Why Marouane Fellaini is being unfairly treated by Manchester United fans
Manchester United overcame Arsenal 2-1 at Old Trafford yesterday afternoon, with the all-important winner coming from Marouane Fellaini.
The much-maligned Belgium international is yet to pen a new deal at United, although after the game, manager Jose Mourinho seemed fairly confident that an agreement could be reached.
Although the vast majority won’t be happy to hear that news, it’s a contractual decision that makes perfect sense for the club.
Firstly, Fellaini isn’t your average player. The former Everton man does bring something different to the table and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The phrase ‘he’s just not a United player’ is often used. What is a United player? What does that sentence even mean?
Mourinho trusts him wholeheartedly. That’s good enough for me, particularly when you watch his performances under the self-proclaimed Special One. On the whole, he’s been excellent for the Red Devils over the last two years, scoring some crucial goals while affecting the game in a positive manner due to his physicality and sheer power.
I see fans aplenty complain when managers have no ‘plan B’. Yet, United fans hate Mourinho’s perfect game-changer. It just makes no sense to me.
Fans have this issue with ‘lumping it forward’ and hoping for the best. Ashley Young’s cross was inch-perfect into an excellent area. Apparently, this is something new for United. The Red Devils have always played beautiful football before Mourinho took charge, except, that’s just not true.
Getting it wide and crossing it in has always been their mantra. If it were David Beckham whipping that ball into Ruud van Nistelrooy, I’d imagine the supporters wouldn’t have any problem with it whatsoever. People have taken issue with the personnel, Fellaini has turned into the #1 scapegoat in Manchester, and I’m not quite sure why.
Honestly, I think it purely comes down to his flashiness (or lack of). He may not be the most aesthetically pleasing footballer to watch, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. United fans love Ander Herrera for his desire, drive and feisty side, why’s Fellaini not treated in the same bracket? When you look at it, both have had very similar seasons, yet one is lauded, the other hated.
The fact that he gets ironically cheered when he does something well just irks me, but what’s even more irritating is that when things aren’t going his way, the Old Trafford faithful will boo him off the field. That’ll never happen to Paul Pogba, who himself has had his fair share of abysmal games as a United player. But, that’s just football fans. We’re all fickle, I guess.
I wouldn’t have begrudged Fellaini wanting to leave United. More often than not the fans have gotten on his back (unfairly, I might add), but credit to him for remaning so thick-skinned throughout. Not once has he moaned nor kicked up a fuss, instead, it’s driven him to work harder and produce the goods.
Sure, he isn’t going to start every week; and nobody is asking him to. But when games are getting scrappy, feisty and passion-filled tackles start flying in, stick him on the pitch, what him upset opposing players, and you just know that he’s going to get on the end of a cross or two at some point…