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What Has Anderson Done Wrong?

Anderson champions Manchester UnitedAnderson is certainly the brightest prospect on United’s books and a fans’ favourite after just one season at the club. Yet the past month he has taken a clear backseat in our success.

Starting against Chelsea, in a game where Sir Alex Ferguson admitted he played a weakened team to ensure our place in the European Cup final, Anderson was a shadow of the player he’d been in other crucial games for United in the Champions League and against Liverpool and Arsenal.

He played for just over an hour against the rent boys, before being subbed for John O’Shea. Before that, he was a second half sub for Scholes against Arsenal, a fortnight before. In that time, he’s missed out on two games against Barcelona, Blackburn and West Ham, not playing a minute of football.

The papers haven’t seemed to pick up on it yet, but the fact Anderson didn’t even make the bench in our crucial game against Wigan today suggests the possibility of there being something out of the ordinary going on. Too many visits to the brothel? Or simply Scholes’ return from injury and good form?

Watch this space.

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. jimmy Bob says:

    dont think he has done much wrong but for all his talents he isnt a goal scorer (so far) and that may go against him if he is a sub as he is unlikely to turn a game

    he has played a lot more this year than he expected and im sure its the start of a top class career for club and his country

  2. Red Devil says:

    He’s been injured thta’s why ain’t played of late.


  3. Red Fred says:

    I am glad you have picked up on this as I have been wondering also. I was sure he would get some playing time recently to rest and rotate the squad but it didn’t happen. I suspect that there is something behind it as he was developing well with playing time. Agreed that Hargreaves and Carrick have done well so maybe with Sir Alex determined to start Scholes in the final with the liklihood that he will give Fletcher an appearance there is no room this year for Anderson. His time will come in other words. Still, it is a little puzzling and makes you think that Fergie is punishing him for some misdemeanour.

  4. teemoney..Nigeria says:

    Anderson hasnt done anything honestly. Its just that a team like man u with some much players with high qualities..some need to sit for others to play. there was sometime paul scholesy was sittin on the bench and when his game stepped up, he regained his place in the starting eleven and we all know tht he has been so brilliant. Anderson will soon play but he needs a lot of patience. I believe if he trains harder abt his shoot on target, then..fergie will be having him on most next season as scholesy wont be starting much of the match.

    United for ever

  5. dan o'mahony says:

    not one to buy into speculation but thats all we have to look forward to after the 21st of may and i’ve heard some unnerving rumblings that anderson is on his way to barcelona after only one season with us.

    hopefully our midfield magician doesn’t do a disappearing act!

  6. Sagar says:

    nothing wrong with him.
    he’s just had a patchy end to the season…which happens with young players sometimes as they don’t have the experience to carry them through.
    but he’ll get better over time and will be much better next year.

    great climax to the premiership.

  7. RedRedBaby says:

    i dont think he did anything wrong , its just carrick , scholes and owen been in better form than anderson

  8. KingOfZamunda says:

    dan o’mahony – where did you hear these rumours about Anderson going to Barca?? Barca are a team in transition, there will be a focus on securing young talent and there will be a clearout of sorts, paving the way for a signing like our Anderson, supposedly. BUT the clearout will not see the release of either Xavi or Iniesta, probably not Deco either, and as good as Anderson is (he’s had a slight off patch of late but he is damn good and has the makings of a truly magnificent player for United in the years to come) he will not get past that three merely by virtue of how that three, plus Messi and Bojan, are the key to any Barca side over the next few seasons. Anderson has fellow Portuguese speakers in Nani and Cris Ron, Carlos Queiroz looking after the development, being a Portuguese speaker as well- it all adds to United being THE place to be for him to become the player he’s destined to be. So no, he’s not leaving United just yet!

  9. Daniel says:

    I doubt he’s done anything wrong. It’s just that at this stage of the season you need all the experience you can get. I’d far prefer the European experience of HArgo in midfield than a very younf and inexperienced Anderson in games such as Barca, and Chelsea. The same goes for Scholes and Carrick.
    I highly doubt there’s a rift between him and Fergie, judging from his jubilant celebrations today I’d say he looks rather happy at United.

  10. RonnieD says:

    i remember he picked up a knock against Roma, but its just a niggling Saha injury!

    Hope he figures in the champs league final, we could do with the energy in the middle!!!

  11. NiKOS says:


  12. smarties says:

    Fergie himself explained why he wasn’t on the match. First of all he said that it was harsh/unfair on Hargreaves not starting today as he was of tremendous form of late. then he selected silvestre because he can play central and on the left so he had the defence covered. After he said that he wanted someone on the bench whose able to score and he chose saha over welbeck because of experience. in the end only 1 place remained and had to choose giggsy over anderson because of occasion i think.

