Anthony Martial has criticized both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for how they treated him as Manchester United managers.
Following his arrival at United in 2015 under Louis van Gaal, Martial burst into the Premier League scene, but has struggled to regularly live up to his promise in the years since under a number of different managers. Martial’s form plummeted under Mourinho’s tutelage, who referred to the forward as one of several “spoiled youngsters” and later chastised him following his dismissal.
Martial has now retaliated against his former manager, whom he claims treated him disrespectfully by removing his No.9 shirt to hand it to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and blames him for missing out on a place in France’s World Cup-winning side.
“It started with the shirt number tale,” Martial explained to France Football. “During the holidays, he [Mourinho] texted me and asked if I wanted to switch to the No.11 jersey, stressing how fantastic it is because it was worn by Ryan Giggs, a club legend.
“I tell him that while I have the highest regard for Giggs, I desire to preserve the No.9. When I returned to the club and saw my name with the No.11, I knew the story was not over. ‘He [Mourinho] had no direct regard for me.’ He mentioned me in the press in passing, much as he did with Karim Benzema at Real Madrid. He enjoys these little games, but he is also aware of who he is playing them with.
“He is aware that I am 20 years old at the time, and that if I say something, I will be mistaken for a disrespectful young person.
“So I said nothing since it was pointless. The following season, I was the greatest player on the squad for the first half of the season, but he brought in Alexis Sanchez, and I barely played at all. It’s World Cup season, and it’s costing me a lot of money, especially since France won. I really should have gone.”
Martial’s form briefly improved under Solskjaer, who took over for Mourinho, but the Norwegian has also been chastised. Martial has accused the Norwegian of ‘treason’ for failing to defend his performances while injured.
“I was frequently injured,” he continued. “People don’t realize that, but I couldn’t accelerate for four months after the Covid season. I play because the coach says he needs me. But, given my game, if I can’t accelerate, it becomes quite complicated. And then I got set on fire [by fans]… The coach never informed the media.
“Obviously, I ended up becoming permanently wounded, and when I returned, I didn’t play anymore. I took it very poorly; I had a sense of injustice; you are asked to give yourself to the team, and then you are dismissed behind the scenes. It’s practically betrayal in my opinion. That’s all I despise. I can be held accountable, but not for being a phony.”