Manchester United’s Darren Fletcher is one of those players quite similar to the likes of Aaron Ramsey, who has slowly honed his trade and quietly become recognised as one of the best midfielders in the game. He does what few other players can’t do, in terms of breaking up the play and distributing the ball quickly and effectively in a forward direction. This might seem like an easy skill to those not familiar with the beautiful game, but the types of players who can move the ball from defence to midfield in the slickest possible manner are like gold dust.
It was a disaster both personally and for Man United when Fletcher had to take leave from the game to recover from ulcerative colitis: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/21069820. Taking the decision to have a traumatic operation would decide his fate in the game he loves.
Fletcher was always a high-octane type of midfielder, with more emphasis on doing the spadework and helping Man United tick over in their third of the pitch. This type of player has enjoyed a resurgence in recent times, with full-backs driving forward and deep lying midfielders forming the natural next pass from the centre half. There are flare players like Carrick or Pirlo, and then there are chasers who exude a presence and execute a nifty short range pass like Fletcher and Gattuso.
This means Fletcher relies on his physical fitness to get the best out of his game, adding weight to the respect he has rightly garnered. If Fletcher had been a more sedentary player, he may have found it easier to get back into football, but being such a workhorse, he needed to re-find that superhuman level of fitness.
There must have been long sessions in the gym throughout the winter months where Fletcher must have felt the full gamut of emotions. He left the game on Boxing Day 2012, meaning he’s spent the best part of a year out the game, so getting back to fitness and not rushing the recovery would have been vital. Player’s that come back too soon are always prone to injury.
Many athletes and footballers will take healthy supplements recommended by their dieticians to aid their recovery. They come mainly in the form of things like whey protein and vitamin supplements. If you’re really working hard, protein can help build muscle and aid recovery, sites like Maxishop have become popular with recuperating athletes.
Seeing Fletcher back in the Man United team against Aston Villa was not only heart warming but vital for United’s aspirations this season. Moyes’ team have looked desperately short in the centre of the park, often having to pair untried combinations in midfield duos. This has cut off the supply line to the more adventurous players and made United a target for teams who look to overrun them in the midfield – Newcastle and Everton both won at Old Trafford by overloading the middle of the park.
In the 20 minutes that Fletcher played against Aston Villa he steadied the ship and did what he does best: got the ball moving through the deep positions of the midfield and gave United a much needed presence. Since then he has been involved in several United games, looking very tidy whenever Moyes has called on him and registering a higher pass accuracy than his old partner in crime Michael Carrick.
Topics: Darren Fletcher