‘He’s a bit of an IDIOT’: Gabby Agbonlahor slams Antony for his on-pitch antics in defeat at Brighton… as he urges Man United boss Erik ten Hag to ‘calm him down’ to help the winger live up to his £86m price tag
- The Brazilian has at times struggled to keep his emotions in check this season
- Both Antony and his adversary Lewis Dunk picked up yellow cards during fracas
- The pundit believes that Antony is still yet to live up to his hefty price tag
Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor labelled Manchester United’s summer signing Antony a ‘bit of an idiot’ after the winger narrowly avoided being sent off for ‘lashing out’ at Brighton’s Alexis Mac Allister during the two teams’ Premier League clash on Thursday.
The £85million forward, who manager Erik ten Hag snaffled from his former club Ajax during last summer’s transfer window, narrowly avoided picking up a red card after kicking out at the World Cup winner with twenty minutes left to play.
Whilst Mac Allister lay on the ground in visible pain, his team-mate Lewis Dunk became embroiled in a spat with the Brazil international that saw him booked by referee Andre Marriner too.
Commentating on the match, pundit Alan Smith called the 23-year-old a ‘silly boy’ and said the ‘stupid’ challenge had only seen the player swerve a red due to the height of his hack at Mac Allister’s leg.
After the final whistle, Peter Schmeichel advised the forward to ‘behave himself’ in the future as he had been ‘lucky, lucky boy’ to stay on the pitch.
Antony (left) hacked at Alexis Mac Allister to fell the World Cup winner during United and Brighton’s latest Premier League meeting
The Brazilian then squared up to Lewis Dunk (right) and both players were swiftly booked
Speaking to Football Insider, Agbonlahor added his opinion to the furore, and advised his manager to take the player in hand.
‘I think he’s a bit of an idiot, to be honest,’ the pundit said simply. ‘There was no need for that tackle on Mac Allister, and then he’s trying to go chest to chest with a giant in Lewis Dunk. He’d have destroyed him.
‘Is Antony frustrated with his own performance, and that’s why he’s lashing out?
‘He can’t take a player on, he can’t beat a man, he can’t get a shot on goal. He’s got to be frustrated with his own performances this season.’
Since last year’s move from the Eredivisie, Antony has struggled for consistent performances, as well as coming under fire for puported ‘showboating’ from a number of pundits.
The Brazilian has scored eight goals across all competitions and registered just two assists, and Agbonlahor believes that the player’s short fuse could be responsible for holding him back.
‘Ten Hag has got to speak to him about it. He’s got to calm down or he’ll get red cards,’ he continued.
‘He’s got to try and become the £86million (sic) player he was brought in to be.’
For his part, Ten Hag has almost encouraged high drama from one of his most incendiary players.
Speaking after the match, Ten Hag argued that ‘passion is a strength’.
‘Of course, until a certain level you have to control it,’ the Dutchman added. ‘You need passion and desire to win your battles in the game.
‘It is very strong with him and he is very ambitious. Don’t go over the top: stay focused on your game and what the game needs.
‘If he does that, he is a great player. I think his improvement is quite obvious and clear.’
Antony has struggled for consistent form since his big-money move to Old Trafford last year
Gabby Agbonlahor (left) urged Erik ten Hag (right) to take his player in hand to ensure he reaches his potential
Mac Allister inserted himself in more matchday drama when he scored the winning penalty
United lost to Brighton at the last after Mac Allister once agin found himself in the centre of events, scoring a penalty deep into extra time to net all three points for teh Seagulls.
Following the Red Devils’ subsequent loss against West Ham at the London Stadium on Sunday, Ten Hag’s side could come dangerously close to missing out on Champions League football next season.
Currently sitting fourth in the Premier League table, United could yet fall victim to a sneak-attack from old foes Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side appear to have wrestled their up-and-down season under control in recent weeks and are now just a point behind United in fifth.
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|Indicates that when the handicap team wins the handicap team by 3 points, the two teams will tie and win all 4 points.
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