After Manchester United’s failure to sign a replacement for Romelu Lukaku in the summer transfer window, the onus has been on the likes of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood to fire in the goals for the Red Devils.
And for the majority of the campaign, it has been Martial who has been tasked with leading the line, playing 23 of his 24 total games in the centre-forward role. The Frenchman has struck 11 times across all competitions, and on Wednesday night against Burnley, was once again asked to carry the responsibility of being the side’s number nine.
Unfortunately for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the former AS Monaco man struggled to live up to the responsibility, producing a wholly ineffective display. As per Sofascore, the £54m-rated ace couldn’t convert any of his five total attempts on goal, had just 39 touches, and lost five of his six contested aerial duels.
And after seeing his display, United fans took to Twitter to voice their thoughts on the forward.
You won’t hear me say this often so take a screenshot do whatever u want
Martial was diabolical tonight
— Charlie🔰 (@UtdCharlie_) January 22, 2020
Martial is an abysmal striker offers no movement
— max (@Max210202) January 22, 2020
And I hope Martial goes before Òle
Couldny hit a barn door…@0Huggy No.9 😳
— Simon Mcgowan (@Smo_08) January 22, 2020
What on earth is going on with Martial? He is playing like Jesse Lingard.
— Mike Body (@MikeJBodz) January 22, 2020
Martial is one of the worst number 9s to ever play for this football club I hope yous know that.
— Es (@esatsaiti5) January 22, 2020
A couple of supporters slammed Martial’s apparent laziness, with one fan in particular claiming they would rather have Jesse Lingard up top instead.
I think I’d rather have lingard at striker than martial, at least lingard puts in a shift. Martial is just lazy and sits up the pitch, like ibra without any attacking intelligence
— dat boi Clarse (@DaddyClarse) January 22, 2020
Martial FC brigade quiet tonight, got to be the laziest player I’ve seen in a UTD shirt
— Lloyd (@lloyd_bart) January 22, 2020
A couple of fans expressed that former United manager Jose Mourinho was right in his assessment of Martial, with the now Tottenham boss previously reported as wanting to sell the Frenchman.
Awful martial !!!! has done nothing Jose was right about him!
— ABZ (@ABZ04496026) January 22, 2020
JOSE WAS RIGHT, MARTIAL IS NOT A STRIKER
— Loco J (@Jrknpp) January 22, 2020
So just days after the extent of Rashford’s injury blow was confirmed, Martial fired a blank at home to Burnley. The Frenchman had the perfect opportunity to show Solskjaer and the United faithful that he has the ability to shoulder the burden of being the man for the side, but instead, he was virtually anonymous.
Too many times his efforts were taken outside of the box, and whilst he didn’t exactly have the greatest of service into him, he hardly showed anything himself. United’s need for a new front-line striker has only increased ten-fold after Martial’s performance on Wednesday night.