Sunday 20 September 2015

Martial could be our X Factor after fine start

Watching Anthony Martial leading United's line on Sunday, it looked like he had been playing there all his life.

Whilst it's too early say this kid is "some player" and that he will be a success at Old Trafford (plenty of young players have made an instant impact at United only to fall by the wayside), three goals in two games, coupled with his power, pace and composure, suggests that we could be witnessing the start of something special.

When he came on for his debut against Liverpool, Martial had barely touched the ball in 13 minutes until announcing himself with that unforgettable moment.
Again on Sunday, Martial had been redundant in the game for the opening half an hour, but when his chance came, he took it and the composure he showed was remarkable.

To come straight into the team and have the impact he has had at this early stage, given everything that's happened in the past two weeks, is nothing short of incredible.
You'd expect a little lack of sharpness, a snatching at chances or at least a sign of nerves in a £36m teenager at the biggest club in the world.

Not with Martial. 

There was no milking the moment, no extravagant celebration, just a steely look in his eye and a fist pump in the direction of the travelling fans whom he is already winning the hearts of.
Not only does his style of play bely his tender years, so too does his attitude and mentality. 

The big criticism of United over the past 12 months has been playing in front of teams and playing safe with no movement and sideways passing, but Martial's pace and presence give United an outlet and a weapon to strike quickly on the counter attack.

He quickens the game up, takes risks, plays on the shoulder and threatens with his runs in behind.

A consistent feature of successful  United sides in the past has been pace up front, on the counter attack, something we've  been lacking for the past two seasons, but Martial's lightning start has hinted of a return to the cut and thrust attacking intent of old. 

Granted, his second against the Saints was gift-wrapped but, despite that, he still showed awareness and intelligence, waiting for Maarten Stekelenburg to go down before rolling confidently into the corner. 

When Anthony Martial signed for United, hardly anyone had heard of him.

They have now.

Although it's still early days, the acquisition of this talented young Frenchman could be the best bit of business by United in years. 

£36m could- could- turn out to be a bargain.

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