There has been much made recently of the relationship of Anthony Martial and José Mourinho at Manchester United.
The head coach has not been shy in coming forward with his opinions about the Frenchman when asked why he has not been playing regularly. This week Mourinho was quoted as saying:
“We are together for almost 10 months. The same way I know the players much better now, the players should know me much better. The same way I know what the players like, the players know what I like. The same way I have to go in the direction of the players, the players have to come in my direction.
“That’s the point. That’s why Marcus Rashford, even without scoring goals, even with being since September without a goal in the Premier League, was always a player I trusted, I played, I supported because he was always coming in my direction, in the direction I want from a player and what I want as a Manchester United player. He [Rashford] is about that.
“Do I think Anthony is a player with great potential? Yes, I think. Do I think he can play successfully for me? Yes I think. But he needs to give me things that I like.”
Martial was Manchester United’s standout performer in the outfield squad last season, after his £36m move from Monaco, with 17 goals in 46 games in his first campaign at the club.
But this year he doesn’t seem to have got a substantial run in the first team and he has consequently lacked momentum in that crucial second season.
Until this week the feeling was that he had time on his side to improve and become a great player for Manchester United.
But in worrying developments at Old Trafford on Thursday night, José Mourinho was incandescent with Anthony Martial as he publicly raged at him in extra time on the pitch.
Mourinho barked orders at Martial who seemed to walk off as a sign of petulance and the bad relationship developing between the two.
There is no doubting the talent of the Manchester United forward but José Mourinho stated this week that he wants the player to ‘give me things that I like’. That is obviously not happening enough right now.
You would have to imagine that this includes a bit more tracking back and that is perhaps why Marcus Rashford has been in the side more frequently than Martial. There does appear to be a disconnect between the two and Manchester United fans will be desperate for Martial to improve because, on form, he is one of the most exciting players in the Premier League.
But Mourinho is a hard man and will want to see improvement between now and the end of the season if the damage is to be repaired.
Manchester United fans – should Mourinho be giving Martial a bigger run in the team?