Jose Mourinho noted after Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat to West Ham United that Alexis Sanchez had not been playing well enough to merit a place in the starting XI.
The Chilean, who only has three goals for Man United since joining in January, produced perhaps his worst performance of them all against Wolverhampton Wanderers last weekend.
Anthony Martial took his place in the starting XI against West Ham and, although far from perfect, felt like an upgrade on the beleaguered former Arsenal man.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho noted that, this week, it was time for Martial to get the nod ahead of Sanchez.
Mourinho, "Look for how many months are people asking for Martial, Martial, Martial and saying how Alexis isn't play well enough. This week it was time to agree and leave Alexis out."
— Chris Winterburn (@cmwinterburn) September 29, 2018
The boss went on to say he wanted to play Martial but nonetheless criticised the Frenchman for failing to properly observe his defensive duties.
Mourinho: “I want to play Martial. Something that you are asking for a long, long, long time to play Martial, I left Alexis out, and I think that Martial is not a player very, very, very focused on his defensive duties.” #mufc [MEN]
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) September 29, 2018
Mourinho is entering the realm of madness, where almost everything he says – marked up against the results on the pitch – seems ludicrous.
The 55-year-old put Martial up front to create space for Lukaku and, more than anything, inject the spark Sanchez had failed to provide. Martial, you hope, was not on the pitch to defend and keep a good shape.
Surely anybody can realise that emphasis needs to be on how Mourinho’s team attacks and uses the ball. At the moment, even Championship teams are doing it better than United.