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Fergie: Fletch Never Let’s Us Down

Darren Fletcher played for 90 minutes for the second time in a week today, as he makes his return to first team football after suffering from a chronic bowel condition. There were times last season when it looked as though his playing career may be over and he started coaching the younger players.

Fletch scored his first goal since the consolation goal he scored last October in the game we do not speak of and Sir Alex Ferguson was full of praise for his countryman.

“I think everyone is delighted with Darren,” he said. “It’s been a long road back for him and it’s the first time I’ve used him twice in a week. He didn’t let us down again. He never does and lovely to have him back. Obviously, we’ll review the situation on Wednesday [against West Ham] but he made a great contribution today.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Soccerisfootbal says:

    Fletcherdinho makes his league debut…he was motm for me. I dont think we will go for strootman/wanyama now unless someone retires! I can see fletcher getting close to his best from here on, making any midfield signings a bit of a luxury.

  2. Costas says:

    That’s why you have to love the guy. No matter how much life has kicked him in the teeth, he never gives up.

    It was his first league goal since that consolation goal, but he also netted one in the Ch.League against Benfica.

  3. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Fletchers goal, the winner, in his return debut to the EPL after 370 days out. Says it all for the lad.
    So pleased.

    2 goals off of 2 corners. That’s what we were missing the entirety of last season.
    RvP from the right, Rooney from the left. Sorted!

  4. KR says:

    Stop fucking playing Scholes, Giggs and Carrick. All are just slow, old and not that good anymore.

    Fletch, Ando and Cleverley is the way forward.

  5. Swedish Red says:

    Seeing Fletcher play a full match for us (and score!) really put a smile on my face. The amount of effort that he put in… He’s been fighting his way back for a year….

    Don’t think anyone else deserves wearing that red shirt more than him not to be honest. I love that man.


    How would Fletcher perform against Reak, Bayern, Shaktar etc etc etc
    Not being funny but QPR are garbage and Fletcher isnt a Saviour for our midfield woes so if you think he is, you are in for a shock first time we are faced with a big team in a big game.

    Too many guys swallow the “all is great” at MUFC propaganda.

    Lads, we are in for a massive shock someday soon.
    Im glad Fletcher is feeling better but come on, lets not all get carried away with today as the only players that looked “GOOD” today were Rafael, Anderson and Chicharito. All the others including RVP were less than on fire.
    It was QPR for Gods sake.

  7. Megalodon says:

    When Kagawa is fit again, play Fletcher-Ando-Cleverly-Kagawa diamond for our 2 strikers! The old guard deserve to rest and should play in the odd games in the week, let the younger generation lead the charge with Fletcher/Rooney being the experience in the diamond.

  8. JSNOVY says:

    Great to see Fletch back after all he has been through. Now we should stop being sentimental and hope his appearances are limited going forward. Same with Giggs and Scholes. Ando and Cleverley have to play. We are totally static and play with no urgency when neither of them are out there. We also need to find Carrick’s replacement. He still an automatic choice in a big game, but if we had bought Javi Martinez (which we should have) Carrick’s days would be numbered too.

  9. matt says:

    i remember in the early days when supposed united supporters said he wasn’t good enough. funny, they’ve gone all quiet now. will never forget his looping header to break chelseas unbeaten streak.

  10. Red Robin says:

    Shinji the fake plastic fans

    You can quit supporting United. Please, nobody will stop you son.

  11. Capitano says:

    It seems Ando will have to score a Zlatan, for Fergie to start him?

  12. Pratyush says:

    Off-topic, but amazing view into what Old Trafford is like in the video I’ve linked. Not mine, but amazing nonetheless. Fan reactions to lots of goals:

  13. Dela says:

    Firstly, to be on point,. Fletcher is really an impressive professional!! To come back and play 90 minutes in the league yesterday after all he has been through… and to score… what a lad! We’ve missed him and his commitment to the cause!

