Up top: Does anyone else prefer seeing Ighalo over Martial?

RUCK4444

Full Member
Joined
Feb 3, 2015
Messages
3,171
Location
FIFA Headquarters
Lets be honest Ighalo has been good in the matches he's played, but it has been against low low opposition. Brugges and Derby are not exactly great parameters to make a decision.
I agree with the sentiment but what you do need to factor in is whether Martial would have been in those positions to score against the same opposition when playing as the no 9.

That’s the key here. Does Martial have the discipline to stay central and forwards and the guile go keep making those runs and stay switched on for the 90 minutes.

In my opinion he doesn’t. He’s far better playing off the left wing but for almost identical reasons Rashford is better than him in that position as well.

That said our full strength 11 would have Rashford as the no 9 and Martial playing and linking up off the left.

My dream scenario would see us sign Kane as the no 9 and play Rashford off the left, leaving Martial as a sub to be honest. One can dream.
 

Green_Red

Full Member
Joined
May 29, 2013
Messages
7,838
Martial is not an out and out #9 so there is room in the team to accommodate both of these players.

The problem for Martial is he spat his dummy out when Mourinho said he isn't a 9 and is more of a wide player. Fast forward to now and Martial comes wide all the time and doesnt play as a 'fox in the box' style #9.

So unless Martial is happy to play behind/wide of a #9 then he might find he'll get picked less and less.

But for a #9 position only, I'd go with Ighalo. He understands how to play that position and has proved it in just 2 starts.

Ultimately, they both need to be in the team.

For City I'd go;

Martial Ighalo James
Bruno
Fred McTominany
Shaw Maguire Bailly Wan-Bissaka
 

lsd

The Oracle
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
4,889
I don't think Martial is a centre forward . I would only play him on the wing .

It's been really refreshing watching Ighalo as he is a proper centre forward who can link up play and more importantly he gets in the right positions to score goals .

It's not about who is the better player it is simply who is best in that position and it is clearly Ighalo .

The rest of the players know that he will be in the box looking to get on end of chances during play whereas with Martial more often than not he won't be
 

Nickosaur

Full Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2011
Messages
9,680
It's been great seeing Ighalo in the team. Martial is good at a lot of things but I don't think he's a proper center forward. Ighalo just has that knack of finding space and putting himself about, the latter in particular is something Martial is not capable of.
 

Relevated

fixated with venom and phalluses
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
23,623
Location
18M1955/JU5
Lets be honest Ighalo has been good in the matches he's played, but it has been against low low opposition. Brugges and Derby are not exactly great parameters to make a decision.
They're not, but we were struggling for goals against these teams not long ago. Hence he's doing exactly what we needed of him
 

Buster15

Go on Didier
Joined
Aug 28, 2018
Messages
4,979
Location
Bristol
Supports
Bristol Rovers
Ighalo isn't a very technically great striker. But he is a striker that will score the dirty goals.

I prefer Martial but I'm pleasantly surprised over his contribution so far. Should probably have scored 2-3 more goals as well. Looks like a solid loan option considering the market so far.
Exactly.
It is important to have options or else you become too predictable.

Ighalo gives us a different dimension. A proper center forward.
Sometimes you need that and sometimes you don't.

Martial is just too predictable and is not a CG. But he also gives you options and can be a match winner on his day.
 

crossy1686

Full Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2010
Messages
13,179
Location
Manchester, England
Ighalo, Martial and James as a front 3 against City? I think Ighalo has the physicality about him to really worry their defence.
 

EwanI Ted

Full Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2018
Messages
1,755
It’s nice seeing a striker who lives in the penalty area and is always available for a cross or pass from wide.

But no, absolutely not.
 

norm87cro

Full Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Messages
698
Location
Split, HR
Ighalo's first goal yesterday was exactly what Martial's missing. A real striker goal. That being said (and with the absence of Rashford) I see no reason not to play both of them
 

bsCallout

Full Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2017
Messages
758
If we play with a false 9 then Martial is the man. Hypothetically, Martial as false 9 with Rashford one side, Sancho the other would be incredible.

