It’s Make Or Break Time For Anthony Martial

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Jose Mourinho admires Anthony Martial’s qualities, but it remains to be seen how long Mourinho can wait for Martial to regain his form.

Soon after signing for Manchester United in 2015 Anthony Martial stunned Old Trafford with a sublime finish against Liverpool on his debut. I, for one, was particularly impressed with his pace and composure leading to that finish.

Courtesy: 101 Great Goals

Martial went on to mark his first season as United’s brightest young talent. Fans were convinced he had the potential to become United’s leading striker for years to come.

But Martial started last season with a dip in form. He was often dropped in games, a shocking turnaround from the season before.

Many reasons were attributed to that decline form.

Some believe that separation from his childhood sweetheart, which included public attacks from his ex-girlfriend, contributed to lack of focus on the pitch. Others thought it was loss of confidence caused by the club handing over his No. 9 jersey to Zlatan Ibrahimović. And Mourinho claimed Martial’s lack of pre-season participation was a factor, caused by participation at the European championship.

Rather than point any one of those reasons, I believe they all contributed to Martial’s lack of mental toughness–toughness needed to overcome challenges.

Although Martial has made it no secret that he wants to stay and fight for his shirt, it’s also clear that Mourinho is deeply concerned about Martial’s dip in form.

The manager has held heart-to-heart talks with the French international, advising him to be fully focused on improving his performance. But it’s also known that Martial has become increasingly frustrated by his lack of progress in meeting the standard set by Mourinho.

Mourinho has warned Martial that he would not continue to give him games if he doesn’t improve quickly.

This is what Mourinho said on the eve of United’s Europa League quarterfinal second leg against Anderlecht: “Do I think Anthony is a player with great potential? Yes. Do I think he can play successfully for me? Yes. But he needs to give me things that I like.”

To do that Martial is using the summer break to improve his fitness, much necessary given United’s pre-season preparation with mouth-watering games that include Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Manchester City. High profile games put players in their best physical and mental condition for the new season, and Martial is expected to use those games to resurrect his career.

There’s no doubt Mourinho admires Martial’s qualities, but it remains to be seen how long Mourinho can wait for Martial to regain his form.

Pre-season games provide a good opportunity for Martial to prove his worth. It’s make or break time for this French forward. Martial’s destiny lies in his own hands.


About Geoffrey Ofoegbu

I’m from Abuja, Nigera. I have passion for football (soccer) and enjoy writing articles about the clubs, managers, players, and anything connected with the game. It has always been my dream to be a sport columnist. Joining the team at TSC is a stepping stone to fulfilling that dream–launching a career in the sports industry. Sport of Expertise: Football, Basketball. Favorite Teams: Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Chelsea, Arsenal. Favorite Players: Ronaldo, Paul Pogba, Sergio Aguero, Alexis Sanchez, Sergio Ramos, Toni Kroos, David Silva, Yaya Toure, Antonio Valencia.

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