Am I missing something where it comes to Anthony Martial? Have I lost my marbles, or at least my discerning perspective on football talent, gleaned over 35 years of watching the sport?
This is a player that every club in the world would want. At 22 it’s no freak that he’s inconsistent. At 22 he’s supposed to be inconsistent. Even Messi had his off days at that age. But does anyone disagree with me when I say that the only thing that improves a good young player is top level game time?
There remains a sense, however, that Jose Mourinho isn’t prepared to tolerate Martial’s mistakes in the same way that Sir Alex did with Cristiano.
Few Manchester United fans would be surprised if the Uber-talented Frenchman left Manchester United this summer but almost every single one of those fans would tell you that it would be a massive error on the part of the Machiavellian Mourinho.
Yet, reports this week state that Manchester United are prepared to listen to offers for the mercurial wide man this summer.
The Daily Mail states:
Man United open to offers for Anthony Martial but won’t let him join a Premier League rival despite Chelsea interest
In case you’ve forgotten, check out how the ball sticks to his foot like glue in this vid.
It’s hard enough to sign players this good with all the money swishing around football and the heat and glamour swishing around Spain.
So to let one go seems beyond stupid. Hopefully it won’t happen but Martial’s situation does little to dispel the idea that Mourinho’s man-management skills leave a lot to be desired.
There aren’t too many United players who have noticeably improved on Jose’s watch. Rashford has stalled, Martial looks bemused, Sanchez must have serious concerns about the wisdom of his recent move. And we haven’t even flicked the ears of Shaw and Pogba.
Top management is about more than tactics. It’s about man-management too. And Jose still seems a more divisive than unifying force at United.
Manchester United fans: Will Anthony Martial become the next De Bruyne or Salah?