United Briefing: Yorke's message to Martial
In February 2001, Dwight Yorke was not firing on all cylinders and it took a game against Arsenal to rediscover his golden touch.
The Treble-winner hit a memorable hat-trick in a 6-1 win at Old Trafford and it showed what is true for virtually all strikers, a goal can suddenly spark a prolific spell, and this is something previously acknowledged by the former Trinidad & Tobago international's old team-mate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
"You have that bottle of ketchup when it never comes out but, when it suddenly comes, there's loads of it," was the analogy the manager once used.
Should this goal have counted?
Was Anthony Martial's strike unfairly chalked off in the first half...?
Martial scored what seemed a legitimate goal during the damaging 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United, only for it to be disallowed for a foul by Harry Maguire on Blades keeper Aaron Ramsdale, and things would have been very different during the post-match inquest if it had stood.
The striker's form was brought up in the press conference afterwards and it does feel as though the Frenchman just needs to get on the scoresheet again to help spark a return to the level of performance he was producing regularly at the end of last season.
"He’s had a pretty difficult time, at times, hasn’t he and I think he’s been singled out, in my opinion, very harshly," Yorke told us. “I think he’s a fantastic player for what he brings to the team but has probably, in my opinion, been singled out far too often. He’s done a fantastic job and is still only a young guy.
“Coming into our league in England is very difficult for any guy and he’s still at that, I call it, the football education stage. He’s still 25 and has a couple of years before he really blossoms into the footballer he should become. He’s still at that learning curve but, yeah, I feel winning takes care of everything. It’s an old cliché but, when you’re scoring goals as a striker, that will always take care of everything.
“At the moment, he’s not doing that and people always point the finger at an individual or a few individuals, singling him out at the moment. So, for me, it’s been harshly done but, at the end of the day, being a Manchester United player, you are always going to have people trying to do that. You’re under that scrutiny, so to speak, so you have to rise above it and show what you’re capable of doing. I’m sure he can produce the football we’ve seen in the past and get back to that and it will take care of everything else."
The disallowed goal against the Blades, a team Anthony scored against in the corresponding fixture, was a setback.
"Well that’s all it takes sometimes," explained Yorke. "Unfortunately, it didn’t happen but, at the end of the day, you know when the team loses, people can get criticised, including the manager and players. It’s part and parcel of the game. It’s all results based and, if you’re not getting the results you’re supposed to be getting, good results and it doesn’t go for you, you always come under scrutiny.
“I don’t read too much into the media. I’ve lived that media life as a player and you have got to trust yourself to get that belief from the manager and within the squad for what you’re capable of doing. Not to prove to people but to prove to yourself.
“That’s the first and most important thing – to prove to yourself and the manager because the fans will jump on after that. It’s all about the manager picking him up and giving him the confidence to go out there and really perform like he can. There’s an easy solution to all of this conversation, it is to score the goals that win football matches. If you can do that and everything else takes care of itself, like I said.
“I hope Ole kind of lets him unleash his talents against Arsenal. Hopefully, he can do the business and people will get back to talking about his football rather than criticising him."
WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY?
Ole will hold a press conference, which you can watch in the Official App and on ManUtd.com from 13:30 GMT. He will also speak to club media and bring us a team news update before the weekend clash with Arsenal as the Reds look to bounce back from the midweek disappointment against Sheffield United.
There will be a later section which is embargoed until 22:30 GMT, which we will also cover.
The date marks four years since Axel Tuanzebe, who started against the Blades, made his senior debut for the club, coming off the bench against Wigan Athletic in the Emirates FA Cup.
United Daily: Saturday is our chance to respond
Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke preview Saturday’s trip to Arsenal, while Harry Maguire echoes our anti-racism statement…
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
The club issued a statement in response to United players receiving racial abuse on social media, and reiterated our commitment to our All Red All Equal policy.
We spoke to former stars Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke and also heard from Harry Maguire as he spelled out the team's determination to bounce back on Saturday.