Date: 3rd August 2011 at 12:11pm
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Time for the Brazilian to silence his critics? Amongst endless, tiresome speculation over whether or not Wesley Sneijder will be donning the United colours one man, already wearing the shirt, has been striving through pre-season to prove he can fill the much talked-up Paul Scholes sized hole in the team.

Anderson’s move to Manchester saw him weighted with high expectations for two reasons. Firstly United paid a fee reported to be around the mark of £17 million. This sum would cause the fans, who knew little about the Brazilian, to believe the United staff knew something about him to justify the price tag. Secondly the timing of Anderson’s arrival was significant. The summer of 2007, Manchester United key midfield cog Paul Scholes was aged 32 and so a 19 year old Brazilian midfielder would seem like the perfect apprentice and successor.

Excitement that United may have just tucked their future midfield kingpin under their wing shrivelled with doubt as Anderson failed to explode on to the scene at Old Trafford. Anderson showed slight signs of having the capability to develop into the player many may have expected him to. He could play a few decent passes, something he could surely develop as an understudy to the master in this field. He also appeared to have a good amount of strength about him allowing him to push players off the ball and get stuck in to give United a presence in the midfield. However on the whole Anderson did not have the most impressive start to his United career.

Unfortunately the excuse of the Brazilian needing time to settle in to life in England and at the club was becoming less and less valid as Anderson continued to fail to impress. Not only was he not impressing, but the slight signs of quality he was showing initially were now more fading than developing. In fact Anderson did not score his first competitive goal for United until September 2009 after two years of being at the club. Anderson was failing in making any impact at United and was most certainly falling short of the mark in becoming a replacement for Scholes.

Four years on from the signing of Anderson and Paul Scholes has retired and as of yet there is an arguable lack of attacking creativity in United’s choice of centre midfielders. With a gap in the team and a name to be made there is no better time for Anderson to step up to the mark.

No longer in the shadow of Scholes and without the expectations to play up to maybe this can be Anderson’s season. Whilst he may have the chance to prove himself to fill the gap left by Scholes he does not necessarily have to be Scholes. One reason as to why Anderson has not overly impressed at United may be because of expectations to play just like Scholes. The timing of his signing made him a Paul Scholes replacement and so was expected to play like him.

Anderson is actually quite a different player. His strong physical build allows him to get in amongst the action and jostle players for the ball in a bulldog fashion. A trait which can unsettle defenders and put pressure on a team’s back four. It could also allow Anderson to play a large part in helping United win games in the midfield by winning the ball in the midfield and having the strength to hold on to it. Scholes contributed to United’s goal scoring often, and whilst he has a pretty woeful goal tally Anderson has shown that given the chances he can finish and has netted in pre-season.

Anderson has had a bumpy start to life in Manchester amid rarely getting consecutive whole games, injuries and playing in the shadows of high expectations. However now may the time for the Brazilian to step up to the mark and prove that the answer to the midfield worry at United is already in the team.

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18 responses to “Time for Anderson To Finally Step Up?”

  1. Sale Red says:

    Quite simply, he’s just not good enough. Even in ore season he has shown his inability to pass to another united player. He doesn’t have a good touch, has no finesse & has had 4 poor years. It’s time to get rid.

    • jokerfifty says:

      sale should understand that the young lad has not featured in any other preseason for the club apart from this one,ando has been hampered with lots of injuries and no pundit should blame him for learn that even saf has got trust on the boy and your opinion plays minor to his at any given instance

    • Kev says:

      He’s never had a decent run in the side. He’s very under rated. He has had a really good pre season, and as much as I love giggs, ando would av been much more effective against barca in the final.

    • jose says:

      Anderson IS good enough, he will never be Paul scholes, NO-ONE will. He, like he said when he signed for united, is Anderson not a copy of other players. He can tackle better than Scholes, and is a completely different player. But Anderson can pass very well, and with a more mobile unit of Anderson and Cleverly in the centre, and with any number of Wide players and Rooney and Hernandez up front we have a great team for many years to come.

  2. #07 says:

    Ando is a very good player and he could really explode this season but if you ask me its Tom Cleverley who’s really gonna stamp his mark on the team in 2011/12. By putting him in a position where Tom can make things happen rather than having him further up the field where he is reliant on others doing so Sir Alex has found a way to bring the best out of him. 2011/12 is gonna be Cleverley’s year. By the end of this season the press pack will be saying he needs to go the Euro’s.

  3. DavidYB says:

    I don’t think Anderson is right to fill the Scholes role, but he could very well fill the position that Sneijder will, potentially, occupy. At Porto, Ando was an attack minded “number ten” but at United he has been forced to sit deep. Part of the reason for his lack of goals has been that deep lying positon, and I think if Fergie moved him forward fans would see the best out of him. However, it would be a big risk to bail on Sneijder and rely on Anderson’s promise – I for one would prefer to see Sneijder.

  4. Oliver says:

    Both of them are going to. They’re both excellent midfielders, and we need not waste money on another CAM like Sneijder (in 3 ways – we’d be wasting the £35m initial fee, the £200,000 a week wages, and wasting the potential of these two younger players).

    Anderson needs to be given more responsibility, while he always seems desperate to impress whilst on the field, I think he craves more chances and if he were given them he would feel less need to rush and overhit the occasional pass.

    I’m sorry but Sale Red is talking absolute rubbish.



  6. Kev says:

    Ando has the talent and the personality to be a star at old Trafford. Many players have the ability, but don’t have the confidence to fully succeed at the worlds biggest club.
    If carrick had andos personality (balls), he would be amongst the best midfielders in the world.

  7. ASQ says:

    Carrick is a woeful player but as is the case with English players he’s well over rated he’s not comfortable on the ball panics when pressed not to mention his mishaps that have cost united dearly in all the big games in the last 3-4 yrs. Anderson will definitely come good once he’s given a consistent run in the team.

  8. Jonathan says:

    While we hear so much talk about the need for Ando to “breakout”; I wonder how many people even paid attention to him last season where he showed measureable progress and much more consistency. I don’t know which blog I read it on, but the author correctly pointed out that CM’s rarely “breakout”, they simply improve given the various challenges and nuances of their position.

    Next season, it should be enough if Ando shows he’s continued to improve as a player and contributed to our success. At 23, he doesn’t have to become the next Zidane in a single season.

    • jose says:

      Well said,
      I agree, Ando improved steadily last season, and I was actually disappointed he never started against City in the FA cup, think it would of helped, Scholes got overrun that day and the red card was coming for 15mins.

  9. Scott says:

    He is good enough.

    Fergie would not have kept him this long if he wasn’t.

  10. cyril says:

    ando is the new mid field maestro in united.last season he was man of the match i thnk twice and 1 was against arsenal.and scored 3 goals after coming frm injury.jst gv im a strng def patner