EPL

Man Utd boss Rangnick considers Martial matter 'resolved'

By Sports Desk January 18, 2022

Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick will consider selecting Anthony Martial to face Brentford after holding clear-the-air talks with the forward.

Martial was absent from United's squad for Saturday's 2-2 Premier League draw with Aston Villa, which Rangnick explained was down to the player not wanting to be included.

However, the 26-year-old subsequently refuted his manager's claims by stating on social media that he "will never refuse to play a match for Man United".

Speaking on Tuesday, Rangnick did not explain the contrasting versions of events, but he left the door open for Martial to return to the squad should the forward prove his fitness.

"I had a conversation with him on Sunday about what happened and how I saw the situation," Rangnick said at a news conference previewing Wednesday's trip to Brentford.

"The matter is now resolved. He didn't train yesterday or the day before. But he will probably train today and after training I will then take the decision if he is selected or not."

Martial is reported to have rejected loan offers from other Premier League clubs, while Juventus and LaLiga pair Barcelona and Sevilla have also been credited with an interest.

The ex-Monaco man has scored 79 goals in 268 appearances since his debut in September 2015 – only Marcus Rashford (91 in 286) has scored more for United in that period.

Martial's 79 goals have come from an expected goals (xG) return of 64, meaning he has scored 15 goals more than expected from the quality of his chances.

That is the largest positive xG differential of any player at the club over the same period, followed by Mason Greenwood (11) and Rashford (10).

However, Martial's playing time has been limited this term – not helped by injury issues – with his 358 minutes on the field only the 21st most of all United players.

The player's agent, Philippe Lamboley, revealed last month that Martial is looking to join a new club in January due to a lack of playing time.

While Martial may play a part against Brentford, team-mate Paul Pogba is still not being considered for selection despite returning to training this week.

Pogba has been used just 13 times this season – and not at all under Rangnick – but could return from a three-month lay-off in the next few weeks.

"Paul had his first day of training with the whole group yesterday," Rangnick said. "He showed what kind of extraordinary player he can be.

"He will not be available for the two games this week. Hopefully after the break, with the cup game against Middlesbrough and the away game at Burnley, he can be an option."

Rangnick also confirmed he will make a late decision on whether Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo will feature in west London as they recover from knocks.

Wednesday's meeting will be the first between United and Brentford in the league since 1947 and their first in any competition since 1975, when United won 2-1 in an EFL Cup tie.

Related items

  • Shaw hits back at critics questioning Man Utd loyalty Shaw hits back at critics questioning Man Utd loyalty

    Luke Shaw has hit back at those "questioning his loyalty" to Manchester United following an injury-hit campaign.

    The left-back made just 15 appearances for United in all competitions this season and has not played since February due to a muscle injury.

    Despite that, Shaw received a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s provisional 33-man squad for Euro 2024, though the England manager said he is a "long shot" to make the final squad.

    Taking to Instagram, Shaw posted: "There’s nothing I want to do more than play and win with United.

    "I don’t normally react to things I see on social media but there’s a lot of people questioning my loyalty to this club and asking how I am fit for England but not United.

    "The reality is I am not 100% fit for either right now, but I am doing everything I can and constantly working to be [fit]. I have been at this club for 10 years through highs and lows and for anyone to question my loyalty is obviously frustrating.

    "My biggest focus right now is being fit and then whatever happens this summer I will be ready."

    England will play two friendlies before the Euros, and Southgate will announce his official 26-man squad following their game against Iceland on June 7.  

  • Ten Hag deserves more time after FA Cup win, says Man Utd great Yorke Ten Hag deserves more time after FA Cup win, says Man Utd great Yorke

    Erik ten Hag should be given another season by the new regime at Manchester United after masterminding their FA Cup triumph, says former Red Devils striker Dwight Yorke.

    Ten Hag's future was subject to speculation throughout a largely dismal season for United, who recorded their lowest ever Premier League finish of eighth. 

    They also exited the Champions League in the group stage, losing 19 matches and conceding 85 goals across all competitions.

    However, they finished an underwhelming campaign on a high note on Saturday, with Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo scoring in a shock 2-1 FA Cup final victory over Manchester City.

    Yorke says Ten Hag deserves credit for the way he set United up at Wembley Stadium, as the Red Devils edged City for expected goals (1.59 xG to 1.35), shots on target (five to four) and big chances (two to one) despite only having 26.4 per cent of the possession.

    "I think everybody thought this United team was never going to get the result. And for us, who have been in football for such a long time, the unthinkable can happen occasionally," Yorke told Stats Perform.

    "I have to say, Ten Hag deserves a lot of credit. There's a lot of noise coming out from the United end about whether he was going to be the manager. 

    "After the end of this game, whether he won or lost, he had the players focused. I think this could arguably be United's best performance this season. I really do. 

    "There were a lot of negatives coming out of the camp, but I truly think they were far superior tactically. The way we set up and made life very difficult for them [City]. 

    "They were in City's face, not allowing them too much space to dominate the game. I thought they were superb. The manager deserves a lot of credit and the players deserve a lot of credit for showing up on a day when no one gave them a chance to win the game."

    The likes of Mauricio Pochettino, Thomas Tuchel and Kieran McKenna have all been linked with United as the Jim Ratcliffe regime weighs up whether to stick with Ten Hag for 2024-25.

    But Yorke feels the Dutchman has now done enough to remain at the helm, adding: "I've been a critic of Ten Hag, I have to say that. I've gone on record and said he needed to win this game to have any chance of continuing to be manager. 

    "To win two competitions in two years, then that's quite the turnaround. I think he deserves another year, I really do. 

    "Whether he's the man taking us forward in terms of his style, that's another question, but he certainly deserves another year in my opinion."

  • Medvedev battles into French Open second round after Koepfer triumph Medvedev battles into French Open second round after Koepfer triumph

    Daniil Medvedev staved off a Dominik Koepfer fightback to record a battling victory in the French Open first round on Monday.

    The world number five raced out the blocks on Court Simonne-Mathieu and eventually triumphed 6-3 6-4 5-7 6-3 in Paris.

    Medvedev, a five-time major runner-up and 2021 US Open champion, broke Koepfer's first service game in the French capital with that a seeming sign of things to come.

    Though the 28-year-old dropped his serve in the first set, Medvedev had little trouble in responding with the score finely poised at 3-2 to claim first blood at Roland-Garros.

    The fifth seed has only ever gone as far as the quarter-finals, three years ago, at the French Open but showed his clinical best to snatch the second set after holding all six service games for a narrow triumph.

    World number 65 Koepfer battled back in the third but the resilient Medvedev responded by breaking his German opponent early in the fourth set, finally securing victory in just over three hours.

    Data Debrief: Medvedev gets better of Koepfer again

    Medvedev has won all four of his meetings with Koepfer, with his most recent such victory seeing him reach the second round at Roland-Garros for the third time in eight attempts.

    Since the start of the 2021 season, Medvedev is 27-1 against players ranked outside the top 50 at major events, with his only loss in that run coming against Seyboth Wild in the French Open first round last year.

    Koepfer, meanwhile, extends to 1-17 against top-10 players in his career, earning his only such victory against over Gael Monfils – then ranked ninth in the world – at the 2020 ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.