I just don’t know, man. When it looks good, it looks good. When it looks bad, it looks catastrophic. I get that every time Manchester United get on the pitch, I can’t expect perfection, but sometimes I just wish it was the case. Sure, I’m blindly optimistic to a fault, but let me live.
If you haven’t figured it out by now, my next target of an impassioned blog rant is none other than the man who came from France, and whom the English press said had no chance: Tony Martial.
Tony’s Not Bad
First things first. I love my sweet French prince, so no heinous slander will be had here in the comments; I won’t allow it. Having said that, he leaves a little something left to be desired. Watching him, it’s not unpopular to say he is streaky, in fact, such is the life of a striker at Manchester United. In recent memory since The Downfall (SAF retiring), the list of strikers we’ve had is streaky as well.
Now comes the boring part: numbers. It’s hard to believe, but since signing the dotted line, Martial has made 240 appearances for the Red Devils, and is only just 25 years old. In this time, he has amassed 76 goals and 48 assists in all competitions. For those of you brainiacs at home, that’s an average of .517 contributions per game. #Math.
Since numbers are my day job, I’ll go a little further for you. If we separate the tally from first signing to the end of the 17/18 campaign, and 18/19-today, Tony has rates of .456 and .596 contributions per game, respectively. Even a Scouse BastardTM can tell there has been improvement. It would appear Tony Martial is on the right path and indeed progressing instead of regressing.
Tony’s Not Great
Strikers need a run of games to find their shooting boots it seems, but riding that wavelength with Tony is a bit frustrating. Look, he is still young, and is just now entering the prime years of his playing career. Looking at those numbers, it may seem quite impressive, but they aren’t the top.
Since Manchester United are theoretically the biggest club in the world despite an absolute train wreck of an ownership chart, I will compare the man from France to a few stars in the game a Manchester United striker should be worthy of comparison against.
Kylian Mbappe. Its pretty clear few are in his stratosphere, but I’m comparing them anyway. Since putting on that candy-ass PSG shirt (Jordan Brand alternates are fire though) Mbappe has an astonishing return of 1.126 contributions per game in 143 appearances. Plz sign as a free agent in 2022.
Jamie Vardy. He flat out sucks. Absolute useless member of English society. Adds nothing to the game. Since joining the PL, he has a return of .674 contributions per game in 227 appearances. Lay off the booze, why don’t you.
Romelu Lukaku. The outcast and reject from Solsjkaer’s title contending plans. RedRom boasts a .649 tally in 484 appearances. Sometimes you just gotta go separate ways, although we should’ve gotten a little more cash for him. Piss off, Ed Woodward.
‘Arry Kane. For about 3 summers it seems United were always linked to him. His tally in Spurs first team is .798 contributions per game. Kane had all the likening of signing RVP. Sure we probably don’t need him, but it would be nice to have. Also, Daniel Levy might be even worse than Ed Woodward.
What is Tony?
I don’t quite know the proper word to describe him other than frustrating. He is right on the cusp of being a world beater like the aforementioned strikers (except for Vardy, he sucks), but he’s also not too far from underproducing as Manchester United striker. Signing Cavani lit a fire under him (kinda), but we only have a year of that before Cavani starts entering “too old?” territory. If I’m Woodward/Solsjkaer I put a Sancho on hold and go buy some serious talent up front. After all, goals are harder to get than assists.*
Simply put, Tony is good, not great, and I just don’t know if I’ve seen enough from him consistently to convince me he is United’s preferred striker for the long term. Tony doesn’t have to leave, he just can’t be the starting striker. My name is JR and thank you for listening to my TedTalk.
*This statement is not supported by any evidence or facts. Blindly following me will likely result in tense debates among United supporters. I do not accept responsibility for any actions my blogs create.