FLETCHER ON THE ROLE FERGIE AND KEANE PLAYED IN HIS CAREER

Darren Fletcher has offered some insight into the defining roles former teammate, Roy Keane and Alex Ferguson played in his career having come through the ranks at Manchester United and made over 300 appearances before leaving for West Bromwich Albion in the summer of 2015.


It had been widely said that Keane didn’t rate Fletcher high during their time together at Old Trafford. The Scottish midfielder was said to one of the players Keane was heavily critical of in his infamous MUTV punditry video in 2005.

However,32-year-old Fletcher says that Keane had always been his source of encouragement, and that he had helped shaped him (Fletcher) both as aplayer and also, as anindividual. “It frustrates me to know that some people think Roy didn’t rate me because he moulded me more than any player I have known. The midfielder however revealed, “Though he was hard but he was always fair”.

Fletcher also offered an insight into Ferguson’s methods at Old Trafford, and how he kept tabs on his players. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the former United manager used a network of contacts around Manchester and would be well aware of what his team was getting up to on their days off. Former club defender, Rio Ferdinand once likened Ferguson’s control at United to a ‘Mafia boss’.

The Scott has revealed that Ferguson continued to monitor his players in his later years, and managed to use the latest technological changes to do so. “He had an ipad, too and all the apps,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher has started every single league game since arriving at the Hawthorns and he remains the only January signing the club have made that has gone on to play a notable part in the club’s success

Turning 33 next month, he hasn’t showed any real signs of slowing down either, now that he is back to his best.

Jonny Evans Hails the Leadership of Darren Fletcher

West Brom defender Jonny Evans has branded captain Darren Fletcher as an intelligent leader who has been central towards the club’s successes this season.


A spectacular 3-1 win over Arsenal just before the international break helped West Brom move up to eighth in the Premier league table. Fletcher was instrumental in this victory, as he marshalled his team from the centre of the park. He was able to keep on top of every proceeding in the 90 minutes. Thus, he ensured that West Brom gave no opportunities for Arsenal to come back into the match. West Brom had scored from a counter-attack and two set pieces.

Evans had the experience of being alongside Fletcher in the squad when he was at Manchester United. He says that the 33-year-old has really been an outstanding leader in the dressing room and on the pitch. His experience of playing under a great manager Sir Alex Ferguson has provided him with knowledge about when to put the arm around the shoulder and when to be authoritative.

This has had a positive effect on the team, according to Evans. West Brom have been one of the most improved teams in the league, as they have been able to keep Fletcher in the first-team longer than expected. The Scotland captain was plagued by personal issues when he joined West Brom in the summer of 2014.

“People talk about leaders but people can lead in different ways. You don’t always have to be a ranter and raver and go into tackles.Look at Fletch. He’s a very intelligent guy who will lead in his own way as opposed to other captains I’ve played with but he’s very good at it and everyone respects him.We’ve played really well at home. We’ve enjoyed that this season, scoring goals.The fans have been behind us and I think they’re enjoying it too,” said Evans.

West Brom Set to Continue Riding High?

Things are looking pretty right now for Tony Pulis and his merry band of Premier League superstars. Eighth in the table and seven points clear of Stoke in ninth, it appears the Baggies are on for a record haul of points and their highest-ever finish in the Premier League.

Head coach Pulis often has a reputation as a “firefighter” at the expense of good football; however, that reputation is often unfair.

After all, the Welshman has never been relegated as a manager and is perhaps not gaining enough credit for turning West Brom from potential relegation candidates to potential Europa League competitors since taking over the reins in 2015.

What Does the Rest of the Season Hold?
Safety assured and seemingly a top ten spot in the bag, what can Baggies fans look forward to from now until May?

After securing the famous 40 points with a win against Bournemouth at the end of February, Pulis started to receive some stick from certain segments of the press. This was because many thought that once safety was assured, Pulis and his side would switch off for the rest of the season and effectively take an early holiday.

Back to back defeats to Crystal Palace and Everton respectively looked like adding weight to that argument until a sensational 3-1 win over Arsenal just before the winter break left the side with a real impetus to push on. Their shot-stopper Ben Foster says West Brom can reach 50 points for the first time in their Premier League history and why not?

The Baggies still have nine games to go and require just two wins and a draw to make the half-century mark, but should they be harbouring loftier ambitions? Whilst a top six finish may now be out of reach – Paddy Power have them down as 1000/1 to achieve such a feat – obtaining seven points from their last nine games shouldn’t be an insurmountable task; far from it.

Next up for Pulis and co. is a trip to face Manchester United at Old Trafford. While it will be no easy feat, if they do come away with the three points then they will trail the Red Devils by just six points, with an outside whiff of snatching a Europa League place.

There are numerous permutations for clubs qualifying for the Europa League, with league position a factor, and although it is an unlikely scenario for the Baggies, focusing on one game at a time could see an unlikely surprise.

Attacking midfielder Nacer Chadli was an inspired signing from Tottenham, pitching in with five goals this season; however, the only slight cause for concern has been up front where McAuley and Rondon are joint top scorers on seven.

