Why does everyone hate Fletcher?

Ok, so not everyone, but when Darren Fletcher’s name is read out at Old Trafford I have heard on a number of occasion some very loud groans ring around the ground. I’ve always liked the lad although I would agree that he is no where near the technical level of Scholes or will have have the influence of Keane in the center of the Park, but to be honest – you’d have to be a pretty special player to have any of the attribute that those two players have/had. Fletcher is a good professional who played in 24 games this season for the Reds and chipping in with two goals – both coming against Arsenal in the FA Cup. I ask this question in response from today’s speculation that Everton are interested in signing the player.
Who could forget Fletcher’s mammoth performance against Roma in the 7-1 thrashing last season. This Roma side were no mugs, as shown in the 2-1 victory over United in the first leg. Fletcher played his heart out, giving Di Rossi and Pizarro no space in which to operate in. Then there was the last game at Highbury at the start of 2006. Even though the sides were involved in a surprisingly dire 0-0 draw, Fletcher was MOTM, out playing the maturing Fabregas in the process. His positional play and drive helped prolong the career of Roy Keane, who in the autumn of his career from 2003 onwards appreciated the three in midfield United played. You may argue that this formation was forced upon due to an injury to Ruud VanNistelrooy for a major part of the 2004/05 season and also the influence of Carlos Queiroz, but I generally felt that Fergie was really impressed with the young Scot.

Would I pick Fletcher over Anderson, Carrick or Hargreaves? No, I wouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean that Fletcher cannot play a part in next season as a squad rotation player – without getting the criticism that he does at times. My first choice midfield would be (from right to left) Ronaldo, Scholes, Carrick, Giggs. Now looking at that midfield – Ronaldo’s future is uncertain and will miss the start of the season due to his recovery from ankle surgery. Scholes will not play every game and on evidence of his recent injury record it wouldn’t surprise me if he did miss a number of games due to this. Carrick, although I believe is a top class footballer, does suffer from bouts of confidence loss – which can get the crowd on his back. He is maturing into a brilliant midfielder who, with a little bit more self belief, can really start to dominate football matches with his passing and composure. However, Carrick’s sublime passing will be enhanced by the terrier like running and shutting down Fletcher does, which was so evident in the 5-1 demolishing of Newcastle last season. Lastly, the most decorated player in the club’s history – Giggsy. Who at the age of 34 (35 in November) is approaching the winter of his career and as the gaffer showed this season, will use Giggs sparingly – or when it rains, as he quoted, last term like the Welsh man was a race horse. Combine this with Anderson on international duty at the Olympics and Ji-Sung Park still maybe lacking that match sharpness from injury (although I think he’s been brilliant since back). This leaves Owen Hargreaves, Nani and John O’shea – so you can see how Fletcher is needed in the side as a squad player. As mentioned many times since 1999 – a big squad of quality is essential to succeed both domestically and in Europe. Darren Fletcher is a good footballer and is a valuable part of United’s team. Although not a first team starter for me, he is a valuable substitute and confident performer when called upon to play in any game, including the big guns.

So do you think United should sell Darren Fletcher? If so why do you not think he is good to be part of the United squad? Am I too defensive over a mediocre player? Lastly, if he did leave how well do you think he would do for Everton and what type of transfer fee would he command? Looking forward to your comments.

Don’t forget to vote in our online poll regarding Fletcher.

Fletcher lifts the Premier League Trophy

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12 Responses to “Why does everyone hate Fletcher?”

  1. Gio says:

    flech has developed. hes a good player.
    we are not real madrid who MUST have 11 “stars” and eventually those stars never work on the pitch. I meean its England. We need man who are not that arrogant to tackle or to do the hard work.
    Flech is a good player.
    We need his feet.
    10 starts would be normal and 20 subs a season will do a job and he will be delighted too.
    very usefull player like Jonny O. we raised him and we need him.
    espacially if ronaldo leaves…

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  2. pdm says:

    glad fletcher is going.. have u noticed the dispropionate amount of MOM he wins? See it goes like this.. united have a team full of ball retainers that arent for the most part of the keane/macherano ball winning mentality. So fletcher gets into the team and we cant keep the ball anymore. However he is the best at running arround after the other team and promply wins the MOM. Also note how he lost ballack last year and of course ballack finished it. The best teams isolate players like fletcher and allow him to be our only option while they close the space on others.. especially ronaldo. The best example of this was champions league semi against milan where heinze and fletcher where allowed UNLIMTED possession because they knewthe couldnt hurt milan. This allowed gattuso to double mark any of our danger players whenever they came near the ball. YEs I would be overjoyed if fletcher left.

