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Anderson’s appalling fitness record

Anderson has been at Manchester United for six seasons but has only played 90 minutes in 19 of the 96 league games he has played in, which works out at less than 20%.

He has averaged 16 appearances a season in the league since joining the club and played for the full 90 minutes in a league game just three times a season. Of course, this isn’t explained entirely by injuries. Poor form and tactical reasons can partly explain why he played in so few games in the past six years. However, to play in so few games and complete even fewer points to an alarming lack of fitness.

Oh well, he’ll always have Moscow eh…

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Hans says:

    In the future, we will always think of Anderson as one who did not fulfil his potential. At times great, but not consistent enough and too injury prone

    I think is time to cut the losses and let him go!

  2. 2Coats of RED says:

    Wow, that is most appalling, indeed. Didn’t realize how bad it was! 19/96 is not United Standards and represent a poor return on investment on the lad. He’ll be gone in the summer, most definitely.

  3. Joffrey Baratheon says:

    We’ll be lucky to get a quarter of what we paid for him. His best season was actually his first season which isn’t a good thing. Had very good games at Anfield and the Emirates and it looked promising, but I think ultimately his attitude has never been the correct one. Too much of a party boy and clearly no idea how lucky he is to play for a club like Man Utd. Definitely time for him to go and I won’t miss him.

  4. Mirz says:

    Just read a massive rant on Anderson, I still have hopes for him and i’m pretty sure i’m in a minority of one. I always stand by SAFs decisions on players after all, he sees them training every day and knows them personally. But I always hope Ando starts, he’s the only midfielder I feel we have that brings the ball out the defence and attacks the opposition face on. He actually dribbles with the ball, no one else does. He can actually play a pass as we saw v Chelsea with a quality 50 yard ball…only for him not to do anything else for the rest of the game. He’s strong on the ball and can be a tricky player to deal with, I really wish he got an extended run in the team and took his chance. We’ve watched him dominate in midfield but just not often and he shat on Fabregas once. I really had high hopes for him and still hope, if he stays, he pulls his finger out.

  5. Moop says:

    I believe that sir Alex Ferguson is right about Anderson show. He is great youth player and with 27 years is your best performance strengt, agility and tecniche. i think that he can player with the 11 principals in the midifield-offensive left.

  6. soccerisfootbal says:

    this is why we need new central mids.

    scholes, fletcher and anderson just don’t have reliable fitness

    the youngsters in the academy have either left or failed to show potential when away on loan. they don’t look ready to impact the first team for at least a couple of seasons.

    and giggs and jones don’t cut it for me as CM. jones can do a defensive job, but we are desperately lacking goals and assists from CM at the moment, someone who can either bring the ball out of defense with pace and dribbling, and someone to aggressively disrupt the opposition when in possession. we need that box to box asap.

    cleverley was doing a decent job, and has shown enough to make me feel optimistic that he can improve with more game time.. but just as soon as he starts to build some confidence and form he gets dropped for a month or two and doesn’t look sharp or confident out there.

    we just cannot rely on cleverley and jones at the moment. we need some more experience in CM to take some pressure of carrick, who has been brilliant this season, but can’t possibly play every game.

    i think yesterday’s formation just about sums it up. we cannot control a game from midfield without carrick. we had a midfield 3 and still wasn’t as good as carrick +1. to be fair ando and clev haven’t played in some time, though it’s time for a major revamping of CM. you can bet chelsea and city will do some remodeling this summer and we will need to add a couple quality players in there to convincingly beat the tougher teams next season.

  7. CROoney says:

    love his tendency to pass forward, hate his pass completion though…has great will but lacks quality…one of the worst hitters of the ball among professional footballers in any of the half serious leagues

  8. Ruks says:

    ¤sad.Rily liked him

  9. samuel - united WE stand says:

    disagree about he lacks quality, he was in the brazil squad a while ago, if he had a decent fitness then he would be a fantastic midfielder, has all the attributes but constant injuries and perhaps lack of professionalism at times have held him.back from the player he could be, we also have to realise he has not quite adapted to the tactical sysyem united play, he was never a box to box midfielder, he was an attacking midfield playmaker at porto and he dazzled there. Injuries and a lack of adequate game has not helped him gain the required fitness to plough up and down the premier league. He’s got the talent but he lacks that extra which is needed to be effective at this level. He’ll probably go back to porto, it’s a league and lifestyle that suits him but there’s no doubt that his appearances record is below par but the issue isn’t entirely the player’s fault.

  10. Costas says:

    “Oh well, he’ll always have Moscow eh…”

    Not to mention the 80k per week he’s been earning in the last 2 seasons. Not bad for a part timer. He’s definitely lived his dream at United.

    And now it’s time to replace him with a reliable player.

  11. Redblood says:

    I like ando. He should be our top mid but he’s let himself down. Shame for the lad

  12. WeAreUnites says:

    @hans unfortunately you are right


    I agree, he does not lack quality and he showed that this season, but these stats are very very bad for a ManUtd player, fit and with run of games, probbly would be our best midfielder.

    I also agree that he never was a box to box player and there is where SAF went wrong, but he had no options with tevez rooney ronaldo etc playing up front, he had to play him out of position, was it the right option? Based on the stats and other stuff avout Ando, no it was not.

    Quality player who was used little with good and bad results and wasted out of position

    Let’s see what will happen to him and whom we’ll require!
    Can’t wait for the next season!

  13. WeAreUnited says:

    @hans unfortunately you are right


    I agree, he does not lack quality and he showed that this season, but these stats are very very bad for a ManUtd player, fit and with run of games, probbly would be our best midfielder.

    I also agree that he never was a box to box player and there is where SAF went wrong, but he had no options with tevez rooney ronaldo etc playing up front, he had to play him out of position, was it the right option? Based on the stats and other stuff avout Ando, no it was not.

