An Ode to Anderson Luís de Abreu Oliveira
He’s gone… He’s really gone.
After many years of frustrating the masses of United fans around the world, the January transfer window finally saw our beloved Brazilian, Anderson, leave Manchester for pastures new. His destination? Florence and Fiorentina. To many this is a cause for celebration and mockery aplenty, however, I can’t feel anything other than a sense of disappointment for our Ando and his career at Old Trafford.
I wrote an article a couple of years ago for this site in which I argued that for United to really press on and compete with the big spending premier league clubs, they would need to polish the rough talent they had in the squad. Alas, as I sit here now, it’s plain to see that the precocious young talents in our squad have not developed as we might have hoped in these last few years.
Indeed two main targets of the fans vitriol are players I singled out as future important players; namely Tom Cleverley and Anderson. Cleverley has suffered a massive dip in confidence over the last while and has been hampered by injuries and high expectations. It has become clear that he possesses quality on a football, but it seems his fear of incurring more criticism from the United faithful has stunted his creativity and has ensured he now plays the safe sideways pass at every opportunity. This hampers United’s general creativity and has contributed to the “long ball” football we have seen too often this season. As fans cry out for someone who can play a quick, more direct passing game which would help us break down opposition defences I cant help but scream with frustration that just such a person has left the club.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Anderson didn’t produce enough to warrant his status as a United player. That he was fat, lazy and spent more time on the treatment table than Michael Owen. The thing I want to ask, however, is this: How did Anderson come to be in this position? How did this footballer, who had such potential he was compared to the likes of Ronaldinho, end up sitting in the stands watching his career slowly disappear down the drain.
Anderson’s career started brightly. He began his professional career in the youth ranks at Gremio. He rose to the senior side and quickly made a massive impact. He played around 30 games for the senior side and in that time scored 6 goals, most notably scoring in the playoff match against Nautico that sealed Gremio’s promotion back to the Brazilian first division. He also had an excellent track record at Brazilian youth level. He won the golden ball at the U-17 World Championships playing alongside the likes of Denilson, Marcelo and Renato Augusto.