When Jose Mourinho became manager of Manchester United, many predicted that Anthony Martial would flourish under his guidance. However, after a stunning first season which saw the French striker score 11 league goals and a last-minute winner against Everton in the FA Cup semi-final, Martial has struggled to become a regular starter for Mourinho.
There seemed to be more indication that the 21 year old wouldn’t be in Jose’s plans when he was left out of the starting line-up on United’s first game of the Premier League season. With Manchester United 2-0 up thanks Lukaku’s debut brace, Martial was subbed on. The young forward just had little over ten minutes to try and impress Mourinho, but he only needed eight. Played through by Mkhitaryan, Martial slotted the ball past Hart. Then, a few moments later, Martial provides an assist for Pogba’s goal.
Over the course of pre-season the player has finally been showing signs of consistency. The only way he can truly show Jose that he can help build towards Premier League glory for United, is if he is picked to start by Mourinho. This is the only way that he can now prove he can provide quality consistently.
If Manchester United’s Frenchman can provide consistency on the pitch, along with other players, then United should have a real chance of securing the Premier League title this season. Fans will be hoping the forward will start the Swansea game this weekend and that he has impressed Mourinho with his latest chance.
Do you think Martial can replicate his debut season for Manchester United? Will he be a regular starter throughout the season? Leave you thoughts in the comments below or with The United Stand on Twitter!
We want YOU! The United Stand is THE Manchester United channel that’s all about the fans, so what better way to have a season review show than to have one totally based around your opinion?
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Louis Van Gaal; dour football; underwhelming results; unhappy players – today, that does not matter. There are various questions surrounding the future of Old Trafford but Jesse Lingard gave the Red Devils’ a taste of the past as the Salford-born forward struck a wonder goal in extra time to win Manchester United the FA Cup.
The first half was a dour affair. Manchester United controlled majority of the possession and looked the more energetic of the two sides, however, conjectured little. Palace also had some moments, most notably through winger Wilfred Zaha when Daley Blind lost possession, only to be spared his blushes by Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney winning the ball back.
The second half presented much of the same and was in much need of change, which unfortunately for United, came in the form of Jason Puncheon who opened the scoring in the 78th minute, putting Palace in the lead. United needed to respond quickly and up stood Wayne Rooney.
The 30 year-old has had his critics but the striker-come-midfielder surged through midfield with precise dribbling and crossed the ball into the box, Juan Mata the beneficiary as United drew level.
Extra-time had both fans on edge and the players portrayed the same. The game looked certain to go to penalties; however, the game took a turn when Chris Smalling foolishly committed another foul and received his marching orders after a second yellow card.
The United we have come to see his season would have sat back, and played for penalties. Common sense, if anything, would suggest anything but would be a risk; a word not associated with Van Gaal’s ‘philosophy’.
Up stands Jesse Lingard. Antonio Valencia pushes forward, delivers a cross and the academy product hits the ball on the half volley and wins the game for Manchester United. It was a fitting finish that a Manchester United local had the decisive say in the result, providing fans with some hope for the future.
The F.A Cup is a wonderful achievement for Manchester United, their first since 2004, and more significantly, the first trophy since Sir Alex Ferguson retired after 26 years in charge. The win however, does not take away from what has been a disappointing season. Louis Van Gaal under-achieved this season and seems certain to lose his job, with Jose Mourinho lurking in the shadows.
But today, that does not matter. This season, United have barely dared to play football, But Lingard’s heroics provided fans with some hope going into the future. You can take the boy out of Manchester, but you cannot take the Manchester out of the boy.
Your Aussie Correspondent,
Larry – The United Stand
United midfielder Ander Herrera believes fellow Spaniard and United ‘keeper David de Gea is happy with life at Manchester United.
Ander Herrera has described David de Gea as the number one goalkeeper in the world saying:
“He is the number one keeper in the world. In England you know that but in the rest of the world they think they have better keepers, but I don’t think so. When we win titles or trophies I think he will be more recognised.
“He has a special talent. When you are born with that quality and ability, you are so lucky. The rest of the humans, we have to work more. You have to work harder.
“But what I like about him is that he is very calm, he has his feet on the ground. He doesn’t change when it comes to these kind of games so I think he is number one of Spain and in the world and he is my friend so I am very happy for him.
“I think he is very happy in Manchester United. You can see that. If you are not happy in one place you cannot play like that, so it’s easy to say that.
“We can be calm and optimistic, first because he is in a fantastic club and if we start winning trophies, it’s easier to keep world class players.”
De Gea’s most recent display of heroics was in the FA Cup semi-final against Everton when he saved Romelu Lukaku’s penalty.
It is also understood that Real Madrid will reattempt to sign the United ‘keeper after failing to do so last summer.
David de Gea has gone from being the new skinny kid, making several errors at the beginning of his United career to being arguably the worlds best goalkeeper.
He has become a real fan favourite and has earned fan chants such as:
“He’s big, he’s brave, he’s Spanish Dave. He makes great saves, he never shaves. He’s flying through the air, come and have a shot if you dare.”
It’s clear to see that de Gea loves United, you only have to watch his reaction to Anthony Martial’s late winner in the FA Cup semi final (watch below).
That is not the reaction of someone who is not happy at United. Watching that video fills me with hope that he will remain at United beyond this season. But that could depend on what happens with the managerial situation.
