Darren Fletcher, the Scottish midfielder who is one of the most improved players in world football, is not content with his progress to date. The Dalkeith-born player has been an ever present in Sir Alex Ferguson’s team over the past 18-months, gaining a reputation as a tough tackling defensive midfielder. But the Scotland captain says that he would rather be seen in a more positive light.
“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’.”
Fletcher says that the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez has given him the opportunity to join the attack and score more goals in the past. To become the all-rounder Fletcher must improve on his record of 15 goals in 221 appearances for United.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
With two goals against Manchester City last weekend, Fletcher is well on the way.