EPL

Nani: Solskjaer is right about how to play Martial and Rashford

By Sports Desk March 04, 2021

Nani thinks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is right to keep moving Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial around the Manchester United forward line.

Rashford and Martial - along with Mason Greenwood - led United's attack to huge success towards the end of last season.

Veteran Edinson Cavani has entered the fold this year amid debate over which of United's younger forwards will become the next number nine.

Nani, who was a Champions League winner with United, thinks the modern player can move positions regularly much more easily, even if it is not always ideal.

He thinks Solskjaer is following the methods of Alex Ferguson in selecting teams with the weaknesses of United's opponents in mind.

Nani told Stats Perform News: "We saw so many games they played together and they were successful, so yeah [Martial and Rashford can play in the same team].

"Sometimes when you change positions, game to game it can cause a little bit of impact from your game. 

"But yet this is something you have to train and prepare on every week with a coach and you have to be able to understand the game.

"You have to know what the purpose of the session was and what the manager wants for that game. 

"I think now the capacity of the players, the new generation, they are able to play in different positions at the front. 

"So Rashford can shoot with the left, with the right - he has skills, there is no problem for him to play in different positions. 

"I think that the manager is doing great because he's reading the next game. 

"So there are some games you can better use Martial central, and some you can use him better on the left wing and that's what I've been seeing the coach doing. 


"And it's true when I used to play for Man United, Alex Ferguson was reading the opponent. 

"So who is going to play on the right side? Who is better to challenge him is he slow? Do we need a player with more speed or more strength? It depends on what the game needs."

United have drawn three consecutive games 0-0 for the first time since October 2015.

While he is impressed with Rashford in general this season, Nani has highlighted an area for potential improvement that could get United out of their slump.

"Age gives you more experience, the more you see, you learn more with the more games you get," added Nani when he was asked about Rashford.

"But we know what he is capable of - he has energy, he has skills, he has goals [but] sometimes he just [needs] the desire to want to be more involved in the game.

"[He needs to] want the ball more, want to run more will his all, lose more energy in the game, instead of saving himself to the end because trying to save the energy to end up the game, sometimes you lose opportunity to make your goal or your assist when the result is already done.

"So I think he can use his strength more during the game, it will make much more difference to his game."

Martial, meanwhile, has struggled to follow up his strong 2019-20 season, when he racked up a career-high 17 Premier League goals.

The France international, who is facing a race against time to be fit in time to face Manchester City in Sunday's derby, has four goals and three assists from 21 league appearances this time around.

Nani feels a return to form is needed quickly, adding: "You know Martial has shown already he has so much potential.

"He has goals, he is strong, he is fast, he has skills. He is a player who has shown he can do much more, so we are used to seeing much more.

"At this moment he is not at his best. He can produce much more for the team. 

"I don't know what happened with the player, probably he had some injuries or he is not so confident as before. 

"But he needs to get back to his best as quickly as possible because the team need him. 

"And he needs to start scoring his goals and perform the way he used to play because he will help the team a lot."

While their struggles in front of goal have been a problem – and a sixth 0-0 draw tied their club record for a Premier League season - the Palace draw did see United hit a notable landmark.

They are the first team since Arsenal's 'Invincibles' of 2003-04 to remain unbeaten for their first 14 away games of a top-flight campaign.

Related items

  • Happy Ronaldo still has more years at Juventus, says Pepe Happy Ronaldo still has more years at Juventus, says Pepe

    Cristiano Ronaldo is happy at Juventus and looks primed to stay at the club for multiple years, according to his former Real Madrid and Portugal team-mate Pepe.

    The forward has 25 goals in 27 Serie A matches this season, topping the league's scoring charts, four clear of nearest rival Romelu Lukaku.

    Ronaldo has been prolific since signing for Juve from Real Madrid in 2018 and continues to be so at the age of 36, now three goals away from reaching 100 for the Italian club in all competitions.

    However, his future was thrown into the spotlight after Juventus once again failed to reach the latter stages of the Champions League this season, with Pepe and Porto knocking them out in the last 16.

    Domestically, Inter look poised to end Juve's run of nine straight Scudetto successes and Ronaldo has been linked with a move away amid speculation over Juve's financial situation and direction of their project.

    But Pepe thinks Ronaldo's accomplishments are being underestimated and sees him remaining at the highest level for the foreseeable future.

    Pepe was asked if Ronaldo would contemplate a return to playing in Portugal, where he started his career with Sporting CP.

    He told Novo: "Honestly, given how I know him, I don't know if he would tolerate the way many people talk about football in Portugal.

    "I think he is happy in Turin. He is the leading goalscorer in Serie A. Those who criticise him don’t know how difficult it is to score more than 30 goals every year.

    "What Cristiano can do is incredible. And I hope he will stay there for more years, giving joy to football lovers and representing Portugal very well, as he has always done."

    Ronaldo - defended by head coach Andrea Pirlo last week for throwing his shirt after failing to score in a win over Genoa - is under contract with Juve until June 2022, while at international level he has Euro 2020 and the World Cup coming up for his country before the end of next year.

