Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is thought to have scolded out-of-form winger Anthony Martial in front of the whole squad following his lacklustre efforts in the warm-up ahead of the stalemate with Chelsea on Sunday.
Martial started from the bench at Old Trafford, and was pictured looking less than enthused in the pre-game warm up. While the rest of the squad went through their required drills, the Frenchman stood with his foot over a ball, and his hands behind his back, failing to engage.
Meet Anthony Martial, our assistant manager. He earns £250,000 a week to watch our players warm up. pic.twitter.com/nFzaASzKOZ— ManUtd360.com (@MUtd360) April 29, 2019
According to the Daily Mail, Solskjaer was incensed by this flagrant lack of effort, opting to put Alexis Sanchez on instead of the French winger when Marcus Rashford sustained an injury, before blasting him in the dressing room after the final whistle.
It is said that Martial has been struggling with a back issue in recent times, though Jose Mourinho had similar trouble with the 23-year-old's attitude - so much so that he wanted to sell him last summer - and the Norwegian has found him to be equally difficult, especially since he signed his new five-year deal back in January.
However, the Martial rant did help to detract from the criticism facing David de Gea right now, and, in contrast, players and staff were quick to rally around the under-fire goalkeeper.
After the game, Romelu Lukaku urged: "I don't think we should discredit him and suddenly say he is a bad goalkeeper – he has saved us many times this season. We are here to support him. Mentally he is really, really strong or else he wouldn't have been the best player at the club for seven or eight years. There is no doubting his ability.
"It happens to strikers, it happens to midfielders and now it is happening to him. He has to learn from it. Goalkeepers always have a spell when it might be difficult. He had a bad time at the start of his United career, as I remember. He was just a kid then but came through it. He did what he had to do then: turned it around, won trophies and became the best player at the club.
When playing with confidence, he's one of the best in the world. He just needs to find it again! 爛 https://t.co/I279nM3r47— 90min (@90min_Football) April 29, 2019
"He is a leader in the dressing room. Now it is up to us as a team to help him and trust his abilities."
Indeed, it is understood that Solskjaer will show his faith in the Spaniard by keeping him between the sticks for the team's remaining Premier League fixtures against Huddersfield and Cardiff.
Source : 90min