Manchester United had their best attacking performance of the season against Chelsea, coming at the perfect time with key fixtures against Bournemouth, Liverpool, and Bayern Munich to come.
Antony has played a crucial role in United’s attack clicking because it has coincided with the Brazilian finding form as well.
The former Ajax man had been the focus of the ire of many ex-players and pundits after starting the season in horrible form.
He recently got into a spat with Paul Scholes, accusing the media and ex-players of peddling “malicious rumours” about him in a social media post.
Scholes hit back at the player afterwards, sending a cheeky message to Antony, effectively saying that he should just play well.
Now, Scholes’ former teammate, and never one to hide his own opinion, Rio Ferdinand has joined in on the charade.
Talking on his YouTube channel FIVE, Ferdinand made it clear that he had no sympathy for Antony’s situation, giving examples from his own time at the club.
“I haven’t seen him get booed at Old Trafford yet. Ryan Giggs was getting booed week in and week out for a sustained amount of time. Let that sink in! And these men are talking about pressure,” he said.
He added that he went through something similar as well, although his situation was far more serious in the form of a drugs ban he returned from.
Still, the ex-player said he “wasn’t moaning” as “this is what this [Manchester United] emblem brings”.
“I had pressure when I came back from my drugs ban and I had to play you think I weren’t under pressure to perform? You think I didn’t have all eyes on me every minute of the day? In training, in the matches, off the pitch do you think there weren’t paparazzi following me everywhere?
“I wasn’t moaning this is part of it, this is Manchester United, this is what this emblem brings. It brings an extra level of pressure that a lot of other clubs bar the Real Madrids of this world don’t really feel.”
He finished by adding that while he was understanding of upheaval in Antony’s personal life, the player’s accusation that the ire was personal was completely wrong.
“He’s had a few big issues off the pitch. But listen, us ex-players, we ain’t a vindictive bunch, we’re not a personal bunch. None of us have called him out personally, we’re just saying what we see,” he said.
While Ferdinand has definitely got a point, the use of social media and its effect on people is an oft-overlooked fact when discussing criticisms of players nowadays.
Hopefully, the veterans can put this behind them, and so can Antony, as at the end of the day, all three- Scholes, Ferdinand, and Antony want United to succeed.