We often hear the phrase “natural born goalscorer” when it comes to strikers, but it’s almost impossible to describe what that actually means.
Despite that, you can sometimes tell that scoring goals comes easy to some players while others struggle, and Anthony Martial could fall into that second category.
He’s a terrifically skilled footballer who can be ice-cold in front of goal, but sometimes getting into the right positions is something he struggles with.
He’s spent a lot of his career playing on the left wing and cutting inside, so it shouldn’t be a great surprise that he likes to drift away from the goal, but that makes him much easier to play against.
Some fans will turn their noses up at someone like Darren Bent commenting on a player like Martial, but Bent was also a prolific scorer who had a killer instinct that Martial probably lacks.
The Mirror picked up on some of his recent comments on Talksport, and it does make for interesting reading:
“I think he’s a very good footballer, he’s got fantastic feet, but I still don’t think he’s ruthless enough in front of goal.”
“He’s not world class, not yet. You can’t start calling him world class after one good season. Robert Lewandowski is world class. Harry Kane is world class.”
“If he can consistently keep putting these goals in over a number of years then of course you can put him in there, but not yet.”
“Martial shows flashes of brilliance at times, but if you were to put Kane in those positions last night how many of those chances would he have scored? Probably all of them, because that’s how ruthless he is.”
It is an interesting observation and it’s probably a fair one, but it doesn’t mean that Martial can’t become that type of player if he works on it.
A good comparison would be Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he moved from Ajax to Juventus – He was known for drifting deep and trying to beat everyone rather than just getting into the box and putting the ball into the net.
In his autobiography he talked about Fabio Capello putting him on a special training regime of just constant shooting while threatening to squash the Ajax out of him, so Martial may have to undergo a similar transition.
Over the years the French striker has shown he likes to get the ball to feet before trying to beat players and score a magical goal, so it will be interesting to see how he develops.
Being world class isn’t purely dependant on scoring lots of goals, but he will need to show more killer instinct if he wants to be known as a deadly goalscorer.