Erik ten Hag made no attempts to hide his disappointment with Antony after his “ridiculous” show of skill in Manchester United’s clash with Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday.
The Red Devils were struggling to find a route beyond their visitors, Having impressed in his first couple of months as a United player since his move from Ajax, they were looking to the forward for a bit of inspiration once more.
Unfortunately, it did not work out. He received the ball on the right-flank and looked to face-up Sheriff player Rasheed Akanbi. Instead of ghosting past him, Antony chose to spin on the ball before then playing the ball out of play for a goal kick.
Following the incident, he wore a telling scowl on his face, while the Brazilian was then taken off at the break – albeit it remains to be seen whether ut was pre-planned.
The show of skill did not go down well with the pundits. Red Devils hero Scholes did not hide his frustration at the wideman.
Speaking during the half-time analysis with BT Sport, he said: “If I was number 61 [Rasheed], I know what I’d be doing. I don’t know what he’s doing. I don’t know if we’ll see a look from the manager. It’s showboating.
“What’s he thinking? He’s not beaten a man, he’s not entertaining anybody. It’s 0-0 and then he kicks the ball out. But that’s the way he plays. I’ve seen him do it many times with Ajax. I think he needs that knocking out of him.”
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Fellow former United player Owen Hargreaves also agreed with Scholes in his assessment of Antony’s decision-making.
“If you’re going to do it, you don’t really do that. You don’t even do that when you’re three or four-nil up,” he said.
“You’ve got to show respect for the other team. But I guess that’s just him. Sometimes players want to show their skills. You need to be functional with it and he wasn’t there. And then when you kick it out, I don’t think that helps.”
While both Scholes and Hargreaves did not attempt to hide their displeasure, there were immediate consequences for the Brazilian winger.
Commentator Ian Darke suggested that the player would be more at home on Strictly Come Dancing, while ex-Premier League midfielder Robbie Savage was not complimentary.
Speaking immediately after the incident, he said: “That for me is ridiculous because he’s done that and then puts the ball out of play, quite embarrassing actually. Doing that with nobody near him and then he puts the ball out of play.
“If I was the manager, I would not be happy. And you can hear the crowd. You’re trying to win the game, move the ball quickly, nobody near him and he puts the ball out of play, embarrassing.”