Rio Ferdinand has slammed winger Antony for his performance in Manchester United’s defeat to Arsenal on Sunday, claiming he ‘can’t beat anyone’ on the ball. The 22-year-old was largely ineffective once again for his new side and was substituted in the second half after failing to have an impact on the game.
Ferdinand, speaking on his FIVE show, criticised the Brazilian, suggesting he is showing nothing like the form he produced at Ajax, which convinced United to spend £86m on him. ‘He’s a tricky winger, but with tricky wingers you want them to still be able to beat the defender.’ Ferdinand then went on to suggest United defender Luke Shaw was ‘scared’ of Bukayo Saka at the Emirates.
‘He just doesn’t beat anyone and I’m sitting there thinking, “Was that always the way?”’ Ferdinand said. ‘I’ve seen clips of him when he was at Ajax and he was somebody who used to beat people. ‘He just doesn’t beat anyone and I’m sitting there thinking, “Was that always the way?”’ Ferdinand said. ‘I’ve seen clips of him when he was at Ajax and he was somebody who used to beat people.
Saka scored Arsenal’s second to put his side ahead at the Emirates, and gave his England colleague a tough time on the day with his impressive dribbling and direct running. The former United defender suggested Saka had Shaw’s ‘number’ on the day, branding the winger his young player of the year so far.
‘I think Saka, my young player of the year, had Shaw scared’, he said. ‘That’s the first time I’ve seen Shaw look like, “Oh, this guy has got my number”. ‘He gave him far too much space a lot of the time, allowed him to run and get into the box before engaging with him because he didn’t want to get beat.
‘He thought if he tried to face him up he’d just shift it round him. But Shaw’s been magnificent for United up to this point.’ Though they netted twice in the game, United manager Erik ten Hag berated his side’s defending, claiming they have to ‘change their mentality’ if they want to win trophies.