Gary Neville has noted that Anthony Martial demonstrated he was listening to Jose Mourinho during Manchester United’s 2-0 win over Burnley last weekend.
And the Frenchman, placed in the No.9 role at Turf Moor, responded in emphatic fashion by complimenting an energetic performance with a goal and an assist.
Neville noted on Sky Sports after the game that such a performance demonstrated that Martial was determined to learn under the 54-year-old.
“There was a stat that came up that he had done the most sprints (71) in the game, which is the most he has done this season,” he said.
“It was the most he has done in his Manchester United career. That tells you the reaction is there. The capability to show the work-ethic is there.”
Mourinho’s logic when it comes to player management is simple: if you give 100%, he doesn’t fault you; if you don’t, he’ll publicly call you out and see how you respond.
And such was the case with Martial. The Frenchman took to the field like a man possessed; that usual nonchalance so pervasive in his character was gone and replaced instead with a kind of insatiable hunger that, as Burnley discovered, was practically impossible to stop.
It was a reminder to supporters, Mourinho and perhaps even the Martial himself of the damage he can inflict when operating at 100%.