Anthony Martial made his first start for France at Euro 2016 on Wednesday night against Albania but the performance was far from what we’ve come to expect.
The 20-year-old played noticeably different from the free-flowing Martial who lit up the pitch in his debut season for Manchester United.
Playing on the wing, which he’s become more than accustom to, Martial could hardly beat a man and looked like somebody who, for arguably the first time since he joined Man United, looked like the pressure of the occasion was getting to him.
It was something which fans certainly felt when we asked them to give their thoughts on his performance:
@PeoplesPerson_ hooked at HT
— José Mourinho #1 (@Schweined) June 15, 2016
@PeoplesPerson_ Looked rusty, struggled in the 4-2-3-1.
— Alec Hudson (@Alehud42) June 15, 2016
@PeoplesPerson_ poor. Very indecisive.
— Zaid Khan (@VoiceFTStands) June 15, 2016
@PeoplesPerson_ 1 take on. 0 chances created. 10 passes completed.
— Rishikesh (@rishikeshb) June 15, 2016
@PeoplesPerson_ The whole of France played without pace.. Tony didn't beat his man today
— Robert M (@r0bmel) June 15, 2016
@PeoplesPerson_ worst ive seen to be honest. Drifted too far inside, couldn't find space on the ball, when he did couldn't sort his feet
— Tywen Thomas (@tywen_thomas) June 15, 2016
The fact Martial was taken off at half-time speaks volumes but that's the sort of squad Didier Deschamps has at his disposal. In both games so far for the hosts, substitutions have made all the difference with two late goals proving to be the difference.
For Martial, it was a disappointing 45 minutes but he'll get another chance and as France are already through to the knock-outs after two wins, there will be less pressure if he features against Switzerland.
It's strange to see Martial playing within himself when he's usually so expressive but he just needs to play like he did for United in his next game and he'll be superb.