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The Darren Fletcher Journey

Started on 9 February 2021 by Feliks
Latest Reply on 19 February 2021 by jgunnerwebb 84
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Feliks's avatar Group Feliks
2 weeksEdited

Darren Fletcher

Fact File
Full Name: Darren Barr Fletcher
Date of Birth: 1 February 1984 (age 37)
Place of Birth: Dalkeith, United Kingdom
Nationality: Scottish (80 caps)
Biography
Darren Fletcher is a Scottish professional football manager and former player who is the current manager of Scottish Premiership club Motherwell.

As a player, he made over 400 appearances over a 17 year career, most notably representing Manchester United from 2003 to 2015. Known as a hard-working and rugged midfielder, Fletcher represented Scotland on 80 occasions and won 5 Premier League titles with United as well as the 2008 Champions League final. After leaving the Red Devils, he had stints with West Brom and Stoke before retiring in 2019 at the age of 35.

Fletcher was appointed manager of Scottish side Motherwell in January 2021 after a stint as a coach for Manchester United.
Club

Motherwell
Managerial History
Club Tenure
Manchester United (coach) 2020-2021
Motherwell 2021-
Honours
Player:
Premier League: 5 (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, 2012-13)
FA Cup: 1 (2004)
EFL Cup: 1 (2010)
Community Shield: 4 (2003, 2007, 2008, 2010)
UEFA Champions League: 1 (2008)
FIFA Club World Cup: 1 (2008)
Manager:

Index
1

Fletcher takes charge at Motherwell



7 January 2021

Darren Fletcher has been confirmed as the new manager of Motherwell.

The 80-cap former Scotland international replaces Stephen Robinson, who was sacked last month.

Fletcher, 36, will take charge of Saturday's Scottish Premiership match against St Mirren, with Motherwell sitting in a disappointing 8th position after 22 games.

Caretaker manager Maurice Ross will return to his coaching position after winning two of his six games in charge.

"I have been waiting for the opportunity to manage a top flight club and Motherwell were a perfect fit," the former Manchester United, West Brom and Stoke player told Motherwell's website.

"Coming back to Scotland has always been a priority for me. I'm someone who is up for a challenge, and I will get that here."

"The obvious first objective is to win on Saturday. This is a team which is underperforming but there is talent there.

"We are in a month where we can also make additions, but there is no way I see this current group should be where they are."

Fletcher was previously part of the coaching staff at Manchester United, a club where he made his name as a dependable and well-rounded midfielder under compatriot Sir Alex Ferguson.

Having completed his UEFA Continental A license, Fletcher was seen as a left-field candidate for openings at Bristol City and Derby County before successfully interviewing for the Motherwell job.

"Darren has demonstrated to us he is the man to take us forward," said Motherwell chairman Jim McMahon.

"He fits the profile of what we expect a Motherwell manager to be. He is dynamic. He is hungry.

"He will lead from the front and shares in our belief of developing talent. What he lacks in experience he more than makes up for in his knowledge and understanding of the game."
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2 weeksEdited

Motherwell Squad Report


Motherwell are a mainstay of the Scottish top flight and in 2019/20 they recorded a third placed finish, behind the Old Firm. This season however they have struggled, sitting in 8th, but they nonetheless have some talented players in the ranks. I don't have much of a transfer budget to maneuver with, so I'll need to get the best out of these players if I want to secure a top half finish and potentially even continental qualification.
Goalkeepers
Player Nat. Age Position Ability Potential
Jordan Archer 27 GK
Trevor Carson 32 GK
Motherwell are extremely strong in the goalkeeping department with two internationals vying for the top spot. Trevor Carson is the current number one who has performed well this season and is now in his fourth year at the club. Jordan Archer, a new signing from Fulham, is still young with room to improve and some healthy competition between the pair should give them both motivation to succeed.
Defenders
Player Nat. Age Position Ability Potential
Jake Carroll 29 D/WB(L)
David Devine 19 D(C)
Liam Donnelly 24 D(RC), DM
Charles Dunne 27 D(C)
Declan Gallagher (c) 29 D(C)
Liam Grimshaw 25 D(R)
Rickie Lamie 27 D(LC), WB(L)
Barry Maguire 22 D(C), DM
Nathan McGinley 24 D(L)
Bevis Mugabi 25 D(RC)
We have plenty of options in defence, with some versatile players as well. Declan Gallagher is the captain of the club and an extremely reliable defender, whilst Jake Carroll is another player I have penciled as a key component. Ugandan international Bevis Mugabi is our best option on the right but it's an area I'd like to improve if possible.
Midfielders
Player Nat. Age Position Ability Potential
Allan Campbell 22 M(C)
Dean Cornelius 19 M(C)
Jake Hastie 21 AM(RL)
Mark O'Hara 25 M(C)
Liam Polworth 26 M(C)
We're pretty light-on for midfielders but they also include some of the best players at the club. Allan Campbell is one of the best young players in all of Scotland and will form a formidable pairing with the more attacking minded Liam Polworth. Mark O'Hara is another option through the middle but is more likely to be deployed wide, along with Rangers loanee Jake Hastie. There's a few defenders that can also play through here but we might need to find some cheap reinforcements throughout January.
Forwards
Player Nat. Age Position Ability Potential
Devante Cole 25 AM(R), ST
Callum Lang 22 AM(RLC), ST
Chris Long 25 ST
Tony Watt 27 ST
Jordan White 28 ST
Our best forward options for the rest of the season appear to be Wigan loanee Callum Lang and new signing Chris Long, who lead the goalscoring charts with 5 and 6 goals respectively. Tony Watt looks like our best backup option whilst Devante Cole and Jordan White don't look like they'll be fitting in my plans.
Summary