If the wings aren't balanced(in quality) it won't work and i'd rather play Ighalo and stick Martial wide.
 

SAFMUTD

Full Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2018
Messages
3,437
I agree with the sentiment but what you do need to factor in is whether Martial would have been in those positions to score against the same opposition when playing as the no 9.

That’s the key here. Does Martial have the discipline to stay central and forwards and the guile go keep making those runs and stay switched on for the 90 minutes.

In my opinion he doesn’t. He’s far better playing off the left wing but for almost identical reasons Rashford is better than him in that position as well.

That said our full strength 11 would have Rashford as the no 9 and Martial playing and linking up off the left.

My dream scenario would see us sign Kane as the no 9 and play Rashford off the left, leaving Martial as a sub to be honest. One can dream.
I agree, Martial doesn’t seem as a pure 9 but he does have that spark that can change the game which Ighalo doesn’t have, I would rather play Martial against top teams knowing he can break their defense with a moment of brilliance and Ighalo against low opposition where he can bully their defenders.

Actually playing Martial on the left is not a bad idea now that Rashford is injured, but since all the season Ole’s approach has been to make him his target man and almost blaming other managers that took Martial out of the number 9 position I think it would go against his speech so it’s highly unlikely to happen IMO.

Regarding Kane, I would wank myself to death if we bring him.
 

Redrum1982

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
10
I'd rather see Phil Jones at number 9 than Martial, and he's worse on the left. He would have been the first player I would have let go in the summer! I really can't understand why people seem to hold him in such high regard. His attitude and work ethic stink!
 

jackal&hyde

Full Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2018
Messages
1,827
Martial was brought here as a nr 9 and in his first season as a teen had 17 goals if i remember well. Since then he was pushed wide by The Toxic One until he was out of the team replaced by Sanches. This is his second season as a 9 and he is highly likely to best his ever. You can't expect a player that was played in different position and even marginalised to have it all. Next season he will be a 25+ goal a season striker striker imo.

That said, there is nothing wrong with having a second option.
 

Eckers99

Michael Corleone says hello
Joined
Aug 9, 2014
Messages
4,573
It's good to have someone up top who brings other players into play and he's already becoming a promising outlet for Bruno. That said, I'm mainly just pleased that we've got another option.
 

Aarron Swift

Full Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Messages
155
Ole has spoken about the scruffy 6 yard goals twice now, saying at different times that Rashford needs to learn to be in those position to finish those off and last week the same about Martial.
As footballers both Rashford & Martial are better than Ighalo, that shouldn't be up for debate but as a pure striker and a number 9, Ighalo has better instincts and positioning which in some games will make him a fair more effective player for us.

Ighalo scores the type of goals we never look like scoring with Rashford or Martial playing because they aren't in the right place by either going out wide or staying on the edge of the area. For me this a big reason we've struggled against teams that sit back and defend is because we haven't had a striker to score those types of goals..... the ones Lukaku lived off of and was criticized for only scoring past (was right to sell him though, wrong so late without replacement).
 

Hammondo

Full Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
2,117
Martial was brought here as a nr 9 and in his first season as a teen had 17 goals if i remember well. Since then he was pushed wide by The Toxic One until he was out of the team replaced by Sanches. This is his second season as a 9 and he is highly likely to best his ever. You can't expect a player that was played in different position and even marginalised to have it all. Next season he will be a 25+ goal a season striker striker imo.

That said, there is nothing wrong with having a second option.
I am pretty sure he was played as a wide player in his previous team.
 

Hammondo

Full Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
2,117
If we play with a false 9 then Martial is the man. Hypothetically, Martial as false 9 with Rashford one side, Sancho the other would be incredible.

If the wings aren't balanced(in quality) it won't work and i'd rather play Ighalo and stick Martial wide.
martial as a false 9 is a terrible idea imo. False 9's are creative players, who need good passing and creativity and Martial is not good at either.

