Listen to the World Soccer Talk Podcast review of the Premier League weekend (gameweek 17) »

MON, 12PM ET
JUV
NAP
MON, 3PM ET
STO
CHE
FRI, 7:45AM ET
CHE
WHU
FRI, 10AM ET
MUFC
NUFC
FRI, 10AM ET
BUR
LIV
FRI, 10AM ET
WBA
MCFC

Darren Fletcher Should Be The Next Captain Of Manchester United

Darren Fletcher Manchester United 391663 600x399 Darren Fletcher Should Be The Next Captain Of Manchester United

One of the better stories in sports is being hidden in the shadows of the media spotlight which has been focused on the arrival of Louis van Gaal to Manchester United.

Taking nothing away from the Dutch manager’s ability to re-focus and re-energize a squad of players which finished in seventh place last season in the Barclay’s Premier League while leading them to four pre-season victories during their tour of the United States.

Prior to the start of the International Champions Cup, if you had asked any footballing experts who they thought would be facing off in tomorrow’s final in Miami, Louis van Gaal’s side would not have been high on their list.

Even though it is pre-season, Van Gaal does deserve the attention he’s been getting from the press for beginning the restoration process at Old Trafford so quickly.

But what has been lost in the media frenzy which has been zeroed in on Van Gaal and the endless rumors surrounding United’s potential transfer targets has been the play of midfielder Darren Fletcher.

Hands down, Darren Fletcher has been Manchester United’s most consistent and reliable player throughout the entire four games of the club’s preseason tour of the US.

Prior to the tour, when Michael Carrick went down with an injury, United were left with limited “experienced” options in the midfield.

Ander Herrera is talented, but was new to the club. Tom Cleverley has seen a significant drop in productivity since his initial surge following the retirement of Paul Scholes in 2011. Shinji Kagawa and Juan Mata are not central midfielders; it is obvious to most that both players are better suited for the number 10 role.

So that left Fletcher to shoulder the majority of the responsibilities in United’s midfield.

What Fletcher has done with his pre-season displays is almost guarantee that he will be handed the captain’s armband by Louis van Gaal once the curtain is lifted to the 2014-15 BPL season.

The 30-year-old Scotland international has clocked more minutes than any other United player in these four games, while being the perfect link between United’s defense and attack. He scored the match winning penalty during Manchester United shootout victory over Inter Milan and captained the club during yesterday’s impressive win over Real Madrid in front of 109,318 people at ‘The Big House’ in Michigan.

These efforts are coming from a player who had only returned to the club for a brief time last season after he had suffered three years of pain and frustration following his battle with chronic bowel disease ulcerative colitis. A sickness that left him weakened and on the brink of death.

When asked about his journey, Fletcher responded:

“I don’t want to look back, but everyone knows I’ve been through a lot. I have not had a pre-season for three years but now I am back in the gym and I am feeling the benefits from that. I am getting stronger and hopefully I can get as fit as possible. I am looking forward to the new season.”

Fletcher has shown through his on and off the field displays that he is everything Manchester United want in a leader.

He has five Premier League titles, two League Cups, a FA Cup, a FIFA Club World Cup and a Champions League title with the club; he was also named to the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in 2009-10.

Fletcher stared down a life-or-death scenario, came out on top and fought his way back into the starting eleven at one of the biggest professional sport franchises in the world.

Darren Fletcher is the perfect choice to be the next captain of Manchester United.

There might never be a more deserving person.

 


This entry was posted in International Champions Cup, Leagues: EPL, Manchester United. Bookmark the permalink.

About Peter Quinn

Although a college basketball coach for sixteen years on the NCAA Division I and II levels, Peter has been an avid football fan for more than half his life. He considers himself a student of coaching and team management. As well as coaching, Peter has spent time working in Sports Information at various colleges and universities. His articles on European football have been picked up by International Business Times UK and USA Today. Twitter: @CoachPeteQuinn
View all posts by Peter Quinn →