    Now I have to respond to some of the comments put on here the past few threads since yesterday’s game…

    Ok, I hate to be the one pouring cold water again but let’s look at a case in point… Chicharito. Super sub this season. This place was banging on about how he needed to start the games, and then in two games in a row got their answer to why he didn’t start the game against QPR, because he was anonymous.

    This isn’t a criticism of him.. it’s an observation. There is a huge difference between starting a game when every other player on the pitch is at full energy, than coming on with 20-30 minutes remaining amongst tired legs, when you are warmed up and ready to get stuck in. By that point the match has already gotten into full swing too, no probing around to find weaknesses in the opposition, you are thrust right into the middle of the brawl. At the moment, this is suiting Chicharito quite well, and some here argue that it also was suiting Paul Scholes better than starting the games, and after his impact at Southhampton and Anfield for example, I can’t argue with that.

    The same can be said for Anderson, he was excellent against QPR but if we start him, will he be thrusting forward like that after 60 minutes? I don’t think so and I have his history as a United player on my side. Last season he started so well and then started to decline about 8-10 premier league matches in and lost his place. The season before, he had a hotspot around the turn of the year, and then again, went into decline. I can actually remember some of my favorites of his performances from his entire United career so far…. such as his role in our 7-1 thrashing of Blackburn a couple of seasons ago (while Berba was the 5-star hero of the game, Ando ran around so much I was wondering if he was smoking meth before the game). I’m not hating on the guy and I want him to succeed, as I do with EVERY player on our roster, but some people here seem to think if we just start him all the time we’ll win every game… and that’s not the case. Like Chico at the moment, he’s doing well as an impact sub, but don’t be surprised if we start him and the sparks don’t fly the same way.. as they didn’t for Chico two games in a row. Looking at Chico’s goals against Chelsea and Villa before it… you’d have expected him to absolutely destroy Norwich, and he didn’t. He had his chances, he got the ball, but he wasn’t the same threat at all. The same was often said for good old Ole Gunnar Solksjaer too when he was a United player, though I’m hoping Chico can get to a point where he’s in the first 11 all the time and has a similar impact.

    We should have scored first yesterday. We had some chances we really should have put away. Fergie is right about QPR yesterday, they played very differently against us than they had played against, for example, Southhampton last week. Whether they were buoyed by Sparky being given the boot, or looking to catch the eye of the new manager, or just desperate, they pressed us way more than they had ANY team this season. They have been utterly dire, absolutely shocking and yet they come to OT and fight like that… then again it could just be a case of them having little to lose by doing so. But when we scored once, they did what they’ve done all season and went back in their shell…. what pisses me off is we did too to a degree, as soon as we were clear it became training exercise to a large degree, even taking into account the chances we had.

    Still, to those who think I’m doubting our players, I’m not, I never crucify ANY of our players unlike a whole bunch of commenters here these days, I just understand that we’re still very much in the midst of the construction of a new team. We built a team in the early to mid 00s that won three leagues in a row, but from that team we lost some REALLY big players, like Edwin van der Sar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Owen Hargraves, Carlos Tevez (still a twat) and so on. From those left, they have aged and we dont even have the Serbian murderer on the pitch now. We are relying HEAVILY on players we only acquired in the last few years and we cannot field a consistent team due to injury or players losing form. It’s a process and it takes time. One thing we can do that others can’t though, we can fight for the league during a transition period, not many can say that. Look at Chelsea the past two seasons in the league.

  14. Little Red Ant says:

    Well done Fletch, yes he came back against the bottom club but why would you bring him back against the likes of Bayern etc…. Well done to him for coming back he must have been through hell and still has to manage his condition. Now is the time for him to build on yesterday and for all of us to get beind him WELL DONE FLETCH

  15. Red Robin says:


    I agee to your points above.

