A sign of a good manager is that he can adapt his approach to suit a whole host of players. Some like an arm around the shoulder and others thrive on pressure being thrown onto them.
With that in mind, we’re asking this: Is Jose Mourinho treating Anthony Martial right?
The Manchester United manager has been heavily critical of the Frenchman’s performances of late, when in truth there are a handful of other players who’ve avoided a similar treatment.
But maybe Jose has got it wrong. Maybe what Martial needs instead of being singled out to the press, is a simple pat on the back and some words of wisdom behind closed doors.
In the build-up to United’s Emirates FA Cup tie with Wigan last weekend, the Portuguese boss was asked whether the game provided Martial the perfect opportunity to force his way into Mourinho’s starting XI in the Premier League again (something which he’s managed just nine times this season).
“If he is magnificent.”
All of a sudden, 21-year-old Martial is heading into the clash at Old Trafford knowing that putting just one foot wrong will have a massive influence on his manager’s decision to start him in the league in the coming weeks.
And, as expected, the youngster was largely error prone in the opening stages of the game.
Why? Because he was trying too hard.
It wasn’t just Mourinho who had eyes on him, it was every fan inside the stadium. It was every viewer watching from their sofa. It was every football journalist in the world.
Of course he was going to feel the pressure.
Fortunately for us, we saw glimpses of Martial’s brilliance as the game progressed, with the forward providing two assists as the Red Devils ran out 4-0 winners.
That took his assist tally to five for the season in all competitions. Couple that with six goals, and it’s not been a terrible six months for the striker-turned-winger.
Fast forward to today as United prepare for the visit of Hull City. Was Martial’s convincing performance last time out ‘marvellous’ enough for his manager?
When asked this week whether Martial had done enough against Wigan, Mourinho yet again responded with an answer likely to drain any confidence and momentum his young star had built in his last match…
“Enough to be on the bench.”
We know the former Chelsea manager isn’t a fan of putting his faith in younger players. But this isn’t just about trust – there’s something deeper here.
And if the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ isn’t careful, he could find himself losing one of the hottest properties in Europe in the summer. There’ll certainly be plenty of elite clubs keeping tabs.
What do fans think?
Is Mourinho going about this the right way? And is he likely to take a different approach in the coming weeks?
Have your say in the comments section below!
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