Martial thriving under Ten Hag but warning clear as Man United striker’s trend emerges

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Louis van Gaal embraces Anthony Martial Credit: PA Images
Louis van Gaal embraces Anthony Martial Credit: PA Images

Monaco must be desperately checking that Ballon d’Or clause because Anthony Martial is back, baby. He does start well under new management.

Martial has been in fine pre-season form for Manchester United under Erik ten Hag, scoring in each friendly and generally looking like a forward reinvigorated by the challenge. But as the following shows, he often thrives initially under a new coach; the issue is more long-term.

 

Louis van Gaal (September 2015)
First five games
: Liverpool (3-1 W), PSV (2-1 L), Southampton (3-2 W), Ipswich (3-0 W), Sunderland (3-0 W)
Starts: 3
Goals: 4
Assists: 1
What the manager said at the time:

It was a ridiculous amount of money, but it’s the crazy world we are in. I have not bought Martial for me. I have bought him for the next manager of Manchester United. When you are a 19-year-old you cannot expect consistency, normally you have dips so I also expect that from him. In three matches he has shown his talent is at a high level and he has shown he can play in our system. He has shown he wants to do that and he can do that.”

Martial was named Premier League Player of the Month for September and was voted winner of the Golden Boy award by December of his first season at Manchester United.

 

Jose Mourinho (August-September 2016)
First five games
: Bournemouth (3-1 W), Southampton (2-0 W), Hull (1-0 W), Man City (2-1 L), Feyenoord (1-0 L)
Starts: 4
Goals: 0
Assists: 2
What the manager said at the time:

“Last season, no Martial, no three points. This season, no Martial goals and three victories. When a team isn’t playing ­especially well and, in the middle of that, somebody comes out of that and goes immediately to the ­highlight. This is a different picture. Other players are scoring goals.”

Mourinho was reported to have told Martial to ‘raise his game’ and ‘concentrate on his career’ after the second of those games. The pair subsequently got on famously.

 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (December 2018-January 2019)
First five games
: Cardiff (5-1 W), Bournemouth (4-0 W), Newcastle (2-1 W), Spurs (1-0 W), Brighton (2-1 W)
Starts: 5
Goals: 1
Assists: 1
What the manager said at the time:

“That’s up to any player: how you make a decision on how to develop your own career. Cristiano was the best, the way he’s changed to now; that’s part of any player – you’ve got to model yourself on someone and you’ve got to have more challenges ahead of you. I speak about my experience at this club [with Ronaldo] and what [Martial] can achieve. I talk about Cristiano’s career, what he’s made, how he’s got there.”

Martial signed his most recent Manchester United contract at the end of Solskjaer’s first month in interim charge. “This club is all about winning trophies and I am sure the next piece of silverware is not that far away,” he said. That deal still has two years left to run.

 

One player per Premier League club ‘like a new signing’ this season

 

Claudio Ranieri (Monaco, November-December 2013)
First five games
: Nantes (1-0 W), Stade Rennais (2-0 W), Nice (3-0 W), Ajaccio (1-0 W), Guingamp (2-0 W)
Starts: 4
Goals: 2
Assists: 1
What the manager said later, in September 2015:

“The sporting director told me there was a good striker with Lyon. Every Saturday, I’d watch the academy at Monaco and when we played Lyon three years ago he told me to watch him. I watched this guy and at the end I said he was very good. Then at the end of the season, the sporting director said ‘Claudio, there’s an opportunity to buy this guy. Take it. Go.’ I didn’t hesitate, I’d seen him play and knew he was something special. Every time he touched the ball, something special happened. Maybe he was not involved in the game then suddenly… whoosh, he’d come to life. He has that fantastic ability when he can smell a goal and then switches on at just the right moment – that is Anthony.”

Ranieri brought Martial to Monaco and handed him his Ligue Un debut as a substitute for Radamel Falcao.

 

Leonardo Jardim (Monaco, August-September 2014)
First five games
: Lorient (2-1 L), Nantes (1-0 W), Lille (1-1 D), Lyon (2-1 L), Guingamp (1-0 W)
Starts: 0
Goals: 0
Assists: 0
What the manager said later, in October 2015:

“Last year he played bad in the beginning of the season and then we worked a lot on his physical and mental attributes. And when you work hard in a club like Monaco with good methods and a good team it is easy to improve and to go to a big European club.”

In the second of those matches, Martial was brought on in the 61st minute and taken off in the 88th for tactical reasons, with Jardim noticeably frustrated with his positioning and reticence to track back.

 Credit: PA Images
Credit: PA Images

 

Didier Deschamps (France, September-November 2015)
First five games
: Portugal (1-0 W), Serbia (2-1 W), Armenia (4-0 W), Denmark (2-1 W), Germany (2-0 W)
Starts: 2
Goals: 0
Assists: 3
What the manager said at the time:

“He has the potential. Everybody is surprised by what he is doing at United but that’s good for him and good for us. He deserves to be here. It was anything but easy after everything that has been written and said about him. It has silenced a few people. He’s young, he may have more complicated times. He’s able to make great things happen. He did in Monaco. He’s doing it now in a club at another level so it is easier to pay attention to his performances. He’s always been talented though.”

Deschamps took Martial to Euro 2016 but left him out of the World Cup 2018 squad and Euro 2020 selection. His international debut was as a substitute for Karim Benzema.

 

Julen Lopetegui (Sevilla, February-March 2022)
First five games
: Osasuna (0-0 D), Elche (2-0 W), Dinamo Zagreb (3-1 W), Espanyol (1-1 D), Rayo Vallecano (1-1 D)
Starts: 4
Goals: 1
Assists: 1
What the manager said:

“Anthony has to give us much more. It was his first game and adaptation is not easy, he has played little this year and he has to get into dynamics and gain minutes and confidence.”

Sevilla president Jose Castro declared simply that Martial’s recent loan move to La Liga “didn’t work” despite the “important money” involved in temporarily procuring him. There was no attempt to make the arrangement permanent.

The article Martial thriving under Ten Hag but warning clear as Man United striker’s trend emerges appeared first on Football365.com.

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