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Henry slams Van Gaal over use of Martial

Former Arsenal forward Thierry Henry has slammed Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal’s use of Anthony Martial. 

Martial, a €50million signing from Monaco in the off-season, had gone nine games without a goal in the Premier League before Saturday’s 2-1 loss at home to Norwich City. 

The France international has often been played out wide under Van Gaal, but Henry believes the 20-year-old should always be the focal point of United’s attack.

Referring to Martial’s touch map against Norwich, Henry said on Sky Sports: “What are you doing here? I actually do not know what he is doing there. 

“He should be there [in the penalty area], having a one versus one, scoring and celebrating. Is it fear? Is it because they have been brainwashed a bit too much? I just don’t get it.

“They wanted a guy who scored goals. They wanted a guy to run in behind fast. He came in and did that. Suddenly now he finds himself out there, almost not touching the ball.

“I think if I had a player like that, he would be my No 9 and the rest are around him.”

Fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher echoed Henry’s concerns. 

“The interesting thing is that’s the instruction from Van Gaal, to stay wide,” the former Liverpool defender said.

“Let’s not forget, he is a centre forward slash winger, so normally you would be expect him to make those runs inside.

“But he’s had so much instruction now, that he has stayed out wide. That touch map is from a [Jesus] Navas of Man City, someone who hugs the touchline, tries to beat the full back and put a cross in. 

“You see how many touches he has had? Not one touch in the box, and just the one cross. So he’s not even pulling wide and doing damage. 

“And that all comes from the instruction of the manager, and why Man United never look like scoring in the game.”

Tue 22 Dec, 2015
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