Anthony Martial has slammed Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the way they treated him during their time at Manchester United.
After an impressive debut season at United under Louis van Gaal, Martial was unable to play during Jose Mourinho’s tenure and the Portuguese have not hesitated to criticize the French striker.
In 2018, Mourinho said Martial lacked ‘maturity’ and named him among the players he described as ‘spoiled kids’, while after his sacking Mourinho said he felt the 26-year-old could do better as a striker “for” wanting to play for wrong reasons”.
But Martial has now accused Mourinho of disrespecting him and admits he was hurt by the decision to strip him of United’s No 9 shirt after Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival in 2016.
In an interview with France Football, Martial said: “It started with the story of the shirt number.
‘On vacation, him [Mourinho] messaged me to ask if I’d like to switch to the No11 and told me it’s great because it was worn by Ryan Giggs, a club legend.
“I tell him I have the utmost respect for Giggs, but I prefer to keep the number 9. When I return to the club I see my name with number 11, the story didn’t end well. He [Mourinho] lacked direct respect for me.
“He talked about me in the press, little phrases, a bit like he did to Karim Benzema at Real Madrid. He likes these little games, but he also knows who he’s playing with.
“He knows that by then I will be 20 years old, that if I say something, I will be seen as a young person who lacks respect.
“So I didn’t say anything, it was pointless. The following season I was the best on the team for the first part of the season, he brought in Alexis Sanchez and I hardly played at all.
“It’s the season of the World Cup and it has cost me a lot, especially since the French team won [the tournament]. I should have been there.’
Martial also accused Solskjaer of “treason” by claiming the former United manager refused to defend his performances while playing with an injury.
Speaking of his time under Solskjaer, Martial said: “I’ve played injured regularly.
“People don’t know, I haven’t been able to accelerate in the four months after the Covid season. The coach tells me he needs me, so I play. But my game still gets very complicated if I can’t accelerate. And I was set on fire [criticised by fans]… the coach never bothered to tell the media.
“Of course I finally got injured and when I came back, I didn’t play anymore.
“I took it very badly, I had a sense of injustice, you are being asked to sacrifice yourself for the team and behind the scenes you are being fired. To me it’s almost a betrayal. That’s all I hate I can be blamed, but not because I’m wrong.
However, Martial was more positive about his time under Van Gaal.
“I had a great relationship with Louis van Gaal in the first season,” Martial said.
“I love to learn and when a gentleman like him takes the time to watch videos of my games in his office to explain things to me, that’s the best thing.
“Once I scored twice and he let the video watch to set me on fire. I told him I scored twice so what’s the problem? He wanted to talk to me about running angles and zones of motion. I told him I understood him and that he liked my whole character. It had nothing to do with Mourinho.”
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