07/10/2008 08:00, Report by Ben Hibbs
Fletcher's a worthy winner
To beat Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra to top spot in a Player of the Month poll, you must be doing something right.
Darren Fletcher shirts may not subsequently fly off the hangers at the Megastore, and his subtle qualities will possibly never be fully championed by the masses when placed in the shadows of Cristiano Ronaldo's all-singing, all dancing talents, Dimitar Berbatov's grace and elegance or Wayne Rooney's talismanic make-up.
But I was really pleased to see ManUtd.com readers vote Darren Fletcher as United's Player of the Month for September. He deserves the recognition.
Fletcher has been in outstanding form so far this season and turned in yet more sterling displays against Villarreal, Chelsea, Bolton and Aalborg last month. It follows on from his impressive displays in August, a month in which he scored twice for the Reds (against Newcastle and Portsmouth).
It says a lot of Fletcher's performances that he polled ahead of Rio, who has surpassed himself in making defending at the highest level look like a stroll in the park. Fletcher earned 35 per cent of the votes in our poll, narrowly ahead of Rio, who garnered 33 per cent. The in-form and ever-likeable Patrice Evra wasn't far behind, with 31 per cent of voters backing the Frenchman.
I've long been a fan of Fletcher's talents, but I can see why his tall and ungainly figure perhaps doesn't score highly for presentation. In a team full of such talents, he's not the superstar but he is most definitely underrated.
He went through a bit of a tough time during United's transitional period after making his debut against FC Basel in March 2003. He was flung into a midfield in which Roy Keane's powers were beginning to wane and Paul Scholes perhaps wasn't showing the best of his talents. Ultimately, I think that's why some fans didn't take to him.
But he has his