As part of his lengthy interview with France Football published today, Manchester United forward Anthony Martial notably discussed his issues getting back to full fitness after the Covid-19 pandemic, and explained that fans had been judging his performances without knowing the full story.
“People judge without knowing [the facts]. In the last two seasons, I’ve regularly played while injured. People don’t know it, but I couldn’t accelerate during the four months that followed the Covid-19 season. But the manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær said he needed me, so I played. But given my playing style, if I can’t accelerate, then it does becomes very difficult.”
“And I was criticised… The coach never bothered to say it to the media. Of course, I ended up actually getting injured and then when I returned it was over, I wasn’t playing anymore. I took it very badly, I felt a sense of injustice – you get asked to sacrifice yourself for the team and then you get cast aside. This is part of the kind of things that have tainted my passion for football. For me, it’s almost treachery, it’s everything I hate. There are things to criticise about me, but not that I’m fake. It was also easy – I’m young, quiet, cost a lot of money, I’m the perfect fall guy. I don’t speak out, so it’s even easier. But weirdly enough nobody ever came to tell me that.”