Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag shared his confidence in the “fighter” Antony to deliver good performances.
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has expressed his confidence in the ability of Antony to redeem himself and deliver the expected performances. The 23-year-old faced criticism after United lost two consecutive games at Old Trafford against Manchester City and Newcastle United.
Antony made a small cameo against the Citizens in United’s 3-0 Manchester derby loss in the Premier League. The 23-year-old failed to make any significant impact in the short time he was on the pitch.
The Brazilian played 90 minutes in the 3-0 loss to Newcastle that saw United crash out of the Carabao Cup. Many fans and football pundits criticized Antony’s performance during the game as United managed only two shots on target. The Red Devils dominated in possession but failed to create anything as the Magpies looked comfortable defending and counter-attacking.
Ten Hag told the media (h/t Mirror) after the match that Antony has the desired quality to prove his worth. He said:
“Antony is also a fighter, he has the confidence, he is brave, I am confident he will bring the performance that [shows] he is the right player for us.”
United signed Antony from Ajax for £86m during the summer of 2022 right after Ten Hag took over the club. The 23-year-old has so far failed to live up to the heavy price tag and expectation that comes with it.
The Brazilian has appeared in 10 matches for United in all competitions this season but failed to make any contribution. Following the September international break, Antony’s leave of absence resulted in him missing several games. The Brazil international faced legal issues in his personal life that needed his immediate attention.
Ten Hag has failed to build cohesiveness and a particular playing philosophy within the team. Critics have targeted many senior team members for their individualistic and selfish style of play.
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Antony has a strong left-footed preference, frequently chooses to cut inside and shoot rather than demonstrating unpredictability and selflessness. Critics have condemned the player for not helping his fellow attackers in situations where he can assist them.
Ten Hag need his senior players to get their act together to muster a challenge for the top four. United have lost eight out of their 15 matches in all competitions. Antony has to justify the faith that the United boss has put in him and deliver for the team.