Anthony Martial has been in defence of his early season form, as he has not yet rediscovered the heights he managed to uphold throughout Manchester United’s last campaign. The French international, along with Marcus Rashford, was arguably United’s biggest attacking threat for much of last season and the 20-year-old is keen to hit an identical kind of form soon.
Astonishingly, Martial appeared in 63 fixtures for both AS Monaco and Manchester United in all competitions last season, which was the first time he has played more than 50 games in a single campaign in his career so far. The forward, who now wears United’s prestigious number 11 shirt, is particularly unimpressed with his personal experiences at the UEFA European Championships.
“It was a very difficult Euros. We didn’t manage to win the title and the coach only played me for 45 minutes. It was disastrous.”
Martial went on to reiterate his eagerness to learn and admitted he must find a way to adapt to these kinds of situations, as he has accepted despite making a lot of appearances for United last season, this is still just the start of his career.
“After that, I spent it on the bench, but that happens. I am young, I am going to learn from that.”
The attacker believes that playing so much for Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United last season has been a contributing factor to the underwhelming Euro 2016 he went through and the under-par start to the season he is currently experiencing when you compare it to last year.
“It was the first time I had played so much for my club but that is not an excuse. I should have been better.”
Jose Mourinho has started the France-born forward in all four competitive fixtures so far, however, he has been substituted in all of them. Despite not finding the back of the net just yet under the management of Mourinho, he has managed to pick up two assists – which both came on the first day of the season, against AFC Bournemouth.
The 2015 Golden Boy award winner picked up 20 goals and 16 assists in the 63 matches he featured in last season, scoring 11 of them in the Barclay’s Premier League – which is fairly impressive when you take into consideration he spent most of the season on the left-hand side of the attack and United, in general, struggled to score many goals – which ultimately cost the side a place in the top four, as the club lost out on goal difference to city rivals, Manchester City. Martial made the headlines on many occasions, by scoring some vital goals for the club, including a last-minute winner at Wembley against Everton in the Emirates FA Cup, a competition United went on to win.
Personally, I have no concerns regarding Anthony Martial’s early season form and I view it as fairly understandable for a young player who has had minimal rest – although, that is what comes with being an important first team player at a football club challenging on many fronts. I have no doubt the young Frenchman will eventually find his scoring boots once again, however, I get the feeling he is welcoming the depth Mourinho has added in the attacking areas to keep him on his toes and to also aid him going forward. When one individual has a bad day, United now have enough quality to be sure another one will step up and make the difference, which we have witnessed already this season.