  13. Tom F says:

    At the start of the season Anderson wouldn’t have expected to play as many games as he has, he took the chance to show himself off when Scholesy got injured but has since been replaced by the rightful man, at this important climax we need all the experience we can get and we have a ginger, experienced player who has been in form after a few dodgey displays got the doubters scribbling about his downfall, it’s impossible to leave him out after that screamer against Barca.. in the same way the doubters write off Giggs… he comes up at the most important time and does it one more time!! .. funny eh?

  14. denton davey says:

    What a diilemma.

    The best young player in the EPL can’t get a game because the best midfielder to grace the EPL has re-discovered a fountain of youth after being injured for three months !

    And now that the crunch-time has well-and-truly arrived, do you really expect that the kid is going to get in there ahead of the GingerNinja ?

  15. Sab says:

    Is it just me, or haven’t you been paying attention. Everybody knows that when Ronaldo was young and upcoming he didn’t play all the games. He was young and unfit and unable to play all the matches, and it’s the same with both Nani and Anderson, they all must grow up rightly so that they get used to staying fit and not get used to getting injured.

    Abother factor, an obvious reason, is that Schole’s been pretty tremendous and Anderson needs to be given time to grow, and that is done by playing some, and taking rest so he can grow some, just like Ronaldo did.

  16. ChucklesIsaRedDevil says:

    Interesting article as I wondered too. Ferguson has not evencommented about it yet. My theory is that Man Utd are a team in transitionanf and as Fergie as is phasing golden oldies like Giggsy & Scholesey, he wants to provide them one final glory opportunityin this season….I bet they’d both only play bit part next season as Nani and Anderson will step up more and form Europe’s best midfield alongside Hargreases, Carrick & RONNIE…. ever noticed Anderson’s accelleration (at Anfield especially) and beating players? he’d play wing if Ferguson him wanted to….

  17. Scott the Red says:

    Sab – Sorry, what does everyone know? Ronaldo, aged 18, played 39 games for United in his first season.

  18. jsh4 says:

    I’m glad you’ve picked up on this as well; I’ve been wondering why we haven’t been seeing much of him lately, especially as we’ve been seeing Nani recently.

    My only guess would be that for the last few crucial matches, SAF has stuck with his main players, rather than rely on youngsters like Anderson; Carrick, Scholes and Hargreaves have all been used in that midfield area.

    Hopefully we’ll see more of him next season, and in the pre-season period – he’s definitely a promising United player for the future, and – as you say – a definite fans’ favourite, myself included.

  19. Keith says:

    The answer is simple…..

    He is 20 years old, just played a lot more in his first season than Fergie would like, and he’s going to the olympics all summer….resting him this last month and a half was crucial so that he doesn’t burn himself out!

  20. JLC says:

    Scott, 99.999% of the time, you’re spot on target with your commentary. This is the rare exception.

    First, it seems out of place, on the day we celebrate the title, to be floating conspiracy theories. Pardon the borderline insult, but it’s practically tabloid-esque.

    Secondly, I’d be more worried if our Midfield Magician hadn’t been front and center in all the celebrations today. I just haven’t seen any signs of there being anything out of the ordinary — aside from perfectly understandable football-only reasons for leaving him out (those reasons being named Scholes, Carrick, Hargreaves and Park).

    And finally, I’d be shocked if Anderson doesn’t make the bench in Moscow. He may yet play a major role this term.

  21. Taron says:

    Anderson will make the bencj in Moscow, cause we can have 7 not 5 and as to the reason of his absense what about money. I believe in his contract if he playes spesific amount of games, we should pay more money to Porto, Can that be the reason.
    I agree with JLC Scott I was hoping for a great post about our season not a speculation

  22. Nazr says:

    I wondered too why Anderson hasn’t featured lately. The guys got it right Scholes is playing great now and he has loads of experience. Great first seaon for Anderson, he’s just twenty and i hope he will play an important role in United’s future

  23. virgopq says:

    Fergie might be savin him up for the CL. As I can see it, Anderson is the perfect player to stop Ballack’s presence in the middle. I wudn’t be surprise to see Fergie playing 5 across the middle wz Hargreaves & Anderson infront of the back 4, Scholes behind Rooney & both Giggs & Ronaldo on either flanks. Fergie might use Anderson to manmark Ballack wz Hargreaves sweeping up any lloose or wayward balls just infront of the back 4. Of course, the fullbacks wud push up alongside Hargreaves & Scholes as the wingers surge fwd in support of Rooney in attack. The only change wud probably see Park in the startin lineup wz Giggsy replacin him at the 3/4 mark of the game. Yeah!, it wud be great to see both Scholsey & Gissy gettin’ a goal each & of course!, Anderson to add his name on the scoresheet!. My prediction wud b Man Utd 3 – Chelsea 0 !. Yeah!!!.

