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Manchester United

Jose explains why Anthony Martial doesn’t start regularly

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were both named in the starting lineup for the first team this season as Manchester United thrashed Newcastle 4-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The latter scored United’s equaliser after the visitors took an early lead whilst Rashford assisted Paul Pogba’s goal which gave us a 3-1 lead within 10 minutes of the second half.

Martial started on the left wing and Rashford on the right before the young Englishman was moved into a central attacking role during the game and proved to be much more effective there than he had been from out wide.

Jose Mourinho has now explained why both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are rarely on the pitch together.  Quoted by the Independent, the boss explained that neither like playing on the right wing.  Mourinho said:

“They both like to play in the same position and that is difficult. They both prefer to play on the left than the right, both playing with another striker through the middle, we lose a point of contact with the midfield that we are used to, with the player playing behind the striker.

“But we found then a certain balance and when they start finding, sometimes both, one opening the left and one on the mid-left between the striker and the left winger, it was the moment where we start creating more.

“But to be honest Newcastle was probably the team, not in the second-half, but in the first-half which come here and we felt a bit of instability in our defensive areas, and that was clearly not because of the defensive players but because of our balance.

“So to play them [Martial and Rashford] together gives us things but also takes some things from us.”

Essentially, we have two excellent forwards but both are most effective on the left-hand side.  Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard have been used the most on the right this season instead.

However, Marcus Rashford is proving with every given opportunity that he can also play up front, both alongside Romelu Lukaku, and on his own.

Both Rashford and Martial have great pace, love running at defenders, and have an eye for goal.  It has been useful to us to start one and bring the other on in the final 20 minutes of games this season.  In 12 Premier League games this season we have scored 10 goals in the final 10 minutes with the aforementioned duo being a big part of that.