Anthony Martial

Martial: Why I've scored more goals

Anthony Martial says more game time and his hunger for every type of goal are the reasons behind his brilliant season with Manchester United and why he has finished it as our leading goalscorer.

The Frenchman ended the campaign on 23 goals, one ahead of fellow forward Marcus Rashford. It's the first time since 2010/11 that two players have scored 20 or more goals for us and it's Martial's best-ever tally as a Red.

He recently sat down for an exclusive chat with Inside United magazine to reflect on his excellent season, which also included him finishing joint-top with Rashford as our leading assist-maker.

Martial feels being involved in more games and scoring more of the simple type of goals in and around the six-yard box, just as his manager had asked, have been major factors behind 2019/20 being such a memorable campaign for him.

“I think it’s down to the fact that I’ve enjoyed more game time. I’ve played in practically every game and so I think it’s all about consistency,”
he explained.

“In previous seasons I haven’t been able to feature as regularly; I’d be on the bench quite a bit and other times I’d be starting, which was quite difficult. Whereas right now I know that the coach has faith in me and I’m confident of starting the next match. So, I’m giving everything I can in order to pay back that trust he has shown.

“[I'm hungry for all goals] because for me, a goal is a goal. So simply by managing to score more of a simple kind of goal, I know that I’ll score a lot more in total. It’s something that we work on a lot in training and I then try and reproduce that in a match situation.”
Martial highlighted his sublime curling strike in the post-lockdown victory over Bournemouth in July as his favourite goal of the season. That was a game in which he, Rashford and Mason Greenwood all scored and the Frenchman says he's thoroughly enjoying being part of such an attacking trio.

“With Marcus, I think that we’ve been playing together for five seasons now and so, yes, we have that good understanding. It’s a real positive for us that we have this great connection,”
he declared.

On whether he and Rashford have any kind of rivalry that spurs them on, given how close they were at the top of United's scoring chart, Martial said:
“Not especially. We just try to help each other out.

“For example, there are some games where maybe a shot is on and then I decide to wait and see, and I give him the ball because I want him to score. And he does the same thing for me, so you see, we’re not just focused on scoring all the time. We’re always going to do everything we can for the team to win which means that, if he is better placed than me or I’m in a better position than him, we’ll always give each other the ball in order to score.

“There is healthy competition, but the biggest thing is the positive rapport that we have with one another.”

As for his assessment of the youngest forward in United's first-team ranks, Anthony added: The thing that strikes me about Mason is how effective and clinical he is. I get the feeling that whenever he shoots on goal, he scores!

It’s up to us to keep training hard and working to perfect how that trio works together. We mustn’t forget either that there are other players [in the squad] who are pushing really hard to get a game. So, as I say, we need to keep going and have to perform well in order to be able to play and win our games.

“My job, or aim is to score goals. Then [when] I don’t have the ball it’s to be the first defender, meaning I have to press and close down.  It’s something we work on in training and we’ve also worked hard on my fitness too. I’ve put in some great work with the coaching staff and now I just want to make sure I continue in the same vein in order to be even better for next season.”

You can read the full, in-depth interview with Anthony in the September edition of Inside United, which is on sale from Tuesday 25 August. Order your copy now from manutd.com/magazine.

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