Under Louis van Gaal, Manchester United’s squad drastically changed in a short space of time. The Iron Tulip made plenty of adjustments to the playing side, as he looked to mould the team into one that suited his philosophies and style.
One man who was shipped out was Darren Fletcher, and I always remember the day this transfer was announced, as the Scot was always one of my favourites when he was a Red Devil.
Now, 33, the move to West Bromwich Albion seemed to have really brought a new lease of life to Fletcher, and he’s been pretty brilliant for the club based in the West Midlands. So-much-so, that he’s now their captain.
WBA now sit in eighth place which is a very respectable position, just on the cusp of continental football for next campaign. Fletcher has been a real key part of that, but he’s been speaking to the media about his Manchester United regrets.
“Do I have regrets about leaving United? Well, I wish I had listened to Louis van Gaal during the first three games and played the way he wanted me to play, rather than playing silly passes at 0-0 in an attempt to win the game.” Darren Fletcher told ESPN FC.
“But seriously, I do look back with a little bit of regret because I actually thought I played really well for six months under Moyes and Ryan Giggs.”
“I really surprised myself, so maybe I was due a drop-off at some point, and that perhaps came at the start of the following season.”
“But to be honest, I don’t think I was ever in van Gaal’s plans in the first place. I probably surprised him in pre-season, and that enabled me to stay when a lot of other players left, but ultimately, I couldn’t stay and not play. I would have been a bit-part player. That’s what I was for six months, and it was really getting to me. It wasn’t a case of me being patient. I just couldn’t see a way of out it. I needed a new challenge.”
It is pretty gutting to hear him talk about those regrets, because he was always a guy who gave 100% every single time he pulled on that red jersey. He’s one of those footballers who are vastly underrated by our own fans, and we often take them for granted when they are here then later regret it when they leave.
After those well-documented bowel problems, it must just be wonderful for him to be playing regularly again. At one point, I bet he thought he’d never recover from the situation he found himself in, but it is brilliant to watch him performing at such a high level.