Man Utd forward Martial breaks silence with huge accusation against ‘treacherous’ Solskjaer

Matt Stead
Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer embraces Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial has taken the unusual step of talking to the media to air his side of the argument against two former Man Utd managers.

Martial rarely gives interviews to the press but spoke with France Football about the tumultuous last six years or so at Old Trafford.

The forward has had three permanent managers in that time, along with interim coaches Michael Carrick and Ralf Rangnick, as both Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have tried their hand and failed at Man Utd.

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Erik ten Hag is now in charge and Martial’s improvement under the Dutchman has been obvious, save for injury problems.

Martial has actually suggested those physical problems are at least partially down to Solskjaer’s management, accusing the Norwegian of playing him when he wasn’t ready.

“I regularly played injured,” he said. “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.

“The coach never bothered to tell the media,” added Martial, who also referenced how he was “set on fire” by the fans, while Solskjaer was said at one point to have grown tired of his ‘attitude’.

“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.”

Martial also took Solskjaer’s predecessor Mourinho to task, drudging up their old feud which started with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a shirt number.

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

“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,” he added in a wide-ranging interview.

“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.”