Nani and Anderson take a bow

August 8 2007

Man United’s comfortable victory over a spirited but inevitably very limited Glentoran side told us little that we didn’t already know, but it did give a tantalising glimpse of the talents of new signings Nani and Anderson.

Nani certainly caught the eye. He was energetic and industrious, showed some wonderful ball skills and capped it all with a fine goal. He will obviously face far sterner tests in the Premier League (not to mention the Champions League), but he demonstrated a bewitching sleight of foot and an appetite for the ball that suggests United need no longer rely solely on Cristiano Ronaldo for rapier-like thrusts infield from the flanks.

As brilliant as Nani was, it was Anderson who caught my eye. He sat a lot deeper than his fellow debutant, but he was at the heart of practically all United’s attacking play, and seemed comfortable setting the pace and directing the flow of United’s offensive moves.

Nani, if anything, was perhaps trying too hard. The feints and step-overs didn’t all come off, and a couple of shots flew high and wild. Anderson was more economical with his distribution of the ball, but he managed to embellish the game with a quiet authority that suggests he is better suited to playing in the centre than Nani or even Ronaldo.

It was interesting to see United lining up with a classic 4-2-3-1 shape: Carrick and O’Shea sitting in front of the back four, Frazier Campbell (how is he not Scottish with a name like that?) the lone striker, and Nani, Anderson and Lee Martin attacking from advanced midfield positions.

With the midfield shield in place, both full-backs were able to attack down the flanks, and Nani, Anderson and Martin interchanged positions with an ease suggestive of a greater level of familiarity than a couple of weeks of pre-season training.

Communication is key in a formation that places such great emphasis on fluidity, but with Nani, Anderson and Ronaldo all fluent in the same tongue, it will be even harder for top-flight defences to keep tabs on their movements in seasons to come.


One Response to “Nani and Anderson take a bow”

  1. nani Says:

    nani is very good player i think when ronaldo goes to any club would be the best replenishment

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