Speaking to RTL this evening, Manchester United striker and Frenchman Anthony Martial gave an extensive interview on Bixente Lizarazu’s show, Le Club Liza. Extracts.
On his season so far:
Yes, I am happy with what I have done, even if I could have done better. But I hope that with Manchester United we are going to qualify for the Champions League for next season.
On the fans:
If we play football, it is also for them. To give them great emotions and to allow them to take some enjoyment.
On his relationship with Didier Deschamps:
He gives me a lot of advice, on my game whether it is with France or with Manchester United, he gives me advice to improve myself and that helps me a lot. He asks me to play to my strengths, to provoke [the opposition] relentlessly and sometimes certainly it works and sometimes certainly it doesn’t. But the most important thing is to listen to his advice in order to help the team.
On his nonchalance:
It is true that ever since I was young I have been like that, in the youth teams that was ok, but at the professional level, there are certain demands that have to be met, so I realised that and now things are going better.
On Leonardo Jardim:
He allowed me to progress enormously. I thank him, he was very hard on me and I think that was what I needed. So I thank him again.
On changes to his daily regime:
Now I work hard everyday in training, what I want is to progress and to become a better player. Before I used to say, well, I am a bit tired, so I won’t work in overdrive, but now, tired or not, I give everything in training to be ready for the match.
On Louis van Gaal being a hard task-master:
It is true, he is always on my back if I misplace a pass. Yes always, if I misplace a pass or I take a poor touch, he is the first I hear who is screaming at me. It makes me laugh because I know it is for my own good. He wants me to be a perfectionist and I think it is like that that I will progress. He has allowed me to progress enormously, he has also given me an enormous amount of confidence and I think it is thanks to this that I have succeeded with my start at Manchester United… He is a very good coach, in his nature he seems cold on the exterior but he is a very good coach, he is nice… When we win, he is happy.
On the price of his transfer to Manchester United:
I was just happy to go to Manchester. For what was said in the media, I did not listen, it was more my family that was a bit taken aback by the whole thing. But I simply concentrated on the pitch in order to be ready for the right moment.
On his English:
It is difficult to express myself, but thanks to Morgan [Schneiderlin] and Marouane [Fellaini], I manage to make myself understood and that is the most important thing.
On Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford:
Honestly they are two very good young players and they have helped us enormously this season and I hope that they will continue like that so that we can finish 4th or 3rd in the league… Are you jealous of Marcus, in the number 9 role? No not at all, I am very happy for him. He is scoring goals and that is the most important thing.
On the left-wing/centre forward debate:
I prefer to play upfront, but if the coach puts me on the wing then that means it is better for the team and for me that is the most important thing… I am working very hard every day in training [to become a better finisher] and it is true that sometimes when I play as the number nine, I have not scored but it is like that. With time, I will progress even more and I will be more mature to score even more goals.
On Wayne Rooney:
He is truly a good guy, he’s a great player, he is not at all arrogant, he laughs with everybody. I love him.
On his 12 goals for Manchester United:
I think I could have done better, there were some chances that I missed but I think next year it will be much better.
On his physical shape before arriving at Manchester United:
At the beginning I was scared because I had heard a lot about the intensity of the English game, but I realised during the matches that I was able to keep up, and I was really very happy about that because as a youngster I struggled to finish games, at the age of 17 they said I needed to work on my endurance.
On what scared him more about England, the intensity or the nasty tackles:
No the intensity, the tackles you need to know how to avoid them and not injure yourself. But I love the English game, it was really everything I wanted.
On EURO 2016:
Yes it is something that I am thinking about, I hope that I will be in the 23, starting or being in the squad, it doesn’t matter, I just hope to be a part of it and to help my teammates… We are in France, so all we want to do is win, it will be hard but… The favourites are Spain and Germany.
On Manchester United’s sticky form this season:
For sure this year things have been difficult. We didn’t qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, we are currently 5th. I hope that we will be able to win our next seven games and come back into the race for 4th.
On if he would quit Manchester United for PSG:
They are not at the top of the top [Manchester United, at the moment], but I hope that next year they will be.