Tag Anderson

Tag Anderson

Anderson is flying – Fergie

December 17, 2009 Tags: Shorts 3 comments

In August Rant declared the upcoming campaign as a last chance for Manchester United’s Brazilian youngster Anderson. How the former-Porto midfielder has responded in recent weeks with some outstanding performances in midfield, so says United manager Sir Alex Ferguson of the 21-year-old who cost £14 million in 2007.

“Midfield is the hardest area for our young players to progress because we have some excellent players operating in that department,” Ferguson told ManUtd.com.

“But Anderson has certainly cranked up the contest for places after hitting great form. He took his time – he’s only 21, remember! – but he has settled and matured.

“The competition has not dimmed his self-belief, which is important. He has a Brazilian belief in his own ability and he is going to become a top player.

“He is flying at the moment and he certainly wants to play. In fact, he has a face on him like a bag of tripe when I don’t play him.”

Poll: what next for Anderson?

August 26, 2009 Tags: Polls 1 comment

Anderson’s bust-up with Sir Alex Ferguson has placed his United future in doubt. The player has said that he now wants to stay and accepts the manager’s decisions. But Anderson’s second season syndrome, attitude problem and party-boy lifestyle seem to have hampered the Brazilian’s progress. What should Ferguson do next?

What should Fergie do about Anderson?

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Anderson hanging by a thread

August 26, 2009 Tags: Opinion 14 comments

Anderson Luís de Abreu Oliveira has more than a touch of an enigma about him. Signed for more than £17 million two seasons ago, the Brazilian youngster burst onto the scene with standout performances against luminaries such as Steven Gerrard and Cesc Fabregas in his opening campaign. The player’s assured touch, all-action style and flowing braided hair marked the former Porto player out as a star of the future. But it was a dream that has turned sour for the Porto Alegre-born midfielder, as his off the field lifestyle, attitude and on-pitch form have conspired to halt the player’s development at Old Trafford.

It shouldn’t have come to this. Anderson has long been though of as one of the best Brazilian youngsters of his generation; a future number 10 and ‘meia’ apparent to Ronaldinho in the national side. That the two has each played for Gremio and share a taste for women and a party lifestyle is about as far as the analogy has stretched though. On the pitch Anderson suffered what is generously described as a ‘difficult second season’ – his form and opportunities nosedived as injuries disrupted the campaign. Returning to the team and to some semblance of form towards the end of last season, Anderson made the Champions League final side only to see the game pass him by as Barcelona dominated.

In many ways this campaign was set to be Anderson’s breakthrough season. Or a last chance to shine. In professional football they are two sides of the same coin. With Paul Scholes’ and Ryan Giggs’ opportunities set to diminish as age set in, it was Anderson that Ferguson was to rely on to provide both muscle and flair through central midfield. With the departure of Anderson’s close friend Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid, Sir Alex Ferguson talked up the Brazilian’s chances of taking on the mantle of midfield goalscorer. That he has never scored a competitive goal for United was laid aside in the hope of a brighter future.

But Anderson was left out of the team to play Chelsea in the Community Shield at Wembley and the visit to the DW Stadium for last weekend’s match against Wigan Athletic. The hour he played against Burnley at Turf Moor last week was hardly an auspicious start to the midfielder’s season.

Off the field Anderson has long held a reputation for his party lifestyle; once accused by The Sun of taking part in a poolside orgy in which five prostitutes were ordered to Ronaldo’s Cheshire home. Indeed, Anderson was warned by then assistant manager Carlos Quieroz to curb the excesses of drink and late nights. Ferguson is famously intolerant of his players’ nocturnal habits – often having staff follow the team ‘off duty’. As a youngster Ryan Giggs’ is said to have opened the door to his house, expecting fellow party-goers, only to find an enraged Ferguson waiting on the doorstep.

However, it is the player’s apparent reaction to his omission from the Community Shield team that has plunged his Old Trafford future into serious peril. Better players than Anderson have found to their cost that questioning Ferguson’s decisions leads only to the door marked exit. Indeed, Ferguson is believed to have told the player that he is welcome to leave the club if he cannot accept being left out of the side.

“I believed that I would play in the Community Shield but that is forgotten now,” Anderson told the Daily Mail. “I thought that, without Cristiano Ronaldo around, I could play more and that has been my challenge from pre-season onwards. But the coach decides the teams and to discuss this with him is foolish because he is the chief. I do not want to leave United. No.”

“Sir Alex Ferguson has demanded a bigger effort from me and I accept that. Because to get into this United team is very complicated and difficult for any player.”

With that perhaps the penny has dropped. It had better. Failure this time, and Anderson will surely be shown the door come next summer, with Barcelona and Inter Milan waiting in the wings.

Anderson to be forced out

August 25, 2009 Tags: Shorts 3 comments

Anderson could be on his way out of Manchester United after a bust-up with Sir Alex Ferguson, according to today’s Mirror. The player, who joined United in the summer of 2007 for around £17 million, is said to have reacted badly to the manager’s decision to leave him out of the Community Shield side to face Chelsea. While the Brazilian was restored to United’s team to face Burnley at Turf Moor last week, Ferguson reportedly told the youngster that he could leave the club if he couldn’t accept the Scot’s decisions. Despite a positive first season at Old Trafford many fans felt the player performed poorly last season.

