Manchester United star Antony has had an eventful start to his life at Old Trafford. After being involved in a long-stretched summer transfer saga – which saw him publicly demand an exit from Ajax (via Fabrizio Romano) and finally ended with the Red Devils paying a record €100m for him.
In doing so, they made the Brazilian winger the most expensive sale for an individual player in Eredivisie history. Erik ten Hag got his man for a major price and was able to add more quality to the right-wing position at United.
Antony has since gone on to produce some polarizing performances. He became the first-ever United signing to have scored in his first three Premier League games for the Manchester side – achieving a record the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo or Robin van Persie even could not match.
Despite his goal-scoring heroics, Antony has also come up with some frustrating performances. In the games in which he hasn’t scored, the Brazilian winger has annoyed some fans with his antics.
His crossing ability so far has been poor, as he’s yet to assist a single goal. Moreover, his overall contribution in some games has also been slightly underwhelming.
After the Red Devils’ 3-0 win over Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League on Thursday, Antony became the talk of the town among the English media – despite not even being involved in a goal. It was for a specific moment involving him at the end of the first half.
The moment in question is the 360 ball roll that he did. Some fans call it ‘Antourny’ – with the winger making two slick 360 turns with the ball before bizarrely giving it away to the opposition goalkeeper. Somehow, this was the worst thing he could do.
Since then, ex-United midfielder Paul Scholes has called him a ‘clown’ and other pundits have also lambasted him for it. It almost feels like he did something criminal – leaving many fans perplexed over the kind of reception he is getting for it.
But this isn’t the first time Antony has attracted criticism for his trickery. He was also lambasted for it by some during his time at Ajax – where he did it quite often to entertain the Dutch fans.
The Brazilian addressed the widespread criticism with an Instagram story that read – “We are known for our art and I will not stop doing what brought me to where I am!”
Of course, it is not the first time Antony has had to defend himself from the outrage that comes along with the praise when he performs his unique skill.
Back in February, he addressed the criticism of his ‘circusacts’ in an interview with Telegraaf.nl journo Mike Verweij –
“Some people love my tricks, some people don’t like them. I find them functional and I do them because I want to show my opponent that I am the boss. And very often it leads to a goal or assists.
“I don’t care what other people think about it. No matter what people say, I remain focused. Even Jesus, who was perfect, couldn’t please everybody. So who am I to please everybody?”
Going biblical is definitely one way for Antony to prove his point and shut up his doubters.
It’s quite clear that the Brazilian winger will not stop doing his ‘Antourny’ antics anytime soon and will probably only keep doing it to irk more people going forward.