Sunday, 12 February 2017

Mesmeric Martial sparkles on first team return

Anthony Martial made a mockery of recent speculation with a man of the match performance against Watford.

Having been forced to settle for sporadic appearances in recent weeks, the 21-year-old set up Juan Mata's opener and then rubber-stamped the result by scoring the second.

Starting on the left of the front four, Martial terrorised Hornets right-back Younes Kaboul and delivered a timely reminder of his burgeoning talent.

Martial was at the heart of a stylish United win and dovetailed superbly with the mesmeric creativity of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata alongside him.

That trio interchanged fluidly throughout and - with Ibra leading the line up front - must form the regular nucleus of the Reds attack whenever possible. 

In a dreary campaign last term under Louis van Gaal, the young Frenchman was our shining light in his debut season and recaptured that form yesterday.

Martial was top scorer last term and lit up Old Trafford with THAT sublime individual goal on his United bow against Liverpool.

He's failed to reach those heights this season, mainly due to Jose's rotation policy and added competition for places with the signings of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan.

Martial has been far from the first name on Mourinho's team sheet following his well-documented personal problems and injury concerns earlier in the season.

After a series of inconsistent showings, Jose appeared to have lost belief and patience in the young winger.
Having shone on his last start against Wigan in the FA Cup, however, Jose told the player that he would be given further chances to impress and he responded emphatically against Watford. 

As always seem to be the case when a player doesn't start every week, there's been a catalogue of speculation surrounding the player's Old Trafford future.
Just as we saw with Henrikh Mkhitaryan during his prolonged absence from the squad, there were a number of reasons put forward for Martial's lack of game-time.

Reports of a fall out between manager and player proved to be wide of the mark, as did claims that Mourinho was unhappy with Martial's attitude and remained unconvinced in his abilities.

Despite these rumours, the club, the manager and the player and his agent never mentioned the possibility of a transfer and always remained tight-lipped on his future.

Martial will be at United for a long, long, time and - if he continues his upward trajectory - has all the attributes to become one of the world's best. 

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