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Finally! Ando Starts!

After several top performances from the bench in the league, as well as solid displays when starting in the cups, Sir Alex Ferguson has finally decided to start Anderson in the league.

He came on for the last half an hour against QPR when we were 1-0 down. We were 3-1 up within 15 minutes and Ando even grabbed an assist for himself.

“I thought Ando won the game for us,” said Ferguson. “His performance was outstanding. He took the game by the scruff of the neck and he was so positive and determined in his play that he picks himself on Wednesday.”

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. wazza!!!! says:


  2. Mannings says:

    Injured for next week then?

  3. bayoRed says:

    Get stuck in lad. Hope he takes his opportunity. Thats how hard it is to get into the United team. But Ando’s start was long overdue. All due respect to our legendary two, but there were some games where we needed a youthfull midfeild being given their run for the future.
    I would like to see Fletcher, Ando & Cleverely. I know Westham are on a roll but they are just that Westham.

  4. roadkill4u says:

    Have long been an Ando supporter even when my children said I was crazy. They said, “Too fat, too slow, always injured…” the list kept repeating until I was almost believing them. But I kept saying that he was just big boned, had pace when he wanted to dribble at defenders and was past his injury bug.

    coming on against QPR, I said, ” This is it. If anyone can take the game by the scruff it is Ando” and he did just that. I sincerely hope that it was not a passing event and he can string several matches together in a row and prove the doubters wrong.

    Bring on Fat Sam and his lot.

  5. Dela says:

    Will be good to see how he performs.

    Just to be clear here before the typical criticisms start… nobody would be happier to see Ando tear up West Ham and go for 90 minutes than Sir Alex. He has given him a lot of spells since he came to the club, and he has shown that he is capable of the quality required of him. He has suffered from fitness and form though — although I’d say drops in form are down to the fitness. Like Rooney, Anderson is probably not naturally fit. If Rooney doesn’t work extremely hard, he packs on the pounds. It’s in his genes, he retains more energy than other people (ironically, at one point that would be a major advantage for his family lol), so he has to work extremely hard to stay at the level he is at. Contrast that to Ryan GIggs, who doesn’t have all that much more meat on him than when he was in his 20s, he’s just naturally that way, but there’s not much he can do about aging bones.

    Anderson is probably like Rooney, it probably is a lot more work in the gym for him to get to his top level of fitness and talent. After he assisted the goal for Chico against QPR, he showed off his abdomen to United fans, letting us know he is physically fit, and he’s probably very proud of the shape he is in because of what it probably took him to get there. Staying there is the hard part if your body seems to lean toward higher body fat retention.

    But ye, I’m always happy when a United player forces himself into the starting 11 :-)

  6. clough85 says:

    I think we need to see more of Ando – at the start of last season before he and Cleverley got injured they looked like a real top quality pairing, and hopefully now they’re both fit and playing well we’ll get the chance to see them together again on a regular basis.

    In some of the games this season where Carrick and Scholes have played together our midfield has looked like it lacks energy, particularly against Villa. Both are obviously top players (don’t get me wrong – they’re legends!) but for periods of that game they looked overrun by Villa’s midfield and the youthful energy Ando and Clev can offer would have been pretty welcome :) . Although they both lack the experience of the old boys, they offer more pace, incisiveness when running with the ball and can make things happen as a result. Also they arguably both offer more defensively – definitely more than Scholes anyway!!

    If Fergie gives them both the opportunity to shine then hopefully we’ll see the best from them, but it’s not fair if he continues to give them the odd start here and there – it’s hard for a player to come in and prove himself when he’s not match fit, and definitely for Anderson who’s quite a big lad I think match fitness and consistent games would really help his game to come on…

  7. Victor obasa says:

    Good to see ando back on top of his game.

  8. Chimezie Dike says:

    Ando is classic,He is a complete package of an ideal attacking midfielder.Cleverly has got talent but lacks positioning.i finds difficult to figure out his actual position.

