|Org||Scotland National Team|
|Club as Player||Manchester United|
2009 07 10 Retrieve
[Darren Fletcher name Fernando Redondo as his heroes] I loved the way he played, how he sat in midfield and controlled the game
2010 01 01 Retrieve
[on Roy Keane] He was a great influence, really. If Roy had a go at you, he did it because he cared. He was the best captain you could wish for. He would tear you to shreds on the pitch if you gave away the ball, ‘get your effing touch right, effing this, effing that’ but, as soon as you got into the dressing room, it was over. He was a winner. I’ve met dedicated professionals but he had something else
2010 01 02 Retrieve
[on Roy Keane] He [Keane] was our captain, he was our leader and he left a mark: where we are now is down to him, our dedication comes from the standards he set. The rules about time-keeping, about getting in a half-hour early, they were his instructions back in the day and those traditions continue
2010 01 03 Retrieve
[on Roy Keane] Roy was probably the biggest influence on my career. He would come down hard on me if I ever did anything wrong but he made me realise what it meant to be a Manchester United player
2017 10 07 Retrieve
[Fletcher says I looked like I’d been bitten by Mike Tyson!] My ear looks like I’ve been bitten by Mike Tyson! But I’ll be all right for Sunday. My ear was hanging off a little bit, so it definitely needed to be bandaged up or it would have been flapping around. I got a few stitches but it will heal up and should be all right for. I signalled to my kids in the stand at the end making sure they knew I was OK. When you see your dad go off with blood, you might be worried. I needed three or four stitches and some glueSunday.
[A win over Slovenia will see Scotland secure second place in their World Cup qualifying group and, with a play-off place up for grabs, Fletcher says the team are confident of getting the job done] Beating Slovakia was a massive boost and puts us in a great position but we still have a job to do in Slovenia. There’s a feel-good factor about the country at the moment but we’ve still got one game to go and even after that there is still the play-offs. There are still a lot of challenges ahead of us and what we want to achieve. If we could reach the play-offs that would be great but it is all about getting to the tournament in Russia. We still have a number of games to get to Russia and Slovakia was a small step towards getting there
It will be tough but this team believe we can go and win the game, and that’s the biggest thing. Momentum is a good thing in football and it is with us now. Once you score a couple of late goals you start to believe in yourselves as a team, and that is showing
2019 09 29 Retrieve
[Darren Fletcher says James Garner is a name that people will know by the end of the season] People talk about the leaders and who is going to help them, which is an important side [to the argument], so it’s a difficult one but I’m sure as the season goes on you’re going to see more of James Garner because he’s top class. I’m surprised he’s not featured so far but by the end of the season I’m sure that people will know who he is without a doubt, if you don’t by now
[With pressure mounting on Solskjaer amid poor results and disappointing performances, Fletcher thinks the youngster could help ensure the manager retains the goodwill of the Old Trafford crowd] I think the history of the club says they demand and they want young players in the team and they support that. It does give you more time when you give youngsters a chance because people see it as refreshing and see it as building for the future. I think that they are more than ready to play, it’s just that, can you have too many at once?
2019 10 01 Retrieve
[Darren Fletcher says Old school McTominay has shaken off Man Utd stick] He looks like the first name on the team sheet. From the games I’ve seen, like Leicester, it was a bit flat and he went thundering into a tackle and got the crowd up. He’s a little bit old school. He’s got drive and he gets on the ball and doesn’t hide. His goal was fantastic and he’s starting to find his voice as well; you can see his arms pointing at people and different things like that. It’s fantastic to see.
Obviously he is the one who has confidence in his game now and he’s taken the onus on himself to drag the rest of the team with him. Credit to the lad because he was getting a bit of stick when he first came into the team, as everyone does as the pressure is big, but he’s come through that and now is definitely leading this Manchester United team. Others should look to him to know how to do it
The difference these young lads have got is that all those young players, and myself, we came into a team with men - established winners and world-class players - who carried the burden and the pressure for us. We floated under the radar and it was easier. Whereas these lads are dealing with that pressure straight away themselves, and it is pretty difficult as a young player. You might have two or three good games but then a bad game as the consistency is not there yet. But the positives this season for Manchester United have been the young players - especially McTominay. He’s been a standout player from day one this season; he drives the team forward and tries to make stuff happen.
