His players were neglected.
In a recent interview, Anthony Martial opened up on his time at Manchester United, and how life has been under various coaches.
Martial, who has been at United since 2015, has always been a divisive figure among the fanbase, and this recent interview helps to explain why.
But it also goes some way in explaining just how much damage Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has done to Manchester United.
Martial told a story about his fitness during Project Restart, where he was injured, but told by Solskjaer that he should play anyway.
Anthony Martial on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
He said: “People don’t know it, I couldn’t accelerate during the four months following the Covid season. The coach tells me he needs me, so I play. But, given my game, if I can’t accelerate, it becomes very complicated all the same. And I got set on fire [criticised by fans]… the coach never bothered to tell the media.
“Obviously, I ended up getting injured for good and when I came back, finished, I didn’t play anymore.
“I took it very badly, I had a feeling of injustice, you are asked to sacrifice yourself for the team and behind the scenes you are dismissed. For me, it’s almost treachery. That’s all I hate. I can be blamed, but not for being fake.”
Martial makes some really interesting points in this interview, but the main one is about how he was physically ran into the ground by Solskjaer.
Martial was criticised by fans, as he said, and accused of a lack of effort or “being fake”, when in reality, he was being made play through a pain barrier that he shouldn’t have had to.
He shouldn’t have been judged like a fit player, because he wasn’t one, but he was being made to play as Solskjaer was so desperate to save his job.
Marcus Rashford likely has the same feeling towards Solskjaer, as he too was ran into the ground by his former manager.
Rashford played through injury, as he said after Euro 2020, and he was not managed well at all by the Norwegian manager.
There was talent on the bench (Jesse Lingard and Donny van de Beek hardly got a look in), but Solskjaer knew he needed his best XI on the pitch every week or his job could be in trouble.
Despite what many think about the manager, he put himself first and neglected his players, with Martial and Rashford still feeling the effects of this selfishness today.
He may have been the first to defend his players in the media, but behind closed doors he was doing more physical damage than any newspaper headline ever could.