Has Fellaini finally found his role?

After just over a year of wandering around the Manchester United midfield like a lost Ent, Marouane Fellaini rediscovered his mojo at the Hawthorns on Monday.

During his time at Everton as a late-in-the-box target-man, Fellaini was feared by defenders across the Premier League (admittedly in part due to his fondness of leading with the elbow).

However, as a move to Manchester was confirmed, fans and journalists were unsure as to whether he was the right signing to begin the rebuilding process post-Fergie.

 

A few games in to his United career and there was no longer any doubt. Fellaini rapidly became the great symbol of the club’s demise; a £27 million target of derision for both sets of fans, whenever or wherever he featured.

His fear factor had been replaced by pity, and it seemed a given that he would be shipped out at the end of the season, especially after David Moyes – his biggest believer – was sacked.

With Louis Van Gaal confirmed as Moyes’ successor, and grand plans being put in place to replenish the squad over the summer, it seemed only a matter of time before Fellaini and his entourage of afro wig salesmen left Old Trafford for good.

In a show of continued faith, Belgium coach Marc Wilmots stuck by Fellaini, and he was selected for the World Cup. Against Algeria in Belgium’s opening group fixture, Fellaini was thrown on to rescue his side from a shock defeat, and that is exactly what he did. His clinical header from a Kevin De Bruyne cross put Belgium level, and they went on to win the game 2-1.

 

In the aftermath Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen, like many Belgians before him, questioned whether United knew how to get the best out of Fellaini, but is it possible that Dutchman Van Gaal has now solved the puzzle of the man he tried to offload in the transfer window?

Arriving off the bench again, on Monday Fellaini took only three minutes to equalise against West Brom, and following his superbly taken goal, he was also United’s biggest threat in the closing stages. Baggies’ defenders Joleon Lescott and Craig Dawson simply had no answer to his physicality in an advanced role that he thrived upon, and he won every header he went for.

So, Fellaini to start against Chelsea? “Do not be hasty”, you may be saying in the words of Treebeard, but with Wayne Rooney banned and Robin Van Persie lacking sharpness, he has suddenly become a very genuine option as United enter a pivotal period.

The Author

Sam Viller

Manchester-based football and rugby league journalist.

4 thoughts on “Has Fellaini finally found his role?

  1. Falcao and fellani in the striken role and let RVP rest abit coz he doesnz’t look sharp in the attacking side.

  2. Evertonian here. All ManU has to do is play him. He’s an excellent player. One of the few around who can dominate a game. Van Gaal was intelligent to keep him.

  3. Has Fellaini finally found his role? …HOPE SO!!! Now for some consistency throughout a full season. The excitement and proclaiming some great idea after one show in a game is not good. Great Manchester United players are consistent through a full season and sometimes even a full career.( I.E. Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Eric Cantona, David Beckham…e.t.c.)

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