What About Anderson? Why the ‘Brazilian Magician’ must act now to save his MUFC career.

‘We’re signing Sneijder! David Gill’s tieing things up in Milan today.’

‘Nasri is a done deal, personal terms agreed, Arsenal prepared to let him go for £25m.’

Blah, blah, blah.

In the absence of genuine news since United did their summer business early my twitter feed has been populated with comments proclaiming the ‘definite’ signings of Samir and Wesley. On top of that has been even more suggestions of players we should be pursuing ranging from the sublime (proven international class performers like Lassana Diarra) to the ridiculous (Charlie Adam). All seem to be agreed on the need to recruit an additional central midfielder; a view I would tend to agree with given our richly promising youth players do not appear ready for the first team.

The element I have found surprising is the type of midfielder many fans have clamoured for. Personally I would favour an injection of steel rather than silk yet I am told we need a player who can bring adventure from central midfield. A player who can unlock defences. Someone who can link the midfield to attack like the Scholes of old. A player perhaps like this? “He is very young, very skilled in the pass, very intelligent and very fast.’ ‘ A player voted star of the Under-17 World Cup. A player we already have.

The boss himself described Anderson in glowing terms: ‘ But when you’ve lost Keane and you’ve got Paul Scholes coming to the end of his career, you ask yourself: ‘Who’s going to perform that function for Manchester United?’. You know Anderson’s going to become a terrific player – it’s inevitable.”

I don’t believe Anderson is a terrific player. He and Nani were recruited in a seemingly masterful piece of business. In the same way that Smalling and Jones have been brought in to eventually succeed Ferdinand and Vidic; Nani and Anderson were destined to soften the blow of Scholes and Giggs impending retirement. Nani began to fulfill this potential last season providing a phenomenal number of assists combined with a goal threat that many fans appear to have forgotten about all too easily over the summer.

Anderson however is stuck in neutral.

Over four years on from his signing and we are allegedly in the market for a player to fill a gap we invested a vast sum on the young Brazilian to plug. I’m not even sure what type of midfielder he is given his propensity to exhilarate and exasperate in equal measure both as a tenacious destroyer (see Arsenal away 2007)  and an attacking midfielder (see Blackburn home 2010). Ferguson has even tried him out as a trequartista yet time and again he flatters to deceive; seemingly incapable of consistently, substantially influencing a game. Ferguson has been rightly praised for developing his tactical flexibility; it is no accident that the current squad is populated by players capable of performing in more than one role. The summer aquisitions (with the obvious exception of De Gea) indicate this policy will continue. As a result it is an asset that Anderson can play in more than one role yet his failure to assert himself as first choice in any is a feeble return on four years at the club. In the numerous line-up and tactical variation proposed by bored Red tweeters over the summer the absence of Anderson was apparent.

After four years in a country should a translator be necessary?

For whatever reason Anderson seems to enjoy a charmed existence with United fans. Maybe it is the jubilation of singing his chant which deludes so many of us into fighting his corner and hailing his ‘potential’. After four years I am tired of waiting and would expect to see more evidence of potential coming to fruition than has been provided. For every dazzling performance there is an anonymous outing and the soap opera style of his private life is an unwanted distraction. The fevered speculation over a new central midfield signing should have provoked him to spend his summer working hard in the gym ready to press his case for increased responsibility as Ferguson reshapes the team. Sadly Anderson’s return for pre=season training has been the same old story of a player over-weight and out of condition. If you feel I am being hyperbolic consider the response from our ‘supporters’ had Darron Gibson or Michael Carrick returned for training appearing to be carrying excess baggage.

Is this the physique of a player determined to take charge of our midfield?

I’m certainly not clamouring for the departure of Anderson. He has shown in patches evidence of a player capable of excelling but his Manchester United career for me is at a clear cross-roads. If as I suspect the rumours of signing an established star midfielder prove to be false this season is a golden opportunity for Anderson to show he has what it takes – both physically and mentally – to become the World Class midfielder he was tipped to become. We hail his bossing of Fabregas in his early days at Old Trafford yet in terms of player development you would be hard pressed to find even a loyal Red who would rate Anderson in the same class of player as the want-away Catalan. A degree of blame can be placed on the boss who has seemed perplexed as to how to deploy the young Brazilian; yet you could equally argue that the willingness of the boss to offer second/third/fourth chances to impress shows an enduring faith. However Ferguson has shown he will not wait forever and when a player fails to adapt and contribute sufficiently he is moved on no matter how talented – ask Seba Veron. It is time for Anderson to show the determination and focus required to become a fixture in United’s future or risk being consigned to our past perhaps remembered in a chant for a new star:

‘Morrison, son, son, he’s better than Anderson.’ 2011/12 needs to be the season of samba.

Like what you’ve read? Follow me on twitter @TomPattison

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. Fair points well made. Especially that we love him for the chant!