    Quality player who was used little with good and bad results and wasted out of position

    Let’s see what will happen to him and whom we’ll require!
    Can’t wait for the next season!!!!

  14. Diego says:

    Right now Anderson, Fletcher and Scholes are in no-mans-land when it comes to their futures at the club. That leaves us with Carrick, Cleverley (who Saf doesn’t trust anymore) and Giggs (let’s be honest, he is a winger) as viable midfielders. I wouldn’t include Kagawa as a CM since that certainly isn’t his best position. It just screams for reinforcements. Take Carrick away from that list and we are royally in the shit. Now see us go for a striker, wingers (which we do need tbh), and probably a CB.

  15. parryheid says:

    Christ,and I thought he was a waste of rations,reading the comments I am obviously wrong seems he is really talented.

  16. Fibes says:

    Disagree with this. Yes he has been injured a fair bit but has always been a player that needs gently playing back into form. And every single time he has started to hit form, BANG, injury. Luck just hasn’t been on his side.

    I really like the lad, and still 100% believe he will come good for us. Not every player can have the slender physique of Peter Crouch, but to call Anderson out as being ‘unfit’ is simple know-nothing armchair-fan bollocks. He can put in a shift alright, if he couldn’t then you better believe he’d get nowhere near the 1st team and would be binned off quicker than you could say “Massimo Taibi”.

    Perhaps there are some with short memories who forget his chaotically brilliant combination with Tom Cleverley at the beginning of last season. 8-2. If we’re going to have any player at the club, we’re going to have a player who pulls faces at the opposing keeper while Wazza pops free kicks into the top corner. Top lad, a proper United player, and a class act.

  17. RedLion says:

    soo curious about who will be leaving/arriving..

  18. King Eric says:

    The REAL bugbear with me is his atrocious short passing. Never have I seen a player over hit a ball so much.

  19. Unitedthoughts1 says:

    Lots of rumours on Twitter about big United news breaking tonight ….

  20. Hans says:

    I take my hat off to Swansea. There are no meaningless matches for them.

  21. Costas says:


    Completely agreed. Others should follow their example.

  22. King Eric says:

    What? Swansea have been fucking shit since their league cup win.

  23. Unitedthoughts1 says:

    Telegraph Sport ‏@TelegraphSport 2m
    Alex Ferguson is understood to be giving serious consideration to ending his 26-year reign as Manchester United manager. More follows #mufc

  24. Red Neville says:

    It’s hard to know where it went wrong for him after such a promising and dynamic first season. His display at Anfield where he dominated Gerard is a standout memory from that first season specially. But any professional footballer that is working with top fitness and dietary experts and still has a double chin – and doesn’t have the stamina to last 90 minutes of a football match is not taking his job very seriously.

    Maybe he was never a centre midfielder – Tim Vickery has said before that he was always fancied as a number 10 in Brazil. He must surely realize that he’ll never get another chance at a club the size of United.

  25. Toms says:

    Kinda sad. He was a very promising and interesting player but he got kinda pulled back into some defensive duties and it killed him. Combined with injuries a potentially great player turned mediocre :(

  26. olivermills6 says:


    You say you’re not including Kagawa in your list of CMs because you don’t think it’s his best position and then you freely include Giggs while admitting that he’s a winger. Huh?

    Anyway I think Kagawa would make a good CM. I’ve found him frustrating this year just like many say Ando is but in pre season he looked fantastic at CM and it suited his style in my opinion.

    One player who certainly needs to improve is Powell. He was dreadful when he played early in the season.

    Pleased to see a few people defending Anderson. He’s clearly talented and those that praise him for bringing the ball forwards and attacking players directly are correct to. He is a unique player that I don’t feel we should let go, poor fitness or not.

  27. GENTLEKEZ says:

    RVP recently said that his conversion to a top 9 really helped him in terms of injury(less knee jerk runs & tackles). Most of d games Ando had an excellent games was either as an attacking midfielder(08/09 UCL run) or he his been paired wit Hargreaves(first season) or wit Fletcher. Ando carrick combo have never clicked
    What am saying is that Ando is an attacking midfielder, he needs someone behind him to do d dirty jobs. Being a box to midfielder does nt suit his game style and that has seriously affected him. And d change of position might also b d cause of this niggling injuries. I think SAF should consider this

  28. WeAreUnited says:

    Good comments about ando.

    Fletch i speal on my behalf and when i said fit i meant out off injurieS, cause it is like you mentioned, when Ando hits form the consequence is him getting injured.

    I myself believe and stand behing my words, if SAF would have played him as an attacking mid, he could be our Özil, and he would have produced something more thsn now.

    But this is another if and but section, we’ll see what happens with him and our other midfielders

    Typing on my phone, so expect typos.

  29. martin says:

    I’ve always rated Anderson and still do 100%.. Saf once said that what Anderson can do none of the other midfielders in our team can. he’s a bundle of energy,not afraid to take players on and dribbling past them.he’s a bit of a risk taker with his passes but I’d rather have that than a safe 3 or 4 yard sideway pass.
    he’s been unlucky with injuries,had to contend with fergie playing giggs centrally while we all know giggs isn’t suited for center mid and lastly he doesn’t enjoy the leniency fergie shows on players like Rooney,Valencia, giggs,carrick when they have shockers. for ando and to some extent nani one bad game and you don’t even make the bench for the next two or three games.that’s where I feel fergie has been most unfair to him.not giving him an equal chance to stamp his authority on the team like all other players.
    fingers crossed he has a good preseaeson.comes back firing and shuts up all his haters just like carrick Rafael and De gea have done ths season.

  30. parryheid says:

    Yeah right.Sir Alex is +70 and he is fitter than him


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