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RoM 2010 Awards: Youngster Coming Good award

The Youngster Coming Good award

Nominees: Anderson, Rafael and Chris Smalling
Anderson was walking a tightrope for his United career for most of 2010. Poor attitude and a lengthy injury set him back, before he crashed his car in the small hours just before the season started after leaving a night club.

Both Gareth Bale and Samir Nasri were being touted as the best talents in Europe for their position in the media before coming to Old Trafford. Rafael didn’t even seem to break a sweat when keeping them both out of the game. It makes all the times John O’Shea started at the beginning of the season all the more frustrating. Still prone to the odd rash decision, this lad has come on leaps and bounds defensively, whilst still putting in a good shift going forward.

Chris Smalling came with high expectations after a large transfer fee, although after making several errors in his time with Fulham before being dropped from the team, people were sceptical. However, he’s starting to look the business, putting in competent and mature displays, looking every bit the Rio replacement. He’s leapfrogged Jonny Evans in pecking order and at almost 6’5″, looks down at Rio and Vida.

Winner: Rafael

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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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15 Comments

  1. Costas says:

    Ando is young, but I don’t consider him a youngster anymore with all his experience. Smalling is doing great, but still unproven on the big stage.

    The real revelation has been Rafa. He hasn’t put a foot wrong since the Bayern red,

  2. parjo says:

    I choose Rafael, he had more big impact.

  3. Chicharito14 says:

    Smalling instead of gibson.

  4. Edpayasugo says:

    Rafael. Some excellent recent performances.

  5. Giles Oakley says:

    All three have done well and look the real deal.

    With Anderson it’s a bit like Nani, he’s always had so much potential, as with his famous putting of Stevie Me & Fabregarse ‘in his pocket’, but then lost his way. It’s great when you see a player mature in front of your eyes and look close to realising the potential all could see in terms of natural skill. I’d like to think Nani had a few well chosen words in his ear about how close he was coming to blowing it. He still needs to boss midfield consistently and show he can deliver over time, and not slip back as he did slightly at Birmingham.

    Chris Smalling has looked excellent and appears to have all the skill and strength to nail down a centre half position in the future. It’s now up to him to look, listen and learn from Rio & Vidic, and make the most of his opportunities when they come. We mustn’t place too much weight of expectation on him too soon, as perhaps happened with Jonny Evans, whose slide in form has been utterly unforeseen and alarming. We don’t want to see that happen to Smalling, who’s done well and at his best looks ‘effortlessly’ classy.

    Of the three the one who who has progressed most is surely Rafael, who is suddenly growing in composure and decisiveness in the tackle. With him it has been more a matter of staying fit and gaining experience, and getting enough games to establish continuity with the others in the back-4. There are still moments of impetuosity when he dives in too soon, but it takes time and experience to get that right. I’m delighted that at last he’s getting a decent run of games and the tinkerman has stopped messing around with the defence. I’d give him the Young Player of 2010 Award to him. Now let’s see his brother do the same on the other flank. After all, he’s the one supposed to be the most naturally gifted.

  6. KVN says:

    My votes are:

    1. Rafael – Outstanding season so far, and developing into one of the best RB in the world. Let’s hope his brother Fabio gets the same chance at LB.

    2. Smalling – Has coped well with the high expectations and has shown that SAF still knows how to spot talented players. To think 5 years ago he was playing in the amatuer league. Great future ahead
    and will become an England regular.

    3. Anderson – Potenially the “new” Scholes. But needs to add goals to his excellent work in midfield.
    Has the dynamo and creativity to dominate midfield and hurt the oppostion with his passing.
    Needs to work on his stamina to last 90 minutes, but as long as his attitude stays right he can become a great midfield player.

  7. smartalex says:

    Rafael (and his big pockets)
    Wonderful that there is no place on the list for Cleverly, Welbeck etc.
    The (Ir)well runs deep.

  8. MyCowIsTheBest says:

    To me ando coming thick is like the same as Berbatov.
    Therefore it has to be Rafael.

  9. ethiored says:

    It has to be Rafael. This lad is class. Dare I say Best right back in Europe next to Alves.

  10. wayne says:

    don’t think this one is close rafael has matured into a top class fullback,anderson has to prove it over the course of time not just a few games and smalling isn’t getting many games so hard to judge.

  11. willierednut says:

    Rafael is ever improving and deserves it imo.

  12. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    Rafael hands down. Anderson has only just showed up and Smalling not been here long enough but has been impressive especially after some of the tripe directed at him when he was at Fulham.

  13. smartalex says:

    Moyes is considering buying a striker in January.
    Perhaps SAF can loan him Federico.

  14. mahadev says:

    rafael !

  15. kel says:

    If Anderson keeps doing what he does, next year this time, we will be voting for him in the most improve player. Haha

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