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‘In the Theatre of Dreams, you have to entertain!’ – Erik ten Hag backs Antony after criticism of his signature trick

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has backed Antony to perform his tricks if they are helping his team to win games.

Antony sparked a huge online debate after he executed his trademark spin trick against FC Sheriff at Old Trafford last night.

He spun through 360 degrees twice and then misplaced the subsequent pass directly out for a goal kick.

Many pundits were quick to criticise the 22-year-old for unnecessary showboating, including United legend Paul Scholes.

However, Ten Hag has backed his winger to ‘entertain the crowd at the Theatre of Dreams’.

He told Sky Sports: “When it’s functional, I don’t have a problem with that.

“Especially in the Theatre of Dreams, you have to entertain the public but you have to win football games and that’s the main objective.

“When it is for winning the football match, I am okay with it.”

Give us more of those spins, Antony!

United’s manager has once again handled this tricky situation with perfection. He cannot ask Antony to stop performing his tricks. This is what makes him special.

He is a flair player who loves to make fans get off their seats with his manoeuvres.

This is something we have also seen in other Brazilians. Neymar, Richarlison, Raphinha and plenty of others have not shied away from showing off their tricks.

This is their brand of football. Antony should continue what he is doing and block out the outside noise.

If his trick was followed by an assist or a goal, no one would have questioned his antics.

Instead, they would have applauded him for having the courage and skills to execute the move.

The former Ajax winger is still very young. If he can improve his end product, the critics will be silenced.

This is what happened when people questioned Lisandro Martinez as a centre-back due to his height.

After two initial failures, he has shown how dominant he is, not only with the ball at his feet but also in the air.