He should be a wide forward.
 

iHicksy

Full Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2014
Messages
1,172
People saying Martial should play because he's more talented are missing the point.

Ighalo is a better number 9, despite Martial being vastly more talented. He occupies the defenders in the positions which create space for the midfield and wide forwards. He holds up the ball and most importantly gets into the dangerous spaces "e.g attacks the box" and makes the rest of the team behind him play better by virtue of playing as a lone striker should.

Martial can make things happen out of nothing, this isn't up for debate, the problem is that he goes missing for the majority of games. He doesn't offer as much to the team, and his moments of brilliance aren't conducive to our overall play because he's on the pitch for these alone. If these don't come then he offers very little in comparison to a real number 9, by virtue of understanding how to do the things Ighalo does he makes more happen for the entire attacking unit despite being an inferior talent.

What we should be looking to do is bring in a player with Ighalo's instincts but one who has more natural footballing ability. We don't have to settle for one or the other in the long run.
 

bsCallout

Full Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2017
Messages
758
martial as a false 9 is a terrible idea imo. False 9's are creative players, who need good passing and creativity and Martial is not good at either.

He should be a wide forward.
You might be right, but I've liked Martial's link up play when playing the no.9. The problem is it requires players in the wide positions with the ability to break into the box and scores goals(i.e. Rashford & Sancho).

I tend to think the false 9 only needs be a creative type when the midfield do not offer that, which we could with Bruno and Pogba.
 

James Ward

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Aug 29, 2014
Messages
311
If we got offered 60 million for him I'd let him go in a second. If we have Rashford on the left and Sancho on the right we need a striker that accommodate these two.

Martial just isn't your typical center forward and probably the most over hyped player I've ever seen at Man Utd

There's a simple reason he doesn't make the France squad and that reason he's just no good enough. He has all the talent in the World but seems to think he is better than he is and his work rate is horrendous.

He should stay as a squad player but him as a regular starter up front is not going to get us battling for the league or comfortably in the top four.
 

Hawks2008

Full Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2015
Messages
4,464
Location
Melbz
I'd rather see Phil Jones at number 9 than Martial, and he's worse on the left. He would have been the first player I would have let go in the summer! I really can't understand why people seem to hold him in such high regard. His attitude and work ethic stink!
His first season bought him endless amounts of goodwill for some.
 

Inigo Montoya

Leave Wayne Rooney alone!!
Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
28,474
If we got offered 60 million for him I'd let him go in a second. If we have Rashford on the left and Sancho on the right we need a striker that accommodate these two.

Martial just isn't your typical center forward and probably the most over hyped player I've ever seen at Man Utd

There's a simple reason he doesn't make the France squad and that reason he's just no good enough. He has all the talent in the World but seems to think he is better than he is and his work rate is horrendous.

He should stay as a squad player but him as a regular starter up front is not going to get us battling for the league or comfortably in the top four.
Rashford would have to play on the right then, as the other two obviously can’t/won’t. Rashford-Martial-Greenwood gets me more excited with our current squad atm though. Greenwood is completely two footed, maybe even more of a lefty, so should give nice balance with him playing RW/RAM
That's a great shout.

I just wouldn't want to overplay Greenwood at this stage. That seems to be the reasoning with the coaches I think. Greenwood could have come on yesterday but he elected to play Martial.

With Ighalo rotating, the striker options are looking a lot healthier


You’re basing a lot on thinking Sancho is going to come to us.

Not convinced 60m is going get him
 

Walters_19_MuFc

Full Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2013
Messages
21,389
Location
Birmingham
Martial has done well, especially the last few weeks.

Both Ighalo and Martial like the ball to feet. However, Martial likes to drop into midfield - almost like a false 9, if you like, whereas Ighalo will pin up against the defender and act as a wall for players to play off him. Target man vs False 9 really.

Now, there's benefits to both. With Ighalo, we can punch the ball into him and get players in and around him. Martial, on the other hand, allows for a bit more rotation, and his movement into midfield allows for players to run in behind i.e. Bruno against Watford.

