As Antony heads back into Man United training on Saturday, supporters might be forgiven for not understanding how his situation at the club is any different to Jadon Sancho’s.
Both wide men have had their difficulties of late, handing manager, Erik ten Hag, yet more headaches after the Mason Greenwood re-integration turned into a huge PR disaster for the north west giants.
In an ideal world both players would be available for selection, and it’s purely down to Sancho’s insubordination that he remains sidelined whilst Antony, still under police investigation for alleged assaults, is able to be considered as part of the squad.
CaughtOffside columnist, Fabrizio Romano, writing in his exclusive Daily Briefing, suggested that there was a key difference with both situations.
‘Many of you have asked me why ‘Anthony, yes’ and ‘Jadon Sancho, no,’ but they are completely different situations,’ he wrote.
‘For Antony, Man United want to wait to understand the conditions of the story. For Jadon Sancho, the problem is that Erik ten Hag wants the player to apologise otherwise he still won’t be brought back into the first-team picture.’
As the Red Devils head into their game against Crystal Palace, ten Hag needs to ensure that his squad remain focused on the job in hand rather than the noise surrounding the squad.
Currently sat in ninth place on nine points, United are nine away from table-topping neighbours, Man City, and so if they have any aspirations whatsoever of winning a first Premier League title since the Sir Alex Ferguson era, they need to move on from scenarios and situations which are taking up time and energy for all concerned.
Form needs to improve drastically too of course, and that’s more easily achieved with the entire squad and backroom staff in sync.