For a while now I’ve been planning to write to you, to a player in whom I have utmost confidence and to a character I adore.
Over the past few weeks you have once again found yourself out of action owing to yet another frustrating injury. Meanwhile Man United have suffered a few reversal but have generally managed to stay on course. However no one can deny the fact that we have missed you, we could have certainly done with your effervescence on and off the pitch while your industry would have undoubtedly given us the edge in games where we looked lost.
I hark back to the summer of ’07, and remember hearing about your arrival to the theatre of Dreams. I was exceptionally pleased, but also a tad anxious as the last Brazilian delight didn’t quite work out great. The wait to see you take the field, lasted two more months, as you made your much-awaited debut in a pre- season friendly against little known Doncaster Rovers.
The season began and all of us Red Devils finally got to see Anderson Luís de Abreu Oliveira in flesh and blood. To put it mildly, I liked what I saw. The fan in me was dreaming, hardly my fault, you were destined to be the next Ronaldinho.
That was the season when a boy from Brazil fought toe to toe with the best in the English game; your back pocket found enough room for Gerrard, Fabregas and Lampard et al. I remember singing the Anderson chant in my living room as we won the league and Champions league double that glorious season, your great mate Ronaldo had a peach of a campaign, but I will never forget how you nutmugged Arsenal’s very own midfield maestro Cesc Fabregas.
Even when you weren’t quite tearing defenses to shreds, your presence strengthened our rear guard and your infectious energy vibrated amongst supporters and team mates alike. Things haven’t been as rosy of late Ando, the season following that epic double wining campaign wasn’t one of your best and you would be first to admit it. Plagued by injuries and fitness issues, you didn’t feature much and certainly not up to the levels we had hoped for.
And then things began to go sour between us, your performances seemed to get gradually less and less impressive, until they became rather worryingly inept. Don’t get me wrong; despite my misgivings about you, I still cheered you on and never ever lost hope. However with rumours of your discontent at United making news headlines, my heart sank as I questioned whether I had erred in judgment?
At the beginning of this season’s campaign I was left clinging on to nothing but hope that the tide would turn our way soon. My worst fears were realized, quite literally when “Manchester United midfielder Anderson hospitalised after serious car crash” flashed on my screen. I didn’t appreciate doing a spit-take with hot coffee, but my discomfort was probably nothing in comparison to yours. As updates kept pouring in about the crash, I looked on nervously hoping for your well being. Thankfully there weren’t any major injuries and you came out seemingly unscathed from the disaster–that-could have been. However the incident didn’t go unnoticed by fellow Red Devils around the globe, discontent was at an all-time high with question marks on your attitude hanging over your head like the proverbial Sword of Damocles.
Sir Alex Ferguson isn’t known in footballing circles for his benevolence and consideration; and I feared that incident was the last straw. Ferguson however kept the hair dryer turned off. There wasn’t any boot flinging incident to be heard of either, and you had survived again, but for how long? As this season began, and you were rehabilitating from yet another injury scare, United’s campaign meandered around as always fighting hard and at times punching above our weight. We were missing that bite in midfield, that energy in the center of the park, that dynamism once provided by the Ginger prince – Paul Scholes.
Fans were outraged at times with the lack of attacking display from our midfield in general, Michael Carrick bearing the bulk of those attacks. I believed, that all that was needed, was your return. You did eventually, and the signs were there for all to see against Blackburn at home when an outstanding Man United performance battered the hapless ‘Riversiders’. You were at the heart of our midfield, United scored 7 past the spellbound Paul Robinson which isn’t very hard to be fair. This was the script I was hoping for. F.C. Valencia came calling and you produced another master class with unerring passing, delightful link up play and in the process notched up your maiden Old Trafford goal.
Injuries have blighted your career and have once again kept you out of action during crucial times this season. Nevertheless I am delighted that you are fit and in contention again. We need you at your best for the remainder of the league campaign, and here’s hoping you will continue on the path to rejuvenation.
Ando, welcome back, you’ve been sorely missed. Let’s make them dance to the Samba tune all over again, and let’s get our trophy back!