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Anthony Martial hits out at ‘disrespectful’ Jose Mourinho and ‘traitor’ Ole Gunnar Solskjaer but praises ‘gentleman’ Louis van Gaal as Manchester United striker opens up on former managers


Manchester United striker Anthony Martial had nothing good to say when asked about two of his former Manchester United managers.

The Frenchman has opened up on his relationship with Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, claiming the former ‘disrespected’ him and accused Solskjaer of ‘treason’ but reserved praise for ‘gentleman’ Louis van Gaal.

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Martial accused Mourinho of costing him a place in France’s World Cup-winning squad

Martial impressed in his first season with the Premier League when he was brought to the club by Van Gaal from Monaco in 2015, but since then his career at Old Trafford has been one of unfulfilled potential.

The 26-year-old has also had his fair share of bad luck, having entered this new campaign as a first-choice striker for new manager Erik ten Hag and in fine form during pre-season, only to pick up an injury. which ruled him out of the club’s start to the season.

It’s unclear when he’ll be fit enough to return, and he appears to have vented some of his frustration in an interview with France Football, where he didn’t mince words when discussing his former managers at Manchester United.

The main target of his anger is Mourinho, saying he was hurt by the manager’s decision to give Zlatan Ibrahimovic his No.9 shirt in 2016, and said he felt ‘disrespected’ by the boss Portuguese who said in 2018 that the striker lacked ‘maturity’ and remarked that he and a number of his Red Devils team-mates were acting like ‘spoiled children’.

And he also blamed the Special One for costing him a place in France’s World Cup squad in 2018, and what would have been a winner’s medal.

“It started with the shirt number story,” Martial said of Mourinho.

Martial's relationship with Mourinho became strained at Man United and the pair disagreed towards the end of the Special One's tenure at Old Trafford.

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Martial’s relationship with Mourinho became strained at Man United and the pair disagreed towards the end of the Special One’s tenure at Old Trafford.

“During the holidays, he [Mourinho] messaged me asking if I wanted to change to #11 explaining that it’s great because it was worn by club legend Ryan Giggs.

“I tell him that I have the greatest respect for Giggs, but that I prefer to keep my number 9. When I return to the club, I see my shirt with the number 11, the story did not start well! He totally disrespected me.

“[Mourinho] talked about me in the press, little phrases, a bit like he had done with Karim Benzema at Real Madrid. He loves these games, but he also knows who he’s doing it with. He knows I’m 20 then and if I say anything I’ll be the disrespectful kid.”

“So I didn’t say anything, it was useless.

“The second season [at United]I was the team’s top scorer in the first half of the season, [Mourinho] brought in Alexis Sanchez and I hardly played anymore.

“It’s World Cup season and it’s cost me dearly, especially since the France team won. [the tournament]. I should have been there.

Martial was gutted for missing out on a place in the France squad for the 2018 World Cup

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Martial was gutted for missing out on a place in the France squad for the 2018 World Cup

Martial also hit out at Solskjaer for failing to defend the striker’s performances throughout his tenure, despite putting his body on the line at times playing through injury.

“I regularly played injured,” Martial said of his time under the Norwegian.

“People don’t know, I couldn’t accelerate for four months after the COVID-19 season. The coach tells me he needs me, so I play. But, given my game, if I can’t accelerate, it still becomes very complicated.

“I’ve had [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 fired. For me, it’s almost betrayal. It’s everything i hate.I can be blamed but not for being wrong.

Martial accused Solskjaer of betraying him by dropping him down the pecking order at Man United after risking his body to play

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Martial accused Solskjaer of betraying him by dropping him down the pecking order at Man United after risking his body to play

Martial was more positive about Van Gaal, however, saying he appreciated the time and effort the Dutch veteran coach had put into helping the Frenchman improve his game.

He added: “I had a great relationship with Louis van Gaal in 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 scored twice and he made me watch the video to get fired up.

“I told him I scored two goals, 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.”

Teenage sensation Anthony Martial will only get better for Man United, insists Van Gaal

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Martial praised Van Gaal for helping him improve his game at Old Trafford

Martial also responded to criticism over his body language during games and said he refused to disguise his frustration on the pitch.

“Basically, I have to show my disappointment after a missed opportunity so people don’t say, ‘Ah, he doesn’t care’ – I’ll just tell you: I’m a footballer, not an actor.” he explained.

“A lot of people think you have to be a bit of a comedian and I see players showing their rage so that the public and the media think they’re motivated. The whole media circus doesn’t interest me. I can’t change to please others.

“I am not immune to criticism. When people say I lack consistency, it’s true. When I have my place, things often go well, but when I’ve been used less, it’s true that my performance hasn’t been the same.

“It’s a vicious circle: I’m less efficient, because I play less and therefore I play even less. When it’s like that, I can sometimes get a little off the hook. A player like Cavani, he is 3000% even when given a few minutes.



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