Jose Mourinho has called on Anthony Martial to showcase his talent on a more frequent basis following his performance against Real Madrid.
The Frenchman left both Dani Carvajal and Luka Modric for dead with a sublime run into the box from the left hand side before teeing up Jesse Lingard with a routine finish to give Manchester United the lead.
He couldn’t replicate his shrewdness from the spot during the penalty shootout, however, as his spot-kick harmlessly ballooned over the bar.
And Mourinho, reflecting on what was a mercurial performance, has encouraged the Frenchman to invoke more consistency further down the line.
“Obviously we want more consistency in his talent, I think today was a positive for him, that’s why I left him for 90 minutes on the pitch, he was enjoying and trying things. It’s important to try things in these friendly matches so it’s good for Anthony and his confidence,” he said.
“He is a young player, still time to learn, still time to improve, still time to develop, and it’s also his personality.
“I can say he is training better than before, he’s working harder than before, it’s a question to bring his talent more in a consistent way.”
This was a game that fittingly encapsulated present day Martial: capable of breathtaking brilliance and woeful execution in equal measure. Mourinho’s message to the Frenchman is concise and indeed reflective of the general mood towards a youngster who possesses scary amounts of talent but not the temperance to distill it into every display just yet.
He had done very little in the first half, occasionally shifting the ball back inside and giving Carvajal something of a day off.
And then game a reminder of just how devastating he can be once in full-flow, with Martial spinning the right back to oblivion, essentially leaving Madrid’s entire defence flat-footed in one silky move, and leaving us supporters with a weird mixture of admiration and frustration at this ephemeral, unpredictable rough diamond of a footballer.