Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, has thrown down the gauntlet to Anthony Martial, when he said that the striker’s starting spot against Wigan in the FA Cup this Sunday is an audition for a Premier League starting spot.
When he was asked how Martial had responded to his omission in the EFL Cup tie against Hull in the midweek, Mourinho said: “I don’t know. I don’t speak with the players about how they take it. “
The Portuguese added: “He will play Sunday and if Sunday he plays magnificent, he will play against Hull City the next match. It’s simple.”
The French striker was also dropped in the last Premier League game against Stoke City. His display against Liverpool has visibly upset the manager, and adds a new chapter to the duo’s feud this season.
Mourinho had also warned that there are no dearth of options on the wide left forward position preferred by Martial, with Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan the potential replacements. However, none of them have played significant number of games in that position, making Mourinho’s assertion a bit hollow.
According to reports from the Times, Martial’s relationship with Mourinho had sunk to an all-time low . Mourinho has privately expressed concerns about Martial’s application this season, and the player’s long term is in doubt.
Martial, who joined Manchester United for a transfer fee of £36m, potentially rising to £58m, has disappointed of late after a string of promising shows in the 2015-16 season. It remains to be seen if he responds positively to his manager’s challenge, or if this comment by Mourinho adds more fuel to the fiery relationship between them.