Manchester United’s Great Big Waste Of Twenty Million Midfield Pounds?

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 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.

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About Steve Ferguson 886 Articles
Steve Ferguson had taken over & re-branded The Faithful MUFC website back in the summer of 2014 and is now the owner and editor of the site. Steve, from Ashton-Under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, is a 35-year-old life long Manchester United fan, travelling over the globe to see the Reds play. Steve has been lucky enough to be at both the 1999 and 2008 Champions League finals, seeing Manchester United lift the biggest trophy in the World, none more exciting than that faithful night in Barcelona in 99. The website is a blog, but also hopes to deliver the latest Manchester United news from around the internet too, linked up with our growing twitter account which is @TheFaithfulMUFC, give it a follow as we will follow you back as soon as we can.


  1. he plays better when playing alongside Cleverley….very average when partnering Fletcher….he has been given too much chances already and has yet tp live up to the expectation….

  2. When I read the headline I assumed you were talking about Berbatov (assuming we could get £10m for him). For all his inconsistency I’d play Anderson over Fletcher or Carrick any day.

  3. Personally i cant put him in that bracket of worst 20 million spent, firstly it was 17 but i suppose thats not really relevent. Carrick cost 18 million and i for one would choose Ando everyday of the week over that waste of space. For me he is one of the worst signings to date, Veron was a world class player and noone could have predicted his faliure to adapt to the league, Hargreaves i agree with you was very unlucky with injuries and always played well when available.

    Now back onto Anderson, i dont actually see too much wrong in his game right now, for me he has been our best midfielder this season, the only one to play consistently in every game, now that obviously isnt too great a feat as our midfield has been very poor since Cleverely’s injury, however Ando is the only one who looks to make things happen. I would love to see some stats on his passing as all post match comments always seem to highlight his poor range of passing, but i actually see him make some excellent through balls along the lines and for the cf’s. To me it seems like everyone wants to jump on the lad when he puts a pass astray. He is one of the few cm in the EPL who can carry the ball 30/40 yards, clearly he needs a Cleverly beside him but so what, many players suffer when they are played with inferior players ie. fletcher/carrick.

    Another thing that i believe is effecting the midfield is that out of all the top teams in the EPL and europe for that matter we are the only ones who play 4-4-2, in fact 90% of teams who play against us play with 3 in the middle. If Fergie chooses to play Rooney in the middle again i would love to see the team setup like this :


    RIght now in football it is too hard for any cm to prosper in a 4-4-2 formation, i am actually quite surprised Ferguson has gone back it. Yes in the past when we were playing our free flowing best football that is the way we played, but unfortunately those days are gone. Barce = Xavi/Iniesta/Busquets Real = Ozil/Alonso/Khedira Chelsea = Lamps/Ramires/Mikel City = Toure/De Jong/Barry Arse = Ramsey/Wilshere/Song and so on….. So for me until Ando gets a decent run in the team with some real quality beside him then in wont be calling for his head yet, but i have to agree with you that into his 5th year he is not at the level we all expected him to have reached by now. But i still believe we are to see the best of him, either way if we were to sell him i would expect a min return of 15 mill so there would really be no loss.

  4. I think you are being a tad over-critical here . True he is putting in performances that we would expect , but playing an anchor role doesn’t suit him . If you take the City game into account our midfield was having no chance against there three including the double pivot which I think was pretty evident even when we were on top for some time in the first half .

  5. Anderson is a Donkey and thats being kind,hes not fit to lace Keanos Boots and the sooner this useless lump of lard ships out to ciddy for 40mill the better,good riddance!

  6. He’s not living up to his potential at all, and the question has to be how many more chances will Fergie give him?. There have been many before him who have had a lot less chances, the latest being Gibson, who has actually scored more goals than Ando in less appearances, so Fergie must see something really special in him.
    Spangle is admin

  7. i think the problem is that his a player that doesnt fit into a box.

    before he came to us he was an attacking midfield and when he joined he decided to be a holding midfielder whose tackling is lacking.

    for me his best role would be one as free as possible in behind rooney or at least next to a proper defensive midfielder which we dont really have at the moment.

    his got the talent but gets lost in too many games and if he doesnt fit into a role soon, either ferige we buy someone to replace him or a kid will come up and take his place.

  8. Even ‘The Faithful’ lose faith…………..Eventually.I dont believe I have ever read on this forum a headline article that ‘writes’ a United players Au revoir greeting card so clearly.Rightly so, he is so not a United player, or should not be, its painfull on the eyes to see him with our magnificent shirt on his massive overweight frame.
    He huffs puffs and blows and looks hideously unfit and in truth can barely last 75 minutes of a competitive match.Its not even his pathetic goal return its his overall contribution in tackling, give and go.I am sure when the likes of Da Silva,Milner,YaYa Toure or De jong see that player on the team sheet must rub their hands with glee, nice easy day today then lads.We have the powder puff, fancy dan to combat against.No contest.
    I also think for some reason, we at United have got this into our game and it infuriates me no end,pass the ball one touch pass it quickly again, regardless if its improving the opportunity to advance.Its crazy why not take on a man and try to beat him with dribbling in the last third, your allowed to lose the ball there if your defence is set.It makes my @rs* nip watching this.Its like the players are more bothered about possession stats and imitating Barcelona(impossible task).Reverting back to Anderson like the loss United suffered on waiting and waiting for Hargreaves(why) at around 500k cost per game played as a proportion of his transfer fee, who would give United even 50% of the inward fee based on what he has brought to Manchester United.Nobody I would suggest.its sometimes ridiculous these multi million pound football players get a lengthy extension on their contract (job done) and promptly down tools.Like wise when they are seeking an improved new contract a resurgence of interest and up their game and put some effort in, R v P at Arsenal as a current example.
    The bigger picture for me in what could be a fulcrum point in Uniteds season the unraveling of the fantastic free flowing football we were served up just a mere 5 games ago.With the loss of the big characters in the dressing room,like Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Edwin van der Sar,John O’shea,Wes Brown and to a lesser extent that other ghost like midfielder(the unmentionable) Hargreaves, all seasoned pros, where are the big mouths now?.The big players that are gonna say , this is not f*****g acceptable our performance and someone to grab the other players during the match and direct the younger players as what they need to do.We saw this during the City game and how we caved in, and no United player could take command of the situation and give as the on field general the instructions.
    Our lose of experience and knowledge , some will say, well their contribution was negligible, its not just necessarily on match day, its the whole effect they would have had on the complete club as well as at Carrington.Where is the general, like Roy Keane, to actually have the type of stature to say ‘what the f**k is he doing here?.
    We need more than a midfielder, both defensive and in the attacking sense.

  9. W

    When or will we ever see Ando taking charge and dominate the midfield? For more than every 15th game? I do not think that will happen, never never never. Sorry Ando, u r not the cmf we need.

  10. Ahhhhh Anderson….

    Such hope for the lad. Then blah…. really blah…. I want him to turn it around, we don’t like to see people “fail” at United…

    I went to the open training session at Old Trafford this year and as you know I’m potty about coaching methods. I have to say I was disappointed by his lazy attitude. Him (and Evra) I have to say were constantly last and always cutting corners and taking the easy route. Or am I being too picky? 😉

    He did perk up though when Sir Alex came out 😉

    Maybe he was having an off day in training, maybe he is just a lazy trainer (even the best footballers can be lazy in training) but I’ll never forget his attitude that day

    He needs to start dominating the midfield, starting tomorrow. Otherwise it is time to give those kids a go and then bye bye Anderson.

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