  24. sam says:

    He got injured against chelsea, they actually showed him signalling to the bench to be subbed, i guess he is still carrying some niggle, remember he was out for a year with a broken leg and remember how long it took alan smith to get back to full ftiness, but i hope he and hargreaves play in moscow, they give us sooo much steel in the midfield

  25. Harun says:

    I don’t think there is something wrong. I saw the guy yesterday and he was happy like if it was his own wedding or something. He danced to the Anderson-son-son and stuff . xD

  26. RedAddict says:

    Anderson – more premier league medals than Gerrard.

    That’s just too damn funny.

  27. luke says:

    I totally disagree with what uou said about Anderson being poor against Chelsea in my opinion he was our best player on the field especially in the 1st half when the goin was tough…if you look back you’ll notice the number of balls he won

  28. Ian says:

    I just think Fergie knows that when it’s squeaky bum time experience matters more than fresh legs of youth. We all raved about how much better Nani and Anderson were (than Giggs and Scholes) earlier in the season but it’s no coincidence that Scholes and Giggs have produced the goods recently (yesterday and against Barca). Notice that Fergie also preferred Brown in middle and Hargreaves at RB in the big games with Vidic out. I expected Pique to come in more and Brown to stay at RB. Again he must have simply preferred experience.

  29. Narek Alaverdyan says:

    I should definitely disagree with the opinion that he was a shadow against Chelsea… He was the best player on the field, and the driving force, and as soon as he was subbed, we had no control in the midfield… He is the best center midfielder we have in terms of drive and energy and I am hopping sir Alex saves him for the big final on 21st ;)

  30. Eric says:

    chill out folks..we just won the league can’ t we just enjoy..its barely 24 hours and here we go again trying to manufacture news and create divisions…but for scholes’s injury..anderson would not even have played half the games he did..Sir Alex was force to put him straight..this was suppose to be transional season for him and nani..with scholes being fit..he was always going to be second favourite..scholes is a legend!…he will still have a decent amount of games next season THEN at the begining of season 2010..when scholes is lost the extra pace…like makelele for chelsea…Anderson will be a stater and he will dominate the league with the rest of the guys..Now let us just enjoy our success and look forward to moscow…one down…one more to go. Man United for Life

  31. Simmo says:

    He has done nothing wrong. He is a young player who has played far more games than was expected. He had been showing signs of tiring about a month ago. All young players experience dips in form and Anderson is no different. Expect United to have a fit and fresh Anderson on the bench in Moscow. He will come in handy should we need him!!

  32. AlexFLej says:

    I’ve heard from a very good source that Barcelona have agreed a fee with us.

    Fergie doesn’t rate Anderson and thinks he is a bad egg.

    From what I understand, the fee will be considerably less than we paid for him… something in the region of £6 million – very strange…

  33. ajdin says:

    remember what I say :
    anderson didn’t score in the premiership , but he will score in moscow…in the last minute!!!

  34. Stephen Connolly says:

    I have been thinking the very same myself. Great player, like a bulldog in the middle of the park. Dont think he is injured as he has been involved in full training. However one point I would like to make is that thomas kuszczak didnt make the required 10 games for a winners medal. Why didnt fergie give him 30 seconds at the weekend????? Beats me

  35. denton davey says:

    AlexFLej – some “source” you’ve got ! This kid absolutely stuffed Gerrard and Fabregas – supposedly the two best midfielders in English football and you believe that he will be sold for chicken feed – the same amount that UTD received for Kieran Richardson. Pull the other one – it’s got bells on it !

  36. KingOfZamunda says:

    denton davey- that was a mockery of the post about a spanish club trying to sign our anderson by AlexFLej, nothing serious about it at all?

  37. dee says:

    i dont think anderson has done anything wrong. his recent performances have not been great. he look s abit tired. the boy has alot of potential after all he has taken gerard and fabregas out of the game TWICE.

  38. eric the king the king the king says:

    hope this barcelona link story isnt true, anderson proved his worth this season wen scholesy was out!! iv bin told its bcuz anderson has said publicly he is tired and his body cant cope with everygame at 100mph in prem league, so he is still adapting and therefore been given a prolonged rest!!! hope so neway!!

  39. ManU says:

    Anderson can manupulate players like Ballack,Essien or Mauluda and Lampard.
    He can shut these players off and weaken Chelsea attack. Dont leave him out and sacrefies Giggs,Pak and Fletcher.The players that MU should sell off this summer are John Oshea,Luis Saha and Selvertsre.Oshea is the most underated player of them all. He cant defence well ball watching all the time, have no pace and unable to read the game well.He is the most lousy player should be shown the exit door immediately.

  40. jsh4 says:

    I agree that Anderson is quality, but I’m not sure about starting him in Moscow.

    ManU, I disagree; O’Shea is the most versatile player in the squad – he’s useful. Silvestre is also a useful player to have, as a defensive backup. I agree we should let Saha go, and we probably will if we buy a centre-forward in the Summer, which looks likely.


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