What a difference a day makes someone once sang and that’s certainly the case for two of United’s central midfielders. Last friday morning it seemed that Paul Pogba was on his way out of Old Trafford, while Anderson was edging his way back into the side after an injury plagued few months.
Fast forward to Saturday afternoon and Pogba is seemingly reconsidering his options while Anderson has picked up an injury that could spell the end of his season and ultimately prove to be the final nail in his United career coffin.
My feelings towards Anderson have been like those towards an alcoholic family member, at first you try and help them remembering the good times- 2008 Champions League final, the 4-0 FA Cup win over Arsenal, the partnership with Cleverley- but eventually their actions wear you down so much that you realise they need more help than you can offer and eventually you become angry at them for failing to address their problems. Following the 6-1 defeat against City that handed our noisy neighbours the title- oh er….well gave them a ‘massive’ three points anyway, I was particularly scathing in my summary of Anderson’s performance. The Brazilian seemed completely uninterested at times, allowed David Silva the sort of space you’d give to a piss riddled tramp and looked about as capable of getting to grips with the game as Kenny Daglish does of delivering a Premier League title to Anfield.
I don’t mind if players try and come up short- as Darren Fletcher sometimes does, but to not even bother is unforgivable and my patient had now ran out, it was time to move the midfielder on. The argument put forward by his supporters was that he needed Tom Cleverley alongside him, well as I explained at the time, having a player who can only play well alongside one certain other player is practically useless. Cleverley has barely played for five months so the idea that without him Anderson is of no use merely highlights the Brazilians fall from grace. As I said at the time, Paul Scholes and Roy Keane played well even alongside Kleberson and the Djembas.
Pogba meanwhile looks set to sign a new deal at United, if Sky Sports ‘sources’ are to be believed, which could see the youngster become a pivotal player in United’s midfield over the next few years. After the West Brom game Sir Alex labelled Pogba ‘a first team player’ and with Scholes and Giggs approaching their forties, the frenchman may find himself starting a lot of games next season, providing he continues to develop as he has done so far.
Of course nothing has been confirmed as yet, Anderson may well just have a niggle and Pogba could already have his heart set on Turin, but if the storers doing the rounds turn out to be true then it could be the Brazilian and not the Frenchman’s United career which has reached its end.