Anthony Martial’s frosty relationship with Jose Mourinho shows no signs of improvement after the weekend’s game with Stoke.
The Frenchman was absent from the 1-1 draw, not even deemed worthy of a place on the bench.
Mourinho hasn’t been afraid to leave out big names this season – in fact, Henrikh Mkhitaryan at times suffered the same humiliation when he was out of favour, though the Armenian is evidence that the manager’s mind can be changed.
Yet, Martial and his outspoken representatives are not best pleased.
According to the Daily Mail, the midfielder has reacted strongly not simply because he was dropped, but because Mourinho failed to give any explanation as to the decision.
When asked after the game, he just said that Martial “was not selected”.
The obvious reason seems to be his performance against Liverpool.
That was the perfect opportunity for Martial to shine as he was coming up against the inexperienced 18-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold, but the teenager coped well and stifled him.
The 21-year-old was immediately put out at the start of the season when his number nine shirt was given to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which does make sense given that the Swede is a centre-forward.
Since then, he has struggled to impress Mourinho, despite consecutive goals against Middlesbrough and Reading since the turn of the year.