It’s great for Manchester United’s future with the academy, but with young players you just have to be patient. And when you are playing for Manchester United not many people have got patience. That is the challenge laid down to them; they know that and they try their best and will get there, hopefully sooner rather than later
2019 10 16 Retrieve
[Darren Fletcher has called Paul Pogba the current side’s most dominant and influential player] If you look at the stats over a season - goals, assists, chances created, passes - he is Manchester United’s most dominant and influential player. Without a doubt it is a big blow [that he has been missing], he is a leader, a World Cup winner. His performances get scrutinised to the level where it is a little bit unfair. People probably expect too much from him but if you look at the stats he always delivers and makes things happen. That’s probably where the criticism comes because he always tries things. Great Manchester United players have always done that, they’ve never gone simple or safe. Paul is maybe trying a little bit too hard
2019 11 21 Retrieve
[He reveal Mourinho was worried about how he was perceived at Old Trafford] I think we’ll see a slightly different Jose. I think the Jose that had been affected by Real Madrid and almost resentment of players, different to the Jose of Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan where he was a player’s manager, players were ‘us against the world’, there was a real closeness and things like that, we haven’t seen that for a while
I know for a fact after he left United he did a little bit of reflecting and asked a few people, ‘tell me the truth, tell me what I was like, give it to me straight’
And that, for me, a sign of somebody who realised he’d gone a little bit too far in that way. I’m sure he had his own frustrations towards Manchester United, just as many as the players and people had with him and the things that went on towards the end. I think you can see it from both point of views. But the fact he was asking people for an honest opinion of what he was like says to me that’s somebody who is reflecting and a little bit of a rest and a little bit of self-reflecting we’ll see a different Jose Mourinho
Whether it’s the Jose Mourinho of old … I don’t expect it to be the Jose we’ve seen in the last couple of years
[Asked if Spurs were right to sack Mauricio Pochettino] Yes because I feel like he’d run his course at Spurs. I feel like too much has gone on. I saw it coming at the beginning of the season, all the contract situations with the players, losing the Champions League final and the affect that’s had on them. The players are hearing the same messages all the time, same formation, it just seems to be everyone has lost their way, players, manager, everyone associated with the club
I feel Tottenham need a restart, somebody to come in and kick-start their season and take them on the next part of their journey. I just feel it’s a case of the manager having done five successful seasons at the club without winning a trophy, made Spurs an established Champions League side, taking them to the final, the one question mark against him is the fact he’s not won anything and Daniel Levy said that in his comments ‘we’ve brought in a winner’, so he obviously thinks the next challenge for Spurs is to start winning titles
2019 12 12 Retrieve
[Darren Fletcher says Christian Eriksen showed that he doesn’t want to play for Tottenham with his performance against Bayern Munich] Christian Eriksen has fallen out of love with the club. He obviously doesn’t want to be there
2019 12 24 Retrieve
[Darren Fletcher says Paul Pogba is a world-class talent who boasts many similarities to Manchester United legends Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes] Straight away, adding the Pogba dynamic solves that problem of breaking down teams when you dominate possession because he will constantly try passes, he’s brave. Yeah, people criticise him but I love it because that’s the way that all the great Man United players play.
Giggs, Scholes, they constantly ask questions of the opposition. They gave the ball away a lot as well but they were constantly playing and trying to get those killer passes - three out of five don’t come off, but one or two do and, bang, it’s a goal.
