Connect in the back of the net

Manchester United supporters were on the brink of bursting a blood vessel after Anthony Martial’s prodigious omission from the squad that faced Feyenoord on Thursday.

Although his absence was not felt on the pitch- as United cruised past the Dutch side with a 4-0 victory-, there is plenty to suggest [that] there is trouble in paradise.

 

An afterthought under Mourinho

Since the arrival of Jose Mourinho, Martial has become somewhat of an afterthought.

The winger was far from impressed when his number 9 jersey was given to summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic in exchange for the legendary number 11 jersey he currently adorns.

Now the bone of contention wasn’t so much that the jersey was given to Zlatan- who is by all means a larger than life figure- but rather that Martial wasn’t consulted when the decision was made.

Enraged and frenzied, Martial took to the internet and unfollowed Manchester United on all the social media outlets: something that was quickly noticed by the United fan base.

The move elicited overwhelming response with club supporters demanding [that] he be treated with more respect.

Something eventually happened behind closed doors [an apology would do just fine] as Martial later on re-linked with the club’s pages on social media- but that just hallmarked the beginning of more problems.

 

Rarely involved

The forward has rarely been involved this season.

In fact, since the arrival Mourinho, the Frenchman has moved from a regular starter to a regular benchwarmer.

Following the victory over Feyenoord at Old Trafford, the Portuguese manager grew hot under the collar trying to explain why Martial was missing from the bench, despite no prior announcement of any injury concerns.

In his defense, Mourinho elaborated that the youngster still needs to adapt to the intensity of his style of play which is in stark contrast to what he was accustomed to under Louis van Gaal.

 

Heavy criticism from the get-go

Martial arrived at the Theatre of Dreams amid heavy criticism over his £58 million transfer fee from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco.

The argument weighed on the fact that the 19-year old Frenchman was virtually unproven and from a lower League, but in hindsight the press was unhappy that a young, non-British player was worth that much salt.

Martial went on to silence all critics by becoming Manchester United’s leading goal scorer last season with 17 goals- scoring a well worked individual goal on his debut against Liverpool.

The goal on his first appearance for the club against the greatest and oldest enemy has his name engraved on the hearts of United fans for eternity.

 

Contrasting start

Thus far Martial has only found the back of the net twice in nine starts and four substitute appearances, whereas he had three goals in his first two appearances last season.

With Martial having endless personal problems off the pitch, a rift with his manager is the last thing he needs.

 

Written by Brian Humphrey

Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum

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