Anthony Martial has blasted former Manchester United managers Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for how they treated him during their tenures in charge at Old Trafford.
After initially bursting onto the Premier League scene following his arrival at Manchester United in 2015 under Louis van Gaal, Martial has struggled to consistently live up to his potential in the years since under a series of different managers.
Martial’s form fell off a cliff under the stewardship of Mourinho, who name-checked the forward amongst several players he described as ‘spoilt kids’ and later criticised him after his sacking.
Martial has hit back at his former bosses, who he believes showed him a lack of respect after taking his No.9 shirt off him to hand it to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and blames him for missing out on a place in France’s World Cup winning squad.
“It started with the story of the shirt number,” Martial told France Football. “During the holidays, 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. 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. I should have been there.”
Martial’s form briefly improved under Solskjaer, who replaced Mourinho, but the Norwegian has also come in for criticism. Martial has accused the Norwegian of ‘treachery’ for not defending his performances when he played on through injury.