Manchester United

Anthony Martial slams 'traitor' Ole Gunnar Solskjaer & 'disrespectful' Jose Mourinho

Craig Vickers
Solskjaer and Martial
Solskjaer and Martial / Srdjan Stevanovic/GettyImages
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Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has let rip over the treatment he received from Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and Jose Mourinho during their spells in charge of the Old Trafford club.

The Frenchman arrived amid much fanfare in Manchester back in 2015, but he has struggled to nail down a permanent place in the starting XI under several managers and spent last season out on loan with Sevilla.

Mourinho famously quipped in 2018 that Martial lacked 'maturity', with the Frenchman stripped of his No.9 jersey following the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic under the Portuguese.

And Martial insists that Mourinho lacked respect in their relationship as he blamed the former Tottenham boss for sabotaging his chances of playing for France at the 2018 World Cup.

"It started with the story of the shirt number," the forward told France Football. "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."


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Martial also accused former United boss Solskjaer of treachery after the Norwegian failed to defend his performances in front of the media despite being played through injury.

"I regularly played injured," added the Frenchman. "People don’t know it, I couldn’t sprint during the four months following the Covid season.

"The coach tells me he needs me, so I play. But, given my playstyle, if I can’t accelerate, it becomes very complicated. And I got set on fire, 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."

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