The signing of Marouane Fellaini on deadline day back in August raised a few eyebrows. It was a bolt from a blue that ended a summer of mismanagement and total ineptitude. It also sparked a great deal of confusion between Evertonians. Despite being told to ?Watch this space? amongst other things, it appeared Everton?s transfer kitty was non-existent. Bill, it seemed, continued to survive off handouts whilst telling supporters the club was still for sale to the right buyer.
It was strange then, to see the announcement of a record signing come fifteen minutes before the window slammed shut. Safe to say, nobody knew of Marouane Fellaini, barring the Evertonians who watched on as Standard Liege somehow succumbed to our neighbours in the qualifying stage of the Champions League, of which Fellaini was a part of.
On closer inspection, his performance was one of promise — splendour in fact. Only a real midfield maestro could keep Steven Gerrard quiet over two legs, right? Encouraged, YouTube was invaded by excited Blues and we found clips of our new bushy icon powering headers home against Belgian?s elite left, right and centre. Bearing in mind Fellaini considered himself a defensive midfielder in an early interview following inking a five-year deal, we could have been forgiven for believing he was the younger, enhanced version of Lee Carsley we desperately desired. We had shipped out the unglamorous Brummy for one of Europe?s up and coming talents.
The Britannia Stadium was the venue for Fellaini?s Everton debut. He lined up alongside fellow new boy Segundo Castillo in the middle of midfield. They say first impressions last, and Marouane?s wasn?t a particularly inspiring one. But we couldn?t judge him on his first game in English football, it would have been foolhardy at best and nitpicky at worst, surely? After all, he won the odd header and sprayed a few decent 10-yard balls, the makings of a good player appeared present, right?
Hull at the KC Stadium was Fellaini?s next outing in the Royal Blue. Barring a cross field ball to Phil Neville in the first half, the game completely bypassed our record buy and I think it?s fair to say a few started to wonder what the Belgian offered other than a daft barnet.
After an awful forty-five away at Blackburn in the cup — which in all fairness was the same for every Everton player — we prepared for ?Felli? to outwit, out battle and outclass Steven Gerrard for the third time in the space of a month as the Goodison derby approached. This would be the game when Fellaini would really stamp his mark on our team. The games to adapt had been and gone, a combustible Goodison atmosphere would spark the outwardly lethargic Belgian into life.
We would come away from this one and think ?Boy, he?s going to be some player?. Sadly, this eventuality failed to transpire. In fact, Fellaini was a point of ridicule to the filthy red hordes who looked on and laughed at what seemed to be a catastrophic error of judgment on David Moyes? part. A criminal waste of 15 million pounds. The seed of doubt and doom had been firmly planted.
Here we had a player that looked drastically out of his depth. But we were lumbered with him. Evertonians were divided, though. Some could see what others couldn?t, citing signs of a player that would dominate Premier League games in a few years time. Whilst the others simply commented on what they witnessed on the turf, an ill-equipped performer who offered more hindrance than help.
Manchester United were the next Goodison visitors, and the feelings of impending doom and despondency engulfed what was then a dejected and downbeat Everton fan base. Devoid of passion and with the tactical awareness of Haig at the Somme, Everton had looked clueless on the turf and we clung to hope rather than expectation prior to kick off. After being treated to a first-half footballing lesson, Phil Neville decided to qualify himself as an Evertonian in the second-half with a lunge on Cristiano Ronaldo that sparked what was a Goodison library into a raucous bear pit.
Fellaini seemed to wake up from his hibernation. He began to battle and fight for the Everton cause. Everton were in the ascendancy and the Belgian rose highest from a Phil Neville cross to power home past Edwin van der Sar to send Goodison Park into scenes bordering on delirium. A kiss of the tower didn?t harm Fellaini?s appeal to the Everton faithful. Maybe it was a turning point.
It certainly seemed that way as Jonny-on-the-spot ?Felli? netted a last-gasp winner at the Reebok Stadium just four days later. We were beginning to see some sort of return on the unorthodox Screech look-alike. I was encouraged.
The performances were improving and Fellaini seemed to be finally bedding in. No strikers available and just Cahill and Fellaini to rely upon, we can safely say the Belgian delivered. Yet I still retained an uncertainty as to what he was actually bought for, because he certainly wasn?t a defensive midfielder. And if he was, he shouldn?t be have been anywhere near our side, because his positional sense was poor and his speed left a lot to be desired. Add into the mix an inability to tackle and a tendency to give away needless, petulant fouls and the hallmarks certainly didn?t point towards a powerhouse protector.
Now I ask, with the emergence of Jack Rodwell and the prospect of a fully-fit squad come pre-season, where does Marouane Fellaini fit into our plans? If he isn?t a defensive midfielder then why did we sign him, you really do have to ask. The general consensus now seems to be that Fellaini is a long-term replacement for Tim Cahill. We had no urgent need for a Tim Cahill back-up who was not on the same level in terms of passion, mobility or aggression. Call me crazy, but Everton are not a club able to splash out such a huge figure on someone we ?hope? will develop in a few years. And what, I ask, if he doesn?t develop? It?s not even worth contemplating as far as I?m concerned. As for the Cahill comparison, I think it?s an insult to our Aussie talisman to mention the two in the same breath, I really do.
Marouane Fellaini is a decent player, who I hope and believe will improve, but not to the sum of 15 million pounds, whatever way you look at it and through whatever haze of bias you opt to select. He can be very effective and at times cause havoc, but the performances against Bolton and Aston Villa verify my belief that he unbalances our side. There are those who regurgitate the initial payment made to Liege and the instalments to be made in the future, this I believe, is a joke of an excuse to mitigate what was the wrong signing for a massive fee.
