Paul Ince has told Man Utd trio Jesse Lingard, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial to “just play proper football” after their 1-0 loss to West Ham in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
Only three days after beating the Hammers in the Premier League, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men suffered defeat to David Moyes’ side in the Carabao Cup.
Despite having 27 attempts on goal, Man Utd failed to convert any of their chances with an early Manuel Lanzini goal proving the difference.
Ince was particularly disappointed with Martial’s performance against West Ham with the striker having a chance to prove he should be in Solskjaer’s starting XI.
Ince told The United Stand: “This wasn’t a top-notch West Ham side. Some of the players you’ve probably not even heard of! It was a time for them to say to the manager: ‘I’m still here!’
“How many people are ahead of Martial now? Was he going to go in the transfer window? Ole said no and he’s still part of his plans.
“I just looked at Martial’s body language and I was thinking, ‘Does he actually want to be out there on a Wednesday night?’, and some players do that. When they’re not involved in the first-team on a Saturday, they think: ‘Why am I playing in the Carabao Cup?!’
“You sense that body language with Martial. He didn’t want to be out there.”
Former Man Utd midfielder Ince thought Martial, Sancho and Lingard were all guilty of overcomplicating their play on Wednesday night.
Ince added: “I get that Sancho is still learning, he’s still young. But this is not FIFA game, it’s not all about dribbling and dribbling and trying to beat two, three, four players or little flicks and that.
“Yeah, it’s nice when they come off but the likes of Sancho and Lingard, all these flicks, just play proper football.
“Honestly, it winds me up! If you watch players like [Ryan] Giggs, they get it and they pass, one-twos and get one-on-one… we just want to keep running with the ball, trying little flicks, little backheels.
“That’s what I saw with Martial, I saw it at times with Lingard and with Sancho and that’s where they need to learn that it’s not all about dribbling. Sometimes you can pass your way through players and get yourself in the box.”
On whether Martial will leave the club in the near future, Ince continued: “We’ve got to be careful because things do change.
“We’re saying, ‘Ronaldo’s going to play every game’, but he’s 36, who knows, he could pick up an injury and is out for three or four weeks, Martial comes back in, gets a couple of goals and a run in the team.
“I’ve seen it so many times in the game where a player comes back in, he’s been out in Siberia, does well, he’s got a year left, and all of a sudden he signs a four-year contract. And you think: ‘Where’s that come from?!'”