Ahead of Manchester United’s UEFA Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain at Old Trafford on Tuesday, Anthony Martial has hit out at Jose Mourinho.
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Speaking to the media alongside his new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Martial acted as Solskjaer’s translator at one point as French media asked questions ahead of the UCL last 16 first leg.
When asked about the incredible change in results and performances since Mourinho was fired in December and Solskjaer was hired on a caretaker basis until the end of the season, this was Martial’s response.
“We have a coach who has perhaps got different intentions, a different approach and we are trying to do what he is asking us to do,” Martial said. “Perhaps it is easier for us now to play this style of football compared to the previous style of football we were asked to play. We are doing well on the pitch and we hope we continue to do well on the pitch.”
Ouch, that has to hurt Jose. But with 10 wins from 11 games in all competitions under Solskajer, the Red Devils returning to the top four and rampant attacking displays from Martial, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, can you really disagree with what Martial is saying?
As for Solskjaer, the man who scored the winning goal in the UCL final in 1999 for United, he is relishing the chance to lead them out against PSG in what should be another classic European night at Old Trafford. Keen to brush off talk about a win against PSG being key in gaining him the United job on a permanent basis, Solskjaer was focused on enjoying the occasion.
“It is both the supporters and the players who are looking for to this,” Solskjaer explained. “It has always been special. I want my players to go into this game confident and embrace the game… We’ve given ourselves the best possible opportunity because of the way we’ve come into this game. We’re confident and we’re looking like a team. If there was ever a time to go into big games, it’s now.”
With Neymar out and Edinson Cavani doubtful for PSG, the stars are aligning for United to take a lead with them to the Parc des Princes for the second leg in two weeks time.
Young, 33, was out of contract in the summer but has agreed an extension on his deal until the summer of 2020. The converted right back has flourished in his new role and has been one of United’s most consistent players over the past 12 months, as he has often captained the team.
The former Aston Villa and Watford player has now been at United for eight seasons and is a reliable and versatile player for the Red Devils.
Signing him to a one-year contract extension makes perfect sense, especially with Antonio Valencia‘s injury problems and his future at Old Trafford uncertain.
“Since I’ve come into the club, Ashley has been fantastic. His attitude and his experience around the place is vital for us because we have got a young team,” Solskjaer said. “We’ve got players that need some leaders in the dressing room and Ash is one of them so I’m delighted.”