In what was only his fifth start under Louis van Gaal, Darren Fletcher did nothing to help his chances of getting more game time in the foreseeable future at Manchester United.
The Scot was poor during United’s FA cup victory at Yeovil. In a game against a team struggling at the bottom of League One, Fletcher looked out of his depth.
Alarming as this was, it was hardly surprising either. This is the first game Fletcher has started where United have won this season which is no coincidence. His performances have been sluggish and generally quite painful to watch ever since the Dutchman took over because fans have a soft spot for him and it’s sad to see him play so far under the levels he previously reached.
With teams such as Aston Villa and Burnley appearing far too energetic for Fletcher, an away tie to a team with only three home wins in 2014 seemed like a game he could dictate. However, it proved not to be the case. The lack of speed and accuracy in Fletcher’s passing meant the ball reached United’s key attacking players with about three green and white shirts surrounding them.
The general pace of the game seemed to overwhelm the Scot throughout and even once United had a clear grip on the game, he still looked uncomfortable and made some basic errors like letting the ball slip under his feet and misplacing simple passes.
To play in Fletcher’s position, you need to have a good sense of positioning and the ability to sweep up the ball and get things moving quickly. As this season has worn on, it has become evident that Fletcher is unable to do that at this level any more.