Anthony Martial has slammed Jose Mourinho for his criticism of his performances in public and claims he has a strong motivation to prove the former Manchester United manager wrong.
The 24-year-old forward rarely saw eye-to-eye with the former United manager and was often left on the sidelines as the club struggled to live up to their first season’s high standards under the Portuguese coach.
Mourinho’s departure last December brought about an immediate upturn in Martial’s fortunes and the France star was rewarded with a new five-year deal back in January as a reward for his improvements under the Portuguese’s successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
And Martial has continued to play a regular role under Solskjaer since, with the Frenchman scoring 12 times in 28 appearances for the Red Devils so far this season, including eight in 19 Premier League games.
However, it was no secret that Mourinho tried to sell Martial during his time at Old Trafford, with only the intervention of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward preventing the player’s departure.
The player was shunted from the United starting line-up following the £75million capture of Romelu Lukaku from Everton, and Mourinho often scapegoated Martial in the media for his performances in a Red Devils shirt.
It was claimed Mourinho wanted to sell Martial for two major reasons, one being that he was too “mentally weak” to play Premier League football, which made it difficult for him to come back from minor setbacks.
Then, the Portuguese firebrand was angered by Martial’s perceived sulking during matches, with the report suggesting Mourinho wanted to sell the former Monaco youngster off and replace him with the more workmanlike Ivan Perisic.
However, Martial has come clean on his feud with his former manager, and has admitted he was angered by his comments in the media.
“It’s true that I’d have preferred it if he’d told me directly, there’s no need to say it in front of everybody. After that, you definitely want to prove him wrong,” Martial told RMC Sport.
“He didn’t start me during the first few games and each time I came on, I scored. In the end, he told me: ‘You see, now you understand what I wanted’.
“It can get to you. You just want to show him you deserve to be on the pitch.”
Martial, meanwhile, will hope to retain his place in the United attack for the clash against top-four rivals Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday night after the arrival of Odion Ighalo provided fresh competition for places in their attack.
The 30-year-old completed a surprise loan switch from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua on deadline day, but did not head to Spain with Solskjaer’s group because of the coronavirus outbreak which has so far killed more than 1,000 people in mainland China.
But despite missing the trip to Marbella, Solskjaer has confirmed that the striker will go straight into the squad for the trip to Stamford Bridge after the winter break. Read more here….