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Anderson hopes for a 'big season'

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The Brazilian midfielder is keen to impress, but is worried about picking up more injuries.

Jamie McDonald

How are we all liking the international break, then? There hasn't been much to report where Manchester United are concerned: and it seems some have resorted to rehashing news stories from last year. Or maybe not.

"I think it's a big season for me, for everyone," Anderson declared, to Inside United. Fantastic! Glad to hear it. Except we might have heard this one before. The Brazilian midfielder did have more things to say, more of which later, but it's worth zooming in on this little quote for a second.

Would it be too harsh to say that Anderson's being very optimistic, here? Well, no. It's now been six years for him at Old Trafford and we haven't exactly seen the sort of dramatic improvement expected of a man who's now 25, and no longer the 19-year-old United invested so heavily in.

The response to any Anderson criticism usually goes something like "there's talent in there, though." There is, but we don't see enough of it: and surely "there's talent" is true of any first-team footballer for any half-decent team in the world? Anyway, Anderson clearly has confidence in himself to deliver, like everyone hopes he can. Before the start of the 2012/13 campaign, he said: "this is a very big season for me." And after an impressive start to 11/12: "I feel like this is my time now."

You do, however, have to feel a little -- just a little -- sorry for Anderson. Two years ago, injuries prevented him from really kicking on and Michael Carrick (then benched) has since replaced him. He had more setbacks a year later, and has now made it clear in his latest interview that he wants to be able to overcome these problems. (Point stands: when he has played in between those injuries, there hasn't really been a sense of United missing him, though, sure, it's worth being a little sympathetic.)

Here's that quote in full: "I think it's a big season for me, for everyone. However, I don't want to say that and then pick up another injury. I have often started seasons well, played six or seven games and then got injured."

Reassuringly, he has sought to address an issue that many feel has held him back: "I have been doing more running, which has helped my fitness. The physios in Portugal have helped me a lot, as have all the coaches at United. I have also been working hard myself. I have built up the strength in my knee, worked hard in training."

While Anderson has yet to make a competitive start under David Moyes, the manager was said to have been impressed by the player in pre-season.