Darren Fletcher is man of the moment and reckons part of his great form is down to being able to play in his own position, rather than having to double up down the right when Cristiano Ronaldo wouldn’t track back.
Ronaldo’s failure to work for the team really irritated me. Not because I expected Ronaldo to run around like a blue arsed fly to defend, but because his failure to even try to win back balls he had lost meant the rest of our team had to work harder. The goal Aston Villa scored against us at Old Trafford last season is a perfect example of this.
Whilst of course we miss his goals and his presence in the tunnel, when the opposition are weighing up who they have to play against, but we have seen benefits to his departure as well.
Fletcher has acknowledged the sacrifice the rest of our players had to make to fit Ronaldo in to the team and looks to a more well rounded United team.
“Hopefully, we can become a more rounded team and other players will raise their game to cover the gap left by Cristiano,” said Fletcher. “We’re starting to see that, with Wayne Rooney banging the goals in. We need more goals from midfield and more goals from all the players. That will make us a stronger team because we won’t be as reliant on one player. Teams adapt when players leave. Much as Cristiano was brilliant for us, the team sacrificed a lot for him, too. As a midfielder, I knew I couldn’t bomb forward because Cristiano had gone forward. I knew I had to cover on the right so the left-back and left midfielder couldn’t double up on our full-back.”