    Injuries aside (and he’s had a few) he is lacking in consistency and drive. We can’t afford to be patient in waiting for the former and we may well be waiting forever for the latter. He just seems to be content with his lot, which is nice in ‘normal’ life but not on the pitch for the champions. I would absolutely love to see him come alive this season as Nasri did last year for Arsenal but somehow I just don’t see it. 4 years on that transfer fee with not much return is just too much. If we could get 10M for him I’d take it and put it towards Christian Eriksen; a similarly prodigious young player but one with his head srewed on.

  2. For someone so fat he looked pretty energetic against revolution. looked like the fittest player on the field actually. His bodyshape doesnt matter if his performance isnt affected. As for morrison hes better than pretty much everyone not just Ando. Only a matter of time

  3. Hahaha, this is simply ridiculous. What a dig at Anderson. He’s not my favourite player but he is a very good one. People forget that he’s only 22… How can we not bang on about his potential when it’s so evident? He will shine next season, believe me. The part that really pisses me off about this article is the part in which you say he has come back fatter than where he left off. This is not true, because FERGIE himself said ” Some players have come back looking different, like Anderson because he has worked on his upper body strength and weight. He wouldn’t be the same player without his build. If you watched the match two days ago, you would of seen that he did not stop running when we had the ball. His weight does not affect his speed or stamina… And by the way, thelast part of this article is just pathetic.

  4. for me his stuck, before he came to us he was an attacking midfielder and then he ended up as a playmaker but he often gets lost in games.

    i wouldnt sell him but he needs to step up this season or risk being sold on, nani had his breakthrough season last season so lets hope this is andos year.

    on new players after the last few summers by breath is not being held and i am sure fergie will work his magic no matter who does or doesnt sign.
    but personally i would like a defensive midfield and a creative minded midfielder we have needed these additions since that night in rome and 2 years later our midfield again failed to perform.

  5. Alex Ferguson or ‘FERGIE’ as you prefer to call him on July 13th:

    ‘”Physically they are all fine, nowadays you don’t get players coming back like maybe 30-40 years ago with pot bellies, you don’t get that now, they are all well tuned and responsible adults now. You maybe get one or two who come back with a few pounds, I think naturally Anderson puts a few pounds on, just because of the make-up of his upper body but he’s now looking good and he’s training hard so it doesn’t take us long to get them into shape.”

    I’m glad the boss isn’t concerned but he does state that Anderson has put on a few pounds so it hardly contradicts my point that I would have likeo see him return looking lean and ready to impress. I’m glad you enjoyed his performance against New England – let’s hope he can produce consistently. I also hope you are right that he will shine next season; I’ve not seen any evidence yet but I’d be delighted if Anderson does prove to be the player I hoped he would become.

  6. Anderson, probably the most overated player at Old Trafford for years,I ve NEVER rated him and never will,whod heard of him anyway,he cant even get in the Brazil team,is he stopping us signing Wesley?

  7. Haha spot on Tom, and despite the blinkered comments of others Anderson is carrying weight…in fact, quite a percentage of decent to world class Brazilian players put on weight like Adele on a cake binge…Adriano was rated one of the world’s best until he developed “big bones” haha

  8. you are the type of person that instill doubt upon our young players. Shut up, hes not played enough because of injuries.. you expect morrison to to replace him because uve heard alot about him and seen clips of him.. even if u watched every u18 game i still wouldnt trust ur judgement.. as for ando, age doesnt matter.. he only lacks two things in my opinion(which is more valuable than yours, judging by the lack of insight in ur article), a) fitness (which u hve pointed out) b) goal threat. both of which, at the age of 23, he can fix.. just chill the fuck out and stop posting stupid shit… instead maybe talk about how much faith fergie has in him , for inspite of losing 3 midfielders he doesnt buy anyone (sneijder=belive it when i see it on manutd.com). the pealp at utd dont make decisions based on ur stupid opnions but rather years (20 years of actually working at a club, not some bitter ex u8 sheffield reject) of experience… he has signed a new contract, and unless some bids a huge amount he is going to try to continue to displace carrick fletcher giggs in midfield.. hell need a couple of years(not everyone is a cristiano ronaldo).. and he has NOT flattered to deceive.. utd competetion is tough im so disgusted with people saying players flatter to decieve (nani and ando) shut the fuck up.. im 72 years old! im from manchest.. i have been to more than thousands of games at old trafford.. ive seen more transitions in football than u can fathom… i understand better what fergie has in mind than you, no doubt.. impateince is what drives u young folks to mis judgement.. its a shame u lot. and lets get it straight, unless fergie says it, 2012/2013 doesnt need to be the season of samba.. they dont look at things that way idiot. he has shown more than enough that he is utd quality.. why would he be sold at a loss when carrick will be retiring in a few years.. obertan will be sold before ando.. i agree that by the 100th apperance a player should be starting to make an impact… but dont tallk as if U KNOW that if ando doesnt samba the fuck out of 2012 that he will be sold, cause even fergie dont know that.. what” the soap opera style of his private life” are you referring to? there is non? prove it? c ron incident? what does that have to do with anything apart from u not experiencing such sexual expericiences.. ps u r a retard.