    On Ando and Tom C not starting yet, the only think that I can think of that Fergie want to wait til January to unleash them, or at Shitty game. For some reasons, Fergie may think that there are few more lessons that they need to learn before they can take first team spots. And, last year we got spotted for our tactics too easy since Scholes came back, too limited options in the middle. I think Fergie took last year lessons. Now, contrary to most of us thninking, I guess we have plenty in the middle: Ando, Clev, Carrick, Fletcher, Scholes, Powell. All ready to play. We are surviving so far on the league. And I think on the second half January onwards, all will be set for us to wrap up the 20.

  16. Zulu-Utd-Malta says:

    I was delighted for Fletch to see him playing good and scoring. To be honest when he scored I had tears in my eyes.
    Go on Fletch, we love you !

  17. Mr C says:

    Well done Fletch and @ Dela good post; some excellent observations there.

    O/T: I admire Ricky Hatton’s’ determination as boxer but when I saw this pic of the guy who punched his lights out yesterday I had to chuckle…

    …this is how it feels to be City

  18. Red Robin says:

    This blog is more quiet when United win.

  19. Dela says:

    @Red Robin –> Yes, it’s always more quiet when United win, and that’s something that I (and loads of other people here) point out every time the result doesn’t go our way. It’s annoying! Last season was bizarre. We started it so well. The United players were just all fantastic. Nobody played badly (well, DDG had a little struggle but outfield players were incredible) and then it fell apart, badly! We had an unreal start to the season, a completely awful winter and then to top it off we fucked up an 8 point lead over City and lost on GD because we left them anally rape us at Old Trafford many months before that. It was a season worth forgetting. We have lost 3 games already in the league this year and ironically I feel positive that we’ll do well.The other teams in the league are getting evened out.. I don’t know if anyone else noticed this the past few seasons? This year Wenger might actually fail to finish top 4 if he doesnt do something… and Everton, West Brom and even Fulham are looking like more of a threat. The traditional top 4 is just gone. We lost three games as I said and right now, we’re on top of the league 2 points clear… and we have a big shot at actually staying there after today/ It’s madness! lol

    @Mr C –> LOL, I feel both sad for Ricky Hatton and delighted at how he went out. He’s a shit-talker-extraordinaire when it comes to Manchester United, so nice to see someone use that against him, but at the same time, I can see the pain in him that he’s realized now that he’s finished completely. When it’s it, it’s it!

  20. Hans says:

    Glad for Fletch to overcome his difficulties and be able to play again at the highest level.

    We should not kid ourselves about yesterdays performance. The only good thing in it was the third goal and the play that led to it. Everything else was dire. We were very lucky they cannot defend corners and we took advantage of that.

    Yes they defended with 9-10 men, but we were unbelievably predictable. Fergie need to either trust tom and Ando, or get a new faster midfielder or two. As great as Scholses and Giggsy have been over the years, it has become obvious that we are struggling when they are starting. Probably they would me more effective toward the end of the match, when opponent are tiring and we are chasing or need to see out a game.

    I suppose, with Tom, Ando and Kagawa in the team, United will have the flair we are longing for.

  21. Joffrey Baratheon says:

    Ah come on. Who Ricky Hatton supports is not important. I never wanted to see Ricky back in the ring and anyone with any sense knew it could only end in tears. You physically can’t put your body through what he has, jumping and dropping in weight between fights and expect to get away with it leading into your mid 30′s. Last night didn’t surprise me one bit and it was the best thing that could have happened to avoid him getting seriously hurt further down the line. Ricky has nothing to ashamed of. He only lost to the two best pound for pound fighters of his generation and was a 2 weight world champion, he had nothing to prove to anyone. I really felt for him last night. He’s clearly in a bad place and I still worry for his future. He really needs his family around him now. I hope he can enjoy his retirement and find some peace in life to fill the void of boxing. I have the utmost respect for any boxer and I can’t say that about footballers.

