Erik ten Hag talks about rift between his Man United players

  • Erik ten Hag speaks out on rift between his Man United players.

Erik ten Hag talks about rift between his Man United players
Erik ten Hag talks about rift between his Man United players

Erik ten Hag defended Antony and denied claims that his Manchester United teammates were annoyed by his play-acting.

With an £84 million transfer from Ajax to Old Trafford last summer, Antony became the club’s second-most expensive player ever, just behind Paul Pogba.

And after the winger scored in each of his first three games for the Red Devils it seemed that it was money well spent.

He hasn’t scored in the league since, and he hasn’t given up an assist either.

Many people have criticized the Brazilian international’s performances, most recently Arsenal veteran Ian Wright. Some people think it’s time for Ten Hag to bench the player, but the Red Devils manager insists that the player is an essential member of his squad.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of United’s Carabao Cup semi-final clash against Nottingham Forest, Ten Hag said: ‘When he’s playing, the team is winning. That already gives a message of how well he is performing.


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‘He can do better, I see space for improvement. For instance, and I think also you know this, we want him to be more direct and be more involved. But, as I said, the team is performing better if he is on the pitch.‘That’s a good thing, that’s a good base to build further. I think he has already made an improvement. In his first three [league] games, he scored three goals.

‘Now he was scoring against Everton, he was scoring against Charlton, so also that fact, he has an impact. But I think with his capabilities, with his talents, he can do even more. But as I said, I think he has [made] a good contribution in the team.’

After Antony was spotted arguing with Bruno Fernandes during the 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace on Wednesday, Ten Hag also addressed if there was a gap between Antony and his teammates.

He said: ‘I think that can happen. They are both players who play with the heart and, when they bring that in the game, they are on their best so it’s always a kind of balance.

‘And always between players, sometimes emotions flare up but I think, in the second moment, they are already good with each other so that is not a problem. I think definitely the players are not frustrated with him.’

 

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