A price tag of roughly €95 million is not an easy expectation to live up to, especially when it makes you the second most expensive player in Manchester United’s history. Nonetheless, Antony got off to a brilliant start by scoring on his debut in United’s 3-1 victory over Arsenal.
Since then, he has had flashes of brilliance delivered in equal measure by just as many, if not more, underwhelming performances.
Some fans and, more recently, Rafael van der Vaart, noticed this frustrating state of affairs.
Van der Vaart acknowledges the Brazilian winger’s pedigree but believes the inconsistency attached to it must be addressed (via Football Transfers). Speaking to Ziggo Sport, the former Dutch international said this about the Brazilian:
“Do you know what it is with Antony… He is, of course, a great talent and a great player, but he shouldn’t believe in himself very much.
“He’s just a good player who hasn’t proven anything yet.
“I do like a show, but only when I can. Of course, you have to have that feeling.”
The comments by the ex-Tottenham midfielder were reminiscent of comments surrounding a former young United winger Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo was frequently dubbed a show pony with no end product in his early days.
Antony is in danger of living up to the criticism if he doesn’t find his feet soon.
Rashford has the right idea
Van der Vaart said, “He has played some good Champions League games, he’s come in reasonably well with the Brazil national team a few times, he’s made a big move, and hasn’t done much at Manchester United yet.”
If anything, the ex-footballer believes the Brazilian should look to emulate his teammate Marcus Rashford.
Rashford has not only regained his form but is now having the season of his career thus far.
Van der Vaart continued, “He shouldn’t think: ‘I’ve made it, and I’m going to show it to the whole world by doing crazy things. No, he has to decide games, like Marcus Rashford is doing now. Then you can do something crazy for once. But he has to be very humble, try really hard and shoot or pass those balls in.”
Consistency is the name of the game
Van der Vaart, seemingly strict and unforgiving, is wary of players who show promise but prove little more than a flash in the pan. He stresses, “You have to be there every game.”
“Why are all those big players so good? Because they play well for weeks, every game.”
Before United’s FA Cup 3-1 win over Reading, Antony had five goals and zero assists to his name. He finally registered his first assist in the win by setting up Casemiro’s first goal of the game.
Will he deliver again, or will United fans have to wait for the next flash of brilliance to appear?