General Anderson To Lead The Troops
Anderson is showing to us why Fergie was ready to spend a massive sum for him - and the boss believes the youngster's getting better and better.
Though United played some great football recently and scored 12 goals in the last 3 games, the highlight of our turnaround was undoubtedly Anderson's form. Passing the ball crisply and with good vision, the Brazilian possess great pace, physical strength and fantastic technique.
He can be the ideal player if what Sir Alex said proves to be true - and let's face it, what the boss says about a youngster usually turns out to be perfectly correct.
'I've been really pleased with the form of Anderson,' said Fergie. 'For a boy of 19, he's shown tremendous qualities. Last season he broke his leg and was out for five or six months, so coming back from that isn't easy.
'We took a risk with him, but now we're seeing that ability coming through and he has a great appetite for football.'
But the one thing that impressed me most comes after this. The skills and the potential of the boy were known by the United faithful I think but there is an aspect of his game that had not been revealed until the last few matches.
'His knowledge of the game is great. When we played in Kiev in the week, I noticed him giving directions to players who are a lot older than him, which is good to see from such a young player.
'His English isn't perfect, but he was using his football knowledge.'
It's never been a secret that Sir Alex loves players with leadership qualities. Robson, Cantona, Keane... I daresay that's why Rooney plays more than anyone else in the squad, apart from Van der Sar. Another young guy with the ability to lead the team and take matters into his own hands when the going gets tough: that bodes well for a team that Sir Alex built.
The Scot's not a great tactician when it comes to turning around matches, let's face it. But he's tremendous in judging who could do the job in his way, the 'United way'. Therefore he needs these kind of players who are leaders - and that's what we missed in Milan last season.
We would have lost soundly in Turin in 1999 had Roy Keane not decided that this game must be won. Fergie loves players who are not afraid of taking matters into their own hands, and all of his teams need one at least. Rooney is not quite ready yet for that role and his position means he's isolated when the team plays as badly as it did it Milan.
All this raving about Anderson might be premature of course: after all, it's been only three games, he's only 19, we do not know if he'll be able to fulfil his enormous potential... and the list of possible concerns could go on but I'm an optimist. This guy is just too good to be deterred from his path to greatness.
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