After the sale of want-away striker Saido Berahino to Stoke City in January, the Baggies have looked a little light up top and it is an area Pulis must address for next season.

More than likely, West Brom will finish where they are right now in eighth, seven points clear of Stoke in ninth and remarkably seven points adrift of Everton in seventh.

Baggies fans can enjoy a pressureless end to the campaign and with Manchester United, Watford, Southampton, Liverpool, Leicester, Burnley, Chelsea and Swansea making up their remaining opponents, you would expect 50 points to be the bare minimum.

WEST BROM ALBION FACES UNFAVOURABLE TRANSFERS

Tony Pulis has no doubt had a tough time during this transfer period.


Most of his bids for new players are currently falling off. Pep Guardiola’s strong desire to hold on to Fabian Delph have totally cut short West Bromic Albion’s hope of signing the midfielder.

Series of enquiries have been made and questions have been asked concerning the 27-year old Manchester City player. For a while now, Guardiola’s keenness on seeing more of Delph shows that City has no interest in a complete sale, or even a loan of the player to any club. Delph has missed many matches this season due to a groin injury and has been inactive since last August.

Delph who has been a very passionate player in England, combined with his energetic, aggressive and experienced style of play, he has checked many of the midfield boxes for Tony Pulis.

Unfortunately, Tony Pulis and Albion will have to take a move on with the recent disappointment from the current transfer window. They had lost a £18 million bid for Manchester United’s Morgan Schneirderlin, the Frenchman moved to join Everton last week for a fee that is possibly on the rise to £24 million.

Albion star player, Darren Fletcher, has echoed the imminent need for new players and officials in the team. Of all the officials in West Brom, Pulis has got only 14 senior professionals left at the moment. The likes of CallumMcManaman and Craig Gardner left the team some time ago and SaidoBerahino, Jonny Evans and Allan Nyom are currently absent.

The lack of experience in the squad is highlighted by the presence of teenagers within the squad. These three teenagers were from the academy and formed part of the subs at White Hart Lane last Saturday.

Fletcher said: “We definitely need some players in, we need a bit help of there’s no doubt about that.”

FLETCHER PRAISE WEST BROM AFTER WATFORD VICTORY

Tony Pulis’ men have been impressive in recent Premier League matches and it has sent them to the top six in the current EPL table, though Manchester United are yet to play Everton.


West Brom’s last two home games have seen them score seven goals. A happy captain Darren Fletcher reckons that the team’s recent successes are due to the attacking style of the team.

“Getting James Morrison and Chris Brunt back from injury is almost like having two new signings and Nacer Chadli has come in too. We’re getting the ball in the box, getting more people in the box and attacking a lot more and a lot better,” Fletcher said.

“We were unfortunate before the last international break when we dropped a few points that I thought we should have held on to win.

“Before the Leicester game, we looked at the table and we were fourth from bottom and had been sucked right back in because we played last, but we have responded to that and made that the benchmark,” the captain added.

Pulis would have been very happy after goals from Jonny Evans and Chris Brunt in the first half game against Watford. Pulis was involved in a legal tussle with his former club Crystal Palace, forcing his finances and reputation to take a hit. The Welshman was ordered to pay his former club £3.7 million by a Premier League arbitration panel backed by a High Court judge. The victory is a much-desired one for Pulis after a tough battle all week.

Christian Kabasele pulled one back for Watford in the 61st minute but Matt Phillips ensured a strong victory for West Brom.

Fletcher added that the target was first getting to 40 points to ensure that the season was safe. So far, West Brom have garnered 20 points from 14 games are set to retain their top flight status this term.

FLETCHER WILL FIT LEICESTER’S MATCH – ROBERTSON

The former West Bromwich Albion player Ally Robertson has made known that if he were West Brom’s coach, no matter how Darren Fletcher can be out of form at the, he would still keep him in the team for this weekend’s trip to Leicester.


He believes that the midfielder offers a wealth of experience in that central midfield area, and has the ability to play himself into form as he did last season to earn himself the player of the year award. The 64-year old man claims Fletcher gives 100 per cent in every single game which is also a hugely important figure for the rest of the team to look up to.

Robertson made reference to West Brom’s previous match, he said: “In my opinion, the crowd would have had the same reaction on Saturday, whoever was brought off. They were just pleased as Tony Pulis was bringing in some attacking players, because it was obvious to everybody that something needed to change in that match

“We were set up far too defensively, and played the whole first half 30 yards too deep. If you allow a team like Manchester City any chance to pick you apart, don’t be surprised how dutifully they will do.”

Robertson assures that if Fletcher can feature against Leicester, with his experience in big clubs and the quicker responsiveness with adaptation to games, West Brom can make it tough for the champions.

It has been over a year since Leicester lost a league game at home and they have improved recently after a stumbling start to their title defence, Ally believes a point at the King Power Stadium would be a welcome return for his former team and feels the two games immediately after the international break are now must-wins.

Darren Fletcher Targets Continuity and Stability for Scotland Team

Former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher feels that stability and continuity will be the key aspects that would help Scotland in the upcoming World Cup 2018 qualification campaign.