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  3. jaybee says:

    Giggs is 35 in November NOT 36. DOB 29/11/73

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  4. Craig Mc says:

    I cannot believe that you didn’t put Hargo and Nani in your 1st choice midfielders. I just got thru watching end of season review several times, and Nani had so many assists, and he is better than anyone at getting those crosses into the box from the corners. Hargo is one of our major combatants, and should be 1st choice for me everytime. Not only that he is magic at free kicks, and crossing the ball from the right wing beckhamesque is his speciality. Sorry but had to mention this.

    Now Fletch, he is good on his day, and I think he is above average. He works like mad for the team cause, but he is not a regular 1st teamer. We shouldn’t allow him to go though, unless he really wants first team football all the time. Then we shouldn’t stand in his way. Not everybody enjoys being a sub. I will say one thing though, Fletch should have never been given Park’s champions league final place, not after the way Park grafted in the semi final to get us there. That lad played his heart out. Fergie was wrong on that one. It wasn’t fair to Park.

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  5. jaybee – Thanks, edited the post. My maths was never that great. :-)

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  6. toni antoni says:

    fletcher is a midfielder who cannot score goals, cannot tackle, and cannot pass the ball with any degree of accuracy. We should take any money we can for him and run! Surely we have a footballer in the academy who can have at least 2 out of 3 midfield attributes who could be a squad player whilst leaving nani, giggs,scholes,hargreaves and the excellent anderson o be 1st choices. Maybe we should invest the money from fletcher in teaching anderson how to shoot and he would then become the perfect midfieder!!

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  7. RAZZ says:

    Dont think we could ever sell Fletch or O’Shea.
    They both are super professionals and know the importance of their role at the club as squad players.
    Lacks of depth and quality on Arsenals bench let them down. Fletch is an important part of the team. He would have probably played more games if he wasn’t injured for a bit during the season.

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  8. Gio – I agree he is a good player and has developed well over the past few years. I don’t agree with the ‘stars’ remark though as Real Madrid’s problem during the early 2000′s was signing the best players but not taking into account the balance of the side. For me Hargreaves, Vidic and Evra are stars – top class international footballers, that are a pivotal part of the side. Fletcher isn’t the best midfielder we have, not by a long way, but in the role he is used I think he is beneficial to the squad.

    pdm – Nice post and I think it’s interesting that you picked that up regarding the Milan game. I thought everyone other than Scholes was awful that night – combined with the fact that Milan were superb. I can’t really argue with your opinion although I would say that I think Fletcher is a better passer of the ball than you say and that he does have greater positional sense than just running around like a headless chicken. But a good post.

    Craig Mc – I still think Nani has a way to go before becoming the finished article. He is a great talent that has a number of great attributes and I agree that he could really have a good season this year, but I still think that Giggs can offer us something, especially in the early part of the season. Hargreaves, I am a big fan of, but who would you drop? Most people would say Carrick, but I honestly thought he was superb towards the end of last season and is too often easily made the scapegoat. I wouldn’t argue with your midfield though, lots of quality and options in there.

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  9. Craig Mc says:

    Stretford End, I think it is obvious that Hargo will not be able to play every game over a full season, with his tendinitis and other problems. I do believe that he should be first on the midfield team sheet along with Anderson whenever we need COMBATANTS on the field for the big four and CL games. Tev, Evra, Rio and Vidic are also massively combatant. Apache Tev has batteries and an engine that keep running until the very last minute, hence his late winners for us, and I love his never say die attitude. That lad is one of a rare breed that doesn’t know the meaning of the word defeat!.

    Fletch, to be honest has the occasional games where he is crisp in the tackle, but he is rather lightweight in a good few games. Fergie seems to think he is very good in the big games. Not sure I totally agree!. In big games at home – yes, but away from home – NO. I can’t see Fergie ever selling him though, unless he asks to be let go.

    Nani – awww, come on Stretford End. The lad is in wonderland playing for us. His corners and crosses into the box are magical to me. If Portugal had a centre forward who could score goals, Nani’s deadly balls into the box would have reaped a harvest of goals for Portugal. They wouldn’t have been knocked out of the Euro’s thats for sure. He is another runner and fighter when he loses possesion he chases back, little terrier. More than CR7 can be arsed to do. I loved Nani’s showboating against the Arsenal too, shame to knock that sort of talent on the head. He was enjoying himself. Think you can tell, I love the lad. To me in attack where passes matter, he is more effective than Anderson. Shame that United faithful don’t give him the love and support he needs.

