After an impressive few weeks, you wouldn’t have expected to wake up this morning to see too many pundits ripping Anthony Martial to bits, but that is exactly what Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville have done.
The Manchester United winger has scored four goals in his last three Premier League outings, scoring an important goal in the 3-2 comeback win over Newcastle, a well-taken brace against Chelsea, before netting a superb strike against Everton at the weekend.
His form in the last few weeks has seen some suggest that he could start to have the same kind of impact as the likes of Eden Hazard at Chelsea and Sadio Mane at Liverpool.
However, despite finally looking like the player that United signed back in 2015, punditry duo Neville and Carragher still have their doubts.
“You can’t expect two goals every game, you can’t expect that from any player,” Carragher said on Sky Sports MNF.
“When he doesn’t score Martial, what is he actually bringing to the game?
“When Mane doesn’t score, he’s still making those runs in behind.
“When I watch Martial in the last two weeks he’s been nine out of ten, ten out of ten.
“But when he doesn’t score he’s four out of ten. So, there’s not that big impact in the game with the runs he’s making to cause problems for defenders.
“Earlier this season we were looking at Salah, but he was still making those runs and still causing a massive problem for those defenders.”
Former United defender Gary Neville backed up his Sky colleague, before uncovering some pretty alarming stats about the 22-year-old’s work rate.
“He’s either a five or a nine and what you want is seven or eight week in week out with the odd nine.
“And I looked at his physical stats and I got the shock of my life. I got to the point where I thought: ‘That’s why Deschamps and Jose and others don’t fancy you.'”
Neville then brought up a graphic that showed Martial covers just 9.1km per game on average, while other top forwards in the league, such as Eden Hazard and Sadio Mane, are all covering significantly more:
“Mane is two kilometres more, Hazard – who gets accused of not working hard – is one-and-a-half kilometres more.
“Martial is well down on his physical stuff.”
— Sky Sports Retro (@SkySportsRetro) October 29, 2018