United Fans Appreciate Fletcher Now
Those misguided souls who are regular readers here (only joking of course) will know that I am one of Darren Fletcher's biggest supporters among United's fanbase. And this fanbase, according to Paddy Crerand, is growing and growing every day.
"For the big games I think the manager would pick Fletcher, he'd be first on the team sheet.
"Darren has made the point that he wants to be the number one choice in midfield. And he's playing well enough to be number one."
"I almost don't need to make the point for him, he's making a strong enough case himself. He was outstanding against Wigan and outstanding against Arsenal. And against Tottenham and Manchester City, you want him in the midfield."
"He's been playing like that for quite a few years now. I think the fans are starting to appreciate him, that's the only difference."
Not just that: he's more and more consistent and daring. He has built up the confidence we expect from a United player, he doesn't always go for the square pass any more. The regular opportunities and the praise he's been getting did him no end of good.
Yet I wouldn't suggest, as Crerand did, that all United fans warmed to him. Outside the United camp he is still regarded as a clown of a player, the weakest link he was around 2004-05. But even among us many feel that he is not good enough, that he is a mediocre player - even though right now he holds the midfield together, as Michael Carrick and Anderson are still looking for their true selves.