There is certainly one thing for sure with Anderson
And that is, as the song says…he’s better than Kleberson.
However, only time and history will dictate whether the boy will end up with the same failure tag, as his national compatriot acquired.
And as it stands it aint looking good!
I remember where I was when I heard we had signed Ando. I was playing pool, and I got a text on my phone: ‘Gill is in Portugal and he’s signed that lad Anderson from Porto. Fee is enormous’ …I got a real bolt of excitement. United had signed one of the most promising teenage midfielders in the world…and we hadn’t shirked on the cost. It gave me a fleeting positive mindset about our owners. You could smell with the addition of Nani and Hargreaves as well, that MUFC meant business. And as we all know it is in the history books that we took our third European Cup and the Premier League that glorious season. The vibes were all good. The future was bright.
Since that great finish to the 2007-08 season the lad has had a yo-yo time of it. Some excellent isolated performances of brilliance have been interjected with crashing Ferrari’s, visits to Burger King and more importantly various injuries. But that great football cliché: ‘Well he is only a young lad’ …has been over used for a player now into his fifth season in our Red shirt and over 140 Manchester United appearances. Excuses need to be stripped away for an international footballer whose country hasn’t picked him since 2008.
I was one of the many really looking forward to seeing Ando in a United shirt this season. With the departure of the Lord Paul Scholes, I felt optimism in a possible partnership between our ‘Midfield Magician’ and the returning Tom Cleverley, and I rammed this point home during pre season via my Twitter. However, I was surprised when Fergie matched them up so early, and that incredible impact we saw as the two led us to a blistering start, and the historic torching of Arsenal Football Club by eight goals (a result that feels so far away after the City match) I felt Anderson and Cleverley both had the applicable workrate, yet also the flair to give us that balance we would need this season…and it looked oh so good in its infant beginnings.
And then Kevin Davies decided to do a ‘Kevin Davies’ on Clev’s foot.
Despite Cleverley’s injury I wasnt too concerned. Surely Anderson would kick on with his form? Surely he would take the opportunity with no OAP Scholes breathing down his neck? Surely he would say to Carrick and Fletcher ‘You two give me the ball cos im going to boss this match’??
Surely I was absolutely wrong…as were many others.
Anderson’s capitulation of form, culminating with Sir Alex’s ‘worst day ever’, has been startling and almost frightening. The lad is a 23 years old man now. He is not a kid. Yet he still seems to lack the ability to find any sort of consistency in his approach on the pitch. You can speculate about his weight, or his general attitude, but the fact is with that all put aside, he is failing to put together 90 minutes of top class quality in his game.
Now certainly Anderson is not the only United midfielder with failings this season. Both Fletcher and Carrick have shown vulnerabilities in the position…but with Anderson’s obvious talent…it heightens his failures more than those two who are more functional in their use to the squad. I was one of those who said we didn’t need Sneijder in the summer, and that was because I wanted to give Anderson the chance to be that central flair player. Yes we are only just into November. But with the next transfer window almost upon us..it does make you think how much longer can we show faith in a player who is continually letting himself and his team mates down?
Only last night, at home against Galati..we see a centre forward like Wayne Rooney, dropping into the centre midfield and putting in a shift. But we also see Anderson struggle against a midfield that costs about the equivalent of his weekly wage. It is just chronic and borderline unacceptable.
Anderson no doubt is a talented player. But there has been lots of talented players who just havent cut it when the mustard jar is opened. I’ve spent the last 5 years defending the player to Scousers and Cockneys who have claimed he is a dud…you expect that flack from them (and we give it back) But can we really sing with credibility: ‘And he sh1ts on Fabbbrreeeegaaaasss’? No we can’t. And I for one wont be singing that silly song in the future when there’s no proof in the pudding. Can we criticize Lucas at Liverpool when his function to the team seems more defined than our own Brazilian? Not really.
Unlike Nani, who took his chance when his alpha-male equivalent left the club, I’m worried that Anderson will prove to be the worst £20 million United have spent on a solitary player. You could point to Veron, but it was more to do with how we played him, as opposed to how he played. You could look at Hargreaves, but you can’t blame the lad for not having a normal pair of human knees.
You have to question: How bad does Anderson really really want it?
The answer to that question will come in the next six months.
Let’s hope he does a Nani.