Manchester United’s winger Antony recently came out and spoke about the pressure and expectations that get attached to the badge once a player signs for this prestigious club. While some may dismiss his comments as the emotional response of a young player facing scrutiny, Antony’s comments display how negative critiques affect a young player as well.
During his interview with the United Stand Antony stated, “Pressure has always been with us for those who play in big clubs, especially regarding United. My life has always been very challenging, and I have had to go through many situations that many cannot imagine.”
He related these pressure situations to the place where he grew up, being ‘favelas’ in Brazil. Favelas are known to be a place in Brazil where eating, having a good house, having the internet, and access to a good education were a privilege.
🚨🔴 Antony: “I see criticism coming from former Man Utd players, other people in the media… but I’ve never seen them give constructive criticism to help me be a better professional”.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 6, 2023
Antony has been one of the most targeted people within the Manchester United squad. When asked about such pressure and criticism he replied, “Today, I see criticism coming from former club players and other people in the media, who unreasonably express their opinions and influence thousands of fans, sometimes even when I do not play.”
He contradicted the pundits with, “But I’ve never seen them give constructive criticism, which will help me be a better professional. None of them have ever sent me a message to see how I am feeling, especially during this period of turbulence that I am going through.”
With most of the journalism nowadays being in digital format via social media he claimed these pundits to be, “The “digital court” is ruining lives; contexts are left aside, and the truth no longer matters.”
Is the revival of Antony’s Manchester United career possible?
Antony’s arrival at Manchester United was hyped up with the fans as he had worked early on with their new manager, Erik ten Hag. The Brazilian winger was bought from Ajax for a hefty £86 million ($103 million) and was expected to be the missing piece in Erik ten Hag’s rebuilding puzzle. However, his first season in England has been a rollercoaster of flashes of brilliance and moments of frustration.
Throwback to Antony’s debut goal for #mufc vs Arsenal ⚽️🔴
— UtdDistrict (@UtdDistrict) August 9, 2023
Antony had an instant impact on Manchester United, as went on to bag 3 goals in his first 3 matches across the Premier League. However, his performances often lacked consistency. He struggled to replicate his early goalscoring form and failed to perform well across the remainder of the season.
Despite the concerns, there is still optimism regarding Antony’s future. He is still a young player, just 23 years old, and has plenty of time to develop. He delivers the undeniable talent and raw ability of a winger. His work ethic and dedication seem genuine and unique across the current wingers in the world.
Antony’s success will also depend on how he adapts to the competitive environment of the Premier League. He needs to learn to deal with the physical demands and the intense scrutiny that comes with playing for a club like Manchester United.
The next few months will be pivotal in determining Antony’s future at Manchester United. Whether he can book his place in the open right wing spot in the squad or will ten Hag be needed to move on from his Brazilian winger.