Fletcher: Two sides of a tough debate


fletThirty year old Darren Fletcher is one of the nation’s bravest footballers. No doubt about that!

To have battled back from a serous medical condition and to be making such a terrific bid to resurrect his career is worthy of nothing but the highest praise and respect.

It’s a very unpleasant condition and can be checked out here http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/ulcerative-colitis/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Here are the facts on the player:

O In December 2011, he began an extended break from football due to ulcertative colitis

O He made his return on 19 September 2012, but later underwent an operation to attempt to lessen the effects of the condition, ruling him out for the remainder of the 2012–13 season.

O He returned to the first team for the second time away to Aston Villa on 15 December 2013.

The 2009–10 season saw Fletcher consolidate his place in the heart of the United midfield, starting all of United’s important games.

He made another 43 appearances in 2010/11;  eight Premier League in 2011/12; 12 in 13/14  and 11 thus far this season. These are appearances not starts.

There have been some very fierce arguments going on overnight since it became clear he was set to join West Ham should he get through a medical.

Both sides have strong cases although the pro-Fletcher lobby have to base theirs on a past record which have seen him perform well at the highest level. Nobody would doubt  his quality at his best.

The real question is that whether – through  no fault of his own – we are going to get the real deal or a guy who is set to be plagued with ongoing problems.

David Sullivan in fact made it clear last summer that there was a ‘rule’ in place which meant we would not be buying players of over 27 unless they were of the highest quality.

He was talking present tense not past and the truth is we just don’t know where Fletcher’s career is right now and whether he can get back to his best or somewhere close to it.

For a club in our position I would have thought we needed to be 100 per cent certain at the very least of a player’s health and well being before agreeing any deal.

This one is reported to be worth between 60k – £70k over three and a half years. It’s a big gamble and one that is hard to understand.

On balance – unless the medical comes out A1 – it’s not a move that’s easy to support.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • COYI@HK says:

    Hi, Hugh, there’s a typo in this article, he’s DARREN, not Carl.

    Anyway, if the club thinks Fletcher did enough with his medical to convince he will be fit for next couple of years, then I see no reason he can’t be a good player.


  • Been sorted mate and thanks. Aimnt bin well – mental block LOL

  • bubs says:

    I agree with the argument that he is good player but he does not give us something different and there are only 2 places up for grabs in the diamond which he can play,
    Overnight rumour has it Noble my go if Fletcher signs,if this is true then I do not agree with him coming,we are not a selling club DS said recently and this week we were saying the academy was fit and running,well selling players like Noble would prove this to be a lie,
    I want any good players avaliable to arrive at the club but is there a feeling or even knowledge that Song is not going to sign or the 2 Daves are not going to put in that sort of money,
    Either way BFS is going to get his way and I for 1 will not be buying a season ticket for the new ground unless he changes ( not possible) or we have a new manager.

  • johnham1 says:

    Bubs, I totally agree Fletcher there will be no return on this investment and it is a complete waste of money. Anyone who believes it is should consider another career, just my opinion. Should the manager decide to cash in on Mark Noble or Enner Valencia I will not set foot in the stadium again until this manager is gone. He is a joke but I do have trust in the two Davids so I am the optimist in that he will be gone before next season. I also trust them to go with their gut feeling remembering how good we were when Nolan and Carroll were out of the team.

  • mattefumi69 says:

    Every time I’ll write something here I’ll never lose the opportunity to say that evil’s club is its manager. The owners must focus on this fact, if they don’t change the manager the problems will persist and soon he will fly out quality players like Valencia, Sakho, Amalfitano, Song. His long ball playing style doesn’t fit with quality players. Fletcher could be a good player, but he doesn’t represent the future. This is my personal opinion and I think it’s the only way to became an ambitious club. As long as BFS will be at West Ham, Nolan, Carroll and all his favourites will play and nothing will change. Compare the first two fantastic months of this season with the last months, the playing style has regressed. Only a blind man could not see this obvious fact.

  • johnham1 says:

    Totally agree, we got to third playing fantastic football, we are now 7th and only going in one direction while BFS continues to select Nolan, Carroll and his favourites. I truly believe it is time now to put him out on gardening leave and bring a new man in to guide us to top 6. If BFS remains we will be lucky to finish top 10 – why waste such a great start to the season. The fans want Valencia and Sakho up front again, with Downing or Amalafano tucked in behind. David’s you have the power use it before the damage is done…

  • bubs says:

    The big problem also for me is every time another piece gets written his wages grow now 60 to 70k,why have we not given Reid his ransom and kept a true hammer at the club but want to pay kings ransom to another pass his sell by ( not even a star )player his,
    If we give him 65k it’s 65k we don’t have for Song,

  • johnham1 says:

    Here we go again – how much more do we have to put up with this season – O’Brien, Nolan and Carroll start again again again and again. How long more will this go on for – where is Sakho and Kouyate !!! For the first time in many years we have a great team and can you believe it we have a manager who do es not see it – Davids I hope you understand the frustration of the fans. The chances of us getting a positive result has been destroyed yet again by this person we call our manager

  • rads45 says:

    We have all wanted to see Valencia & Sakho back up front but it aint going to happen all the time Carroll is fit.Maybe Noble has a knock,but if he hasnt,to play Nolan & have him on the bench is a joke.Sometimes i wonder if Allardyce is just taking the **** out of us as a club.There are few explanations for his team selections & the way he sets the team up most the time.He is a dinosaur & managers like him & Pulis are fine to keep you up but we will never progress any further under him.If we aint careful we are going to end up sitting in the middle of the table at the end of the season thinking that we wasted a great chance to finish in the top six.Its no coincidence that we are slipping down the table since Carroll & Nolan have regularly figured in the team again.I think Carroll is a decent player but all the time Allardyce is our manager he will always be picked in preference to a Sakho/Valencia combo.I really hope the chairmen see sense in the summer & out BFS.We can never become the team they want us to be with him as manager.

  • philtheiron says:

    Hi mate,
    Not only are you spot on but you have got the whole transfer down in a nutshell.

    At his best Fletcher was up there as a class player. If fit he would be a signing in the bracket of Song.
    But the key word is “IF” for if he isn’t or can’t show he is back to his best then imo the transfer is too much of a gamble.

    Incidentally, carroll is playing because he is the in form striker and the rest of the team is being dictated by ACON, injury and illness.( Sakho’s not playing does seem a mystery though. Political perhaps?). Noble was brought on to help Song being overrun in midfield.

  • rads45 says:

    Even if he wasnt the inform striker you really believe he would be dropped by Sam in preferance to Sakho/Valencia.No chance at all,the lad could go 10 games without a goal & he would still be picked before the other two got paired upfront together again 😉

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