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Ex-Man United player slams Bukayo Saka in hidden message to Antony



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Former Manchester United defender Paul Parker has slammed wingers such as Bukayo Saka in a secret message to Erik ten Hag’s forward, Antony.

In the last ten years, wingers in football have become inverted. At Manchester United, this means that players such as Marcus Rashford and Alejandro Garnacho, who are naturally right-footed players, play on the left wing with the idea of cutting inside.

This is seen as a trend across world football, with left-footed players such as Raphinha at Barcelona and Bukayo Saka at Arsenal operating on the right wing at their respective clubs.

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It is a trend that can be partially accredited to Arjen Robben at Bayern Munich, who scored incredible goals with his left foot, curing in from the right-hand side.

However, former United defender Paul Parker, speaking about modern wingers, has fumed at the fact that so many of them just want to cut inside and shoot.

Parker’s pet peeve

Speaking to mybettingsites, Parker cited Raphinha and Saka as two players who “want to cut inside and shoot” and limit their impact on fixtures.

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“Raphinha comes and plays inside a lot. He didn’t really suit Leeds even though the fans liked him because he offered something different, ” Parker began. “He wants to cut in all the time. It’s very repetitive. He reminds me of a younger version of Di Maria. Both lefties, but he’s quicker.

“All the wide today want to cut inside and shoot. How many wide players are there that play on the side of their stronger foot? They’re the type of wingers that would make a difference in today’s game.”

“Wingers today like Saka want to do the same thing. He wants to do the same thing all the time.”

“It’s difficult with wide players today. People only look at numbers, but numbers only work for sports that aren’t subjective. With football, it’s about watching the game. Judging a player because they have nine goals and nine assists, but where’s the action? Does the winger track back the other way?”

A hidden message to Antony

While Antony is not directly mentioned in Parker’s rant, there is certainly a message that holds truth and should be listened to by the Brazilian winger.

Fans and pundits have extensively criticised him for his heavy reliance on his left foot, with the 24-year-old often becoming too predictable in his playing style.

Antony consistently cuts in and seems to find it very uncomfortable to use his right foot, but in the moments where he does, he can make a real difference. One example that comes to mind is a run along the right-hand byline against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, where he sped beyond the defence and put in a low and dangerous cross that no one could latch on to.

Antony would do well to listen to the former United defender.

United and Arsenal will go head to head at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.