Souness compares Anthony Martial to Paul Pogba in daming rant 

Anthony Martial of Manchester United
Anthony Martial of Manchester United

Former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness has stated that Manchester United striker Anthony Martial is too inconsistent to play for the Old Trafford club.

The striker was one of the best players for Manchester United during their pre-season friendlies, but according to Souness, he can not be relied on by Erik ten Hag.

The former Ajax coach began his reign as United boss in the worst way possible, as his side were outplayed and beaten by Brighton at Old Trafford.

Martial missed the game through injury, leaving Ten Hag to start Christian Eriksen in a false nine role as Cristiano Ronaldo was still considered not match fit.

But the Dane was unable to affect the game much as Man United saw themselves two goals down before the break. The introduction of Ronaldo changed the complexion of the game and the Red Devils were able to score. 

But they could not find the equaliser they needed, leading to fans booing the team at the end of the game. 

The shocking loss has unsurprisingly led to questions being asked of ten Hag and his players. However, Souness believes the former Dutchman “needs time” to implement his philosophy.

“Erik ten Hag had a good career at Ajax but managing at Ajax and managing at United are worlds apart,” Souness told talkSPORT.

“Ajax have always been a top team in Holland and always will be. If they don’t win the league, they finish second.

“Coming to Man United, at a very difficult point in their history, is a difficult task. He needs time, but time isn’t your friend as a manager.”

The former Liverpool man went on to say Ten Hag is having to rely on inconsistent players who have never shown they are good enough to play for the Red Devils.

He pointed fingers at Martial, saying that the 26-year-old has proved he “can’t deal with the pressure” of being a United player.

He likened the Frenchman to Paul Pogba, who left the club this summer, stating that Martial ‘picks and chooses’ when he wants to play well.

“You’re looking to make an immediate impact, but how do you do that? Unless you’ve got a special group of players coming through, then you need to buy players,” Souness continued.

“But they’ve not really recruited any game-changers. So now the manager is relying on players already there and you look at someone like Anthony Martial.

“How many opportunities is that young man going to get to be a Manchester United player? He’s proven already to me he’s not for Man United.

“He can’t deal with the pressure of playing at Man United. It’s like Paul Pogba. In both of them, I see real players, I see the quality that few players possess.

“But it’s on their terms and they pick and choose when they use it. When you play for a big club, you cannot be like that.

“When you are at a big club, you play in a cup final every week. These players are not up for that, they’re not up for the fight.

“It’s no good being a great player in training or being a great player once every six or seven games. You’re at a big club because you want to win things and want to be challenging all the time.

“With these players, you won’t. In basic terms, they are dodgy. They are not people you can rely on, end of.

“I don’t think you can rely on Martial anymore, not that you ever could. He’s been far too hit or miss.”