The accused

August 24, 2009 Tags: , , Opinion 9 comments

In the euphoric midst of United’s demolition of Wigan on Saturday, fans could be forgiven for failing to notice the director’s box at the DW stadium. There, sat behind United director Sir Bobby Charlton, were several United players. They say a picture paints a thousand words and the image of Michael Carrick, Ji-Sung Park and Oliveira Anderson in their club suits spoke volumes. The three players, who were once considered vital members of United’s first team squad, looked isolated and anxious. Defendants soon to enter the dock might be an apt analogy for the three, who have caused so much debate amongst United fans. How has it come to this? It’s time to take a closer look at the alleged crimes of those now known as ‘the accused’.

Michael Carrick: accused of being an overpriced and inadequate replacement for Roy Keane, his arrival caused much disquiet amongst the United faithful. However, Carrick formed a formidable partnership with Paul Scholes, leading United to a ninth Premier League title in 2007. Carrick’s supporters will also point to last season’s match against Inter Milan as a true reflection of the player’s quality. But it’s a worry that all of the doubts harboured about Carrick when he first signed for the club remain three years on. Here are the charges:

  • Failure to exert any authority even against mediocre opposition (evidence: Burnley away). Few United fans would expect Carrick to routinely dominate against top teams like Chelsea but after three years there has been no improvement in Carrick’s ability to dictate the flow of games
  • Lack of leadership. Carrick is the last person the team can look to for inspiration
  • Lack of goals. He has never scored more than four Premier League goals. In comparison to his English peers such as Lampard and Gerrard, it’s embarrassing.

Ji-Sung Park: few United fans had heard of the South Korean prior to his move to United from PSV Eindhoven in 2005. There was even the suspicion that the player was bought solely to sell shirts in Asia. Four years on and here are the charges:

  • Offers United nothing but work-rate. Park seems incapable of consistently putting in the excellent performances of the standard seen in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona the season before last
  • Lack of goals. Three goals over the last two seasons is not good enough.

Oliveira Anderson: during his first season at the club United fans saw the Brazilian as a potential successor to Paul Scholes. Remember the player’s duels with Gerard and Fabregas the season before last? But Anderson’s development has not gone to plan. He’s clearly very talented but after two years the former Porto midfielder has made limited progress. Here are the charges:

  • Lack of goals. There was hope in Munich but it’s fading fast
  • Lack of fitness. How many games has Anderson looked exhausted after an hour?
  • Poor positioning, movement, and decision making.

The accusation: each is guilty as charged. The verdict: United’s judge, jury and executioner Sir Alex Ferguson holds the answer.

Last chance for Nani and Anderson

August 3, 2009 Tags: , Opinion 23 comments

Luís Carlos Almeida da Cunha and Anderson Luís de Abreu Oliveira, share more than the lengthy name and short-form nick of their heritage. Bought for a combined total of more than £35 million in summer 2007, each is also under huge pressure to perform in the coming campaign as two of United’s most expensive ever young imports. The pair, having suffered what can be reasonably described as a ‘difficult second season’ at Old Trafford, could find that the campaign ahead is the last in a red shirt such was their under performance in the previous year. It would be a harsh call perhaps, but the realities of modern football dictate that United cannot wait forever for promise to migrate into performance.

Indeed, the future of Nani and Anderson has been repeatedly questioned in the media of late – with the aforementioned Portuguese winger often thought to be leaving for new pastures. However, Sir Alex Ferguson, who is not prone to criticising players in public, has consistently defended the pair, including after the recent pre-season Audi Cup in Munich.

“They are young, for a start,” said Ferguson. “And when you are young, you have the ambition to get better. Not only that, but they have the right platform at Manchester United and the right training development.”

“I expect to see great improvement and I have got no fears about it. Anderson is 21 and Nani is 22. They’re young boys and they’re playing at the highest level of football, so yes they will improve.”

Improve they must. This is especially true of Nani who was a shadow of his former self last season, starting just seven Premier League games. That the winger also started six Carling Cup matches, playing alongside the reserves and squad fringe, was a clear indicator of Nani’s fall down the Old Trafford player hierarchy. Statistics aside, Nani’s failure to mature must have been frustrating for a manager who prides himself on the development of youth. While Nani is just a year younger than the departed Cristiano Ronaldo, he is miles away from the quality of the Real Madrid player.

Anderson, meanwhile, was frustrated by injury and the search for form last season. Fans, who had become used to the player’s authoritative displays in his début campaign, rarely saw the best of the Brazilian in the early part of the season. While the player was voted Man-of-the-Match in United’s low-key April win over Portsmouth, it was a rare highlight in an otherwise disappointing season.

The pressure may be the same but the challenge is different for each of the young stars. While Anderson has quickly built a bank of credit with the fans – outplaying both Steven Gerrard and Cesc Fabregas will do that – Nani is a poor performance away from becoming the squad’s bogeyman. Instinctively, fans understand that while Anderson has the making of a world class central midfielder, Nani is doing little more than flattering to deceive.

The Brazilian must add goals to the authority he hopes to regain. A stunning strike against Boca Juniors in the Audi Cup will undoubtedly help his confidence. Nani meanwhile must compensate for the loss of Ronaldo, which many fans already believe is a task beyond him.