Manchester United have been on a real good run lately, and it feels like that ‘never say die’ attitude is slowly but surely returning to Manchester United. We’ve witnessed some dramatics over the last month or so, with the players rescuing points against Middlesbrough, Liverpool and Stoke City.
During that period, Jose Mourinho has been chopping and changing his players quite regularly to suit a particular game. One player who has been more out than in recently is Anthony Martial, and the manager was asked about that in his pre-match press conference.
The self-proclaimed Special One came out and said that United’s #11 just hasn’t grasped his big opportunity with both hands, and the fact that there are plenty of players in his position obviously doesn’t help his cause.
“I don’t think he lost his focus.” The Guardian quote Jose Mourinho as saying. “I just think he didn’t catch with both hands a big opportunity he had. When we spoke about Memphis Depay [leaving United] we spoke about it being the only position where we have an over-booking of players.
“We have still five players for this position. I cannot give one player chances to play and kill the others. To kill the others, I think I already did that with Memphis by considering him the last option and by not giving him any option. But with the other guys I think you would be asking me why Mata is not playing or why Marcus Rashford doesn’t have a chance, or why Jesse Lingard, a national team player, is not playing.”
“We have Rashford, Lingard, Mata, Mkhitaryan and Martial, and I cannot give the same player chance after chance after chance and not consider the effort of the others.”
“Anthony played against Liverpool, a big match for us and a big match for him, too. Then the next game I went to Mata and Mkhitaryan. This is the situation.”
At the end of the day, Jose has a whole host of options in the wide areas, and it does mean he can bring in particular players to suit different situations. With that said, I believe Anthony Martial is the best left-winger available at the moment, and we’ve all seen just how capable he can be out on that left-hand flank.
It isn’t as easy as that, though, because part of the job of a manager is to keep everyone happy, and giving them minutes on the field. As he says, there is Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marcus Rashford, who are all just as equally desperate to get minutes on the field.
Anthony Martial just now has to keep working hard and show the manager exactly why he should be a regular in that line-up.