‘Sancho is still young, but this is not FIFA!’ – Ince slams £73m winger & takes aim at Martial after Man Utd cup exit


A former Old Trafford favourite has criticised the attacking duo after the Red Devils’ disappointing home defeat to West Ham

Paul Ince has told £73 million ($100m) winger Jadon Sancho that English football “is not FIFA” while also taking aim at Anthony Martial after Manchester United’s Carabao Cup exit.

United were dumped out of the competition at the third-round stage on Wednesday after losing 1-0 at home to West Ham, just three days on from their 2-1 victory over the Hammers in the Premier League – which Sancho started on the bench.

The 21-year-old returned to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI in midweek but produced another ineffective display on the right flank, and Ince has now criticised him for focusing more on fancy footwork than linking up with his team-mates in the final third.

What’s been said?

The former Red Devils winger also felt that Jesse Lingard and Martial were guilty of showboating at times, as he told The United Stand: “I get that Sancho is still learning, he’s still young. But this is not a FIFA game, it’s not all about dribbling and dribbling and trying to beat two, three, four players or little flicks and that.

“Yeah, it’s nice when they come off but the likes of Sancho and Lingard, all these flicks, just play proper football.

“Honestly, it winds me up! If you watch players like [Ryan] Giggs, they get it and they pass, one-twos and get one-on-one… we just want to keep running with the ball, trying little flicks, little backheels.

“That’s what I saw with Martial, I saw it at times with Lingard and with Sancho and that’s where they need to learn that it’s not all about dribbling. Sometimes you can pass your way through players and get yourself in the box.”

Ince on Martial

Anthony Martial Manchester United

Ince went on to express his frustration over Martial’s overall performance, with it his belief that the Frenchman showed no interest in the fixture.

“How many people are ahead of Martial now? Was he going to go in the transfer window? Ole said no and he’s still part of his plans,” he said.

“I just looked at Martial’s body language and I was thinking, ‘Does he actually want to be out there on a Wednesday night?’, and some players do that. When they’re not involved in the first team on a Saturday, they think: ‘Why am I playing in the Carabao Cup?!’

“You sense that body language with Martial. He didn’t want to be out there.”

Ince felt Martial missed a golden chance to stake his claim for a share of regular minutes alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, who was rested for the second game against the Hammers after starting the previous four matches in succession.

“Martial has got to be ready for his opportunity. I don’t think Ronaldo will play every game,” he added. “Yesterday was an opportunity for Martial to say to the manager, ‘Look at me, I still want to push for a shirt!’, and that was the sad thing about yesterday.”

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