Darren Fletcher has come along way from the young Scot who got ripped to shreds by Roy Keane in that infamous MUTV interview, to the player we all thought could have made a difference in our Champions League final against Barcelona.
In 07/08 he really started to build up a reputation as a ‘big game player’, which was only enhanced by his performances against tough opposition in 08/09.
Fletcher has admitted today that it was difficult to come through the ranks at United, when surrounded class midfielders, but that he always had faith in his own ability.
“I’ve always believed in my ability,” said Fletcher. “It is difficult when you are a young player coming through at Manchester United. You are surrounded by top midfielders – Roy Keane, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes. When my chances came it was in the wide right area and that wasn’t a natural position for me. But this season I’ve had a long run in central midfield and my game has improved because of that. I am a central midfielder and that’s where I want to be, I enjoy playing there and it brings out the best in me.”
It is clear that United fans will rate him more highly than any fans who don’t get to watch him week in week out, with his tagged with his former reputation. However, Fletcher has insisted he isn’t concerned what other people say about him, as long as his manager, team-mates and fans recognise his contribution.
“There are always doubters in football, even if you have a good season,” said Fletcher. “It is part and parcel of football. You’ve just got to hope that your teammates and the manager appreciate you. That’s all you’ve got to do. Obviously it is nice to get recognition from other places, but as long as your manager appreciates you and your fellow players know what job you are doing, that is all any player can ask. As long as the lads know I am doing my job, the things that go unnoticed and are unseen by the fans. As long as the staff and the manager know, that is fine by me.”