Just the difference of a world-class player like Paul Pogba being back in that squad - how respected he is in the squad, how liked he is by everybody, how much the manager likes him, how much everyone wants him to do well within the squad - he can come back in and be the difference in terms of still being effective on the counter-attack and at the same time, when we are dominating possession against the so-called inferior teams, he can be the one to unlock defences and supply [Marcus] Rashford, [Anthony] Martial and [Daniel] James with goal-scoring opportunities
2020 01 08 Retrieve
[Darren Fletcher has said that Manchester United must keep faith in manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, though he admits it could be painful in the short term] From their goal until half-time it’s the worst we’ve played. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could have been selfish and could have got players in for a quick fix but he wants to do the best for Manchester United long term - and he’s doing it the hard way. He has to be respected for that. It’s probably going to take a little bit of pain - it’s probably going to take a lot of pain - but I believe that if we stick with the process we will look back on this period and think, ‘yes, we took that pain, but look where we are now because of those decisions’
We are a great counter-attacking side, but Ole wants us to be good in possession as well. But we’ve lost our most creative player this season - Paul Pogba. Pogba, say what you like about him, I think he gets a hard time. There is no doubt we’ve missed him this season - the stats are there [to prove it]. Relative to how people think he’s performed - whether he’s lived up to the price tag or not - Paul Pogba creates on the pitch, makes things happen, and tries things with his passes. They’ve missed that, 100 per cent
2020 01 23 Retrieve
[Darren Fletcher warns Man Utd youngsters sinking in toxic atmosphere] The scenes in the stadium weren’t good. The chanting, the atmosphere really turned toxic for the first time
At the minute you can see with every setback these youngsters [Brandon Williams, Mason Greenwood, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James] are just sinking. The scrutiny and the pressure that these kids are under - it was difficult for me coming into the team and I was surrounded by world-class players left, right and centre. These lads don’t have that support network around them and they are really finding it difficult. It might make a few of them, but at the same time it will probably break a few of them as well, which is really disappointing
2020 01 23b Retrieve
[Darren Fletcher says Man Utd can’t afford to let Cavani go to Chelsea] It’s a road they didn’t want to go down because they’ve been down it before but it may be needs must at this time. Probably a striker as well - Bruno Fernandes and a striker. If Cavani is available, and there’s talk of him going to Chelsea, Manchester United cannot afford to let Cavani go to Chelsea. I’m not sure if he is, whether it’s Atletico Madrid, but if it’s Chelsea then there’s no way Manchester United can let that happen. They have to make sure he comes to Old Trafford.
Haggling over whatever the Bruno Fernandes deal is might mean us paying a little bit more. Sporting will see the desperation from Manchester United and that will put them in a more powerful position to keep hold of the player and get exactly what they want
2020 03 08 Retrieve
[How not punishing fouls in training turned [Ronaldo](ronaldo.html) into a team player at Man Utd] You could see this charismatic kid, you could see the ability, you could see the drive to become the best player in the world - but he frustrated the life out of everybody. Everyone thought if he could learn […] Eventually, Walter Smith came in and decided not to give fouls in training. I think the sole purpose was for [Ronaldo](ronaldo.html). So when [Ronaldo](ronaldo.html)’s doing his skills, not passing the ball and taking the mick, the lads were fouling him.
Before, the first six months of the season, there’d be fouls given as you’d expect, and Walter said: ‘No, no fouls’. For two weeks [Ronaldo](ronaldo.html) was tearing his hair out and he was going bananas. It was open season. Hit him. What happens after a few weeks? [Ronaldo](ronaldo.html) starts moving the ball because he’s sick of getting kicked. Now he starts playing one or two-touch and running, now he starts getting goals. Now it starts clicking in his head: ‘I’m starting to score more goals, now I’m starting to make an impact in games’. That was the beginning of [Ronaldo](ronaldo.html)’s transition
2020 03 10 Retrieve
[Darren Fletcher says Man Utd can’t wait 30 years like Liverpool] Manchester United cannot allow that (a 30-year title wait). The current run is bad enough as it is. We need to see Manchester United winning the league in the next two or three years down the line. That’s being realistic. The bar has been raised in terms of what it takes to win the league. Man City and Liverpool have taken it to an even higher level. That’s where Manchester United have to get to. United have to be ready for Man City and Liverpool to drop off, which will probably come in a couple of years. I can’t see Pep Guardiola still being at Manchester City in two or three years. Jurgen Klopp, too. Maybe it’s wishful thinking. Man United have to put themselves in a position to capitalise if that happens. Next season I expect a better campaign and in two or three years, I am expecting title challenges and potentially winning
2020 03 14 Retrieve
[Darren Fletcher says Perfect opportunity for a European breakaway league] You can speculate about cup competitions and things like that but the biggest thing for me is the Premier League, and the leagues have to be finished. Even the knock on effect of that for the Champions League next season, forget about that, these are easier things to delay and cancel and postpone. When you’re 30 games into a Premier League season, it’s very difficult not to see it out. It will all come down to money, as everything does. The powers that be, the money involved, sponsorship deals. The Champions League are not going to just accept that, there is no way they are going to accept that. The powerful clubs, there will be breakaways and even more of a push towards breakaway leagues on the back of it - 100 per cent. If you turned around to the Champions League and said it’s not happening, they will propose a breakaway and invite the teams that they want. It may actually be an excuse to get what they want anyway. They want that, a breakaway league. This may be the perfect opportunity to get that and go ‘we’re doing this next season if you want to cancel the Champions League next season, who’s in?’
