Rio Ferdinand slammed Antony’s performance in Manchester United’s 3-2 loss to Arsenal on Sunday, expressing ‘concern’ over his inability to get past opponents.
Marcus Rashford gave Manchester United an early lead at the Emirates, but goals from Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka brought the Red Devils level. In contrast to Antony, Arsenal’s wingers caused havoc down the flanks.
United’s Lisandro Martinez leveled the score midway through the second half, but Arsenal’s Nketiah scored the game-winning goal for the Gunners in the closing minutes.
The Brazilian struggled during the afternoon at the Emirates (Images: FIVE / YouTube / Getty).
Antony provided little in the way of out-balls for Manchester United and was kept extremely quiet by Oleksandr Zinchenko, with Rio Ferdinand growing increasingly concerned about the Brazilian’s lack of explosiveness and ability in one-on-one situations.
Speaking on his FIVE YouTube show, Ferdinand said, ‘The thing that concerns me about Antony is that he can’t beɑt anyone, which is sᴜrprising for a Brazilian!
“He just can’t seem to beɑt anyone, and I’m sitting here wondering, “Has this always been the case?”
I’ve seen clips of him when he played for Ajax, and he used to beɑt people.
Oleksandr Zinchenko effortlessly neutralized Antony. (Image: Getty)
‘I saw [Thomas] Partey, who I wouldn’t classify as a sprinter, absolutely surge past him, and I thought to myself, “Wow, he doesn’t have much power in those legs!”
Therefore, he is a tricky winger, but you want tricky wingers to still be able to beɑt the defender.
Even Zinchenko is a great player and a great footballer, but if you’re a wide player and you face him one-on-one, you should feel confident that you can handle him.
You want a winger to go past fullbacks without any hesitation, but despite Antony’s quality on the ball, his technique, and other attributes, [he doesn’t get past players].
“When I played alongside Nani, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs, Antonio Valencia, and even Ji-Sung Park, we were able to get by the fullback. In addition to simply passing them, he would play the game and run to the opposite side of them.
“I want to see Antony demonstrate that. Listen, it’s his first season, so you’ll have to give him some time, regardless of how much he costs, but I need to see more evidence of that.