This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
When Tottenham travel to Manchester United on Wednesday night, the eyes of the watching world will no doubt be on the two managers on the touch-line: Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The former had the ignominy of being sacked by the Red Devils last December, whilst the latter could be heading in the same direction too if reports in recent weeks are to be believed.
But one man who could yet enjoy the final laugh, is Anthony Martial. The France international suffered the wrath of Mourinho on numerous occasions when the Portuguese man was in charge at Old Trafford, with declarations that he lacked maturity and character. Then there was the outright damning verdict on the Frenchman failing to return to the club’s pre-season tour in the summer of 2018 after the birth of his second child.
“He should be here and he’s not here. I just hope the boys on deserved holidays they take care of themselves a little bit and somebody wants to do what (Marcus) Rashford and (Phil) Jones do, which is to be back a little bit earlier to try and help the team because, for the beginning of the season, we’re going to be in trouble.”
The duo never appeared to strike up a personal relationship, and it remained somewhat frosty and distant. Mourinho’s style of management isn’t for everyone after all. But on Wednesday evening, Martial has the perfect opportunity to silence his former manager by hitting him right where it hurts – on the pitch.
The Frenchman has been predominantly used through the middle by Solskjaer this season a – position Mourinho felt the 23-year-old may have ulterior motives in wanting to play there.
“I know that Martial likes to play as a no.9, sometimes, I think for the right reasons, sometimes I think for the wrong reasons, but I know he likes to play as a no.9”
He has scored five times in twelve games this year, and provided a further three assists across all competitions in his time spearheading the United attack. Whilst he looks an ice-cold player on the pitch, showing very little emotion, seeing the man who has criticised him repeatedly in the opposition’s dugout may just eke out something special from the forward. And wouldn’t that be the best way to silence one of his main critics?
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