  9. denton davey says:

    bayored @ 12:54: ” I know Westham are on a roll but they are just that Westham.”

    They aren’t “on a roll”; West Ham were hammered by Spurs on Sunday.

    I’d like to see Anderson in an advanced-midfield role, alongside either Young Tom or TheWayneBoy and backed by either DarrenFletcherinho or (more likely) Michael Carrick. A front-three of RVP, Chicharito and DannyTheLad/AV7 – just NOT Ashley Young.

  10. Rohan_19 says:

    Play anyone.. Play me for fucks sake. Just keep young out of the team till he looks like a footballer

  11. parryheid says:

    Game vs West Ham is tomorrow,get your mistake in early ffs.

  12. bayoRed says:

    So we expect an easy game then. I pray it is so. We need to be handing out 6-0 drubbings too! With all our fire power we have wonder why it isnt so!

  13. bayoRed says:

    Wee Wes back!!

  14. wayne says:

    Think Ando has matured this year,like the way he’s handled not getting a regular spot,been humble in his answers,just wanting to prove he’s good enough etc.It’s pretty obvious in the best shape of his career deserves his chance and i agree with a lot of the other lads it’s time for Tom and Ando to get a sustained run,these lads are Utd’s future

  15. wayne says:

    Inter desperate to get rid of Wes and his 250k a week wages.Read everything to Utd are no longer interested,swap deal Nani/Wes,Sir Alex is going to offer 12mill.One thing for sure he’ll be available for cheap for anyone who does want him.If he’s a total dick can tell Inter to go fuck themselves collect his wages and let his contract run out.

  16. schmadmir says:

    Always been a huge fan of him and still am. Very happy indeed.

    Hope he keeps it up and becomes a vital player for us for years to come.

    Anderson son son
    He’s better than Kleberson…

  17. Union Jack says:

    @ bayored
    “westham on a roll”
    I prefer smoked ham on a roll.

  18. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    Starr him PERMANENTLY. Cuz I know Fergie. If he puts in one subpar or quiet performance, he’ll use that as justification to bench him and start Scholes again. Give him ALL THE PATIENCE in the world that you have given Giggs and Scholes. He’s only going to get better and better and i;m pretty sure that once he knows that he’s getting a steady run of football in the side, his off field antics will reduce. He’ll stop visiting KFC and eating twice on friday evenings. Happy for him. Hopefully he runs the show against West ham.

  19. Emmy says:

    Play a 433 with ando,clev and carrick in midfield with ando more advanced.then play rooney,rvp and chicharito as 3 attackers.better than seeing young inthat starting role.thats the way we should go until nani and kagawa returns.pls just leave out young and valencia.nt united quality

  20. wayne says:

    I’ll never understand why some fans have the need to slag players off.Emmy to say Tony V isn’t Utd quality either makes you a wum or a fucking idiot

  21. matt says:

    @ wayne

    you beat me to it. fucken over hearing this bullshit “not united quality”.. they play for united, so we support them no matter what.

    hoping to see ando start next to carrick.. i always feel we are too open when carrick isn’t there. he also provides us with a passing range that our other mids don’t have (except scholes).

  22. Wee Toms Ligaments says:

    Anderson has to prove that he can bomb forward and also cover the CB coming back. The shocking amount of goals conceeded this season is due to Scholes and Carrick being beaten for pace. Anderson must provide cover for Ferdinand.

  23. Proverb says:

    Come on ando boy, you can do it, I for one never stopped believing in you…
    The place is there up for grabs giggs and scholes are on their final months, you couldn’t wait for a better opportunity

  24. King Eric says:

    I have heard it all on here of late , now Valencia not United quality. You could not make it up.

  25. United Till I Die says:

    Tbf, with the midfield we’ve got he made the case to start games way back in October, so why start him against West Ham? At least its at OT, but im hoping Fergie isn’t tempting fate with this one?