Now, I think Martial has done well this season, and is a player who is still learning the role. His hold up and link up play is good, in my opinion. I would personally just like him to pin his defender a bit more and provide the option for me to ping it in and play off him.

You can see with Ighalo he has that experience. Hopefully, Martial can learn from Ighalo in that regard. But yeah, going forward, I would like us to continue with Martial up top.
 

11101

Full Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2014
Messages
12,689
It certainly is refreshing to see the movement of a proper number 9 up front. I wonder if a front 3 would be best:

Rashford - Ighalo - Martial

I know Martial doesn't like the right but Ighalo drifts out there quite a bit and they could easily interchange.
 

Gasolin

Full Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2007
Messages
4,836
Location
NYC
martial as a false 9 is a terrible idea imo. False 9's are creative players, who need good passing and creativity and Martial is not good at either.

He should be a wide forward.
Martial is phenomenal as a false 9, come on. Put Rashford and other players who want to run behind and martial will find them because he has that technical ability. Let’s trust Ole on this one.
 

Foxbatt

Full Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
5,840
It's better not to think about Rashford right now. We need to play both Ighalo and Martial together with Martial dropping deep and roaming around. Everyone knows that Martial has the ability to dribble past a couple of players. With that and Ighalo up front Martial and Bruno will have that space if we play two up front.
 

Hammondo

Full Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2015
Messages
2,117
Martial is phenomenal as a false 9, come on. Put Rashford and other players who want to run behind and martial will find them because he has that technical ability. Let’s trust Ole on this one.
He's really not.
 

Borys

Full Member
Joined
May 10, 2013
Messages
2,970
Location
Cracow, PL
They both need to play, but I prefer Ighalo up top because he is more of a natural no9 (positioning, movement) and therefore, more predictable. Martial is more talented for sure, but he's too hot and cold. Can be brilliant one minute, but will lose ball easily because of reckless dribbling a minute after.
 

SweetRightFoot

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
372
He's a 'proper' centre forward, hard working, strong, a battler; so yeah I'd probably prefer him right now.

Think we might line up 3-5-2 against City so I'd love to see them both up there, Martial drifting while Ighalo occupies the CB's.
 

MrBest

Full Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2016
Messages
1,489
Here we go again. Why is it that anytime a player does well, we automatically have to turn it into a battle with them vs another one of our players? Why can we not just be happy to have more than one competent player?

To answer your question, no I do not prefer it. Martial is a better player, but it’s good to have someone else in now that can chip in with some goals.
So it is actually a good thing this thread is live? Healthy debate that we could have two players as a 9? First time in a while if you ask me. Saying that, I agree with you, Martial is the better player and i am just happy we now have someone who can step in when needed. It qas unfair to rely on Greenwood previously. The great thing about Ighalo is he will get better as he gains fitness, i love the passion for the badge and most importantly, he will not complain sitting on the bench. When he comes off that bench, he will give 110%. We have not had that since Hernande days and before that, ole and sherringham. A great signing for me, would be happy if he was signed for back up for a few years.
 

TheRedDevil'sAdvocate

Full Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
2,436
Location
The rainbow's end
I agree with the sentiment but what you do need to factor in is whether Martial would have been in those positions to score against the same opposition when playing as the no 9.

That’s the key here. Does Martial have the discipline to stay central and forwards and the guile go keep making those runs and stay switched on for the 90 minutes.

In my opinion he doesn’t. He’s far better playing off the left wing but for almost identical reasons Rashford is better than him in that position as well.

That said our full strength 11 would have Rashford as the no 9 and Martial playing and linking up off the left.

My dream scenario would see us sign Kane as the no 9 and play Rashford off the left, leaving Martial as a sub to be honest. One can dream.
Just imagine Woodward breaking the bank to sign Kane for Solskjaer and Kane rejecting Jose to play for the club that sacked him. Let's do it just to see Mourinho's reaction. Jose will explode. :lol:

Anyway, i agree with the idea but we can't go back to having 300 grand p/w bench warmers. I believe Martial will get another full season as the main choice upfront and if it doesn't work out we'll look for a seller before we sign another first-teamer.

