To Fellaini or not to Fellaini?

Published 07/19/2015, 6:35 AM EDT


Manchester United doesn’t seem to have a place left for Marouane Fellaini as their boss admitted to his 3-match domestic ban affecting his chances to play for the club.

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The typical Fellaini tackle.

The ban was a result of a very harsh tackle, a typical Fellaini one, on McShane, from Hull City at the KC stadium. Not only was it the last match of the season, he ensured his absence from the next three games, which would be the first three of the new season. These include matches against Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa and Newcastle. The tackle was so rough that even Louis van Gaal didn’t defend his own player, quoting the tackle to be ‘unbelievably stupid’.

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What this means, according to the manager, is that the Belgian national would have 3 extra weeks to get himself ready for the new season in comparison to other players, which pushes him back in the playing priority list.

Also adding to his woes are the top-notch midfield additions of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin. Both of these players can adapt to any role in the midfield region, and have the versatility which Fellaini seriously lacks. Apart from these two options, the club has even more midfield mastery with the likes of Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and Daley Blind. Even up ahead, the manager, who considered the 27-year-old for the striker position for a few games, has other options in Wilson and Depay among others, if we exclude the obvious Wayne Rooney.

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Smiling here, will he be later though?

The manager believes in pre-season games and gives chances in the main team during the season based upon the quality of play the players have demonstrated when not under pressure, especially during the friendlies. With the younger likes of Andreas Pereira and Adnan Januzaj shining their way through, Fellaini seems to be the man for a specific purpose – to provide the much-needed strength and aerial  quotient in the team. He might be the man van Gaal would go to against smaller clubs who play a more aggressive game, against which the team might face a problem. In the last friendly win against America at Seattle, a part of their US tour, he was one of the only two players in the tour who didn’t get a chance to display his talent, the other being Sean Goss.

Louis van Gaal, when asked about the absence of the midfielder, replied implying a dull chance for Fellaini to anticipate a starting next game, saying: “Fellaini is suspended for the first three matches and he has longer to be ready. So I have to look at other players.”, according to The Telegraph.

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On the other hand, he seemed to be willing to get Chicharito back into the main squad, after a loan stint at Real Madrid last season. The Mexican international is currently undergoing treatment for a collarbone injury and is expected to join the club in the US in another week. With the departure of Radamel Falcao to Chelsea, and Robin van Persie to Fenerbahce, the striker role has lost the competition that players had to go through earlier to secure a first team spot.

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Srivats Venkateswaran

139 articles

Red Devil forever. Engineer by nature, Football by the heart. Sugar, Spice and a whole lotta tadka on the side.

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