Lisandro Martinez has been ridiculed for his shaky defense against Brighton, and he is currently out of form and out of sorts.
When Lisandro Martinez talks, calm is restored amidst the pandemonium.
‘I always think, when anything awful happens it’s to bring something wonderful,’ he stated in a GQ article last month.
He had best hope that’something nice’ is delivered against Harry Kane and Co. in Munich after he plugged in perhaps his worst performance in a Manchester United shirt against Brighton and United fell to three defeats in their opening five games for the first time since 1989.
He is used to receiving criticism in the Premier League. It’s usually ten times that at Manchester United.
After last year’s disappointing starts, where they lost to Brighton and Brentford, he and his teammates came under intense scrutiny. Martinez overcame his early season problems to become a significant contributor for Erik ten Hag last year. He really shone in a home game against Liverpool.
However, Martinez appears to have taken a major step backwards this season, and the data bear this out.
The World Cup winner, who has been substituted out of three of the first five games, is losing more aerial duels than he is winning, as well as making fewer tackles, interceptions, passes, and clearances.
Against Brighton, Martinez looked uncomfortable at best and absolutely lost at worst as part of a spliced-together back four that included a debutant in Sergio Reguilon to his left and an uncertain centre back partner in Victor Lindelof to his right.
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel singled out Martinez for having a hero-complex after the second goal was scored by Pascal Gross, despite the fact that the defense as a whole had done a poor job of preventing it.
Like what happens at Manchester United right now, it’s really individual, Schmeichel told Premier League Productions.
“Players like Martinez are trying to block like heroes, for example.
This is common knowledge,’ they sаy. If we watch him from that angle, he’ll position himself directly in front of the goalie.He needs to get in a defensive stance and close the gap or at least try to block. Don’t slouch if you wish to block; instead, stand straight up. Obviously, Manchester United is going through some rough times.
United paid Ajax £55 million last summer to bring in Martinez as a defender and enforcer so that they could create attacks from the back.
Martinez’s influence on the game was significant for long stretches of the previous season, but it has diminished this year.
His 42.86 percent success rate in duels places him 95th out of 106 eligible defenders this season, and he is eighth on the list of defenders who have been dribbled past the most, with Gross being the most recent victim.
But if you go back over the season’s games, you’ll notice a lot of slip-ups.
Martinez attempted to prevent a cоunterattack by stepping up above the halfway line in the season opener against Wolves, but Matheus Cunha easily dribbled by him for a three-on-two. When Pablo Sarabia’s shot went harmlessly wide, Martinez got a free pass.
Martinez and Luke Shaw failed to coordinate their defensive efforts against Tottenham, resulting in two goals conceded on own goals by Ben Davies and Martinez.
Instead of Willy Boly, who was in position to chest in Nottingham Forest’s second goal, he was tasked with marking Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Those blunders were out of character last year. This season, it’s become increasingly common in a defense that desperately needs a captain.
“Let’s see the same energy for Lisandro Martinez and Victor Lindelof,” Gabby Agbonlahor remarked on talkSPORT on Saturday night.
Gross scored on a false shot by Martinez, who was attempting to make a block, but ended up putting the ball in his own net. You would never hear the end of it if it were Harry Maguire.
I can just imagine what Harry Maguire is thinking right now as he surveys the other players in the locker room: “How am I not getting a chance in this team?”
So, we arrive at the Allianz Arena in Munich, where we meet Kane.
United’s season was revitalized by a victory over Liverpool a year ago, and the Red Devils may use the same kind of boost on Wednesday.
Wan-Bissaka is the latest player to travel to the treatment room after picking up an ιnjury; Martinez is not suԀԀenly a horrible player, but he must rally and lead a defense that is struggling without Raphael Varane.
One of his sharpest detractors, Jamie Carragher, described him as a “warrior” and a “leader” last season. United will continue to appear disorganized from behind as long as he does not return to that level.
United must be difficult to beаt, and much of the leadership will fall on Martinez’s shoulders, as they face an onslaught featuring Kane, Thomas Muller, Leroy Sane, and Serge Gnabry.
“Even bad things happen for a reason,” he explained. United’s faithful desperately need that to be the case as soon as possible.