We always hear how man management is the biggest skill that a successful football manager needs, so it’s surprising when managers who’s style could be described as “abrasive” end up having sustained success.
Jose Mourinho comes across as a marmite type of manager ( usually that means the majority absolutely hate you ). He does have former players who will defend and praise him at all costs, but it’s common to see him leave a trail of destruction in the dressing room when he leaves a club.
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It’s fair to say that Anthony Martial’s wife is not a big fan of the former United boss. A recent report from L’Equipe via The Mirror looked at her quotes about Martial’s treatment under Mourinho, and it’s pretty damning for the Portuguese manager.
She said: “During our first two years together in Manchester, I experienced a very difficult period because Jose Mourinho did not play him (between 2016 and 2018). In these cases, Anthony shuts himself out. You know he’s suffering, but he doesn’t say it. I felt trapped in my sense of injustice because, as a wife, you can’t say anything (to the coach).”
“We’re just watching our man go down. I was experiencing it so badly that I didn’t go to certain events so as not to meet the coach.”
That does suggest that Mourinho will make allowances and treat players well if they are an important part of the team, but it sounds like he’s not too fussed if you are a squad player.
The main thing about having man-management skills isn’t treating everybody equally, it’s understanding what gets a positive reaction out of each person and gaining their trust.
It certainly sounds like Mourinho didn’t manage that with Martial during his spell at Old Trafford.