Alan Shearer saw what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw with regards to Anthony Martial’s performance against Newcastle United on Sunday evening.
While Manchester United continue to score goals for fun, Anthony Martial’s struggles in front of goal show no sign of stopping and Alan Shearer believes it’s down to a lack of desire from the Frenchman.
Much doubt has been raised about Martial’s suitability for the centre-forward role at United but manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to be determined to make it work.
The movement of Martial, in particular, has been a cause for concern among many and even Solskjaer had to encourage the 25-year-old to display more mobility before he was ultimately replaced by Mason Greenwood with 20 minutes to go against Newcastle.
Solskjaer: 'Some movement. Antho, move! Start moving!' #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) February 21, 2021
Solskjaer could be heard roaring at Martial to “start moving” while the score was at 1-1 against Newcastle, although United went on to win 3-1 against the Magpies.
Analysing United’s performance, Shearer also noticed how Martial doesn’t display the natural movement of a hungry goalscorer.
Shearer, the Premier League’s record goalscorer, is of the opinion that Martial spends far too much time out wide when he should be making runs into the box to get on the end of chances.
“Only four league goals this season, not enough movement, he’s certainly not desperate enough to score goals,” Shearer said on BBC’s Match of the Day 2.
“When you look at his positioning, he spends far too much time [out wide] when you need someone in the box. Not once does he look to get anywhere near that box to score goals.
“He’s spending too much time out there [wide], there’s no focal point, there’s no one there to hold the ball up. He should realise he should get out of there and get into the box. I don’t think it means enough to him to put that ball into the back of the net.
“He’s only ever scored more than 20 goals in a season once. And that’s not just league goals. When you consider Manchester United are top scorers in the Premier League with 53 and he’s got four, I don’t think that’s anywhere near enough.
“Apparently Martial is the one who says he wants play centre-forward, he deserves to be in there, well his numbers I think have to be a lot better if he wants to play in that position. I wouldn’t say it’s a lack of experience.
“This is his sixth season at Manchester United. I wouldn’t say a lack of experience is a problem at all, I would say it’s his lack of hunger and lack of desire to get in there to constantly score goals you need to.
“Martial had a good season in terms of numbers last season but you have to do that on a regular basis, particularly when Man United are scoring as many as they are.”