Paul Ince has ruthlessly criticised Manchester United players for not playing “proper football” after Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat to West Ham, he’s talking about Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho and Jesse Lingard
The aforementioned United trio made Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI for their third-round Carabao Cup clash on Wednesday at Old Trafford. United managed a whopping 27 shots against the Hammers, with only six of those registered on target.
Manuel Lanzini fired West Ham into the lead in the ninth minute, but United were unable to pull back an equaliser and subsequently crashed out of the Carabao Cup.
Ince now believes that Martial failed to make a lasting impression on Solskjaer and questioned his “body language” while he was out on the pitch.
Speaking to The United Stand, he said: “This wasn’t a top-notch West Ham side. Some of the players you’ve probably not even heard of! It was a time for them to say to the manager: ‘I’m still here!’
“How many people are ahead of Martial now? Was he going to go in the transfer window? Ole said no and he’s still part of his plans.
“I just looked at Martial’s body language and I was thinking, ‘Does he actually want to be out there on a Wednesday night?’ — and some players do that. When they’re not involved in the first-team on a Saturday, they think, ‘Why am I playing in the Carabao Cup?!’
“You sense that body language with Martial. He didn’t want to be out there.”
Ince added: “I get that Sancho is still learning, he’s still young. But this is not FIFA game, it’s not all about dribbling and dribbling and trying to beat two, three, four players or little flicks and that.
“Yeah, it’s nice when they come off but the likes of Sancho and Lingard, all these flicks, just play proper football.
“Honestly, it winds me up! If you watch players like [Ryan] Giggs, they get it and they pass, one-twos and get one-on-one… we just want to keep running with the ball, trying little flicks, little backheels.
“That’s what I saw with Martial, I saw it at times with Lingard and with Sancho and that’s where they need to learn that it’s not all about dribbling. Sometimes you can pass your way through players and get yourself in the box.”
“We’ve got to be careful because things do change,” he continued.
“We’re saying, ‘Ronaldo’s going to play every game,’ but he’s 36, who knows, he could pick up an injury and is out for three or four weeks, Martial comes back in, gets a couple of goals and a run in the team.
“I’ve seen it so many times in the game where a player comes back in, he’s been out in Siberia, does well, he’s got a year left, and all of a sudden he signs a four-year contract. And you think, ‘Where’s that come from?!’”