Marouane Fellaini cost Manchester United a huge £27.5m last summer, and as of yet it hasn’t quite worked out for the big Belgian at Old Trafford. Whilst at Everton, the 26-year old had it all; Goals, assists, passing, movement and the ability to run with the ball. Since his switch though, it feels like Fellaini is overawed by the task in hand.
His debut came in the Champions League at home to Bayer Leverkusen back in September, and to be fair to him he did his job. Moyes deployed him as a holding midfielder and he barely gave the Leverkusen midfielders a chance to run beyond him, since then though, everything has seemingly gone downhill.
Whenever selected against a so called ‘big team’, Fellaini seemingly loses all confidence in his ability and becomes more of a hindrance than a help. The game last night was a prime example of this; As we all know Bayern Munich’s midfielders love to maraud forward and get themselves into the box. Mario Mandzukic beat Rio Ferdinand in the air and knocked the ball down into the area for Bastian Schweinsteiger to slam home and draw the Bavarian side level. Who was at fault? Marouane Fellaini. He left his man giving Schweinsteiger a free run into the box and all the time in the world to finish. As a professional footballer wanting to compete at the highest level, this quite simply should not be happening.
Whilst inside Old Trafford it seemed like Fellaini did at least win the aerial battle, but after re-watching the game today it turns out that he actually won just one of the seven headers he challenged for. Which again just simply isn’t good enough.
He gave the ball away sloppily on numerous occasions, and for some reason he was looking to hold onto the ball for far longer than he should have. Bayern give you no time and space whatsoever but Fellaini was looking for two or three touches before attempting a pass.
What exactly is his best position? He himself claims to be a holding midfielder but for the most part Everton deployed him in the #10 role, and thats where the majority of his goals have come from.
Onto his plus points we go. He’s done well against the teams in the bottom half of the table and thats about it. He looks like a completely different player when going up against the likes of West Brom and Crystal Palace, he seems to have that extra yard of pace, and doesn’t shirk a 50/50 tackle. Whether thats a confidence thing, or the fact that he’s just not good enough is a question that is yet to be answered. Only time will tell…
He’s here to stay, and theres no chance we’ll be letting go of him this summer so hopefully his confidence will build and he’ll be a completely different player next season.
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