Anthony Martial Speaks Out on Jose Mourinho’s Motivational Methods


anthony martial

When Anthony Martial arrived at Manchester United from AS Monaco on summer transfer window deadline day 2015, the manager in charge at the time was Louis van Gaal. The “Iron Tulip” would go on to say publicly that Martial was acquired more so with the next manager in mind, and at that time, LVG believed his successor would be Ryan Giggs.

The Giggs era never manifested and instead Jose Mourinho ultimately replaced Van Gaal. Martial had a roller coaster relationship with Mourinho, the rockiest point being the tiff the two men had during the 2018 summer preseason tour.

Martial has proven to be one of United’s best and most important players in the final third since joining the club five years ago, but under Mourinho he often found himself out of favor, sometimes fighting for playing time.

When he had bad games under Mourinho, the Portugese would sometimes publicly slam the 24-year-old, and it wasn’t something Martial was too fond of. The Frenchman forward gave a very revealing interview to RMC Sport, as part of a new film on The Special One. Martial says Mourinho motivated him to prove his boss wrong, but he really preferred to hear his criticism in private, one on one, instead of in front of everybody.

“It is true that I prefer to be told to my face,” Martial said. “There is no need for it to be said in front of everybody.”

“Certainly, after that, you want to prove him wrong.”

“He did not play me during the first matches of the season. Each time I came on, I scored, and he eventually said to me [smiling]: ‘you see, now you understand what I am after.’

“It can sting, but you just want to show him that you should be on the pitch.”

So as Martial states here, Mourinho is all about tough love and trying to incite a reaction from his players. Not anything we didn’t already know, but it’s still fascinating to hear a former player state it so bluntly. And Mourinho, now the boss at Tottenham Hotspur, is still trying to provoke a reaction at United.

Not once, but twice, Mourinho has taken an overt swipe at his former club in public.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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