Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has failed to live up to the hype and in recent seasons, he has been on a steady decline.
Almost everyone thought the forward is already a finished product but in a very candid interview, Martial has now come out to explain his situation as well as blast both Jose Mourinho as well as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Frenchman has revealed how he was disrespected as well as forced to play with an injury. Firstly, he speaks about Jose Mourinho and how the downfall started with a change in his shirt number.
“It started with the story of the shirt number,” the forward told France Football(h/t Fotmob). “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.”
Anthony Martial says the problems with Jose Mourinho started with a change in shirt number 👕 pic.twitter.com/sQVjoZTlCl
— UtdDistrict 🔰 (@UtdDistrict) September 11, 2022
He then goes on to talk about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – claiming that he played through injury under the Norwegian.
“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.”
Can Anthony Martial revive his career under Erik ten Hag?
Erik ten Hag seems to put a lot of faith in Anthony Martial and during the pre-season friendlies, it was evident that the new manager would be relying on the Frenchman to lead the line.
However, the problem with the forward is that he just cannot keep himself fit as so far, he’s played only 45 minutes in the Premier League. He’s currently recovering from an Achilles injury and there’s a chance he won’t be available before the international break.
It’s pretty clear that Ten Hag prefers Anthony Martial over the ageing Ronaldo but if the Frenchman cannot remain fit then the manager will be forced to use his other options. Ten Hag needs young and fit players to be able to enforce his high-pressing style of football.
Manchester United have now signed Antony which means Jadon Sancho can now play on the left while Rashford operates up front. This also means if Martial keeps getting injured then the manager will push him down the pecking order.
Ten Hag has shown that he is not afraid to take the unpleasant calls because he’s already benched the likes of CR7, Maguire and Luke Shaw so if Martial spends most of his time in the treatment room then he will suffer the same fate.
There’s no doubt he’s looked like a changed player under Ten Hag but for the manager to unlock his potential, he will have to be injury-free throughout the season.