Erik ten Hag hooks Antony at half-time after first half showboating left pundits far from impressed


‘He needs that knocking out of him’: Scholes labels Antony a ‘CLOWN’ after his showboating against Sheriff… with unimpressed Ten Hag hooking him off at half-time before saying the sub was ‘more or less’ planned

  • Manchester United’s Antony was substituted at half-time after showboating
  • He attempted his trademark 720-degree spin on the ball with the game goalless
  • Straight after his trick, the forward then passed the ball straight out of play 
  • Erik ten Hag could be seen shaking his head in disapproval in the United dugout 
  • Forward was substituted by Ten Hag at the break in favour of Marcus Rashford 

Manchester United forward Antony was subbed off at half-time, having shown off his trademark 720 spin on the ball but without the intended effect late on in the first period. 

The Brazilian found himself in space on the right-hand side with the Europa League game against Sheriff still at 0-0. But rather than drive at the defence, he chose that moment to showboat, before putting the ball out of play with a poorly judged forward pass. 

The Dutch manager was visibly less than impressed with his big-money summer signing, and shook his head as he looked on from the dugout with his side still forcing the attack. 

Manchester United forward Antony was substituted at half-time after a poor attempt at a skill

Ten Hag was clearly unamused and substituted Antony at half-time for England forward Marcus Rashford. 

After the game, Ten Hag was quizzed on if he was reacting to the failed skill or if the change was pre-mediated.

‘More or less planned,’ he told BT Sport. ‘If we are up, I wanted to see Cristiano and Marcus Rashford close together on the right side and that’s one of the reasons.

‘I thought Garnacho was playing quite well on the left side and he had good tempo dribbling. It was more or less planned.’ 

Erik ten Hag was left far from impressed by the display with his side still seeking an opener

Erik ten Hag was left far from impressed by the display with his side still seeking an opener

Pundits were left seething with his actions, which came as his side were still in the hunt for an opening goal in the game during the first half.

Reacting to Ten Hag’s post match quotes, Paul Scholes said: ‘More or less. I think it would have had a little something to do with it. You saw his reaction on the bench. I think it frustrated him. I just don’t know what it achieves. I love a little bit of showboating, and entertainment but at least get the pass right.

‘Does that do anything for anybody? Does that do anything for himself? I’d have to ask him – even at 4-0 up what does that do for you?

Earlier in the evening during half-time, the ex-United star also said:  ‘I don’t know what he’s doing. It’s just ridiculous. It’s showboating, just look at him (Ten Hag shaking his head), that sums it up what’s he thinking. 

‘He’s not beating a man, he’s not entertaining anybody, it’s 0-0 then he kicks the ball out. That’s the way he plays I’ve seen him do it many a time at Ajax as well and that’s just the way he is but I think he needs that knocking out of him.’

Paul Scholes was particularly unimpressed and claimed he needed it 'knocked out of him'

Paul Scholes was particularly unimpressed and claimed he needed it ‘knocked out of him’

Commentating for BT, Robbie Savage said: ‘That for me is ridiculous, because he’s done that and then put the ball out of play – embarrassing! 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 – he’s trying to win a game, moving the ball quickly with nobody near him, and he puts the ball out of play! Embarrassing.’ 

The former Wales international was not alone in his deeply scathing assessment of the young Brazilian forward. 

‘If you’re going to do it that final pass needs to be good,’ added ex-Three Lions and United midfielder Owen Hargreaves. ‘You can’t kick it out. But that’s how it is. 

‘At 0-0 you don’t do that, even at three or 4-0 you don’t really do that with respect to the other team. But players want to show their skills but they need to be functional with it. When you kick it out that doesn’t help either.

Antony has a history of attempting the spectacular but misread the situation on Thursday

Antony has a history of attempting the spectacular but misread the situation on Thursday

‘One spin is fine. The second one? We all want to see skill, we love it but you need to have skill with function,’ he added post-match.

‘If he does it in or around somebody I’d be jumping off my seat but to do it with no effect but I’m not sure what he’s trying to achieve. That’s his skill, he likes to do it. He probably wanted to show people at Old Trafford. Do one and get forward and take someone on. I don’t think this country likes to see that.’

The 22-year-old has a reputation for attempting the spectacular, having tried the same piece of skill on several occasions to varying degrees of success under Ten Hag at Ajax in previous campaigns. 

But the 52-year-old has now made clear his thoughts on the matter, and it remains to be seen whether the Brazilian will try something similar in his next outing. 

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