Earlier this summer, Anthony Martial’s Manchester United career seemed to be over. He was part of a group of players that would have been sold this summer but Erik ten Hag gave him a chance after he saw some positivity from him in training at the start of pre-season. The French forward was then named in the clubs pre-season tour squad.
United beat Liverpool 4-0 in Bangkok, Melbourne Victory 4-1 and Crystal Palace 3-1 – both in Melbourne, drawing 202 with Aston Villa in Perth. Martial scored three goals in those four matches, all in his first three appearances of pre-season. His attitude, desire and determination all seem to have changed with the player looking hungry and happy.
Martial has spent seven season at United so far in his career, although he was loaned to Sevilla for the second half of last season, which did not go all that well for him. Martial started well at United, scoring 17 goals and 10 assists in his debut season. The following season, he scored eight goals and eight assists as United won the EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League.
During the 2017/18 season, Martial got 11 goals and nine assists, which was an improvement from the previous season but there did not seem to be much consistency with the player being criticised by then manager Jose Mourinho, who was sacked the following season. In 2018/19 the Frenchman got 12 goals and three assists.
It was the 2019/20 season that Martial turned a corner, looking like a predatory striker as he scored 23 goals and 12 assists that season. However, in the 2020/21 season, Martial scored just seven goals and nine assists. His form worsened still in the 2021/22 season, where playing for both United and Sevilla he scored just two goals and one assist.
Martial is a player that oozes talent on his day but the attitude was his downfall. In his debut season and the 2019/20 season, he played his best football. If he can continue to his those dizzy heights, he could reignite his fire at United and dominate in the Premier League. However, realism would suggest, looking at the past that he will not do that.
You could say, this is a call to arms for the player to show himself on the pitch like he has done under Erik ten Hag in pre-season so far. United’s new style of play is not much different to how they player under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, but the coaching and the discipline seems to have returned, which will get this team playing well, which is what is expected from them.
This, and the fact that new signings have been made with Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez so far being signed by the Old Trafford club with other players being wanted by the Dutch manager. Martial owes it to every United supporter to continue working hard on the pitch and seeking to score the goals.
Against Aston Villa, despite no putting a foot wrong, Martial was unable to score. The weather in the state of the pitch was one of the main reasons for that though with no player wanting to get injured. If Martial can start to show some consistency, there would be nothing stopping him from achieving everything he was signed to do.
Written by John Walker