Anthony Martial slams ‘treacherous’ Solskjaer and ‘disrespectful’ Mourinho as he opens up on Man Utd struggles
MANCHESTER UNITED ace Anthony Martial has slammed former bosses Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jose Mourinho as treacherous and disrespectful.
The Frenchman, 26, hasn’t hit the heights expected following his £54million move from Monaco in 2015.
Martial played under all of Man Utd’s last five permanent managers, dating back to Louis van Gaal’s reign.
However, there’s no love lost for Solskjaer or serial winner Mourinho.
Martial slammed Mourinho for lacking “direct respect for me”, and Solskjaer for not publicly backing him after playing through an injury – something he says is “almost treachery”.
Solskjaer was originally brought in at United on a temporary basis following the end of Mourinho’s two-and-a-half-year tenure.
But after putting together a number of impressive results, including a Champions League knockout triumph over Paris Saint-Germain in 2019, the United legend was handed the permanent gig.
It was under Solskjaer that Martial “regularly played injured” – something the player says “people don’t know about”.
And it was the lack of public defence, especially in the media, which makes Solskjaer a traitor, in Martial’s eyes, as he was the one asking him to play.
Martial said on Solskjaer in an interview with France Football: “I regularly played injured.
“People don’t know it, I couldn’t speed up during the four months following the Covid season.
“The coach tells me he needs me, so I play. But, given my game, if I can’t accelerate, it becomes very complicated all the same.
“And I got set on fire… The coach never bothered to tell the media.
“Obviously, I ended up getting injured for good and when I came back, finished, I didn’t play anymore.
“I took it very badly, I had a feeling of injustice, you are asked to sacrifice yourself for the team and behind you are dismissed. For me, it’s almost treachery.”
And the attacker’s issues with Mourinho started over the No9 shirt.
Mourinho tried to convince Martial to give up the shirt for the incoming Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and instead wear No11, famously worn by legend Ryan Giggs.
Despite declining, Mourinho handed the shirt to the Swede anyway – rubbing Martial the wrong way.
Martial recalled events, saying: “It started with the story of the jersey number.
“During the holidays, he sends me a message to ask me if I want to change to the 11, explaining to me that it is great because it is that of the legend Ryan Giggs.
“I tell him that I have the greatest respect for Giggs, but I prefer to keep the 9.
“And when I return to the club, I see my jersey with the 11 (the 9 being recovered by Ibrahimovic), the story did not go away good. He lacked direct respect for me.”
Mourinho also made public remarks about Martial, something the United ace says the manager did to Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.
Martial has also put some blame on Mourinho for him missing out on a World Cup 2018 place with France, who went on to win the tournament.
He continued: “He talked about me in the press, little phrases, a bit like he had done with Karim Benzema at Real.
“He likes these little games, but he also knows who he is doing it with.
“He knows that I am then 20 years old, that if I say something, it is I who will pass for the young person who lacks respect. So I said nothing, it was useless.
“The following season, I was the best in the team in the first part of the season, he brought in Alexis Sanchez and there I hardly played anymore.
“It’s the season of the World Cup and more, it costs me dearly on arrival, especially since the France team won.
“I should have been there.”
Van Gaal was the only United boss Martial had time for, and hailed the Dutch manager’s hands-on approach.
Martial says Van Gaal was a great teacher, and would hold one-on-one sessions reviewing footage of games to explain how to improve.
Martial said: “I had a great relationship with Louis van Gaal the first season.
“I love to learn and when a gentleman like him takes the time to make me watch videos of my matches in his office to explain things to me, that’s the best.
“Once I had doubled and he made me come to the video to set me on fire.
“So I tell him that I scored twice, so what’s the problem?
“He wanted to talk to me about running angles, movement zones, etc.
“I told him that I understood and that he liked my whole character.
“With Mourinho, it had nothing to do.”
And following a six-month loan spell with Sevilla last season, Martial has shown signs of reviving his Man Utd career under new boss Erik ten Hag.
He scored three in pre-season, but has seen his playing time be limited by injury so far.
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