"We're so finished", "going to be a lonnggggg day" - Manchester United fans react as 24-year-old star named in XI to face Nottingham Forest

The Old Trafford faithful aren
The Old Trafford faithful aren't fond of seeing Antony start.

Manchester United fans have hit out at Erik ten Hag for naming Antony in his team to face Nottingham Forest in the fifth round of the FA Cup tonight (February 28).

Antony has encountered a season to forget, managing just one goal and one assist in 26 games across competitions. Those two goal contributions came in a 4-2 win against Newport County in the FA Cup fourth round.

That was one of few performances Antony has put out that have come anywhere close to living up to his £86 million price tag. That fee which the Red Devils paid Ajax back in August 2022 has been a major burden on the Brazil international.

Ten Hag has been forced to make changes to his side amid an injury curse. Rasmus Hojlund was in fine form but he's sidelined with a muscular injury.

Hojlund sat out Manchester United's shock 2-1 home defeat to Fulham in the league on Saturday (February 24). That loss has put a massive dent in Ten Hag's side's recent upturn in form.

Antony didn't start the loss to the Cottagers as his manager preferred teenage forward Omari Forson. The Brazilian came on in the 90+9th minute which speaks volumes of his torrid time at Old Trafford at present.

Nevertheless, he gets the opportunity to try and prove his doubters wrong against Forest at the City Ground tonight. He joins Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho in attack for the visitors.

Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes starts despite fears that he's nursing an injury. The Portuguese playmaker is in midfield alongside Casemiro and Scott McTominay.

Raphael Varane is another United star who has been dealing with fitness issues. But, the Frenchman starts in defense alongside Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, and makeshift left-back Sofyan Amrabat. Andre Onana continues in goal.

One fan doesn't have much hope for tonight's game as a result of Antony's selection:

"Antony, we're so finished."

Another fan echoed those sentiments:

"Antony it’s going to be a lonnggggg day."

Here's how fans on X (formerly Twitter) reacted to Antony being handed a start in Manchester United's clash with Forest:

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag defends Antony amid criticism over his performances

Antony has struggled to impress at Manchester United.
Antony has struggled to impress at Manchester United.

Ten Hag played a key role in bringing Antony to Manchester United two years ago. The Dutch coach worked with the Selecao winger during his time in charge of Ajax.

Antony impressed at the Johan Cruyff Arena under Ten Hag, bagging 24 goals and 22 assists in 82 games across competitions. He won two Eredivisie titles and one KNVB Cup with the Dutch giants.

Ten Hag defended Antony this week by insisting he's unstoppable when he's at his best. He said (via The Mirror):

"With Antony, I backed him for a long time. I know his abilities, great abilities, I know from the past he is unstoppable, no defender can stop him because he's one of the quickest in the first 10 yards."

Ten Hag talked up Antony's characteristics although he urged the underperforming winger to get back to his best:

"When he plays that game I'm sure he will perform. He's resilient, he's a character and he will fight back. I back him and he now has to wait for his chance and, once he is there, he has to pick up."

Antony's future at Manchester United is somewhat uncertain heading towards the summer transfer window. Reports claim that new minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe is open to selling the attacker.

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Edited by Matthew Guyett