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‘Martial can look as though he’s not trying’ – Giggs sees body language problem for Man Utd forward

3:31 AM MYT 03/01/2020
Anthony Martial Manchester United 2019-20
The France international is considered to be an enigmatic talent, with a Red Devils legend looking for him to find greater consistency in his game

Anthony Martial can appear as though “he’s not trying”, admits Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs, with the French forward urged to add greater consistency to his game.

The 23-year-old has impressed since stepping back into the Red Devils side this season after injury.

He has hit double figures when it comes to goals scored, with four recorded in his last five appearances.

Martial did, however, draw a blank in United’s 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on New Year’s Day.

Questions have been asked of his contribution at Emirates Stadium, with an enigmatic talent considered to look disinterested when not firing on all cylinders.

United icon Giggs admits a proven performer needs to offer more to the collective cause when not feeling on top of his game, with it easy for him to be scapegoated over a supposed lack of effort.

"When it comes off it looks as if he’s not even trying and it looks brilliant," Giggs told Premier League Productions.

"But I think he is a victim of his body language.

"Like I said, the last couple of games he’s really tried. And I’ve felt that as a player, when you’re winning tackles and defending well, then you’re sharper when you do get the ball.

"If you’re a bit sloppy and you’re not really closing down, when you do get the ball you don’t feel as good, you feel lethargic.

"So I think that’s something he needs to do more and more consistently. Because as I say in the last couple of games he’s done it."

United need their forwards to lead from the front, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking for the tone to be set by those in the final third.

Giggs once offered those qualities to the Red Devils, with the Welshman hoping to see Martial deliver similar for the class of 2019-20.

He added: "If you’ve got a centre-forward who is harrying, closing defenders down, it’s huge for the midfielders. You see a striker doing that, then you’re up with the play.

"In contrast to Anthony Martial, who I did compliment, who I thought against Newcastle, against Burnley he was like that. But [against Arsenal] he wasn’t.

"Maybe he did press a couple of times and he looked back and the midfielders weren’t as compact as they should be."

United and Martial will get the opportunity to rediscover their spark when they take in an FA Cup third-round clash with Wolves on Saturday, before then welcoming arch-rivals Manchester City to Old Trafford for the first leg of an eagerly-anticipated Carabao Cup semi-final.