Antony: Inside Manchester United’s Man Trademark Move Amid Calls for More Effort Under Erik ten Hag
- Antony managed to silence some critics after weeks of below-par performances
- He was voted man of the match from Manchester United's game versus Reading
- However, he needs to offer more as the overreliance on his left foot is predictable
Antony's arrival at Manchester United from Ajax at the end of the transfer window wasn't without much hullaballoo.
Pundits couldn't agree on whether the Red Devils were being fleeced with the huge price tag the Dutch club slapped on the 22-year-old. The noise quickly quietened down when he scored in his first three Premier League games.
But amidst all the uproar came the fanfare of his skills. He is a Brazilian and nature dictates that he must have one or two skills in his closet, and boy, does he have some.
His signature move of spinning the ball around quickly became a hot topic.
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Antony insisted he wouldn't stop pulling off his tricks with Erik ten Hag sort of backing him, provided these slick moves brought a desirable end product.
The criticism coincided with a mini loss of form, injuries and the World Cup break. And the question about his price tag then resurfaced.
Antony's stats so far
For a creative winger who was brought in to supplement the forward line, Antony is yet to provide a single assist. Alisson and Ederson, who are both goalkeepers mind you, rank ahead of him when it comes to assists.
Against Reading in the FA Cup, glimpses of the player ten Hag had in mind were visible, as he put in on a man-of-the-match performance for large parts of the game.
However, his feeble attempt to get past Abdul-Rahman Baba revived the topic of how poor he is on one-on-one situations. He attempted to get past the Chelsea loanee but was dispossessed off the ball easily.
Antony can't beat his marker
The fact that he can't go past his marker is a cause for concern. He might not have the pace of Marcus Rashford or Kylian Mbappe, but he should be able to perfect the art of close ball control, in the same way Kaoru Mitoma and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia have this season.
He has also been bashed for being too predictable for his overreliance on his left foot. There is no harm in that, given that Lionel Messi's left foot has brought him all the successes in his career, as has Riyad Mahrez. Further down the list is Hakim Ziyech, a wand of a left foot.
Antony's main undoing is he doesn't have a plan B. There have been consistent calls for him to add more to his game and those calls won't go away.
He will be under microscopic vision every time he plays and you can be sure every time he fails to get past his man, or misplaces a pass with his left foot, he will always be questioned.
How Antony can change
Sports Brief reported that while he arrived at Old Trafford with a lot of promise and hype, Antony is the classic case of 'you are only as good as your last performance'.
The 22-year-old Brazilian was brought in by Erik ten Hag from his former club, Ajax for a whopping €100-million, but he is so far struggling to live up to the price tag.
Antony was meant to inject pace and creativity into the Man United flanks, but he is yet to register a single assist despite scoring five times in 19 appearances.
Source: Sports Brief News