As the window slammed shut, Manchester United bid farewell to two very different legends.
Manchester United confirmed on Tuesday both the free transfer of Darren Fletcher and Anderson to West Brom and Brazilian side Internacional respectively. Both expected, but both players will be sorely missed by the United faithful, mainly of what more it could have been.
Darren Fletcher, a pure winner ever since his he made his debut against Basel in 2003, he instantly became a fan favorite in the heart of midfield, although not as technical sound as a Paul Scholes you couldn’t deny his fight and commitment. Yet, for all the trophies he won he never played in a Champions League final something that eluded him, whether it had been injury or suspension. Just his luck to be sent off for a perfectly good tackle on Cesc Fabregas.
Fletchers bad luck didn’t stop there, in 2011 Fletcher was diagnosed with a chronic bowel condition which rarely saw him make an appearance in three years, however one of which in 2012 on boxing day at home in a 4-3 win in which Fletcher scored; the man gave everything for the reds. He did return but wasn’t able to recapture his previous form and although Van Gaal wanted him to stay, the man he is needed to play.
Anderson, the overweight £26 million pound flop a legend, really? Ok, I get he wasn’t the best player for Manchester United and many fans are disappointed that he seemingly through away his talent, but for me he was a cult hero a real character, the sort of player that every squad needs. If you were asked the question ‘do you love Anderson?’ could you really say no?
From scoring a penalty in the champions league final, to pulling faces at Szczesny to put the Polish keeper off and finally to the stories of a footballer who loved the local food, there is many a moment in which Anderson has been the cause of laughter, for the right or wrong reasons. I agree as a footballer he disappointed, but as a man he is a cult hero, an enigma. Ultimately it’s about what could it have been with the Brazilian, but the memories for me are enough.
Both are legends in their own way and their own right, you need not only speak to the fans of their admiration for either player. So a final farewell for both players, thanks for the memories.
My best memory of Fletch was his return at Stoke, in the away stand chanting his name until the end of the game, and for Anderson it has to be the cheek of the man to pull faces at the Arsenal keeper! What are your memories of these two very different Old Trafford legends?