    As for his fitness most of the best cardio exercises involve placing stress on the knees, even poncy step-arobics. Having the right diet and running daily is the best way to keep weight off and stamina up, but if your knees are fucked you can’t run every day without eventually injuring yourself. Catch 22.

    Ando has to be very careful how he exercises during the season, more careful than Rooney for example, but it looks like he’s got a good system going. These things can take time, but imo he’s had the talent since DAY ONE.

    Fair enough one or two players peak in their early twenties but listen to Ferguson when he says that is the exception and not the norm. At 24 Anderson now has loads of experience for his age to match his talent, thats why he’s able to come on and change matches. He’s been much more disciplined and focused this season. Long may that continue, but I defo think Fergie is “saving” him and Cleverley for the business end of the season. If we have both lads fit and in form we’ll be ready to face anyone.

  26. United Till I Die says:

    Valencia is having a dip in form, simple as that, but you can’t name a better “traditional Right winger” and that says it all. Same thing with Evra, sure he had a dip in form but name a better Left Back with a better work rate, a greater attacking threat, and a better fitness record? You can’t.

    Having a dip in form doesn’t make you a shit player over night. People wanted Evans out the door but look at him this season, vastly improved and he’ll only get better. At this rate it won’t be long before people “realise” that RVP is a shite overpaid twat.

  27. calebkzh says:

    In the same vein of thought, would anyone say Young is having a dip in form? Not trolling. Looking for a genuine attempt at discussion here.

    I feel that as an inverted winger, he really hasn’t contributed much the past season and this season. Sure he tracks back, has good positional sense. We’ve heard that all surface, but going forward, he surrenders the ball way too easily.

    Unlike Valencia, though both are, you could say, predictable, Valencia, when in good form, still can get the ball into the box on his well-known favourite right foot. Young has always been known to drive down the left, cut back, and either cross with his right or go for a shot. How many times has he actually driven right down and attempted a cross with his left foot like he did for England? I’m not sure I remember more than five.

    Playing a right-footed player on the left calls for him to be versatile and unpredictable, somewhat like the way left-footed Messi plays on the right. You don’t *always* see him driving down the flank, cutting to his left and taking a shot or cross; he’s unpredictable (but also in a different league of talent from Young).

  28. mansuy united says:

    @ Emmy Get your set checked. Picture coming in clear? Okay then, get your head checked.

  29. RedLion says:

    As much as im happy to finally have Ando in the starting line up, sometimes i do wonder what the honest thoughts of Mancunians are when we compare him to other quality midfielders like Silva, Iniesta, Xavi, Xabi, Sneijder, Robben, Xavi, Schweinsteiger.. In my humble & honest opinion, as good as he looks in our actual midfield, he is not at the level of any of the players mentioned above.

  30. parryheid says:

    So let’s get this straight you want our predicable winger Valencia to cut inside and shoot with his left.And you want our left winger Young not to cut inside and shoot with his right.Baffling.

  31. scottt11 says:

    I think saf,should use him constantly,not with carrick,but with fletsha,or clevery
    If he is given so many chance,he will have the confidence to control the midfild,more than we expect.
    Pls saf,put your trust on him.he is the best we got.

  32. TheyAlwaysScore says:

    Is this going to be successful as when Hernandez ‘picked himself’ for the Norwich game? They’re both similar players in some respects: Terrific energy and drive but not great passers of the ball and not great if we want to gently and carefully take control of the game in the first half. I think both of them are better as impact players and I’d rather see Cleverly, Scholes or Carrick start before Anderson, regardless of Anderson’s recent run of form.

  33. LoneStarRed says:

    @ Dela

    Spot on about Ando and Rooney’s mesomorph/endomorph body types. I hope the lineup is one which allows him to flow. In other words , I hope his start is better than the one Chicarito just got (no service).