  9. Ando has developed a pot-belly during the Summer-break and it’s so obvious. Four years is more than enough to establish yourself in the United’s team especially if you’ve got the potentials like Anderson. This season is probably his last chance to impress or be pushed aside by the likes of Morrison.

  10. 2012/13 needs to be a good season, but I am of the opinion we should focus on 2011/12 first. Am I wrong?

    In all honesty, I think Ando is more Keane than Scholes. Actually, he has a bit of both in him, but more Keane in his combative play in the middle of the park. But, now is his time. He has to battle Carrick, Fletcher and Gibbo for a starting place.

  11. Well spotted! I’ll change it but so you don’t look odd before Lunga’s comment I’d made the school boy error of writing 2012/13. Cheers for the sub-editing!

  12. Excellent read about a player who shows lots of potential, but as you rightly said, after 4 years at United he needs to be showing more than that.

    I like Anderson, maybe for his enthusiasm and seemingly genuineness(?).

    I’d really hope that he shows the consistency and fitness needed at this level. If not, he’ll have to make space for someone else, and I’d say it would be his loss rather than United’s.

    I’ll have my fingers crossed he’ll come good, and follow Nani’s footsteps into becoming a very good player at the club.

    Well done on a great post, and keep up the good work.
    Meanwhile, Anderson-son-son…

  13. I agree with most of what you wrote mate, Ando isn’t investing his free time in improving his skills ..he should spend more time to improve his shooting accuracy and power… monitor his weight … off the field , a 6 month intensive English course would never see him need a translator! I wish he be better than Ronaldinho… but it seems Anderson is following him the other way!

  14. Not only fabri but also gerard at the same year. Ando is the next united king i realy like him. Good post any way.

  15. I think Anderson, like Ronaldo and Nani before him, just needs to be handed the responsibility as the main man in United’s midfield. there is no question about it, Anderson should be an attacking midfielder/number ten type player. he plays too deep for my liking given his eye for a pass and dribbling skills.

    he has been in the shadow of Scholes.. but given his depature, if we don’t sign a big name player this summer and Anderson can avoid any injuries.. I believe many will be surprised by his displays in 2011/2012.

  16. Paul…you may well have a valid point if you were able to get it across in a more eloquent manner. For a 72 year old man to be calling people retards is quite preposterous.

    Football is about opinion, and your one is as valid as ours, but to make it personal…well thats the worst sort of fan in my opinion.

    I think Anderson is fair game. His lack of consistency allows this. When he wears the shirt we shall sing his name and give him all the support he needs to succeed…but it doesnt stop us wondering if he will ever truly make the grade at MUFC. Have you ever stood in the pub before or after a game and debated whether which player will make it or not?? Im sure you have.

    As you elude: “lacking in fitness and a goal threat”…for a player who is supposed to have an engine and attacking prowess (pre joining United)…well thats definitely an issue to discuss and crunch the numbers on.

    My personal opinion is that if Anderson does not cut the mustard this season then he will be sold. This is the nature of the beast, and Fergie waits for no one. However, he needs the chance to shine or fail…and i think if he can stay out of Burger King and get a bit of luck with injuries, then hes got all the tools to be a top class midfielder for the team.

    Thanks for reading, but no thanks to your vitriol.

  17. Paul, first of all thank you for taking the time to read my article. Please allow me to make a few points in response:

    The saddest thing about your reply is that deep in there are undoubtedly some valid points. Unfortunately they are so well hidden amongst a heady concoction of personal insults and barely readable boasts that it is easy to miss them. We all have different opinions and become legitimately passionate when sharing them. For a man of your years and experience to resort to baseless digs about my personal life and intelligence does not reflect well on you. Clearly you have never come into contact with young people with learning disabilities as I do in my job as a teacher or you wouldn’t even consider using the word ‘retard’.

    In answer to your question (well the one I can decipher):
    Q: ‘what” the soap opera style of his private life” are you referring to?’

    A: The incident where whilst recovering from injury ‘allegedly’ he was involved in a high speed crash in a vehicle containing more passengers than was legal.

    In all seriousness, if you really are 72 years of then congratulations on navigating your way through life despite so clearly lacking in social skills. I applaud you – especially for your full embrace of the text speak so beloved of the younger generation. u no wot i mean m8.

  18. Anderson could do the job,but i feel the way he has been introduced to the team may not allow him to express himself the way he used to while he was still in Porto,as a playmaker,but as a good player he could change if given the vote of confidence.

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