Last season, whenever Paul Scholes wasn’t on the field, we looked like a different team. He made all the difference in linking our midfield to our attack, spraying balls far and wide all over the park, landing perfectly at the intended player’s feet. There’s not a player in our squad who comes close to passing the ball around as accurately as Scholes, and he seems to do so with such ease.
When he was ruled out for several months last October, I was worried. Michael Carrick at that point had been our worst performing player and Owen Hargreaves had already suffered a couple of periods out of the team due to injuries. With Darren Fletcher and John O’Shea has cover, we weren’t exactly overwhelmed with classy options. However, we did have Anderson.
I don’t think anyone really anticipated that Anderson would fill the spot as effectively as he did. Let’s get real, he’s from Brazil and he’s a teenager. We’d be lucky to even get him to turn in to a half decent player over a period of years if our track record with South Americans is anything to go by! But he has come in to the first team and players with all the confidence and experience of someone who has been here for years.
He’s already a firm favourite with the Old Trafford crowd, following his hard working displays and commitment to getting the result. It was his name that was sung as the team walked off 3-0 up at half time against Arsenal, not Rooney or Ronaldo or any of our more long term established players.
I can’t remember a time when a new, young player has been adopted so quickly and eagerly by the Stretford End faithful. Reds are ranting and raving about him at the match and in their locals, talking about the player who has already been tipped by many as the future greatest in the World. He is a player I want in my starting lineup every week, who has proven that he can keep the likes of Steven Gerrard and Cesc Fabregas in his back pocket. If he’s doing that in his first season in the Premiership, it is a mouth watering prospect as to what he will be achieving in the future.
Whilst doing a great job filling in for Scholes, the two players cannot really be compared in terms of what they bring to the team. Anderson is much fiercer in his approach to the game and is far more able when it comes to winning the ball. Anderson has yet to score for United, whereas Scholes is renowned as a scorer of great goals. Paul Scholes is one of the most talented players the Premiership has ever seen, but is there a chance of Anderson superceding him?
Alex Ferguson has today spoken of his great admiration for the Brazilian youngster, claiming that despite his differences from Scholes, he is a top quality player. “When Paul got his injury it was a blow for us and opened the door for Anderson – and we discovered a boy who had talent,” said Ferguson. “It may otherwise have turned out that Anderson would have had to wait, just getting the odd game here and there, which may not have helped him develop as we have seen. Anderson is not like Scholes entirely. He’s more of an aggressive, running player. He’s quicker than Scholes, more of the type to run forward from midfield with the ball, whereas Scholes will do it without the ball.”
Scholes or Anderson? Who do you think should be starting for United?