Erik ten Hag has overseen rapid improvement so far at Manchester United, with the Dutchman boasting the highest win percentage of all managers since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement a decade ago.
After a rough start, United have looked like a transformed side for an extended period but Ten Hag has been presented with possibly his toughest challenge yet now as crucial first-team players are dropping like flies.
Christian Eriksen, one of the first names on the teamsheet in the first half of the season, was ruled out for at least three months at the end of January. That was accompanied by a three-match suspension for Casemiro.
Scott McTominay has also been ruled out due to injury and now, Casemiro is set to serve another suspension but this time, the Brazil international will be missing four games.
The lack of bodies in midfield has led to suggestions that Ten Hag could trial other players in the middle of the park and now, Lisandro Martinez has discussed the possibility of changing positions.
“We have many good midfielders. Like I have said in many interviews, I will play wherever the coach wants to use me,” Martinez said on the matter according to the Manchester Evening News.
Ten Hag has not been shy to try players in new positions, with Luke Shaw’s brief spell at centre-back when Martinez returned from the World Cup being the standout.
Victor Lindelof has also been used in midfield whilst Wout Weghorst, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Tyrell Malacia have all tried different positions.
Speaking ahead of the crucial return leg against Real Betis later this week, Martinez was also quick to reiterate the ‘connection’ he feels to the Old Trafford faithful.
“A footballer’s passion is to play with heart. We have a connection with the fans. It is very emotional for me [to hear the fans chant his name]. It is a dream to come to England and play for Manchester United,” he said.
Martinez almost immediately grew into a fan-favourite at Old Trafford after he made the move from Ajax last summer.
Martines to replace casemiro shaw move to centre back
ten hag is good in rotating players let him use shaw and varane together at the defence and malacia at the left full back
Martinez is almost made for the Defensive mid-field role:
* Amongst the very best at reading the game and anticipating the oppositions next move
*In doing so, he steps in and disrupts the pass often leading to an interception
* He is an excellent tackler and rarely gives away silly fouls
* He is simply one of the best passers in the game. Carrick like passes that spilt the oppositions lines
* His passing over 40m is superb and the weight of the pass is spot on
*Recently we have seen his quick feet and he has a trick or two
* He has a wicked shot that we don’t see often but would if he was pushed further upon the pitch
* Will this disrupt the back 4? Well, yes and No. Remember now, we have already seen a United back 4 of : Wan-Bissaka / Varane / Shaw / Malacia and they were very very effective.
Addendum: Martinez takes the ball off the GK as well as any in the game….He opens his body, takes a few pictures and knows where the opponents are and makes the right decisions to either play it back to the GK, wide to either the Right or Left back or turn and go up the field.
He’s so, so calm in these situations!
dat’s wat I was waiting for to see Ten Hag’s suggestion to use Martinez in heart of da field. because he is good in defensive mid-field. and even you can see da way he controls da ball
It would b great 2 see martinez gets to play in a defensive midfield role. Really looking forward to seeing dat