Marouane Fellaini keeps having stinkers. You could say that he made his presence felt for Manchester United against Bayern Munchen on Tuesday evening. But, for one so big, he lost out in 76% of his tackles, gave the ball away in an infuriating manner on way too many occasions and generally looked as if he was playing at a level too high for him.
We believe that the problem for Manchester United is that Fellaini simply isn’t technically good enough to be a central midfielder for an elite side. Even Manchester United’s most warrior-like midfielders through history have had decent feet.
Players like Robson, Keane and Ince all knew how to battle with the best of them. But they could also hit a beautiful long pass, beat a man or score a goal with pure skill. Since his first game for Manchester United, we felt that Fellaini would really struggle. The worst bit about it is that he’s not even a great ball winner to compensate for his glaring foibles.
So, what to do with a man who cost £27.5m and was David Moyes’s totemic first signing? Leaving him out of the team would be tantamount to Moyes admitting he made a huge balls up. And if Manchester United sold him this summer they would surely make a huge loss – even more embarrassing for Moyes. In retrospect we can all assume that the Manchester United manager would have thought twice about the purchase.
We believe that the only way to make this guy a success at Manchester United is to teach him how to defend. In fact, with Manchester United’s defence in serious need of fresh blood, we think that Fellaini would actually make a rather good centre back.
His height gives him an obvious advantage back there. He was bought to win the ball so he must have that somewhere in his locker – another vital component for a centre back. And he must surely be better in the air than he has so far illustrated in his time at Manchester United. Indeed, at Everton he was known for chipping in with headed goals.
Fellaini isn’t a Manchester United midfielder. It’s as simple as that. But, if he is to stay at the club, we think that David Moyes could save face by developing the Belgian into a centre back of some promise.
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