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Fletcher has the right ideas

Darren Fletcher after having more or less established himself at the heart of United’s midfield reveals he wants to be known more than just a destroyer.

Fletcher’s defensive abilities and energy in the middle of the park has been apparent for most United fans even in the tail end of last season, but the Scot feels there are still areas that need improving.

“I don’t want to be pigeonholed as a destroyer,” Fletcher told the Sunday Telegraph.

“The whole idea is to become an all-round midfielder, who can pass the ball, score goals and get the team going.

“I can be a destroyer when we don’t have the ball and set a high tempo and be the trigger. When we don’t have possession, I’m thinking, ‘right, I’m going to be the first one to press and win it back’.”

I’ve been calling out for a dynamic midfielder who can both destroy play, as well as turn defence into attack by bombing forward, and it’s fantastic to see Fletcher recognize that. Players make the transition from average to good to great by recognising flaws in their game such as this one, and improving upon that. Fletcher is 25 and is yet to reach his peak if he continues to improve. So, hopefully, when Hargreaves eventually returns from his layoff, he can form a formidable partnership at the heart of our midfield especially useful in away European games.

He also talks about the change in the side following Ronaldo’s departure: “The manager has pointed out that Ronaldo has gone and that is a huge goal difference that we need to fill. As players, we all have to rise to the challenge.

“Ronaldo was good for us, but a lot of players sacrificed themselves for Cristiano too. In a lot of games, I’d be asked to play in central midfield but, whenever he went forward, I’d have to get out to the right to cover him.

“Maybe, now we have got back to 4-4-2, where everybody drops back as a four, it gives the midfielders more opportunity to bomb forward.

“I’d like to think I can get double figures this season because, in this team, you are always likely to get chances if you can get into the box.”

Fletcher got two in the Manchester derby, and if this is not a one-off from him, his contribution will go a long way towards spreading the goals around the side — which is, needless to say, very critical following the loss of Ronaldo.