Motherwell are undoubtedly a strong mid-table side with the players at hand, and we're lucky to have a few key players in central positions such as Campbell and Gallagher who should really provide this team with a backbone. There's not much budget to bring in new players, but midfield reinforcements will be my top priority in this window.
1
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2 weeksEdited

Fletcher's tenure kicks off in style


St Mirren 1-4 Motherwell
9 January 2021
Carson; Mugabi, Gallagher (c), McGinley, Carroll; O'Hara, Campbell, Polworth, Hastie; Lang, Long
Long (7, 66); Campbell (25); O'Hara (pen 65)
St Mirren were no match for Motherwell in Paisley this evening, going down 4-1 to Darren Fletcher's men.

It took just 7 minutes for the visitors to hit the front, with a brilliant pass from Allan Campbell playing Chris Long onside for his first. Campbell then scored himself in the 25th minute from range.

A poor foul in the box by Brandon Mason allowed Mark O'Hara to put the game beyond doubt from the spot in the 65th minute and less than a minute later Long scored again to make it 4-0. Kristian Dennis pulled one back for St Mirren but it was a case of too little too late.
Match Stats

Player of the Match

Post-Match Sum Up

"I couldn't have asked for a better effort from the lads today, it was really something special. It's only early in my time here but I think there's a really clear vision for what we want to achieve going forward."
League Table


This is a well presented story, Feliks. Looking forward to where you, er, I mean Darren Fletcher takes Motherwell.
1
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2 weeksEdited

Motherwell swoop for PL starlets



Neco Williams (pictured) and Josh Martin have moved to SPL side Motherwell for the remainder of the season in what represents the first piece of transfer business by new manager Darren Fletcher.

The talented teenagers, loaned from Liverpool and Norwich respectively, will be a welcome boost for the side which has struggled with squad depth, especially with Fletcher changing the formation to the classic 4-4-2.

Both players had a handful of PL games last season with Martin playing a further 8 first team games this season and Williams showing strong form in the Premier League 2.

"Josh and Neco are two extremely talented young players who will be big additions to the squad, both in terms of quality and depth," said Fletcher.

Motherwell have also confirmed that Liam Grimshaw will be loaned out to Forest Green.
A couple of good signings there following a good result to begin Fletcher's tenure at the club. Motherwell have lost some very talented players in the past twelve months with David Turnbull and James Scott departing. Holding onto Allan Campbell will be important.
1
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2 weeksEdited

January Review


It was an extremely up and down month to start my managerial career, after such a bright start on the road at St Mirren. We managed to bring in a couple of young loanees to bolster the squad but it's important to remember that the team is still adjusting to a new manager and a new tactical style.
Results
Date Opponent Result Goalscorers Competition
02/01 Hamilton A 1-1 Lang Premiership
09/01 St Mirren A 1-4 Long (x2), Campbell, O'Hara Premiership
17/01 Rangers H 1-4 Carroll Premiership
24/01 Ross County N 2-1e Polworth, Watt League Cup SF
27/01 Ross County A 3-1 Dunne Premiership
30/01 St Johnstone H 4-0 Martin (x2), Long (x2) Scottish Cup 3R
My first game in charge saw us blow St Mirren out of the water but we were brought back down to Earth by Rangers, who showed us there's still a significant gulf in class between the Old Firm and the rest. We left it late to book a place in the League Cup final, with two extra time goals, but Ross County had the last laugh winning comfortably in the league fixture thanks to an early red card by Nathan McGinley. The lads showed great resilience by bouncing back in a cup match against St Johnstone; despite being third in the league they were no match for us and we won convincingly.
Player of the Month

Declan has been a rock for me already in my time here. He's everything you could ask for in a centre back and he allows us to play a more attacking game knowing we have such a reliable player safeguarding the defence.
League Table

With one win and two losses this month we're still in 8th position with eight games to go until the split. I'm happy with what we've shown so far though and I think we can definitely crack the top half and then challenge for European spots. If not for an early red card I don't think we would have lost to Ross County.
February Schedule

It'll be a challenging month ahead, namely playing away against Celtic and Aberdeen and then a League Cup final against Rangers. Dundee United and Hamilton are two games we should be winning comfortably however and I'm keen to make progress in the Scottish Cup as well.
Hopefully Motherwell can look to move up the table before the split. The top six isn't too far away and wouldn't be impossible. They'll need to cut out disappointing defeats against sides like Ross County though. A cup final to look forward to though - not bad!
1
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2 weeksEdited

Motherwell set for League Cup showdown



25 January 2021

Motherwell have booked a spot at Hampden Park after an extra time victory over Ross County in the League Cup semi-final.

