Paul Scholes called Manchester United’s £85 million star Antony “a clown“ after the player performed a 720-degree spin during the team’s 3-0 victory over Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday, 27th October 2022.
Shortly before half time, the Brazilian, who joined the team from Ajax on transfer deadline day at the beginning of September, performed his signature “Anturny” move, in which he drags the ball in a continuous circle with his left foot.
He then overhit a pass intended for Diogo Dalot, who scored United’s first goal a few minutes later, and passed the ball directly out of bounds.
Although Antony promised to provide entertainment at Old Trafford, the decision was met with some grumbling from the audience and a critical response from BT Sport co-commentator Robbie Savage.
When the game was still goalless at Old Trafford, Antony found some space on the flank, performed his trademark trick, and then he drew criticism for carelessly sending the ball out of play following a poorly timed pass.
Paul Scholes on Anthony: I don’t know what he’s doing. It’s ridiculous. It’s showboating pic.twitter.com/gVsgyIGtUS— J💫 (@JazsenA) October 27, 2022
Erik ten Hag later substituted him out at halftime; he appeared unimpressed and shook his head before doing so. Club legend Scholes cautioned the new player that he “needs that knocking out of him if he is to flourish at United.”
“I don’t know what he’s doing, the former United great said earlier on Thursday night during halftime. “It’s just absurd. It’s showboating; all you have to do is look at him (Ten Hag shakes his head).
“It is 0-0 when he kicks the ball out; he is not outclassing anyone nor is he amusing anyone. He plays that manner naturally; I’ve seen him do it numerous times at Ajax as well. However, I believe he needs to get that knocked out of him.”
Also, Ten Hag was questioned about Antony’s actions during the game, but he disputed that the substitution was a direct result of the showboating.
Not just Scholes was underwhelmed with Antony; Robbie Savage and his other experts also criticized him.
Savage, who was providing commentary for BT, called Antony’s antics “crazy.”
“That, in my opinion, is absurd,” he declared. “He embarrassed himself by doing that and then taking the ball out of play.
“He does it while no one is around him, after which he takes the ball out of play. I wouldn’t be pleased if I were the manager.”
The former Wales international was among the numerous pundits who gave the young Brazilian forward a harsh review during and after the Europa League game.
The 22-year-old is known for attempting the extraordinary move since last season at Ajax under Ten Hag. He repeatedly attempted the same feat with varying degrees of success but last night was not his night.
However, it obvious that his spinning skill on the ball won’t be popular in England. With the level of bashing Antony received on Thursday night, it is unknown if the Brazilian would attempt something similar in the coming games.
During the Thursday Europa League game, Diogo Dalot gave United the lead just before halftime, as Ten Hag’s team advanced from the group stage thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo, who returned late in the game.
To avoid a play-off round and proceed directly to the round of 16, they will now travel to Real Sociedad for their last group match. United are expected to beat Sociedad by two goals to secure the top spot.
After Antony’s unnecessary spins in the Europa League victory over Sheriff Tiraspol, Erik ten Hag swore to correct any Manchester United players using skills for their own sake.
However, Antony’s double spin maneuver in the first half, which numerous broadcasters dubbed “embarrassing” after the summer signing then put the ball out of play, was one of the primary talking points after the team defeated Sheriff.
At halftime, Ten Hag removed the Brazilian international player. After the game, the coach remarked, “As long as it works, I have no objections to that.
“Additionally, I expect more from him more runs behind, more appearances in the box, more followers in, and especially more tempo dribbles and playing in the pocket.
“We, therefore, call for greater dominance in this game, so it is pleasant when a ploy like that is used.
“It’s acceptable as long as it works, you’re not losing the ball, and you’re drawing players.
“But I’ll correct him if it’s a trick because of a trick.”