It ain’t what you do, it’s the way that you do it, that’s what gets results.
When I hear those lyrics and close my eyes, do you know what I see?
When he was at Everton I built my fantasy football team around him every season, he was the beast I loved to hate the least, a brute in the air, a winner in the challenge & a damn fine finisher in the opposition box, something we’d bought Anderson to be and as we all know, the 6 yard was the type of box he was least interested in finishing in the dirty little scamp, so this was to be our new start, the chance to get someone in the middle who offered a threat of various types wherever he was on the pitch.
August turned to October, October turned into the new year & the new year turned into despair (aside from Juan’s arrival) turned into a montage of shite performances, rarely were any individual performances ever as bad as the man signed on deadline day the previous summer.
Defensively, when in possession he had his pocket picked more often than the tourists daft enough to walk down Las Ramblas in shiny new trainers (if you don’t get that it’s not my fault, do some travelling and see a bit of the world), in the middle of the park he looked awful, couldn’t tackle, pass & his attempts to run with the ball reminded me trying to play sensible soccer back in its heyday.
In a nutshell he had what we’d call a Bebe of a season and for his and the clubs sake that NEEDED to improve this season, we’d lost ground on the likes of City & Chelsea who’ve spent the past 3 or 4 years assembling midfield options that could change games while we continued to keep faith in flops like Cleverley & Anderson, yes we’d had the huge boost of adding Blind & Herrera to the squad, but both do a job that isn’t the type that the Belgian was brought in to do, so in order for them to deliver their brightest impact on the team, he had to step up and do in a United shirt what he’d done at Everton, provide strength and quality in both areas and help the team move from defence into attack with speed and threat….
I’m not going to sit here and say he hit the ground running and that he’s the closest thing I’ve seen to Bryan Robson since he retired, that’s for 2 reasons, 1 I’m not a dick, 2 he’s not, but what he is with each passing game is a more important cog in the tactical machine that LVG is assembling in this latter stage of the season, he is to our attacking options as Bez was to the Happy Monday’s, someone who creates the atmosphere in which the more gifted magicians around him can go about doing what they do to drive United forward, and back towards the limelight I spent the Sir Alex era enjoying.
What he’s also delivered is the much needed midfield goal threat, individually he’s 4 for the season, which at a rate of 1 in 5 games isn’t too shabby at all when you compare it to what was achieved by our midfield options last season, even better when you consider that his role is to create the chaos that team mates can capitalise on rather than to be the man who is there to add a finishing touch.
Sunday will be a massive test for Marouane Fellaini. Two of his worst games in a United shirt last season were in the two Derby games, he had a far greater impact on the game at the Etihad earlier this campaign, but with Smalling’s foolishness & Rojo’s injury it was always an uphill battle to get anything out of the game. This time, however, the scene is set in our favour, we have the form, the confidence and the home advantage to push ahead with making a serious and genuine push for second place in a league we’d been dismissed in early March. After being withdrawn early against Villa for failing to deliver the impact he had against Spurs & Liverpool, the scene’s beautifully set for him to show that on the biggest stage, he’s a man capable of delivering the biggest performances.