Arsenal legend Thierry Henry thinks Manchester United are using Anthony Martial too wide rather than projecting him as their main striker.
Martial didn’t manage to score in the Premier League for nine matches before Saturday’s shock defeat to Norwich, despite his blistering start to United career with four goals in four matches.
And Thierry Henry, with whom Martial had been compared to since his joining Manchester United for £36m from French side Monaco back in September, suggested his compatriot should be the focal point of attack.
Analysing the Dutch attacker’s position out wide in an attacking move and his first-half performance during the Red Devil’s 2-1 defeat to Norwich last Saturday, the former Arsenal striker said on Monday Night Football: “What are you doing here? I actually do not know what he is doing there.
“He should be there [in the penalty area], having a one versus one, scoring and celebrating. Is it fear? Is it because they have been brainwashed a bit too much? I just don’t get it.
“They wanted a guy who scored goals. They wanted a guy to run in behind fast. He came in and did that. Suddenly now he finds himself out there, almost not touching the ball.
“I think if I had a player like that, he would be my No 9 and the rest are around him.”
Pressure is gradually building on Louis van Gaal, with United ousted from Champions League and now out of the Premier League top four.
His fellow Sky Sports pundit, Carragher also echoed Henry’s point of view regarding Anthony Martial, while stating that the 20-year-old striker’s disciplined position out wide is according to van Gaal’s instructions.
“The interesting thing is that’s the instruction from Van Gaal, to stay wide,” Carragher said. “Let’s not forget, he is a centre forward slash winger, so normally you would be expecting him to make those runs inside.
“But he’s had so much instruction now, that he has stayed out wide. That touch map is from a [Jesus] Navas of Man City, someone who hugs the touchline, tries to beat the full back and put a cross in.
“You see how many touches he has had? Not one touch in the box, and just the one cross. So he’s not even pulling wide and doing damage.
“And that all comes from the instruction of the manager, and why Man United never look like scoring in the game.”
However, in a much-needed boost for painfully bored United supporters, Anthony Martial was named the winner of the 2015 Golden Boy award last week.
True, after a brilliant start, the goals have surprisingly dried up for the Dutch attacker, but the award judges made a choice to take sympathy on him. After all, a striker will definitely face problems to score goals when the whole team are being forced to play Louis van Gaal’s chronically defensive style of football.