something's clearly gone wrong for several formerly reliable players, Greenwood among them too.
It's now what, 8 months of continously playing every 3 odd days?
We can't expect players to have the same form they had 1/2 seasons ago.
Also, we have zero backup for Rashford and Martial, zero squared. We can't rest them and they look fecking gassed.

On topic, well, Martial was never a top player and never looked to become one, just the same as Rashford.

I think him going back to an inside forward and us getting a top top striker will do wonders for him.
 

gerdm07

Full Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
1,789
It's now what, 8 months of continously playing every 3 odd days?
We can't expect players to have the same form they had 1/2 seasons ago.
Also, we have zero backup for Rashford and Martial, zero squared. We can't rest them and they look fecking gassed.

On topic, well, Martial was never a top player and never looked to become one, just the same as Rashford.

I think him going back to an inside forward and us getting a top top striker will do wonders for him.
Wasn't Martial injured for a bit this year and he had the red card ban? He, of all players, should not be suffering from fatigue.

I thought with the restart Martial had turned a corner and was becoming a CF we can rely on. I also thought his resurgence coincided with Ighalo playing a few decent matches before the shutdown. Competition, I thought, spurred Martial to new heights. I was really hoping Cavani would only help move Martial even further. Alas, he looks totally broken and if he doesn't improve I can see him being sold in the summer.
 

Nytram Shakes

Full Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
4,169
Location
Normally dark rooms
I agree with this. In the days of 4-4-2 young strikers would get a chance in their natural position. With one centre forward, they rarely get any game time unless they play wide or go on loan, with those on loan generally becoming better strikers imo. I can see the same thing happening with Greenwood, would like to see him get more time as the central striker.
Yeah totally agree in regards to how the change away from playing 2 strikers has affected the striker development. I mean to go through world football how many top-quality centre forwards are there in the game these days? their really aren't many.

For me a huge part of that is simply down to young strikers spend too much time playing on the wing. If you want to a player to develop into a top striker then you need to play them as a striker and clubs aren't.

And yeat I agree we will have exactly the same issue with Greenwood going forward unless we give him regular minutes upfront.
 

Mihai

Full Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
Messages
3,759
I dont wanna complain much since we are top of the table.

But personally, Martial has been the most dissapointing player for me because of his finishing. I reckon if he was banging those sitters we would be 9 points clear at the top rn. I really like the guy but if he cant score those one on ones we really need to upgrade on him.
And possibly in CL.
 

USREDEVIL

Full Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
1,652
Location
California U.S.A.
Both Martial and Greenwood have been off the pace for a while. Martial did have a great shot stopped last game, so that should be taken into consideration.
 

city-puma

Full Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Messages
798
Location
NYC
It’s like people were watching a different game against Burley.
Martial did at least very well if not great. He couldn’t convert his one clear chance and two half chances. He produced a sitter for Cavani who failed to covert also. Without his linkup play, close control dribbling in limited space, those chances won’t even be possible. It’s ridiculous to read the kind of unfounded criticism for his performance in that game.
However, I agree that he needs to start scoring but it’s also a problem coming from the system we played.
 

city-puma

Full Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Messages
798
Location
NYC
You have to wade through it and likely ignore a number of posters sadly.

Slightly different opinion on Martial but I think he looks too heavy footed - almost like he's been sacrificing dynamic strength work for more static/explosive stuff. Part of me feels, given the need for Martial to hold the ball up more as a 9 the club is trying to add a few kgs onto him and it's adversely affecting him - same as with Lukaku who even came out and said he'd gained too much muscle mass and was too heavy (no shit) and apparently is 10kgs lighter at Inter.

I feel Martial's great qualities are in his close control (which seems worse now), finishing from his right foot and ability to move at speed with the ball close to him. I understand, to a point, the pundit narrative of a 'proper No9' scoring more tap ins and his header against Villa was class but it looks, to me at least, like it's coming at a cost. It would be logical that his form will now start to steadily increase after acclimatizing to the added weight but, so far, he seems that little bit slower and heavier to me.
I have the similar observation. He is a lot stronger and muscular than one year before. I guess that’s the reason his pace and agility become worse.
 

gazbradley

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Dec 29, 2020
Messages
64
It’s like people were watching a different game against Burley.
Martial did at least very well if not great. He couldn’t convert his one clear chance and two half chances. He produced a sitter for Cavani who failed to covert also. Without his linkup play, close control dribbling in limited space, those chances won’t even be possible. It’s ridiculous to read the kind of unfounded criticism for his performance in that game.
However, I agree that he needs to start scoring but it’s also a problem coming from the system we played.
Just came on to say the same thing. He’s playing well and I always feel comfortable when he’s in possession, some of his close control in tight spaces is outstanding and creates so many opportunities for us.
He’s one of the reasons I think we have a decent chance of actually winning it this year, if he finds his scoring boots again in the second half of the season he could push us to the title
 

Withnail

Full Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
8,201
Location
The Arena of the Unwell
You have to wade through it and likely ignore a number of posters sadly.