  34. Proverb says:

    NOVEMBER 27, 2012 AT 21:01
    TheyAlwaysScore says:
    Is this going to be successful as when Hernandez
    ‘picked himself’ for the Norwich game? They’re both
    similar players in some respects: Terrific energy
    and drive but not great passers of the ball and not
    great if we want to gently and carefully take control
    of the game in the first half. I think both of them are
    better as impact players and I’d rather see Cleverly,
    Scholes or Carrick start before Anderson, regardless
    of Anderson’s recent run of form.

    Regarding anderson I sincerely do not agree with you there mate, carrick is more of an erratic passer than ando and he can’t hold the ball for more than 5 second without losing it
    So, I don’t know what you mean by saying “if we want to gently and carefully take control
    of the game in the first half.” As I think first half is the time we should be pressing teams. Second half yeah we can take off the more inexperienced players and then sub on scholesy after we have scored 2 or 3 goals to bring the tempo down and control the game

  35. TheyAlwaysScore says:

    Proverb: I think you do need to press to an extent early on in games, but the games we’ve lost or gone down in recently hasn’t been down to lack of pressing. It’s been down to the midfield making careless passes and therefore not being able to take control of the game (Norwich and villa come to mind). Yes, Anderson wasn’t starting in those games but whenever Carrick, Cleverly or Scholes have a bad game it seems we forget what a frustrating player Anderson can be. He doesn’t have much vision and he doesn’t have much awareness. Not to mention the fact that he rarely chips in with a goal.

  36. parryheid says:

    And that’s his good points.

  37. Proverb says:

    While I agree with you on some notes
    But again I disagree on the goal threat view
    Ando has now become more of a goal threat than both scholesy and carrick who almost never go forward for the entire match, and what’s that with people for keeping on making up things
    Ando offers power and drive and his passing is really effective, all his passing is positive, and he does defend even though he doesn’t last for longer, injuries kelp on holding him back let’s hope this time he stays fit and keep on buying himself a regular place in the starting eleven and can hopefully regain his stamina

  38. Clayton Blackmores tan lines says:

    Bout time. Well done Ando fully deserved

    We should go 433 against WHam – fletcher clevs n ando with rooney chico n rvp in front

    With Kagawa injured, carrick scholes giggs not mobile enough, young valencia out of form this is our best option

    Also smalling n jones for centre backs anyone?

  39. belfast red. says:

    Hallelujah! Fair play to ando for pushing in there. Just dont let him take corners :p but seariously the guy is powerful and when he drives forward its makes you get up out of ur seat. Him clevs and Fletcher or Carrick is the midfield we should go 4. It will be intresting to see who gets played along side him.

  40. DohaRed says:

    Latest stats on football365:

    * Anderson has the best completion rate (passes?) in the Premier League at 93.1%.

    * Wayne Rooney has drawn level with Juan Mata in the PL assists chart with his sixth of the season v QPR

  41. calebkzh says:


    Think you misunderstood the point I was making. I’m saying I’d like to see Young mix his play up more. Obviously, we (and the bulk of fullbacks who mark him) know he’s right footed, and all too often, he cuts back on his right foot. He needs to mix his play up and become more unpredictable so he’s more effective, and harder to close down.

  42. domunited says:

    United’s style changes every 3-4 years imo, due to player strengths and other top teams’ attacks. This coupled with the fact that we had “old reliables” still playing in the starting XI have an impact on who plays, and where. How many times have we said – Where do we play Ando?

    With Giggs, Scholes, and hopefully Carrick getting less minutes, Ando’s time has finally come. He has certainly waited a long time what with injuries and the veterans ahead of him, but I think he has learned from the best and is now putting what he has picked up to good use. His vision has always been there, but his body let him down – if he stays healthy, a good 4-5 years out of Ando would be great. Also, is it a coincidience that his form improved after he got a haircut? =)

    PS. Ando will always be highly regarded by me for his great penalty in Moscow.


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