Mourinho Needs To Keep Faith In Anthony Martial


Manchester United fans will have been delighted to see their side thump West Ham United at Old Trafford in the League Cup quarter final match last night.

It was only Man Utd’s second win in their last five home games.

A major plus for Jose Mourinho and the ‘Red Devils’ faithful was the return to goalscoring form of young forward Anthony Martial.

Without doubt the French internationalist has had a lull in form so far this season. He’d only scored two before his brace against the ‘Hammers’.

There will be a quite few reasons for this.

Firstly the twenty year old may be struggling with second season syndrome, where it’s hard for players to reach the fine level that they had reached in their debut seasons.

Then we’ve seen an increase from the press in Martial’s personal life. That can sometimes cripple a youngster if they believe that everything that they’ll do will end up in the papers. Or they get caught up in the glamour of it all and like the attention too much.

We’ve also seen rumours that Anthony was unhappy that Jose handed his number nine jersey to Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Footballers can be delicate creatures when it comes to such things.

The purchase of Swedish superstar Zlatan has also seen Martial deployed mainly as a left winger and I believe that has been the main sticking point regarding his recent poor run in form.

Under Louis van Gaal, Martial was the main striker and he seemed to enjoy that responsibility and he shone in that role.

Out on the left he has to work harder for the team, especially under Mourinho. Your focus can’t be solely on getting the goals. It takes time to adjust to a new position, even if you’ve played there before.

At Euro 2016 he looked a bit isolated when out on the wing and struggled to really make a big impact and that continued into this season.

Recently United boss Mourinho issued a challenge to his young forward. He stated that Martial had to impress when in the team or suffer on the sidelines:

“In our squad, for these positions, we have Mkhitaryan, Jesse Lingard, Memphis Depay, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, Martial. These are probably the positions where we have more options.”

“And, you have one opportunity, you have two, you have three – if you don’t bite, then somebody comes and takes the meat.”

It looks as though Martial has taken the bait and responded to Jose’s demands.

Against West Ham he looked as though he was desperate to impress. After getting on the scoresheet it looked as though a great weight had been lifted off of his shoulders.

His goals weren’t belters but that doesn’t matter, they were a massive confidence boost for a young player that definitely needed it!

I believe Jose knows that he has a potential world star in Anthony Martial and it must be slightly frustrating for the Portuguese coach that so far he can’t get the best out of his talented prodigy.

But Mourinho has to make sure that he doesn’t become rash and dump the youngster like he did at Chelsea with Kevin de Bruyne.

Martial just needs time to adapt to his new role at the club, an arm around the shoulder and told that their could be a route back into the central striking position in time.

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