Anthony Martial has slammed Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for how they treated him during their spells at Manchester United.
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After an impressive debut season at United under Louis van Gaal, Martial was unable to kick on during Jose Mourinho’s reign and the Portuguese had no hesitation in criticising the French forward.
In 2018, Mourinho said that Martial lacked ‘maturity’ and named him among the players he felt acted like ‘spoilt kids’, while after his sacking, Mourinho said he felt that the 26-year-old wanted to play as a striker ‘for the wrong reasons’.
But Martial has now accused Mourinho of not respecting him and admits he was hurt by the decision to strip him of United’s No.9 shirt following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival in 2016.
In an interview with France Football, Martial said: ‘It started with the story of the shirt number.
‘During the holidays, he [Mourinho] sent me a message to ask if I want to change to the No.11, explaining to me that it is great because it was worn by Ryan Giggs, a club legend.
‘I tell him that I have the greatest respect for Giggs but I prefer to keep the No.9. When I returned to the club, I see my name with the No.11, the story did not end well. He [Mourinho] lacked direct respect for me.
‘He talked about me in the press, little phrases, a bit like he had done with Karim Benzema at Real Madrid. 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 it cost me dearly, especially since the France team won [the tournament]. I should have been there.’
Martial also accused Solskjaer of ‘treachery’ by claiming that the former United manager refused to defend his performances when he played with an injury.
Speaking on his time under Solskjaer, Martial said: ‘I regularly played injured.
‘People don’t know it, I couldn’t accelerate 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 [criticised by fans]… 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 the scenes you are dismissed. For me, it’s almost treachery, that’s all I hate.’
Martial, however, was more positive about his time under Van Gaal.
‘I had a great relationship with Louis van Gaal the first season,’ Martial said.
‘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 scored twice and he made watch the video to set me on fire. I told him that I scored twice, so what’s the problem? He wanted to talk to me about running angles and movement zones. I told him that I understood and that he liked my whole character. With Mourinho, it had nothing to do.’
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