For many a season the very mention of Darren Fletcher made Man United fans curse, but the Scottish captain is proving to be one of the best centre midfielders in world football.
At the age of 26 he has finally made his mark at Old Trafford and is one of the first names in any United XI now and was rested at Wolves on the weekend ahead of last night’s game against AC Milan.
United struggled to break down the Wolves back line on without the tenacious Fletcher what was a largely frustrating night for the Champions but over the last 18 months he has blossomed into perhaps the most reliable United player.
His red card in the semi final victory at Arsenal meant he missed the final at Rome which United were outplayed from midfield on what was one of the darkest nights in United’s history, ask any United fan now they realise that Fletcher’s calm cool and collective nature in the heart of the midfield would have certainly made a difference.
He has been picked for the majority of his side’s ‘big’ games this season and was pivotal in their impressive victory over Arsenal at the end of January.
Over the two legs against the Italian giants Fletcher bossed the middle of the park and kept the likes of Pirlo, Ronaldinho and in the second leg former Gunner Flamini quiet virtually killing off the threat.
With Fletcher’s outstanding displays this season he has allowed the likes of Wayne Rooney and Nani to shine as they attempt to win their fourth straight title and make it to their third consecutive Champions League final come May.
He is calm and commanding manner ensure that United can win the majority of any midfield battle they come up against in major games and his performances ensure that United are able to tick and are able to soak up pressure and then pick off teams at will on the break.
He also is not shy in front of goal firing an outstanding goal against Everton at Old Trafford and rounded off what was a fantastic performance against Milan proving how vital he is to United’s campaign.
Rooney’s delightful first goal of the tie in Milan was largely due to the immense pass from the influential Fletcher and along with Antonio Valencia, he is revelling from the brilliant service he is getting from the midfield week in week out.
We will wait and see what happens with United come may but without a doubt after last year’s farce justice would be done if Fletcher is in the United line up in Madrid at the end of May.