  22. Hans says:

    We should not waste space on this blog discussing discussing idiots like Hatton who throw mud at our club left, right and centre!

  23. FletchTHEMAN says:

    R.I.P Georgie Best. 1946-2005

    Video compilation for those who don’t know. Focus on the United years, leaving out the latter bits.

  24. Joffrey Baratheon says:

    Hans, I’ll post what I want about who I want so tough shit.

  25. FletchTHEMAN says:

    Spending the day looking at old Bestie memories. The lad brought me to a love of the game as I started watching United in ’66. Ahhh the lad was a genius! Sigh!

    @ Hans…. Who? ;)

  26. Soccerisfootbal says:

    Never said our midfield was good enough, but with fletch back, we have ample depth, meaning another signing is a luxury unless we lose someone.

    Truth is i do think we have good young midfielders in ando clev and powell. Carrick is still yet to reach the heights of last season, giggs should never be playef in the double pivot again, and scholes cant last two matches in a row let alone a whole season as a starter. We need ro freshen up, but as long as everyone is fit, we simply font need another body. It’s more of a case of fergie needs to get the selection right

    Even rooney

    We have plenty

  27. Soccerisfootbal says:

    Whether we play with 2 in the middle or a diamond, we have enough men for the job, and have decent options from the bench. But it is no question that we have to be very carefull how we manage scholes giggs fletch and carrick. They need at least one midfield “runner” beside them or we will be flat if our wingers have an off day. Fletch isnt 100% yet so thats his escuse, but running and stamina does not play to the other 3′s current strengths, meaning they wont be able to control the game vs teams that press and or play with three in the center.

    Im hoping one of giggs and scholes retire tbh, it paves the way for one midfield signing and perhaps more chances for our reserves

  28. SHINJI THE NINJA says:

    If I go and pay £100 to watch a boring game of football I have every right to have an opinion on whether I saw a World Class performance by world class players – Its easy to be “happy with a result” when you havent actually contributed any money to the “show” taking place.

    If I paid top dollar to watch a Broadway show I expect the stars to be on stage and I expect them ALL to sing their heart out from the start – not just get going half way through the third act.

    Im sorry, but thats not being a plastic fan – thats understanding what Manchester United is all about – its not about counting how many trophies you win its about winning them in style and with flair when you do win them.
    When we won 19th – it was a total boring dull-fest of a season so I wasnt too “giddy” about the number 19 as Liverpool is a total irrelevance to me anyway.

    Its not about being “plastic” whatever that actually means – Its about being a fan of stylish fast free-flowing exciting football showcasing new young talents – THAT is what supporting United is all about and if you dont get that and think its just about winning 3-1 against a garbage

  29. SHINJI THE NINJA says:

    ..QPR then it is YOU who doesnt understand what being a Manchester United fan is all about.
    Its NOT about setting up for a cowardly draw away to City, that much I know for sure.

  30. Moscow says:

    I can now comfortably say that we will win nothing this season.

  31. fergie is the boss says:

    fergie has got to stop playing players who have not got the legs to last over a 60 minute period, let alone 90. In our 3 defeats this season, its been either scholes or giggs played away from home and we have lost. Do not want to blame scholes or giggs, but I do not think they help the team in ways we would want. Anderson comes on, and look what happens, we start pressing QPR, we have better movement, and we get far more of the play. Fergie should start playing more of cleverly and fletcher/Anderson, with Rooney going deep.We get more drive from midfield, and someone like clevely who can press and start those one touch passing

  32. Dela says:

    @SHINJI THE NINJA –> When you go to watch a game, you are paying for a service being offered by Manchester United. If it is not to your liking, then don’t pay to go, it’s really that easy. If you don’t deem it worth your hard earned cash, then DON’T GO. Don’t bitch and moan about it later, just don’t go next time. How do you not get this?? Of course you are entitled to your opinion, and everyone else is entitled to ridicule it if its garbage.