Let's see what kind of chemistry he will develop with Bruno playing close to him. Some things take time. Add a RW with the ability to make the diagonal run (off the ball) between the FB and CB and the tendency to go 1v1 against the opposition FB and suddenly (with Bruno also getting in the box), Martial's wandering on the edge of the box may prove to be a part of a bigger picture. He'll never be a traditional 9 and our staff knows that. If we improve our possession game, we have a better quality of possession in the attacking half which will lead to players being able to move into more advanced positions in the box. Which i suppose is the main idea since the start of the season.
 

eire-red

Full Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2018
Messages
389
Ighalo is probably more effective as a target man, but obviously Martial is the more talented of the two.

Think Martial gets a lot of stick on here, and some of it is justified. But in fairness, bar generational talents like Haaland/Mbappe etc, what other forwards are out there that have more ability, more goals, assists etc than Martial that are of a similar age (what is he now, 23?) .

Right now, with Rashford out of the team, I would play Ighalo up top, with Greenwood and Martial flanking him. When Rashford returns to full fitness, I would still drop Ighalo because of that extra dimension Martial brings to the team.

Very different players and completely different points in their careers, it's almost unfair to compare them tbh.
 

RedDevilCanuck

Quite dreamy - blue eyes, blond hair, tanned skin
Joined
Feb 22, 2007
Messages
7,189
Location
The GTA
the question really is - which should play in the centre when everyone is fit?

Rashford or Martial?

Rashford works harder and has more speed to get in behind but is not as good a finisher as Martial.
 

HowYouDoin

New Member
Newbie
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Messages
359
I wanna see both play vs City. Martial probably is better as a left forward than a striker and while Rashforfd is out he should play that position. Ultimately however Rashford is better.
Both Martial and Ighalo should start from now on with either Greenwood or James starting on the right.
 

mattsville

Full Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2005
Messages
1,014
Location
Dublin
We need a center forward, Ighalo while not the best out there has been refreshing, Rashford and Martial are not CF they are wide forwards lacking the instincts of a proper CF, look at the 3rd goal against derby and how Ighalo constructed it, it was proper CF play, Rashford or Martial receive the initial ball and their instincts and decision making are completely different, most times incorrect of course looking to turn and take somebody on in that position, sometimes they will do a Worldie, but not often enough. Rashford's goals, and type of goals have increased with Ole, but Martial looks the same to me, lethargic, and wants to play in a comfort zone and attempt to score certain types of goals, still young, but he defo needs to be more physical and abrasive no matter what his role is ever to be if he is kept here.
 

Brightonian

Full Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Messages
13,033
Location
Juanderlust
I don't agree with going back to Martial on the left 'until Rashford is back'. Rashford has shown very clearly this season that if it comes to a contest between them for that spot, he will win it. His higher-energy, more proactive approach from the wide position just means he creates twice as many attacks and opportunities from there. Martial has to wait for someone to play him into a good position before he becomes dangerous, so he spend half the game just sitting out wide offering nothing. He needs to understand that his future here is as a #9. There's no point confusing the issue by temporarily pushing him back out wide.

If you can fit Martial and Ighalo into the line-up next to each other, great. That seems the best approach to me at the moment, because Martial is always better with someone else to share defenders' attentions with. But if Ighalo puts pressure on Martial for a single striker position, all the better. Look at what Williams' emergence has done for Shaw. The cream will rise to the top. Maybe he needs to look at the things Ighalo does well - the positioning, the desire, the poachers instincts - and work them more into his own game.

Anyway, if it's a choice between the two to start against City it should be Martial. He only played 20 minutes against Derby so he's fresh, and hopefully Ighalo's brace in that game will have given him some extra motivation.
 

Greck

Full Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
3,862
In my head I'm a bit shocked the notion has gathered even any support. Am not even shy to throw out the prediction that the thread will age very badly