Arsenal fans are being 'manipulated' says Wenger

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is under increasing pressure.

The Frenchman has also urged fans to look at Arsenal’s season “in perspective” ahead of a planned protest by supporters’ groups during Saturday’s Premier League match at home to Norwich City.

Ahead of the clash, Wenger admitted that results to the so-called ‘lesser’ sides in the league had cost his team this season.














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#360view: Martial could be key for France at Euro 2016

Matt Jones 28/04/2016
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Match-winner: Anthony Martial.

Anthony Martial’s growing popularity with Manchester United fans can be gauged by a chant championing the Frenchman.

It goes: ‘Tony Martial came from France, English press said he had no chance, £50 million down the drain, Tony Martial scores again’.

The 20-year-old is nearing the end of a superb debut season in English football, but just how good may surprise you. He is four goals shy of surpassing the record for Manchester United players who were teenagers when starting their first full season in England.

The record of 17 is shared by the original wonderkid Brian Kidd, a scorer in the 1968 European Cup final on his 19th birthday, and another precocious teenage talent who went on to make a bit of a name for himself – Wayne Rooney, the man Martial is rapidly ushering out of the Old Trafford exit door.

Martial exploded onto the scene when he scored a dazzling third in a rousing 3-1 triumph over famous old foes Liverpool on his debut last September. His stoppage-time winner in the 2-1 defeat of Everton which sealed a first FA Cup final appearance in nine years was his 14th strike in all competitions. He has five more games to break the record.

So good has his maiden campaign been, Martial is almost a certainty to start for Didier Deschamps’ France at Euro 2016, when he wasn’t even on the international radar last summer.

With Karim Benzema in international exile and Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud enduring a woeful run of form, this summer’s host nation are left with just the excellent Antoine Griezmann as their lone marksman.

But the most remarkable part of Martial’s debut season, is that he’s thrived amid a chorus of criticism. And that’s what will appeal to Deschamps most.

The English press baulked at the admittedly astronomical £37.8m fee United paid Monaco for his raw talent, but they had a point. The pressure on Martial’s young shoulders may have been a tad unfair, but then when you cost that much, you have to deliver.

Undeniably, he has done that and given the chance, he can help shoulder the burden for France. He has scored winning goals against Everton and Southampton in the Premier League, netted a crucial equaliser against West Ham in the FA Cup quarter-final, and has set the Red Devils up for their first trophy in three years.

To put Martial’s fantastic season into perspective, Cristiano Ronaldo only scored six goals in 40 appearances during his debut season in 2003-04.

Of course, with the campaign he’s enjoyed, that will bring added pressure next season. The weight of expectancy, however, clearly hasn’t been an issue for Martial, who has excelled as the season has progressed.

He is currently joint-second on the list of United first season goalscorers, level on 14 with Norman Whiteside, who bagged 14 in 57 in the 1982-83 season.

Kidd’s 17 came in 50 games, with Martial having featured just 45 times. Only Rooney’s record of 17 in 43 came quicker.

Carry this form into the summer and it won’t just be United fans singing his name, it will be Les Bleus supporters, too.

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The best of Anthony Martial at Manchester United so far

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And ahead of Euro 2016, the Frenchman is closing in on a welcome feat – the 20-year-old is only four goals shy of surpassing the goalscoring record for Red Devils players who were teenagers when starting their first full season in England.

The campaign record is 17, shared by Brian Kidd and Wayne Rooney.

Here, Sport360.com looks back at Martial’s recent injury-time winning goal against Everton in the FA Cup semi-final and some of his season’s highlights so far.












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