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19th May 2017

Forget what you might have heard about Anthony Martial ‘snubbing’ Man United’s awards night

False reports

Simon Lloyd

Everyone loves to buy into the idea that Jose Mourinho enjoys nothing more than ruining the lives of talented young football players.

When he’s not forcing older, more experienced World Cup-winning members of his Manchester United squad to train with the under sixes before bullying them into a move to Major League Soccer, he’s systematically crushing the confidence of the likes of Luke Shaw by saying really, really mean things about him.

Or at least that’s how it’s spun in the press.

Anthony Martial is another of United’s stars that’s – reportedly at least – not in Mourinho’s good books. He’s struggled to hold down a regular starting berth for Mourinho this season, despite being a rare bright point in Louis van Gaal’s final year at the club.

Clearly, the French youngster has struggled for form and, after playing through the middle during his first season at United, has also spent much of his playing time on the left wing in order to accommodate Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

All this has been enough for some outlets to suggest that Mourinho is intentionally pushing him towards the exit and that his days at Old Trafford are numbered.

When it was reported that Martial didn’t bother showing up for United’s end of season awards on Thursday night, his future at the club seemed even more in doubt.

The news was published by several outlets, prompting headlines such as this one…

Where exactly was he? Back on another probably-club-approved break in France? Locked in an AON Training Complex store cupboard? Well, no.

In actual fact, Martial was in attendance at the event. Sure, there were no pictures of him on Getty images and he wasn’t visible in any of the videos posted on the club’s Twitter account, but the Manchester Evening News report that Martial did indeed attend the event, arriving in a taxi with neighbours Daley Blind and Joel Pereira.

Whether he stays at the club remains to be seen, but judging by this, Mourinho doesn’t hate him quite enough to ban him from attending the club’s end of season award nights.