    Juventus are away to Atalanta on Sunday, a team they have beaten only once in their last six meetings across all competitions.

    However, Ronaldo will be buoyed that Juve have scored at least two goals in each of their last seven away games against Atalanta in Serie A.

  • Smalling family 'shaken up' after armed burglary at Roma star's home Smalling family 'shaken up' after armed burglary at Roma star's home

    Former Manchester United star Chris Smalling has spoken of the "harm and distress" his family felt after an armed burglary at their home in Rome.

    Now playing for Roma, who will face United in the Europa League semi-finals, the 31-cap England international had his home raided in the early hours of Friday.

    According to reports in Italy, Smalling handed over three Rolex watches, jewellery and money to the three men who entered the property in the Appia Antica district of Italy's capital.

    Police were called after the terrifying incident, and 31-year-old Smalling wrote on Twitter on Saturday: "I'd like to thank everyone for your well wishes and support! My family although very shaken up are luckily unharmed!

    "Hoping these people can find a more meaningful way to live their lives without causing such harm and distress to others."

    Former United team-mate Marcus Rashford sent a message of support to Smalling on Friday, saying he was "so sorry" to hear of the break-in.

    Rashford added: "Thinking about you @ChrisSmalling and your lovely family. Can’t imagine how you're feeling but I hope you're ok."

    Smalling has been injured recently and did not play on Thursday when Roma edged past Ajax to reach the Europa League last four.

  • Dodgers roll on as Padres showdown lives up to the hype in Tatis' return Dodgers roll on as Padres showdown lives up to the hype in Tatis' return

    The Los Angeles Dodgers outlasted the San Diego Padres 11-6 after 12 innings in an enthralling MLB showdown between the National League West rivals.

    Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr returned from a shoulder injury to face World Series champions the Dodgers in the series opener and he hit a home run in the fifth inning – a 410-foot bomb – to mark his comeback on Friday.

    The Padres tied the game in the bottom of the ninth after Eric Hosmer's single allowed Manny Machado to score in San Diego.

    Tensions threatened to boil over after benches cleared in the 10th when Dodgers pitcher Dennis Santana struck Jorge Mateo.

    San Diego and Los Angeles could not be separated until Corey Seager's two-run homer sparked a Dodgers onslaught in the top of the 12th inning, which finished with five runs.

    The red-hot Dodgers extended their winning streak to seven games, while improving to an MLB-best 12-2.

     

    Reds stay hot

    The Cincinnati Reds eased past the Cleveland Indians 10-3. Cincinnati are now 6-1 at home this season with 67 runs scored (9.6 per game). Per Stats Perform, it is the most runs by a team in their first seven home games of a season since the 1900 Boston Beaneaters (Braves franchise) had 71. The Reds' plus-38 run differential (67-29) at Great American Ball Park is the highest by any National League squad through seven home games since the 1894 Cleveland Spiders (plus-44).

    Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer surpassed Cy Young for the 22nd most strikeouts (2,807) of all-time. Three-time Cy Young Award winner Scherzer struck out the side in the seventh inning, finishing with 10 and 2,808 for his career. The Nationals edged the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0.

    Justin Upton smashed a grand slam as the Los Angeles Angels crushed the Minnesota Twins 10-3.

     

    Yankees continue to underwhelm

    The star-studded New York Yankees dropped to an American League (AL) East-worst 5-8 following an 8-2 loss to rivals the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees walked seven Rays batters, had just three hits, struck out 14 times and tallied three errors that led to three unearned runs. Yankees fans made their feelings known after throwing balls onto the field, which led to a stoppage.

     

    Schwarber lifts Nationals

    Kyle Schwarber's walk-off homer saw the Nationals beat the Diamondbacks. His 463-foot shot was Schwarber's first home run for Washington.

     

    Friday's results

    Atlanta Braves 5-2 Chicago Cubs
    Washington Nationals 1-0 Arizona Diamondbacks
    Philadelphia Phillies 9-2 St Louis Cardinals
    Tampa Bay Rays 8-2 New York Yankees
    Cincinnati Reds 10-3 Cleveland Indians
    Miami Marlins 4-1 San Francisco Giants
    Baltimore Orioles 5-2 Texas Rangers
    Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 Milwaukee Brewers
    Los Angeles Angels 10-3 Minnesota Twins
    Oakland Athletics 3-0 Detroit Tigers
    Los Angeles Dodgers 11-6 San Diego Padres
    Seattle Mariners 6-5 Houston Astros
    Chicago White Sox-Boston Red Sox (postponed)
    Toronto Blue Jays-Kansas City Royals (postponed)
    New York Mets-Colorado Rockies (postponed)

     

    Blue Jays at Royals

    After Friday's game was postponed, the Toronto Blue Jays (6-7) and Kansas City Royals (7-4) will contest a doubleheader on Saturday. Steven Matz will start game one for the Blue Jays as the Royals counter with Mike Minor. Toronto's Tommy Milone will take to the mound in the game two, with Ervin Santana handed a Kansas City start.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.