All the mediocrity; all the dullness; all the inconsistencies. We cannot erase what has been but we can certainly get excited when Manchester United face Everton for a chance to progress to the Final of the FA Cup.
For all of Van Gaal’s faults, he can be proud of the youthful talent that has been introduced into the first team this season.
For players like Rashford, Fosu-Mensah and Lingard, they would have been satisfied with 10 first team appearances. Now they stand 90 minutes away from a final at Wembley.
But this is now and Lukaku and co. will be hurting after a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of their Merseyside neighbors, Liverpool.
To make matters worse for the Evertonians, there is a lot of angst amongst the fans toward Everton manager Roberto Martinez who like his opponent this Saturday, has overseen Everton produce an underwhelming and inconsistent season.
We have seen United bounce back after heavy losses this season and given this is Everton’s last hope to salvage a poor season by their standards, do not expect Everton to go down without a fight. A team that possesses Lukaku, Barkley and Deulofeu is a team that needs to be respected, irrespective of how poor their form coming in may be.
But they are depleted, particularly in defence, and if United are starting to show signs of progressing forward and attacking with a purpose.
Although the performance was overall dour, it was pleasing to see United use one defensive midfielder in Schneiderlin while freeing Rooney to roam up the park and choose passes. If United turn up, they should win comfortably and book their place in the FA Cup final.
Now’s the time. Stand up, Reds! This is our moment. For 90 minutes, forget our struggles. We’re going to Wembley and we’re not leaving Wembley until we lift a trophy above our heads.
Predicting a 3-1 win. Expect Rooney to have a big one against his former team.
IT’S TIME! COME ON UNITED!
Your Aussie Correspondent,
Larry – The United Stand
Speaking after the embarrassing defeat to Liverpool on Thursday, United boss, Louis van Gaal, claimed that his three year plan is still working as his team are still fighting on three fronts: top four, Europa League and FA Cup.
We are in three different competitions, and at this stage of the season a lot of other teams and managers cannot say that. We still have the chance to win something.
When asked about United’s inconsistency this season, he had this to say:
I have to always keep changing the team. I have been unable to play the same lineup in many matches because of injuries or tired players. When you are in three competitions and you don’t have too many players it is difficult.
You can read the full article on the Guardian website by clicking here.
As a United fan, and I’m sure the same goes for most of you, listening to Louis van Gaal’s excuses just makes me want to push my fingers into my eyes.
So, your three year plan is still working is it, Louis? If your three year plan was to have us struggling for top four, getting eliminated from a winnable Champions League group stage and possibly guiding us toward another Champions League-less season, then yes. Your plan is working.
And don’t blame injuries and tiredness of players as an excuse for our poor season. You’ve had millions of pounds and several transfer windows to prevent that from happening. And didn’t you recently say that NOT buying players was intentional so that you could give youth a chance?
You’re making it up as you go, Louis. You’re making up excuses to suit the situation. Well, you’re just making a fool of yourself.
Man United scrape a narrow victory thanks to a late Wayne Rooney penalty against League One side Sheffield United in the FA Cup third round.
Man United played hosts to Sheffield United who currently sit 9th in League one. Many would be forgiven for thinking that this game would be entertaining for the fans based on United’s last two performances where they looked to be finding their attacking threat once again. But it wasn’t to be. Instead, United appeared to have taken two steps back, returning to the dull, conserved, sideways football we had become so familiar with.
During the first half Man United only managed three attempts on goal with two of them coming from set pieces. They dominated the possession but posed no attacking threat and created very little in the way of chances. Even half chances. In fact, the players themselves looked extremely frustrated; almost like they weren’t sure what the game plan was. The fans could see this and they made their voices heard with groans and jeers echoing around the stadium – something that is becoming commonplace at Old Trafford.
The second half saw the introduction of Memphis and Lingard on the hour mark. This was Lingard’s first game since returning from injury.
Since their inclusion into the game, there were more attempts at goal, be it only 6, with one of them being the winning penalty.
The best chances came in the late stages of the game with the first falling to Anthony Martial in the 87th minute. A corner came in and a defensive header fell to the Frenchman on the edge of the six-yard box. He struck a left-footed half volley but Sheffield United defender, Brayford, reacted quickly to block the shot.
Three minutes later, Memphis picked up the ball on the left wing and cut in onto his right foot. Once in a more central position, finding a yard of space, he hit a right-footed shot which narrowly missed the left hand post.
In the 93rd minute, Memphis again found himself running at the defenders and into the box but was taken down by a rash challenge by Sheffield United’s, Hammond. The defender came sliding in with his studs up and caught Memphis on the shin. A penalty was awarded. Wayne Rooney stepped up and buried the ball into the bottom left corner, sending the keeper the other way.
Louis van Gaal will certainly be breathing a sigh of relief as his job hangs by a thread. And a replay away from home is something else he will be pleased to avoid.
You have to feel sorry for Sheffield United who defended very well throughout the whole game.
What did you think about the game? Are you happy with the teams performance? Do you feel the team deserved the victory? We would love to know your thoughts. Please, feel free to leave a comment below.
You can also watch the Man United V Swansea match reaction on The United Stand’s YouTube channel by clicking here. Or by watching below.