Apart from on-field performances and getting the best out of under-performing players, Erik ten Hag also deserves credit for his transfer acumen.
Manchester United bought five players in the summer and all of them have played a big part in helping United reach the top four at of the halfway mark of the season.
Some signings have proved to be more of success than others like Lisandro Martinez and Casemiro.
United bought Antony for a fee rising to £85.51million from Ajax on transfer deadline day in September and his performances have divided the fanbase and the pundits.
Antony’s indifferent form
His talent is undeniable, sometimes his tendency to play safe and cut in using his strong left foot has ended up slowing down United’s attacks.
The winger himself tweeted about how he wants to keep improving, the Dutch boss was asked about the Brazilian’s performances and whether he felt they were disappointing.
While not directly criticising the right-winger, the former Ajax coach did point out that Antony can “do better” and he expects improvements as time goes on.
— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) January 24, 2023
“I think he is not losing games. When he is playing and the team is winning and that already gives a message of how well he is performing.
“He can do better, I see space for improvement and, for instance – and I think you notice – we want him to be more direct, more involved. But the team is performing better if he is on the pitch and that is a good thing, a good base to build further on.
“I think he already makes improvement, he scored some goals, he scored in his first three games, now he scores against Everton and Charlton, so he has an impact.
“But I think with his capabilities, with his talents he can do even more. He has a good contribution in the team,” Ten Hag said during the pre-match press conference.
No United player has a problem with Antony
The manager also brushed aside talks of friction among players related to Antony’s sometimes indulgent style of play.
“That can happen. They are both players who play also with the heart and when they bring that in the game, they are at their best.
“So it is always getting a balance, sometimes emotions slide up. In the second moment already they are good enough with each other. So that is not a problem and definitely the players are not frustrated with him.”
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