    Giggs, I would just say this!. I mentioned to a lot of the guys down my local, that every time the play broke down, it was usually because of Giggsy. They all mocked and said no way. So I said, OK, will you watch the next 12 United games with me, and see each time the play breaks down who it breaks down with?. So they all agreed and we placed bets, so assured were they. Needless to say they were amazed how many times play broke up because of Giggsy. I made a killing that day, a good few pounds better off. Now we call him “give the ball away Giggs”.

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  10. Craig – I agree with you that Nani is a superb talent but I don’t rate him as highly as you do right now. He is only young and will further improve but I would like to see him take on players with a little more conviction. Of course there will be comparisons to Ronaldo – which is unjust due to the fact that they are very different in their playing styles, but I think sometimes he looks like his doesn’t believe he can beat the full back – the game at Chelsea an example of this. I’m not knocking the boy – I think he’s great, BUT I think he can get even better, although I disagree with you on who is more important out of him and Anderson.

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  11. yolkie says:

    On Darren Fletcher, I have changed my opinion over the years on him. I thought he was useless at the start but as he’s grown in confidence over the years I’ve grown to actually think he’s useful – to the extent that I don’t flinch if he’s named in the line-up against a “big team”, I’m actually happy, his best games have come against the others of the so-called “4″, no-one was happier for him than me when he scored his 2 against Arsenal.

    If he played for one of the other clubs in the big 4 the media would be mental for him, it’s no exaggeration to say I reckon they’d rate him somewhere between £10-15m. Look at Flamini – perfect example of a limited talented midfielder, decent player, but only really shone when surrounded with two players technically good on the ball and he was able to break up play. To an extent, similar with Makelele and Mascherano, they offer little aside from their presence, but it is so effective in certain formations. With Fletcher you know you’re getting total effort and commitment.

    To the subject that has followed in comments, Craig, I think you’re a little harsh on Giggs, he suffered a loss of form but seemed okay in his cameos at the back end of the season and he was a major contributor when we were playing the best football in the autumn.

    I do agree with S-e in that Nani has a long way to develop, but let’s just say he impressed me more than Ronaldo did in his first season – his settling in, his confidence, his fantastic goals, and his assists, all credible, and all something I have confidence in him improving. I think Anderson’s presence gives more to the team because let’s face it – the “big boys” in opposing midfields were given a shock when Ando gave them the run around, the only mistake I remember him truly making was in the FA Cup game against Pompey, an error in judgment to go to the wrong man. He has been a delight to watch and I believe that in the next two years he’ll go on to fulfil his potential as the best midfielder in the world.

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  12. Craig Mc says:

    Yolkie, I am far from a Giggs hater mate, but we watched 12 games on the trot, and the play always broke down with Giggsy. I know the truth is sad Yolkie, but Giggsy does lose the ball a lot these days. He has been a legend for United, I will never deny and always respect him for that, but truly it is a good few seasons ago since we saw the Gigsy of old. But I will give you, that he has contributed important goals to our cause this season.

    Stretford Ender, how can it be that you think Anderson contributed more, or was more important to United than Little man Nani?. Fergie obviously doesn’t agree with that, and neither do I, because he played Nani more than Andie. Andie had hardly any assists for an offensive midfielder, and his attempts on goal are woeful. Yes he is an aggressive tackler and fighter in defensive duties, but we needed more offensive work from him, and didn’t really get it. You are judging Nani on one match against Chelsea, but forgetting his major contribution over a season. His assists and pinpoint passes into the box are deadly, and better than CR7′s actually. I dare you to watch United’s end of season review dvd and say otherwise. In nearly every goal, he was involved somewhere. But hey, each to his own, we all have our fave’s don’t we. I do agree that his game can and will improve, but he is very effective, and more so than others from the wings even now. Check the end of season review, and watch every goal, he is involved in the majority of them. Prove me wrong otherwise.

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  13. [...] like to back our players. We have always been ahead of fashions and trends; we backed Fletcher in July ’08, February ’09, and September ’09; and Nani in October ’08, January ’10, and [...]

  14. [...] like to back our players. We have always been ahead of fashions and trends; we backed Fletcher in July ’08, February ’09, and September ’09; and Nani in October ’08, January ’10, and [...]

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