After a momentary hiccup at the Etihad earlier this month, Manchester United look firmly back on track. The Erik Ten Hag revolution looks to have resumed, as United have picked up 4 wins in 5 games.
Their latest victory came against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford, and in splendid fashion as well.
Throughout the 90, United dominated proceedings, while displaying a style of football that isn’t entirely the Ten Hag way, featuring some tweaks by the Dutchman.
For instance, there wasn’t a rigid emphasis on playing out from the back, owing largely to David De Gea’s shortcomings on the ball
Additionally, instead of his signature possession-oriented ‘Total Football’, there appeared to be a focus on quick and swift counters, which just happens to be the ‘United way.’
All of it came to fruition in the end as the hosts picked up a commanding 2-0 victory, and closed the gap on 4th-placed Chelsea to a single point.
In recent weeks, the unity between players looks to be at an all-time high, which is also apparent in their performances as of late.
And aside from a certain 37-year-old, everybody seems to be getting along seamlessly.
While a string of wins is pretty significant for an atmosphere such as this, it’s impossible to discount the influence of strong locker room personalities.
And given everything we’ve seen so far this season, Lisandro Martinez looks to be one of them.
The Argentine, who got panned for his height following his transfer to United, has effectively silenced the critics and has also established a solid defensive partnership with Raphael Varane in the process.
It didn’t take long for the 24-year-old to earn admiration from fans, as the United faithful almost instantly gravitated towards his dogged and determined style of play.
He was soon labeled ‘The Butcher’ by fans, a moniker that suits his physical and ruthless defensive approach.
And as if he wasn’t popular enough already, the defender also happens to be an excellent teammate.
On the pitch, you can spot ‘Licha’ regularly handing out passionate high-fives and chest bumps. Off it, he turns into the ultimate hype man.
In a trend stretching back several weeks, the Argentine has routinely offered messages of encouragement and appreciation to his teammates through Instagram.
After the game against Spurs, Martinez gladly hyped up his partner-in-crime Varane, referring to him as ‘Raphael Crackane’.
He then went on to do the same for Marcus Rashford, in the English International’s comments, Martinez wrote, ‘You are not normal bro’.
The Portuguese got a commending ‘No one passes’, while the message on De Gea’s post read ‘ You are on a level bro’.
Who knew that Manchester United’s resident ‘hardman’ would also be the team’s primary cheerleader?
Despite being at the club for mere months, Martinez has already made quite an impact.
Not only has he played a pivotal part in fixing up a leaky defense, but the Argentine has also taken up the responsibility of raising morale.
Safe to say, he’s more than living up to his £60m price tag so far.