Anthony Martial is a player under pressure amid constant speculation linking United with signing a new striker.
A winner in the derby would normally see Martial heralded as a hero, and on that day he was, but this is the only goal he has scored in his last six games.
Martial’s performance against Everton was critiqued by United legend Ryan Giggs.
Giggs told the Premier League, reported by The Metro: “He is talented, and he’s not a bad kid, but the problem he has is that he looks lethargic all the time. He looks casual, as if he’s not bothered. When it comes off, and he’s doing brilliant things, you say it just comes naturally. But when it’s not, you think: he’s not running, he’s not trying, he’s not working hard enough, he’s not holding the ball up.”
Some of Giggs’ comments have been taken out of context by national newspapers. He was saying that Martial’s nature makes him ‘look lethargic’, rather than saying point blank that he is lethargic.
Even so, Martial should care a lot for the opinion of the Welshman as they share history together.
Giggs is really a big fan
The comments from Giggs come from a good place, he wants Martial to succeed, not just because he loves United, but as he is part of the reason the Frenchman is here.
The MEN reported how Giggs scouted Martial for a year in his role as assistant boss prior to United spending big to buy the Frenchman in 2015.
Giggs also talked Martial up during the attacker’s early days at Old Trafford when he really hit the ground running.
He told The Telegraph in 2016: “Anthony has been a breath of fresh air. He came in for big money and he had been so consistent this year.
“It puts pressure on other players who aren’t as consistent because it is not normal for a young player.”
Giggs went onto add in the same interview regarding United’s other stars, “It’s up to the individual to work hard and the cream usually rises to the top if you work hard and you have got the quality.”
Now it is Martial who is being challenged to work harder and try and rediscover the consistency he showed in his first season, which has since eluded him.
Giggs is trying to help Martial with his analysis, and Martial should pay attention. He might even find the Welshman’s comments sting a bit, but the United legend is not being unduly critical.
His off ball movement is helping to create space for his teammates, but a lot of his work goes unnoticed.
Martial will ultimately be judged on goals, and he has now scored one fewer than Mason Greenwood this season in all competitions. It is important he gets back on the scoresheet soon.
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