Why Marouane Fellaini simply must be the first name on LvG's team sheet
Marouane Fellaini made an £27.million move to Manchester United in acrimonious circumstances over eighteen months ago now, and its fair to say that his first season in the red of Manchester United was boarding on horrific.
He looked bereft of confidence, afraid to make a tackle and let opposition players glide past him almost at will. That led to a whole load of abuse from United fans and opposing fans alike, labeling him not Manchester United worthy and nowhere near good enough to wear the red shirt.
Skip forward twelve months and Valencia CF visited Old Trafford in the final pre-season friendly for Louis van Gaal’s ‘new look’ Manchester United side. The big Belgian was a second half substitute that was met by a portion of boos from some of the Old Trafford faithful, and every touch made by Fellaini was greeted to ironic cheers.
I’ll never forget that day, and as a long-term Manchester United fan there aren’t many times when I’ve been genuinely disappointed in my fellow reds. However Marouane silenced his critics in the perfect manner scoring a last minute winner that boosted United’s confidence going into the Premier League campaign.
After that game, the 27-year old was ruled out for a couple of months with an injury problem, so in some senses he was forgotten about thanks to excellent performances by Ander Herrera and Daley Blind. Skip forward to mid-October and Fellaini found himself on the bench for United against West Brom. The first half was a disaster for the Red Devils, and they needed something different, someone who has the ability to change a game. Step forward Marouane Fellaini.
He came on and within minutes he had his first competitive goal for Manchester United, and what a hit it was too. Fellaini brought the ball down wonderfully, before shifting it onto his other foot whilst beating another man, then he lashed it wonderfully to drag United back into the match. He went on to dominate that game from the middle of the park, and that was a sign of things to come.
From then on he was a mainstay in the Manchester United team, putting in dominating performances after the other, and going toe-to-toe with some of the best midfielders the league has to offer. Unfortunately he was then struck down by another injury which kept him out of action during the busy winter schedule, but once again he made an excellent return to first-team action.
It was a blustery, tight game at Loftus Road against QPR this weekend, and once again the difference maker was the man with the afro. He came on and within minutes changed the game and bagged the opening goal with another terrific strike. Not only that though, he was instrumental in settling the whole team down and getting United playing the football we know they can once more.
Whatever Louis van Gaal has said and done to Marouane Fellaini seems to be working, because he has been one of the outstanding performers for the club this
season, and its clear confidence is flying. He now needs to keep it up, keep on pushing and keep doing what hes doing. Most of the boo boys will have already been won over, but I’m sure that they’ll all be singing his praises once again come May when he plays a significant part in European football returning to Old Trafford once again.