One of the major reasons for Scotland failing to qualify for recent major tournaments even though the likes of Northern Ireland and Wales have experienced the success, is the lack of stability especially before a new league campaign. After a lot of doubt about his fitness and availability, Fletcher has been recalled is the captain of the national team after the retirement of Scott Brown.

Fletcher will be able to provide the national team with all the confidence and experience that they need for qualification. Even though the number of teams participating at the World Cup 2018 is larger than ever, it still does not guarantee qualification to Scotland as they would have learned the hard way in terms of the Euro 2016. Gordon Strachan is widely regarded as one of the best managers available for Scottish football, but the manager only signed a two-year contract last summer. The talk about his contract could start to affect the team in the remainder of 2016.
The opening qualification game will be against Malte and Scotland are overwhelming favourites to claim a victory.

However, they will have to work much harder for three points against Slovakia in October. “The thing that gives me the most belief is the continuity in the management side of things.Throughout my career it has been stop-start all the time.We’ve done really well under managers and that’s been cut short because they’ve gone to clubs off the back of that. There were a lot of positives from the last campaign in terms of how we approached games and attacked teams,” said Fletcher, who has won numerous trophies with Manchester United.

Fletcher warns Berahino

Darren Fletcher has told his teammate SaidoBerahino that he needs to focus on his football if he wants to remain with West Brom.

The forward last season stated that he did not want to play for West Brom again and then changed his mind during the course of the season. Darren Fletcher does not want a repeat of this situation and has warned the player to give his best for the club.

The former Manchester United player has stated that SaidoBerahino is a good player and that he can score goals, but he needs to be 100% focus on his performance. He said that the team will benefit a lot from his talent and that he is an important player for the team. However, he will be not useful for the team if he does not want to play for them. For this reason, he has urged the player to make up his mind quickly. If he intends to stay for another year, it will be better for the player as well as the team that he focuses on his performance.

SaidoBerahino has never hidden his intention of moving away from the team. There are many clubs that are interested in signing the forward, but so far there is no concrete offer that has been made. The forward only have one year left on his contract and has so far rejected a new contract proposal from West Brom.

Darren Fletcher said that it does not matter whether he wants to sign a new contract or only remain for another year but he needs to make sure that he gives 100% to the team. He said that SaidoBerahino is a great player and that he can come out a much better one if he gives his best until the end of the season.

TONY PULIS SIGNS QPR WINGER

Head Coach of English Premier League outfit West Brom, Tony Pulis, has signed Queen Park Rangers winger ahead of the coming season.

The talented 25-year old player Matt Philips agreed to a move from QPR after his friends at the club Darren Fletcher and Sandro eased his fears.

The Scottish international, who plays wide at QPR, has been on the target list of West Brom Albion for some time until Pulis was able to convince him to join the club. The club refused to disclose his transfer fee but confirmed that they have signed the player on a four-year deal. Philips arrives just in time for the move to Austria for training.

Pulis spoke about the deal. He said: “We’re really pleased to have Matty on board. This is a great chance for him to show everyone he belongs in the top flight of English football.” The Technical Director Nick Hammond confirmed that the player had been under the club’s radar for a while now and they the club was “very pleased to have finally”
gotten his signature. He holds that the player is a great addition to the team as he bring versatility within the group. He says Philips can play as a central striker aside playing wide and are just happy he agreed to the move.

When asked about his transfer to the new club, Philips said his game was about pace and power and strength. He says: “I want to get my place in the starting XI and build from there. But, I’m not the finished article by any means. I’m 25 and I still feel I can bring more to my game.”

On Pulis’ methods at the club, he said he was warned but that the assurances from Darren Fletcher, who has played two seasons already, and Sandro calmed his nerves.

Scotland will learn from defeat against Italy

Darren Fletcher has said that Scotland is going to learn from defeat against Italy.

For him, it is important to play against the top sides in order to find out your weakness. Although Italy has been dominant throughout the game, Darren Fletcher believes that the match has been quite useful in order to assess their game.

The only goal of the game came through GrazianoPelle, who fired an excellent shot from more than 20 yards to give the Scotland keeper no chance.

Fletcher stated that Scotland learned a lot during the game even if it ended in defeat. He believes that they did not keep the ball well and that they will need to work on their ball possession. However, he thinks that the team showed great determination and also motivation in order to fight against a far better side.

For Fletcher, there is still room for improvement, and he believes that the Scotland team can still improve if they stick together and continue to work on the training ground. He said that the team would need to learn how to defend against the better side instead of just sitting back and inviting the opposing team to come to them.

He believes that the match against Italy has been a great experience for his teammates and that they will make full use of what they have learned during the World Cup qualifying campaign that kicks off in September.

Scotland next game will be against France and Fletcher thinks that this will be another good preparation for the team. He said that all the players are motivated and that they will want to know whether they have progressed from the game against Italy. For him, this will be another good preparation match for the World Cup qualifiers.

He said that personally he is motivated and that he will want to give his best in order to help Scotland qualify for the next World Cup.