    Since you said that the 19th title didn’t mean that much to you, I can safely assume you haven’t been around that long. You weren’t around for the torment of Liverpool, for the “come back when you’ve won 18″ taunts from a team that both dominated England AND rubbed its shit in everyone else’s face about it but now can’t do so anymore because Alex Ferguson came, and they didn’t win a single Premier League trophy. We won 12, and finished 2nd what…. 7-8 times??? One word for that.. unprecedented, especially in this league.

    What’s more… you seem to assume that United beat every team in an EPIC fashion “once upon a time”. That;s not true AT ALL. The mark of champions is grinding out results, no team plays at that level every game, or even close to it. Barcelona lose games every year in La Liga to much inferior teams, as do Real Madrid, they also manage to grind out a lot of results, beating opponents by single goals. No team is immune to fluctuations in form, to injuries, to fatigue (mental and physical), to controversy, politics, finance etc.

    We have now, a whole bunch of Manchester United fans who have grown up watching highlights of games from seasons passed on YouTube etc., and that gives them an impression of an infallible force that just never existed. Yes, the highlights of the game against Roma for example, are awesome to watch and reminisce about, but they are flashes of magnificence when everything goes right, and that just is so rare.

    FFS, one of the marks of our success has been that we’ve pushed and pushed and pushed and managed to win games LATE, win games we NEVER should have won, and drawn games we absolutely should have lost. Time and again we do that and that’s what makes us special. If you want more than that, you won’t find it anywhere. Sure you can support the Spanish Virus or Barcelona as they dominate a truly inferior league, and along with the lovely passing Spanish game you can also watch the “Almighty Diving Extravaganza” week in, week out, and watch grown men fall to the ground like little bitches and have referees almost smothered of oxegen by their girlfriends as they demand a yellow card be shown.

    Last time we played Barcelona at Old Trafford, we beat them. They had Messi. Their passing was spectacular, but we hit them on the counter once, and we could have scored about three more had the chances been on target (still remember my heart in my mouth when park’s effort zipped just wide). Arsenal did the same thing to them a couple of seasons ago. The problem for Arsenal is its very difficult to go to the Nou Camp and expect a win, the atmosphere is just so hostile toward visitors, and the decisions go in favor of the home side… remember RvP’s JOKE sending off???

    But ye, I’m going on here. My point is your memories of Manchester United of the past are filtering out the grind in favor of the flair. It’s a condition that seems to affect a lot of new, Chelsea-like Manchester United fans.

    If we were not to win another trophy for 20 years, I’ll never stop being a supporter. One life, one club. That’s how it is, anything else is bullshit.

  33. SHINJI THE NINJA says:

    @fergie is the boss

    Spot on – Everyone can see it but when it comes to a press conference the bullying and banning culture means that the fans will never get to hear these questions put to the manager for fear of the journalist being removed and shot by Fergies goons.

    There is a LOT of selfishness to blame for this – I think that Fergie wants to write the history book in nice round numbers and so does Giggsy. This is all about their own personal glorification and nothing to do with the glory of The Club.

    Compare what Giggs is doing with Gary Neville`s noble and honourable “moment” when he selflessly stepped down for the good of the club.

    Others should take note.

  34. Red Robin says:

    Oh fuck off Shinji!

    If you don’t like then don’t watch! Simple. Just because you show yourself at stadium doesn’t make you a true fans. Fans support to the team is the one that make you a true fans. And the most annoying thing is that even when United win, you still moan and moan and moan. Your moaning give no contribution at all to United.

    One question for you, will you quit supporting when United not winning?

