Erik ten Hag explains Anthony Martial argument as Andre Onana mulls big decision
The United boss was less than pleased with the French forward.
Erik ten Hag moved to address his first half berating of Manchester United forward Anth0ny Martial during his side's 1-0 loss to Newcastle United, at St James' Park, on Saturday.
The United boss let rip at Martial during the first half of a game United were outclassed, and out-run, in. Martial spun around and gave his two cents, and many did not expect him to return for the second half.
Martial did return after half-time but was replaced by Rasmus Hojlund after 61 minutes. Since the beginning of the 2020/21 season, Martial has scored 19 goals in 94 appearances and has scored just twice this season. Following the game, ten Hag explained:
"It's not about Anthony Martial, it's about the team. I try to energise the team and try to get a reaction from the team in this moment.
"As you see, we had a tough period and when you're coaching you are a little more aggressive, so that's normal."
Anthony Martial is now in his ninth season at United and has failed to kick on from that promising first season when, as a teenager, he scored 17 goals as his side won the FA Cup, under Louis van Gaal. His best ever goalscoring return was 23 goals, in 2019/20, when Ole Gunnar-Solskjaer employed him as main striker in many matches, with United finishing third in the league.
Andrè Onana facing possible ban
Andre Onana may be banned from playing for Manchester United – even if he rejects the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations. Onana is expected to be called up to play in the tournament, which takes place in the Ivory Coast between January 13 and February 11 next year.
If Cameroon go all the way, Onana could miss as many as six games for United in the Premier League and FA Cup. However, multiple reports are claiming that the former Ajax ‘keeper is considering rejecting a call-up amid fears he may lose his number one spot to Altay Bayindir.
The 27-year-old has had a difficult start to life at United and was at fault for all three of the goals conceded in Tuesday’s draw to Galatasaray. But even if Onana chooses not to play for Cameroon, he may still be unable to feature for the Red Devils. As reported by The Sun, FIFA’s regulations state:
“A player who has been called up by his association for one of its representative teams is, unless otherwise agreed by the relevant association, not entitled to play for the club with which he is registered during the period for which he has been released or should have been released… plus an additional period of five days.”
This means that Cameroon would have to give Onana and United permission to allow him to play. After some time away from the international set up Onana returned in August and has added three caps to his name.
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