Darren Fletcher has risen from the shadows to take centre stage
Darren Fletcher has been hailed as a genius following his wonder strike in the 3-0 win over Everton, and quite rightly so as he has just about proved he has the wide range of qualities which is required by a world-class central midfielder.
Whether he is ‘world-class’ right now is your opinion, teammate Michael Carrick believes that is the case, but undoubtedly he is talented and has somehow, with all the competition, became a regular in the United XI. He has instantly become an Old Trafford hero, and it is hard to believe that this very man is the player who was put on sale for 10p on Ebay some years ago.
He is a bit like Roy Keane. Since the controversial Irishman left Old Trafford for his boyhood club Celtic, people wonder if ever they would find a replacement. Quinton Fortune was one of the very first in line to be his successor but that never materialised and Fortune has found himself playing League One football for Doncaster Rovers. Arsene Wenger has been whining because he ‘kicks players to often’ and in an interview with top United fanzine United We Stand:
“I love challenging myself against all the best players and a lot of them play in the Premiership,” he says.
“I watch how good they are, but when we play them I think to myself ‘Right, I’m going to see how good you really are. [Cesc] Fabregas, [Frank] Lampard and [Steven] Gerrard, I’m going to get against you and see how you like it’.
“And when you’ve not got the ball I’m still going to get about you and see how you like it.
“I’m going to ask you: ‘Do you fancy it? Do you like getting kicked? Do you like the fact that I am going to be at you for the whole 90 minutes?
“As soon as you get the ball I am going to be in your face. You are not going to like it one bit. And when we have the ball I am going to run you into the corner and you’re going to follow me. Are you ready for that? Because that’s what’s going to happen.’”
Not the sort of thing you hear everyday, but that’s the kind of player Fletcher is. Similar to Keane, he can tackle, pass, hold the ball, and link up with great effect and most importantly not afraid to go in for a challenge for the sake of the team.
And he is no longer the right-sided midfielder that he was when he started his career, sure he can play there, but he can truly make the most impact in the middle of the park. His central midfield partner Michael says what everyone is thinking right now; “Darren is one of the best midfielders around at the moment.”