  35. wayne says:

    Ninja the cunt you don’t pay fuck all lying twat, 100 percent troll so fuck off take Joffery fuckhead and anit scouser with you pathetic pieces os shit.
    Get a life FFS all 3 of you
    To get your jollies coming on a opposing fans website pretending to be Reds something wrong with all of you.Don’t even fucking talk to me about opposing views,you 3 cunts are TROLLS end of story so fuck off

  36. Ash says:


    very wellk said. Real madrid lost to betis last night. They have superstars in their team yet they got their ass wooped by dortmund and city also took the game to them at emptyhad this past week. With the player sand amount they spend on buying players they should be winning the champs league every season. Do they win? NO. Give us one energetic midfielder we will be scoring more goals. If we had carazola the arsenal lad then we would have been winning with ease. Anderson is our best midfielder currently. I have always said our squad is great it is just we lack one quality midfielder. Just wait and see how we perform when kagawa is back in full force. He will be our mata,silva etc

  37. pablo says:

    why dont people who dont agree with ninja joffery and the rest fucking grow up.there are a number of supporters around the ground where i sit getting pissed off with the shit football displays of the last 2-3 years and have every right to express their opinions.pathetic comments like “dont support the club then” are ridiculous you cant switch clubs as if they are supermarkets.i care deeply about this club and pitiful performances like yesterday are bound to attract criticism.get over it.this manchester united team is mediocre at best and that concerns me……………we should BE the best

  38. wayne says:

    Wow a new user name defending the trolls,wonder who pablo shithead is

  39. pablo says:

    wayne ……..a fucking supporter who’s been to more games then you can ever dream of you prick……….oh and away games too.i guess youre wanking over our barcelonaesqe performance yesterday hey tosser there are fans out there who think that the football been served up aint good enough sunshine…….get over it knobhead

  40. wayne says:

    Pablo you’re just a lying troll by saying you go to home and away games doesn’t make it so.Fucking trolls make me laugh by using the poor quality argument.If Utd are shit makes 95 percent of other teams worse because it doesn’t matter how much you cunts slag us most teams are looking up at us
    If you were a dedicated Red going home and away just wouldn’t be writing shit.Its all about loyalty and supporting the lads who wear the shirt no matter what
    Any cunt who comes on here constantly slagging the team and players is not a fan just a cunt.So save I’ve been to more games than you bullshit,you’re a liar just like those other cunts
    Trolls are the most pathetic breed on this earth bunch of sad,slimy bastards

  41. pablo says:

    wayne you wanna see my gold season ticket…..? you know what they are..? fucking knobhead.a troll? loyalty and supporting the lads….? numerous jouneys home after pathetic away performances i know how much it hurts to lose games you gobshite…………….do you……??

  42. wayne says:

    Pablo fuck off what part of I think you’re a cunt don’t you understand,at the very least you’re the epitome of plastic.Either support the team or fuck off don’t give a fuck how much you spend or how much you travel you’re a cunt..I know for a fact if you were a true Red wouldn’t be slagging them off
    Lying Troll or phony plastic cunt makes no difference to me you’re not a Red so fuck off

  43. Red Robin says:

    Pablo is Shinji. Shinji is Pablo.

    The troll with multiple user names is coming…

  44. pablo says:

    wayne red robin…….sorry lads your both right i do apologise yesterday was fucking magnificent i am wrong you two are right.this is the greatest manchester united team fucking EVER how can i not see specatacularly wrong i am.ill see you both in the trafford on wednesday night……….or will i…………………fucking cunts

  45. wayne says:

    Christ you’re such a fucking loser you don’t even get what being a Red is all about,you stupid fucking cunt.Even if you go to games you’re not a Red and I’ll bet everything I own you’re a fucking troll,you make me fucking sick along with all the other cunts who come onto ROM spreading negativity and poison
    Don’t know anything so fucking cowardly coming on to opposing fans blog not even proud of the team all of you really support

  46. markg says:

    i don’t usually agree with wayne but sinija the wanker is a fucking troll if you go over his comments over the last two months

  47. United Till I Die says:

    Fletcher is the man. Considering his medical condition he’s got no business playing in the Premier League and scoring, but here he is, playing and scoring.


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