Football FanCast columnist Mark Bryans wonders if Manchester United's ‘flying Scotsman' is the most under rated player in the Premier League.
After a disappointing draw at Goodison Park there were very few positives for Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester Unite fans to take home from Merseyside. But there was definitely one, another solid performance and well taken goal from Darren Fletcher.
Now first of all I would like to point out that I'm not – nor have I ever been – the biggest fan of Darren Fletcher the world has ever seen. Many believe his inclusion in the team is down to his nationality and that he is a liability to his team mates. But he has started to show the promise Ferguson must have seen deep, deep down two or three seasons ago.
He was responsible for United's first 4 points of the season as he scored solitary goals in the home draw with Newcastle United and the win at Fratton Park against Portsmouth. Then on Saturday he took his goal with such aplomb, even the likes of Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov would have struggled with on their weaker sides.
His work-rate is second to none in the United team and it is these unspectacular yet solid performers who benefit trophy-chasing teams and aid their success so silently. Fletcher is certainly starting to win over the hearts of the United fans after he was judged to be too weak and was accused of giving possession away cheaply.
Fletcher certainly counteracts the flair players in United's attacking game; he compliments the likes of Giggs, Ronaldo, Nani and Anderson in midfield and the attacking styles of Rooney, Berbatov and Tevez. His manager is certainly a fan and will include Fletcher in some of his side's biggest and most difficult fixtures.
I'm sure all the followers of the Scotland national side know what I'm talking about as he has performed well for them over the last 18 months or so. The proof of this is the fact that George Burley handed him the captain's armband for their most recent fixture. Fletcher seems to enjoy being one of the biggest names on the teamsheet, a luxury which is very rarely seen at Old Trafford.
At the moment the Scottish international is also vital to the team, and could even be described as the midfield lynchpin, what with Owen Hargreaves, Michael Carrick and Paul Scholes out injured. He has not shied away from such an important role, and if his performance against Everton is anything to go by, he is in fact, thriving on it.
He has certainly started to convince me that he holds a valid place in the Manchester United squad and could never be accused of not giving 100% for his team and his teammates. His performances for the next month or so could be pivotal in his team's chances of success come the end of the season.