By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Anthony Martial has responded to Paul Scholes’ criticism by claiming he does get angry despite his mellow persona.
Scholes has questioned whether the striker is “bothered” about scoring goals and has the fire to be a prolific goalscorer.
But Martial, who became the world’s most expensive teenager when he transferred from Monaco last summer for a deal that could be worth £61million, insists people misinterpret his character due to his body language on the pitch.
Martial told Sky Sports: “I have always been that way, and I have been told that quite a lot. People’s opinions will not change it, but one must know that when I fail to score a goal I do get angry with myself.”
Speaking in late November after Martial had endured a barren spell in front of goal, Scholes said: “He doesn’t look bothered if he scores a goal. As a centre forward, all you live for is scoring goals, all you want to do is score goals.
“He doesn’t look like one of those players to me and maybe they need to go into the transfer market in January for one of them.”
Martial has scored 12 goals in what has been an impressive debut campaign in which he has been one of the few shining lights for Louis van Gaal’s struggling team.
The France international has been used more often on the left flank than in his favourite position, with 18-year-old Marcus Rashford preferred as the attack spearhead during Wayne Rooney’s absence.
Martial said: “Foremost I am a striker, it doesn’t bother me at all which position I play, when I am on the pitch I just focus on helping the team that’s all.
“I just want to help the team, and when I score I am happier, I am a striker and that’s how it goes.”
The 20-year-old admitted there are clear differences between playing in England and in his native France.
“The Premier League is more physically demanding than Ligue 1,” he observed. “I love English football, it’s the best in the world in my opinion, and I hope to stay here for many years to come.
“It’s true that the atmosphere here is quite different from the one in France, people live and breathe football here, and that’s what I like, every footballer wants to play in the Premier League.
“In France it’s easy to know which team is going to win the game, whereas in England anywhere you play, you know it’s going to be difficult.
“I think it made me realise how physically strong I am, I wasn’t aware of it while playing for Monaco, as I wasn’t playing consistently. I think the manager believes in me and I make sure I look after myself as well as my diet in order to be fit for games.”
In other Manchester United news, Marouane Fellaini has been labelled a “thug” by a BT Sport pundit.