Ten Hag’s consistent support for Anthony Martial has not gone unnoticed, and when the striker finally scored his first goal of the season against Crystal Palace, the manager’s jubilant reaction was evident. This moment might have been a mixture of relief and hope, as it raises questions about whether Ten Hag believes he can tap into Martial’s untapped potential at Old Trafford.
Describing Martial as a player with “potential” may seem inaccurate for a 27-year-old with over 300 appearances for the club, but his time at Manchester United has been inconsistent. With his contract expiring next summer, time is running out for Martial to prove himself. However, there are still those who believe in his abilities.
Anthony Martial received a warm ovation for his performance against Crystal Palace. His well-executed left-footed finish from a difficult angle was certainly appreciated by the fans, and he even received a congratulatory handshake from his manager as he reached the touchline.
Last season, Martial had the opportunity to establish himself as Ten Hag’s key player, but a series of injuries and a loss of form towards the end of the campaign hampered his progress. This season, it seems that Rasmus Hojlund is set to take center stage.
Manchester United doesn’t want their 20-year-old talent, Rasmus Hojlund, to shoulder the burden of starting every game. To avoid overburdening him, they require Anthony Martial to step up and provide adequate cover, as well as compete with Hojlund for playing time. Martial’s performance against Crystal Palace was a positive step in this direction, as indicated by Ten Hag’s enthusiastic celebration.
Harry Maguire also had an impressive outing in the match. His standout moment came early in the game when he positioned himself intelligently to intercept Jeffrey Schlupp’s cross, preventing a potential goal by Jean-Philippe Mateta. Maguire showcased his defensive skills and was comfortable on the ball, often engaging in passing exchanges with Sofyan Amrabat. Ten Hag In the 72nd minute, he made a crucial sliding tackle on Nathaniel Clyne, earning applause from the crowd, which must have been a satisfying moment for him.
Harry Maguire’s performance in this game was crucial for his prospects at Manchester United, especially with the added competition from Jonny Evans, his former partner from Leicester City. Evans made an unexpected return to Old Trafford and impressed fans with his performance. Maguire needs every opportunity to showcase his abilities, especially considering Evans’ strong performance at Burnley, which might push him down the pecking order.
Jonny Evans, who initially faced skepticism upon his arrival, is rapidly regaining cult hero status at Manchester United. His experience and leadership could prove valuable for the team this season.
In a surprising move, Andre Onana started as the goalkeeper for Manchester United in this match. Typically, the early rounds of the Carabao Cup feature backup goalkeepers, but United opted for their first-choice goalkeeper. This decision was unexpected, as it would have been a good opportunity to give valuable minutes to backup goalkeepers like Altay Bayindir or Tom Heaton.
Furthermore, the scheduling of this match clashed with an EFL Trophy game for the under-21s, preventing academy youngsters from being involved in the Carabao Cup game. Manchester United had requested the game to be moved, but the request was denied, resulting in a missed opportunity to provide valuable experience to young talents.
While Manchester United had this match under control for a significant period, it presented an ideal opportunity to introduce some young players into the game. Unfortunately, the scheduling clash with an EFL Trophy game for the under-21s limited this opportunity. Ten Hag The 8-1 scoreline in that match against Bolton’s senior side might suggest a lack of top-quality talent in the under-21 group currently.
However, there are promising players like Willy Kambwala, Shola Shoretire, and Ten Hag Joe Hugill who could potentially bring in revenue for the club in the future. If the Bolton game had been rescheduled, it would have allowed these youngsters to gain valuable first-team experience at Old Trafford.
Despite the missed opportunity, there were still positive moments for the academy. Dan Gore, who had shown promise in pre-season, made his debut against Crystal Palace. His introduction into the game when United was 3-0 up was a memorable moment for the 18-year-old, although most of his academy peers didn’t have the same chance.
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