Antony Martial slams Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for Manchester United treatment

·3-min read
Antony Martial is back at Manchester United after a loan with Sevilla  (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Antony Martial is back at Manchester United after a loan with Sevilla (Manchester United via Getty Images)

Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has slammed former managers Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jose Mourinho.

While injury has undermined the Frenchman’s start to the season, Martial appeared to have formed a key part of Erik ten Hag’s first-choice line-up during pre-season.

Having returned from an ill-fated loan with Sevilla during the second half of last season, the 26-year-old could yet have a long-term future at Old Trafford.

One of the most exciting talents in European football upon his shock move to United in 2015, Martial’s career has looked to be on a downward spiral after winning the prestigious Golden Boy Award that same year.

The last of his 30 international caps came last year but Martial looks some way off making the French squad for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Reflecting on his struggles on the international stage, the former Monaco youngster blamed Mourinho for his overlooking in 2018, when France lifted the World Cup for the second time.

Martial told France Football: “It started with the story of the shirt number [handed to Zlatan Ibrahimovic].

“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.

Martial lifted the lid on his relationship with Jose Mourinho (Getty Images)
Martial lifted the lid on his relationship with Jose Mourinho (Getty Images)

“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.”

Of Solskjaer, Martial accused the United legend of “treachery” for not making his injury issues clear.

“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. I can be blamed, but not for being fake.”