The winger delivered another forgettable display for the Red Devils, continuing his streak of failing to score or provide an assist this season.
Antonywas hooked off on 54 minutes after failing to make a chance during the Premier League game, while he earned an Expected assists (xA) of just 0.03.
It was another poor showing from the young Brazilian but Neville made an interesting comparison during the contest at the City Ground, saying he was like Riyad Mahrez.
He came in for a wave of criticism for his words. but he has since clarified his position. Neville told Sky Sports:“He’s got two things: he can take it down the line and whip it down the line with his left foot as a cross. He can cut inside and get a shot away.
That was Riyad Mahrez’s game for five, six years at Leicester and Manchester City. He’s nowhere near Riyad Mahrez. But if you’re a young player and you’re trying to get some consistency in you’re game and you’re looking at who he might be like.
Gary Neville saying Antony would become a Mahrez type of player. pic.twitter.com/Ma6E7BEDxH
— Tickle (@heismusiala) December 30, 2023
“He doesn’t look to me like he’s had any work on him, and that may be an insult to the coaching staff at Man Utd. I worked with Steve McClaren, I can’t believe he’s not speaking to Antony and saying: ‘Simplify your game a little bit. Pop it back to your full-back and take a spin in behind. Just try to drift it into an area at the back post.’
I do have my fears that the temperament is not there from Antony, the consistency’s not there. But what I would say is that he has something in that he takes the ball every single time and he wants the ball every single time – and there are certain players out on that pitch who I don’t feel they do.
“Antony doesn’t have the confidence at this moment in time to beat players but he’s so frustrating. I blame the football club, I really do, for bringing him in for £85m. It’s not that boy’s fault he’s been brought in as one of the most expensive wide players in world football. He should never have been signed for that money.
What did Gary Neville say about Antony?
The Red Devils legend had said that Antony was similar to Mahrez during the game. His initial words were: “He [Antony] has to develop a pattern in his game so his team-mates understand what he’s doing. That can be just simplifying it. Mahrez is someone I’ve said before that he should really go and watch and study and look at.
“[Mahrez] only did a couple of simple things in the game but he was always very effective. His team-mates could read his moves. Look, [Antony] has got the courage and he always gets on the ball, but what you need obviously is end product and he’s going to be judged upon that.
Since his move from Ajax in the summer of 2022, Antony, priced at £82m, has scored eight goals in his debut season but is yet to find the net this campaign.
While Antony’s adaptation to England is expected to take time but pressure is mounting on his displays.