The football world sent a lot of sympathy to Manchester United and Scotland midfielder Darren Fletcher when he revealed that a severe bowel illness was going to keep him out of the game for a large chunk of last season. The good news is that he’s back and he’s fit and ready to do the business for both club and country.
From Manchester United’s point of view, they are happy to have him back because he provides their midfield with something they have been lacking through the early part of this season. Fletcher is a player that Sir Alex Ferguson can use to break up the player, someone he can rely on to be aggressive which allows the more creative players in the team to do what they do best.
The biggest positive for Scotland is that they have their leader back. They are about to embark on some difficult international fixtures and having Fletcher sticking up for the team is a massive bonus. It’s a bonus because he’s the sort of player who likes to lead by example and he has the ability to inspire others in the Scotland side. The Scotland team also knows that he will stand up for them if the opposition is being over physical and he will do this by constantly getting in the referee’s ear.
A positive for both United and Scotland is that Fletcher is calm and composed on the ball. What makes this significant is that he normally plays just in front of the back four. This means that most of the time when he picks the ball up, he will be facing his own goal and will be tasked with getting the ball out of defence, through the midfield and up towards the strikers.
He is a very versatile player which is also a big positive for both club and country. This allows him to fill in for other players if they fall out of position and it also gives the manager different options if the system used at the start of a match isn’t working. Fletcher has been used at United in the role as supporting the striker, wide right and central midfield. This is something that not all players can do and it’s a massive asset to have available.
He provides an aerial threat which is probably more important for Scotland. His height makes him a target in the opposition penalty area and this is crucial for Scotland who are going to be on the back foot a lot of the time against better teams. His eagerness and passion means he will be busting a gut, no pun intended, to get on the end of a cross, corner or free kick because he knows it’s one of the dew chances Scotland will have to score against better opponents.
Darren Fletcher could turn out to be one of the most important players at United this season if they are going to regain the Premier League trophy. As far as Scotland is concerned, they have their leader back and this means everything.