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.
14 thoughts on “Anderson hanging by a thread”
Anderson will be fine. If Fergie gave up on talent as quickly as some of the fickle fans who follow United, he wouldn’t be the manager he is. Anderson is 21 years old, please try to remember that when spouting all this “last chance” hyperbole.
dont know how regarded french sports paper lequipe is but they today say Arsenal have put their 8 million bid for Blaise Matuidi on hold while they explore if Anderson is availiable offering upto 14 million of the Adebayor money.
hmm, im really not convinced about anderson, a lot of hype, but no real consistent end product.
we will see how he does against arsenal on sat. if he is playing that is.
The only worst player in the squad is John Oshea who has not improve all season. Just like Gary N, Oshea is also a Fergi balls carrying lad and not matter how useless he is to the team Fergi will still keep him just as he did with Gary N. Why the hell he is talking about selling off Garrick or Anderson as they both are fantastic players. Fergi should retire the seniors or put them in the reaerved team so that they can assist in grooming the youngsters.Its time to bring out the youmgsters regularly inorder to sellect the best among them.The seniors are all worn out with their pace and reflexes and it is sad to watch them being intimidated by younger opponents.
Mark my words. Fergie could not bollock the slackers last year as he was indulging Ronaldo and he would have been accused of playing favourites.
This season, he will stand for none of it and as a result, Nani and Anderson will be kicked into shape.
Carrick may be getting a kick to step up to the plate more now also.
I don’t know if you’ve been watching the same Manchester United that the rest of us have all these years. But to say the JOS and Nev are ‘useless’ is a bit much.
Nev is at the tail end of his career, which means he isn’t the player he once was. However, he has tonnes of experience, great understanding of the game and one of the best crossing skills you’d see in a fullback.
JOS is an extremely useful utility man to have. His limited talent means he will never command a regular starting place in the side. But, like Phil Neville before him, he’s a great player to have on the bench. I mean, the lad can slot in anywhere on the park! If memory serves me right, he’s the only United player in history to have played in every single position, including goal.
Both men are supremely loyal servants and model professionals. They deserve more than the shabby treatment you suggest for them.
Shame on you.
Oh, and ManU? It’s CARRICK, not GARRICK. This isn’t the first time you’ve misspelled his name. Just like this isn’t the first time you’ve called for Nev and JOS’s heads.
To call John O’Shea the worst player at United is laughable but to then go on and slag off Gary Neville is really taking the piss. It’s something I’ve never been able to understand. You don’t get away with playing for Manchester United for 15 years if you’re a bad player. Add to this that he’s been picked by about six England managers and I don’t think you have a leg to stand on.
@ManU: No united fan in their right mind would call themself Man U…learn a little about the history of the club you support mate .
The bottom line is he needs to start scoring. it’s shocking how few goals are coming from our midfield.
I think the gaffer has thrown the heat at them to step up whch i’m sure ando will. if not saf will not only do away with him dunga will do the same. managers who dont take shit and ando himsef knows he aint class yet. my trouble is carrick will he ever……? it pains me the lad aint a figure in the england team
ManU – have a word with yourself mate. Are you even a United fan? I doubt it. Nev is a legend and you clearly never watched him if you come out with the rubbish.
What happened to Orbetan? Still injured?