Anderson The Key
Written by mather23
Anderson played his third reserve game of the season last night as he continues his recovery from a long-term knee injury. Whilst the surroundings of Moss Lane aren’t exactly where you’d expect to find a Brazilian international – this outing was crucial to the return to prominence of the player who, in 2008, was the winner of the Tuttosport Golden Boy award to crown the best player in the world under the age of 21. Following in the footsteps of Aguero, Fabregas, Messi and Rooney is no easy task and it seems to have been all downhill for the player since. Sporadic good performances such as at the Emirates in the second leg of the Champions League Semi-Final were overshadowed by many ineffectual outings in the Premier League. The low-point came in Rome in the biggest game of the season, the Champions League Final, when he was hauled off at half time after chasing shadows for fourty five minutes. While you can forgive any player for being outfoxed by Xavi and Andres Iniesta, the way in which Anderson’s development has stifled shows that the misery of Rome wasn’t just a one off.
It seems easy to criticise a player who cost such a large transfer fee and who has had his run ins with the manager aswell as various reports of late night indiscretions but he does have one thing that works in his defence. Ever since he joined the club, fans have been scratching their heads trying to work out where his best position is. His debut came playing in the hole behind Carlos Tevez against Roy Keane’s Sunderland but it was an inauspicious start as he was replaced at half-time. Since then he has mainly been utilised as a box-to-box midfielder, with his best spell coming alongside Owen Hargreaves with stellar performances against the likes of Steven Gerrard and Cesc Fabregas. He has occasionally looked lost stuck out on the left wing, particularly in the shock defeat at Burnley and at home to West Ham when he suffered his injury. In his absence, the 4-5-1/4-3-3 took shape but it became clear that there was one key component to the system missing, in its new 4-2-3-1 guise, a creative playmaker. Reports of a big money bid for Dutch star Wesley Sneijder never came to fruition in the summer and with the loaning out of young star Tom Cleverley, United have been left without any true playmaker to fill that position. Park and Fletcher can bring energy and determination to the position but they lack the true creativity, whilst Scholes and Carrick have the creativity but both prefer to sit much deeper. Other options like Giggs and Gibson have been tested but the former isn’t at his best with his back to goal and the latter has a tendency to shoot every time he is within 30 yards of the goal. That leaves Anderson as the man for the job. As talented as the likes of Magnus Eikrem and Ravel Morrison are, Anderson will be hoping to be back playing alongside established stars like Paul Scholes before the month is out. If he can regain the form of his first season at Old Trafford, Anderson really could be the key to the success of Manchester United this season. Whilst 4-4-2 is the current formation with Dimitar Berbatov in fine form, when the season reaches crunch time- it is most probable that Fergie will revert to his tried and trusted big game strategy. When that time comes, Anderson will have his chance to show off his skills and prove that his ‘New Ronaldinho’ nickname wasn’t just because of his Porto Alegre roots.
Do you think Anderson has what it takes to fulfill his initial promise and become a Premier League star?
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