Anderson has been a revelation for Manchester United, and when he came with the massive price tag, and was given a starting eleven squad number, it appeared as though it could go no other way.
It was his performance against Wigan that first got people talking, being subbed on earlier than one would have previously hoped due to an injury on Vidic. He was showing why Ferguson has taken such a leap of faith to fork out the money he did on a relatively unknown, unproven, young talent.
With every game he has improved, playing surprisingly deep, and showing he can play as comfortably alongside Scholes as Hargreaves. Something which I noted time and again last season, was that when Scholes wasn’t on the pitch, the team looked strikingly different. We missed him dreadfully when he wasn’t in the centre of our midfield, and although not always costly, his absence certainly effected us negatively. However, when United travelled to the Ukraine a fortnight ago, and Anderson played alongside Fletcher due to late injury news on Scholes, it was hardly noticeable that we were without our star passer of the ball. Anderson was winning the ball, starting off moves, knocking the ball around the pitch comfortably and accurately, and it was really rather remarkable how natural the teenager looked in our team, bossing the midfield.
His performance again today, against Arsenal, can also not really be faulted. Before making way for Carrick with fifteen minutes to go, he was arguably our man of the match. To come up against the five man midfield of Arsenal, which boasts the other young talents of Fabregas and Flamini, and still hold your own, is very impressive.
However, despite his great performances, there is an area of his game which must be stamped out immediately. It was disgraceful to see him call for the booking of Arsenal players, holding an invisible card up in the referees face, and possibly even worse seeing him role around in a ridiculous fashion after a foul by Fabregas. The young Spaniard was quite right to mock the dramatics from Anderson, and it really was an embarrassment seeing one of our lads behave in such a way.
More of the great passing and tackling would be perfect, but United cannot and must not tolerate the behaviour of Anderson today. To quote a well known hypocrite and diver, we’ll have “none of that here.”
So Fergie, have a word will you.