Marouane Fellaini: Why Mourinho is holding on to the midfielder

Football may not be a popularity contest, but Marouane Fellaini quite rightly happens to be the least favorite of any Manchester United supporter.

If he isn’t giving the ball away, he is slowing down the rhythm of play or just needlessly conceding penalties.

Whatever he does, Fellaini always manages to ruffle feathers with baffling consistency.

 

Over a century of appearances

Over the last four years fans have questioned how the Belgian has managed to survive under David Moyes and two world class managers, scoring 12 goals in 109 appearances.

And so we ask again, how exactly has Marouane Fellaini managed to serve under three Manchester United managers?

If I could answer that I could also develop an algorithm that will solve the secrets of the Egyptian Pyramids or perhaps expound on Einstein’s theory of relativity…but I can’t.

What I can do however is develop my own theory as to why all but Mourinho thinks Fellaini isn’t deadwood.

Although the midfielder redeemed himself after scoring against Hull City in the EFL Cup first leg semi-final, not many have forgotten how he cost United a win during their trip to Goodison Park in December: I know I haven’t.

 

Close but no cigar

The trip to the windy Midlands however poised a distressing challenge to Jose Mourinho, ultimately enticing him to start with the Belgian at the expense of Michael Carrick.

Physical as they are, the 29-year old still managed to duly nullify the threat of Stoke City, none more so than the imposing Charlie Adam.

One not afraid to put a foot out, and may at times throw an elbow or two, Fellaini did exactly what he was set out for.

Although I do agree that the midfielder provides an oafish sense of security- by winning aerial duels at the middle of park while also fulfilling his defensive duties- Fellaini best serves as one to see the game out.

As such, the gaffer should only bring him on in the closing stages of a game.

Conceding a last minute penalty is not the way to do it, but on his day Marouane Fellaini is well capable of frustrating the opposition when playing in a deep lying midfield role.

 

Written by Brian Humphrey

Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum

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