‘Is that of any use to anyone?’ Does that help him in any way? I’d have to ask him what a 4-0 advantage means to him.
‘This country, any country, including Brazil.’ Do they really want to witness that? I enjoy seeing talents and entertainment, but I don’t think it’s skill or entertainment; it’s simply clowning around.’
Earlier in the evening, after half-time, the former Manchester United player also stated, ‘I don’t know what he’s doing.’ It’s completely absurd. It’s showboating; just look at him (Ten Hag shakes his head), and you’ll understand what he’s thinking.
‘He’s not beating anyone, he’s not entertaining anyone, it’s 0-0, and he kicks the ball out.’ That’s how he plays; I’ve seen him do it many times at Ajax, and it’s just the way he is, but I think he deserves to be knocked out.’
Ten Hag was questioned after the game about Antony’s behavior, but he disputed that the substitution was a direct result of the showboating.
‘It’s more or less planned,’ he said to BT Sport. ‘If we go ahead, I’d like to see Cristiano and Marcus Rashford close together on the right side, and that’s one of the reasons.’
‘I thought Garnacho was doing a nice job on the left side, with good speed dribbling.’ It was all planned out.’
Not only was Scholes disappointed with Antony, but so were his colleague’s experts, notably Robbie Savage.
‘That is ludicrous to me,’ he remarked. ‘Because he did that and then took the ball out of play – humiliating! He does this with no one nearby, and then he takes the ball out of play. I would be upset if I were the management.
‘And you can hear the fans – he’s attempting to win a game, moving the ball swiftly with no one around him, and he throws the ball out of play!’ Embarrassing.’
The former Wales international was not alone in his scorn for the young Brazilian forward.
‘If you’re going to do it, that final pass has to be good,’ ex-Three Lions and Manchester United player Owen Hargreaves remarked. ‘You can’t get rid of it. But that is the case.
‘At 0-0, you don’t do that, and even at three or four, you don’t do that with respect to the opposing team.’ However, players want to demonstrate their abilities, but they must also be functional. It also doesn’t help if you kick it out.
‘One spin is sufficient. What about the second? We all want to see skill, we enjoy it, but it has to be combined with function,’ he remarked after the game.
‘I’d be jumping out of my seat if he did it in or around someone, but to do it with no effect, I’m not sure what he’s trying to achieve.’ That’s his specialty, and he enjoys doing it. He most likely wanted to show off at Old Trafford. Do one, then move forward and challenge someone. That is not something I believe this country wants to see.’
The 22-year-old has a reputation for attempting the extraordinary, having attempted the same technique with varying degrees of success under Ten Hag at Ajax in previous seasons.
But the 52-year-old has already made his feelings known, and it remains to be seen whether the Brazilian will do something similar in his next appearance.
United ultimately took the lead just before halftime through Diogo Dalot, before a second-half headed effort from Rashford and a late goal from the returning Cristiano Ronaldo guaranteed Ten Hag’s team advanced from the group stage.
They will now go to Real Sociedad for their final group match, hoping to win by two goals in order to avoid a play-off round and advance directly to the last 16.