Anthony Martial returned to the starting eleven for the weekends victory over Watford, putting in the kind of display that United fans became accustomed to during his debut season at Old Trafford under Louis Van Gaal. Despite finding the scoresheet for his seventh goal of the season, espnfc.com have reported that Jose Mourinho still feels that the Frenchman is low on confidence.
“The Anthony Martial I want is the Anthony Martial of the last two weeks of training, because if he trains in the way he did in the last two weeks and performs naturally the way he did today or better, because I think he still misses a bit of confidence. I kept shouting to him to attack the defender. He needs that confidence but he is working very well.”
United fans will be encouraged to see Martial back in the side having voiced their support in recent weeks over social media. Despite beating champions Leicester City 3-0 at the King Power Stadium in the previous fixture, Mourinho opted to change the side, bringing Martial back into the side in place of Marcus Rashford. It proved to be a wise decision as the 21-year-old was a constant thorn in the Hornets side, assisting the opener, scored by Juan Mata, before finding the net himself in the second half.
Despite Mourinho’s comments, striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a different take on the scenario.
“When he plays, he is playing well. He isn’t a guy that speaks a lot; he is quiet and very professional. He always tries to do his best, trains hard and that is paying off, just like in this match.
“I think it depends on every individual and what kind of person they are and their approach, how open he is. It is different for every person. He is not going around with his head down. He is training hard, he gives a lot of energy and he wants to play, which is normal.
“When we eat breakfast and he is beside me or if he passes me, we talk. I think everyone talks to everyone. It is not like you try to cheer him up; it is a good atmosphere and the guys are all good guys, very professional.”
Mourinho has been criticised in some quarters for his tough approach when it comes to his under performing stars. However, with Martial seemingly back in the fold, and Schweinsteiger, another success story when it comes to winning over the manager, back in the first team squad, it seems that the boss knows exactly what it takes when sifting through the driftwood.