The 6ft 4 midfielder has been with the Blues for 5 years now, and has become a fans favourite. The ‘I want curly hair too…’ chant is evidence of the impact he has made on the fans with his ‘win at all costs’ style of play. It took Marouane a while to adjust to life in England, and the style of play in the Premier League, often being criticised by pundits for giving away cheap free kicks, and picking up too many bookings, but his performances this past season have proven to the football world what a quality player he is. His performance against Manchester United on the opening day of the season was sublime (it can be taken as a compliment when Sir Alex Ferguson slates a certain player, as it usually means the player has made his team suffer).
The question every Everton fan is asking at the moment, is will he be with us next season? Rumours have suggested that the Belgian is off to Manchester United or Chelsea this transfer window, with more clubs believed to be interested. Recently, he has been ranked the 60th best player in the world by the Guardian, above the likes of Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben and Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla, proving that he would be a great asset for any side. But would he?
The best teams in the world, the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich, play a type of football which requires agile players, who are more than comfortable with the ball at their feet and have fantastic ball control (on the ground, not like Fellaini’s insane ability to kill an aerial ball dead with his chest). ‘Felli’ however, in my opinion does not have these skills and suits teams which like to play up to him with a more direct approach. It can be said however, that the 2012/13 season saw the Toffees play a lovely style of football, having most of the possession in the majority of their matches. Despite this, in the games where we were outclassed, in terms of possession, particularly against the better teams in the division, we played a more direct style of play and Fellaini proved a handful. This is why he seemed to be a ‘big-game player’ and not because he thrives in the bigger games. As previously mentioned, the best teams in Europe like to play football based on possession, and personally I do not believe Marouane has the skills to play this type of football at the top-level, i.e. Champions League.
I must point out though, that I am a huge fan of Fellaini and it would be a huge morale boost for the fans and players of Everton alike. Nevertheless, the new manager Roberto Martinez, seems to have the approach of playing this European passing style of football (see my first article ‘Martinez: the right man for the job?’) which Fellaini does not suit. It could be said that Martinez may not want to keep the Belgian, and would rather cash in and buy players who play the style of play which Roberto prefers his players to play.
I would encourage you to think logically about Fellaini, whether or not you like him, and feedback what your ideal situation would be. Would you like to see him stay, but not necessarily fit into our style of football? Or would you rather we sell him, and spend the transfer fee wisely? Comment below.
By Matty Williams