Slightly different opinion on Martial but I think he looks too heavy footed - almost like he's been sacrificing dynamic strength work for more static/explosive stuff. Part of me feels, given the need for Martial to hold the ball up more as a 9 the club is trying to add a few kgs onto him and it's adversely affecting him - same as with Lukaku who even came out and said he'd gained too much muscle mass and was too heavy (no shit) and apparently is 10kgs lighter at Inter.

I feel Martial's great qualities are in his close control (which seems worse now), finishing from his right foot and ability to move at speed with the ball close to him. I understand, to a point, the pundit narrative of a 'proper No9' scoring more tap ins and his header against Villa was class but it looks, to me at least, like it's coming at a cost. It would be logical that his form will now start to steadily increase after acclimatizing to the added weight but, so far, he seems that little bit slower and heavier to me.
Yeah I think you might be on to something there. Now that you mention I do recall thinking to myself a number of times during games when he's been sprinting for the ball that he doesn't appear to be running as freely or as quickly as you'd expect. He has looked heavy-footed at times.
 

city-puma

Full Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2020
Messages
798
Location
NYC
Yeah I think you might be on to something there. Now that you mention I do recall thinking to myself a number of times during games when he's been sprinting for the ball that he doesn't appear to be running as freely or as quickly as you'd expect. He has looked heavy-footed at times.
exactly. Take it example from the missed one-on-one chance against Burley, there is a replay from the goal end view. He tried to shift his weight to the left leg to prepare for shooting. The pitch is so bad, he lost a little bit balance and the left foot (now, the supporting leg) slipped and he almost lost his balance. It’s that moment you can see his upper legs are huge! I felt his left knee just about not able to support his whole weight. A year before, an incident like this won’t bother that much for him. I think he needs to slim down a little bit. Otherwise, the next injury will probably be on his knees.
 

LuckyScout78

Full Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2018
Messages
417
He shall learn how to strike the ball. 100 clean. No percent curling with the inside of the foot.

Press the ball down and it bit far from the goalkeeper and smash it hardest as you can. And always thinking, that ball shall hit the net.

Work with the killer instinct and how you hit the ball.
Ole was really good at it. Should learn from Ole. How you hit the ball.
 

Shimo

Full Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
7,605
It's a massive dropoff, it started towards the end of last season - in the Europa semi where there were some absolute gilt edged chances. But, also I think he is bit of a victim of how he burst on to the scene for us, it was like every shot he took went in - as the OP put it, he was seen is ice in his veins when presented with a chance to finish. In his time here, he's had this up and down period of finishing chances but, it's safe to say he is not one of those players that will almost always put away chances.

Bad thing for us this season is that all our strikers seem to be missing some very good chances. Rashford even though has got quite a few goals has missed a bunch, Martial for sure. Greenwood / Cavani have as well but, can also maybe put that do limited game time.

Said it in another post, if they can all find a little better form in terms of finishing - we have a chance at a special season. Unlike before, we are creating, put more away and we'll be winning more comfortably.
 

Hughie77

Full Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2017
Messages
1,445
Lots of strikers get dry spells, it will come for him maybe on Sunday, if hes fit and starts?
 

sunama

Baghdad Bob
Joined
Apr 26, 2014
Messages
15,450
Hat-trick incoming on sunday, you heard it here first!
That's exactly what people said on this forum, about Falcao, when he was stinking up the place. Game after game, the guy would refuse to score.
Martial at least, has built up some good will from previous seasons.
 

KanieKaned

Full Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2005
Messages
7,942
Location
Derriere Extraordinaire
Yep, the excellent header against Villa for instance.
Thats it. Got in there and didn't think.

Wasn't saha like this, I always felt he was better when it was an instinct finish rather than a calculated one where he out thinks himself
Yep, Saha had an awful habit of missing sitters when he had time to think about what to do. I think in time Martials higher ceiling will see this hopeful go away.
 

Denis' cuff

Full Member
Joined
May 13, 2007
Messages
7,763
Location
here
OP: aye up, Graham Green’s online

feck all “curious“ about it. He’s still a shit striker and disinterested like Pogba has been but without the tantrums and cnuty agent

Has had long enough. Replace. Wonderful to watch when on song, of course but usually cant be arsed. Sick of the fecker.