2020 05 07 Retrieve
[Darren Fletcher admits Ronaldo frustrated early at Man Utd but knew he’d be great] He was probably thankful of coming into that environment because it made him a winner. Ronaldo, as a young boy, he basically got chucked on a plane after a pre-season game because of how well he played against us and a week later he was in Manchester.
He learnt English so quick, he was 18, he did extra training every day, he was the first player to go and get a personal chef. He brought in ankle weights to train in so in a game he felt sharper when he took the ankle weights off. What a guy. He was determined to be the best player in the world. When you see his ability […] yeah, he was frustrating in the beginning, he was a young, skinny lad, [but] the dedication and effort he put in, that single-mindedness [allowed him] to go and become the best player in the world
2020 05 18 Retrieve
[Former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher has admitted that he would be very concerned about playing in the current climate] With my illness I would be one of those players that is a high risk. I’d be very concerned about that, but at the same time I love playing.
It’s a massive concern. We’re not out of this situation by any means. Footballers will not only be concerned for themselves and their lives and the rest of their careers but they’ll be worried about bringing it back to their family. Sport is important to everyone and we’ve all missed it but we’re talking about matters of life and death here and I think that guarantees would have to be in place - but who can guarantee that players are going to be safe? I don’t think anyone can guarantee that at this moment in time
[Having left Championship side Stoke City at the end of last season] I haven’t officially announced anything and I’m just happy to let time pass. It has been a long time now and I think I have finally got my head around that I probably won’t be playing again. I don’t think I’ll ever fully accept it but I’m getting there now
2020 06 13 Retrieve
[Darren Fletcher says Manchester United midfielders Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes are good enough to play together but may need to make sacrifices] Without doubt, of course. Great players can come together. Somebody might have to sacrifice a little bit of something - that’s part of being in a team, it’s not an individual sport. When you play with a certain midfield, whether it’s a midfield three, you adapt your game to complement each other. That’s what I had to do at United. I was in the team with lots of different midfielders, lots of combinations and, if a certain midfielder was playing, I would try to take up positions to allow him to benefit and he would do things to allow me to benefit. It’s all about being compatible and recognising the strengths of your fellow team-mates and how to get your best performance, but, ultimately, you might be sacrificing what you do best to allow someone else to excel, which helps the team win
[Fernandes has hit the ground running since arriving at Old Trafford, registering three goals and four assists in nine appearances so far] I think he’s been fantastic. His ability has been there for everyone to see. For me, it’s been his personality and his attitude. He tries things, he tries difficult passes but, when he gives it away, it’s his reaction after he does it. It’s fantastic, his hunger to try and get the ball back. He doesn’t throw his arms up in the air or sulk and moan. He’s bossing people on the pitch, he’s taking responsibility. He’s looked like the epitome of a Manchester United player. He wants to be there, he wants the ball, he demands the ball. He’s seen Old Trafford as his theatre and he’s relishing it. He’s sort of been a breath of fresh air with personality more than anything, which is what you need to play for Man United. Ability’s not enough. You need personality to play for Manchester United and he epitomises it
2020 06 13b Retrieve
[Former United midfielder Darren Fletcher feels the star duo will have to alter their individual games slightly to help ensure they thrive together in midfield] Without doubt, of course [Pogba and Fernandes can play together]. Great players can come together. Somebody might have to sacrifice a little bit of something - that’s part of being in a team, it’s not an individual sport. When you play with a certain midfield, whether it’s a midfield three, you adapt your game to complement each other. That’s what I had to do at United. I was in the team with lots of different midfielders, lots of combinations and, if a certain midfielder was playing, I would try to take up positions to allow him to benefit and he would do things to allow me to benefit. It’s all about being compatible and recognising the strengths of your fellow team-mates and how to get your best performance, but, ultimately, you might be sacrificing what you do best to allow someone else to excel, which helps the team win