The Steelmen last played in the final three years ago, going down to Celtic, but this time will face off against Rangers after they easily accounted for Hibernian in the other semi-final.

Darren Fletcher will get the chance to manage in his first cup final less than two months after assuming the role as Motherwell manager but the 37 year old already has experienced the firepower of Steven Gerrard's side, losing 4-1 at home earlier this month.

Motherwell has won the League Cup just once, in 1951, whilst Rangers are looking for their first title since 2011.
Tricky opposition but to win silverware you have to beat the best.
1
Some very positive results early on, and the signing of Williams should strengthen your right-side quite a bit too. A couple of blips along the way, but that's to be expected, and the fixtures you have in February look like they could be the first big test of Fletcher's managerial career.

Best of luck!
Feliks's avatar Group Feliks
2 weeksEdited

February Review


After an inconsistent start, we really hit our stride in February and won some key games in our continental qualification hunt. We also became a true attacking threat, winning games in style and always searching for three points.
Results
Date Opponent Result Goalscorers Competition
03/02 Dundee United H 3-1 Long, Lang, Hastie Premiership
06/02 Celtic A 2-0 Premiership
12/02 Hamilton H 4-1 Polworth, Long (x2), Hastie Premiership
16/2 Aberdeen A 3-4 Hastie (x2), Long (x2) Premiership
20/2 Alloa Athletic H 3-0 Lang, Long, Carroll Scottish Cup 4R
28/02 Rangers N TBA League Cup Final
We started the month as expected against relegation battlers Dundee United before the dread away trip to Celtic Park. Coming away with a 2-0 loss is in many ways a positive result, and the loss didn't hold us back from thumping Hamilton 4-1 in a second half blitz. The trip to Aberdeen was one of those games that could prove our credentials and we delivered an all-time classic, going 3-1 up by the 20th minute and eventually scoring a 79th minute winner through Jake Hastie. It was a much more relaxed attitude in the cup match against Alloa, with the Wasps never really looking like threatening.
Player of the Month

Jake Hastie has come into his own for us this month, making the left wing his own in a role where he is afforded plenty of freedom to attack. Hastie scored in each of our three league wins as we pushed up the table which included a brace and a winner away against Aberdeen.
League Table

The win against Aberdeen was so vitally important as it see us jump above them into the top half of the table, with a game in hand as well. If we win our game in hand we would jump into the continental spots over Kilmarnock; Hibs and St Johnstone are definitely in our sights now as well.
March Schedule

After a fairly hectic first couple of months, March is a lot less congested but the pressure will undoubtedly ramp up as we approach the second stage of the season. Aberdeen represents a tough challenge in the Scottish Cup but we know we can beat them.

Rangers lift League Cup on penalties


Rangers 1-1 (4-3) Motherwell
28 February 2021
Carson; Williams, Gallagher (c), McGinley, Carroll; O'Hara, Campbell, Polworth, Martin; Lang, Long
Campbell (24)
Motherwell came agonisingly close to victory against the odds but ultimately fell via penalty shootout to Rangers, who have lifted their first League Cup in ten years.

Allan Campbell's 24th minute strike was a surprising turn and Darren Fletcher's men held on doggardly for over an hour in an attempt to hold onto that lead. Centre back Nathan McGinley picked up his second yellow card after 70 minutes and looked to have jeopardised Motherwell's chances but many fans would have believed they had managed to get away with it until Joe Aribo equalised in the 90th minute.

Despite having the momentum going into extra time, Rangers weren't able to break the deadlock and the match went to penalties. Misses by Declan Gallagher and Allan Campbell put Motherwell in a precarious position and although Trevor Carson managed to pull off a spectacular save to deny Alfredo Morales' spot kick he couldn't stop enough and it was Steve Davis to fire home the winning penalty as Rangers lifted the cup.
Match Stats

Post-Match Sum Up

"I think the better team won, I think we gave a good account of ourselves though and really showed that we could stick with them and in the end we couldn't get the job done from the spot kick. I think our lads can be very proud of themselves though, it's still very early in our journey together and having this experience will make our players hungrier."

Hastie doubles up in monthly awards



1 March 2021

Motherwell winger Jake Hastie has been named the Premiership Player of the Month and Young Player of the Month after he helped fire his side up the table.

The 21 year old, who started his career with Motherwell but is currently on loan to them from Rangers, has played a deeper role as part of a midfield four under Darren Fletcher but is given plenty of freedom to run and create.

Hastie has repaid that freedom by scoring four goals in four league appearances through February, most notably scoring the winner as Motherwell upset Aberdeen away from home. After an ordinary start to the season, Hastie is beginning to recapture the form that saw him attract Rangers' attention back in 2019 and will continue to be a key factor in Motherwell's success this season.

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