Martial was Man United’s main man last season under Louis van Gaal but isn’t a guaranteed starter any more. Impressive performances against the likes of Middlesbrough haven’t been enough to regain him that spot on a regular basis and he was left out of the squad entirely to face Stoke City last weekend.
Fans have been confused as to what is going on with Martial under Mourinho but the United boss has been pretty clear in his latest words on the 21-year-old.
“I don’t think he lost his focus,” Mourinho said ahead of the game with Hull City on Thursday.
“I just think he didn’t catch with both hands a big opportunity he had. When we spoke about Memphis Depay [leaving United] we spoke about it being the only position where we have an over-booking of players.
“We have still five players for this position. I cannot give one player chances to play and kill the others. To kill the others, I think I already did that with Memphis by considering him the last option and by not giving him any option. But with the other guys I think you would be asking me why Mata is not playing or why Marcus Rashford doesn’t have a chance, or why Jesse Lingard, a national team player, is not playing.
“We have Rashford, Lingard, Mata, Mkhitaryan and Martial, and I cannot give the same player chance after chance after chance and not consider the effort of the others.
“Anthony played against Liverpool, a big match for us and a big match for him, too. Then the next game I went to Mata and Mkhitaryan. This is the situation.”
As fans we can only question Mourinho’s management methods from the outside but he’s got a fair point with the options United have on the wings. That being said, Martial is by far and away our best option on the left-wing. Marcus Rashford has had brilliant cameos there but I don’t want him to play out wide anymore, he’s a striker.
Something which gives me hope is how well the Henrikh Mkhitaryan situation was handled by both Mourinho and the Armenian himself. He’s now on a real upward curve and one of United’s most important players. Fans are hoping Martial will follow in his footsteps.
It’s all up to Martial now, the ball is in his court. Mourinho has been public in saying the Frenchman isn’t doing enough with his performances and the only person who can change that is Martial himself when he gets another chance. I want to see him tear it up again like he did in his first year and have no fear he’ll be leaving United any time soon, so as long as he can believe and trust Mourinho when things aren’t going his way I think we’ll soon see the best of Martial again every single week.