Fletcher up for challenging the best
Tuesday 24 November 2009
Manchester United's Darren Fletcher has provided a revealing insight into his determination to provide a physical challenge to any of the elite Premier League players who feel they can see him off.
Fletcher was the source of controversy after United's 2-1 defeat of Arsenal at Old Trafford in September, when the London club's manager, Arsène Wenger, hinted that he believed the player was a proponent of "anti-football" designed purely to prevent flair players from operating. Sir Alex Ferguson strongly resisted the suggestion but Fletcher's comments provide a sense of where that reputation might come from. "I love challenging myself against all the best players and a lot of them play in the Premier League," said Fletcher (right), whose superb half-volley against Everton on Saturday underlined the importance of his return to the side.
"I watch how good they are, but when we play them I think: 'Right, I'm going to see how good you really are. Fabregas, Lampard and Gerrard – I'm going to get against you and see how you like it. And when you've not got the ball I'm still going to get about you. I'm going to ask you: 'Do you fancy it? Do you like getting kicked? Do you like the fact that I am going to be at you for the whole 90 minutes? As soon as you get the ball I am going to be in your face. You are not going to like it one bit. And when we have the ball I am going to run you into the corner and you're going to follow me. Are you ready for that? Because that's what's going to happen."
Fletcher, who has come to prominence as one of United's elite players in the past two seasons, also said how he believes Cristiano Ronaldo's departure has created freedom for others.
"Much as Cristiano was brilliant, the team sacrificed a lot for him," said Fletcher, whose two goals in the Manchester derby underlined his reputation as a big-game player. "As a midfielder, I knew I couldn't go bombing forward because Cristiano had gone forward. I had to cover on the right so the left-back and left midfielder couldn't double up on our full-back."
Latest in Sport
Anthony Martial: 'It's normal Wayne Rooney doesn't know who I am..and it's up to me to justify €80m price tag'
Manchester United can learn lessons from the transfer template of rivals Manchester City
Pavement The Forum, London
Arsene Wenger uses Anthony Martial's €80m move to Manchester United to defend Arsenal's transfer inactivity this summer
Louis van Gaal labelled a 'scoundrel' over Javier Hernandez penalty reaction during Manchester United win
- 1 Huawei Mate S and Huawei Watch: new products take on iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch
- 2 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 3 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 4 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up