Henry and Carragher question use of Martial

Matt Stead

Thierry Henry and Jamie Carragher have questioned Louis van Gaal’s usage of Manchester United forward Anthony Martial.

Martial, signed for £36.7million from Monaco in the summer, arrived as a striker who could play on the wing, and scored five goals in his first nine appearances.

After a bright start however, Martial has faded after regularly being moved out wide by manager Van Gaal, and the Frenchman has scored just twice in 11 games.

Such a run includes a goal against Norwich, where Martial’s position as a left-winger caused consternation among Sky Sports pundits Henry and Carragher on Monday Night Football.

Discussing Martial’s touchmap in the defeat to the Canaries, Henry asked: “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.

Anthony Martial heatmap Football365“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.”

Carragher agreed, adding: “The interesting thing is that’s the instruction from Van Gaal, to stay wide. Let’s not forget, he is a centre forward slash winger, so normally you would be expect 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.”