Ask yourself, with a fully-fit squad, where does he fit in? The simple answer is he doesn?t. Is he anywhere near as effective as Cahill at what Tim does? No. He is too slow, gawky and sluggish for that, not forgetting positionally naïve. To play in central midfield in the Premier League you need to have at least some of what Fellaini hasn?t. I?m concerned.
That concern has only expanded after witnessing the rapid development of Jack Rodwell, who offered a masterclass of how to operate in the middle of midfield against an experienced Aston Villa outfit - at the tender age of 17. The display was an obvious sign of development and a reminder that in Rodwell, here we have a player destined for the very top of the game, I really do believe that. The pending five-year deal he looks set to ink is the cherry on the top at what is a great time to be an Evertonian.
We all expected an immediate return upon our investment, I don?t really consider this idiotic or stupid, most football fans would given such a hefty fee. For that money we should have been signing a player to come in and make an instant, silver service impact on what was a struggling side — a real top level performer. To suggest otherwise is to make excuses and mitigate the consequences of having, in all honesty, the wrong player for a record purchase. A wrong player who truthfully, in our heart of hearts, doesn?t fit in.
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1 Posted 17/02/2009 at 06:36:32
2 Posted 17/02/2009 at 06:43:04
3 Posted 17/02/2009 at 06:56:49
4 Posted 17/02/2009 at 07:02:12
Stop worrying about the fee, which is now irrelevant (we have him), and for sure didn?t involve a £15M cash payment. Anyway, Fellaini is an international with a very good reputation in the game, so the chances are we could recoup most of our money if we really wanted to.
Anyway, you need a squad of at least 7 or 8 decent midfielders to compete today. And anyway ? once Moyes has worked on him for a season, and ironed out some of the weaknesses you mention Joe ? Marouane is going to be just great.
5 Posted 17/02/2009 at 07:14:15
6 Posted 17/02/2009 at 07:20:44
Also. he provides an aspect which no other midfielder at everton provides. That is a physical presence. Everton have an extremely light weight midfield, which was a real problem when we had penuts, Osman, Cahill, and Arteta in the same team.
I can definately see a very important role for him in both our short- and long-term future.
7 Posted 17/02/2009 at 07:05:47
If I had to pick one though.... Jack Rodwell every time!!! JR has been at Everton for more than half his life already, he is from a good local family and is steeped in the Everton Way, a true blue through and through. JR has Class that money can not buy!
Rodwell is head and shoulders above his peers and I really think it is not ridiculous to think he could pass David Beckham?s England record caps quite easily (and if his England teammates where as good as him a few World Cup winners medals as well!)
IF Everton are good enough for the player Jack Rodwell to stay at Everton aged 26 then I believe we and he will have quite a collection of silverware!
8 Posted 17/02/2009 at 07:44:07
What I’m saying is if JR grows to be a formidable DM, that won’t affect Fellaini (in Moyes’ eyes), ’cause that’s not his position.
9 Posted 17/02/2009 at 07:44:24
Cut the kid some slack and give him time. Just feels like yesterday that someone wrote an article discussing how we would fit Tim Cahill into the line-up when we had most of our players available at the start of the year. What a joke.
One would think Moyes will adapt a playing style that evolves around the better players in the line-up. One would assume that Fellaini will be one of those better players to build team around.
10 Posted 17/02/2009 at 07:53:13
Fellaini is a kid and a very good one, I watched him close against Arsenal the other week, he was top draw, he never wasted a ball, his hold up play with his feet and chest was similar to Sharp and he scores goals. It?s very funny everyone was gutted when he was banned and never had much hope of beating the shite, now a couple of wins without him and people are questioning him. I honestly believe next season this lad will be immense, when and where he plays is down to Moyes, but it?s the competition for places we need and what brings success.
11 Posted 17/02/2009 at 07:58:43
12 Posted 17/02/2009 at 08:07:29
Before the Shite & Villa games it was generally believed that JR was not there yet, but was one for the future and we would do well to get anything without Fellaini.
Now, a couple of games later, Fellaini doesn’t cut it and wouldn’t get into our first team whilst JR will be world class and outcap Beckham. We are indeed fickle.
IMO the most important target at the moment is getting 3 points at the Toon without Tiny.
13 Posted 17/02/2009 at 08:09:01
Jack Rodwell ? now thats a proper midfielder, and one I would have been happy to pay £15 mil for; pure talent and ability, with a maturity that belies his years.
14 Posted 17/02/2009 at 08:31:46
Outcap Beckham? Very very optimistic at this embrionic stage of his career, but I truly believe it is possible. Fickle? NO! Excited? YES!
One game at a time though and this team ain’t there yet...but it is potentially on its way UP...bring on the barcodes!
15 Posted 17/02/2009 at 08:15:16
Jack Rodwell looks a class act, but we need as many class players as we can, when was the last time we had a full a squad to choose from? The price tag was inflated because Liege were desperate to keep hold of him, and we left it till the 11th hour because we spent the whole summer chasing that Portugese fella we could never afford.
16 Posted 17/02/2009 at 08:39:02
All I am saying is we shouldn?t over burden him with talk of greatness until he has had a decent bedding in period. He?s going to make mistakes, like he did earlier in the season and I think opinions on this site can change in an instant.
All I?m saying is that it?s important to keep his age in perspective and that of Fellaini, who I also think will be a huge asset to the club.
17 Posted 17/02/2009 at 08:20:37
18 Posted 17/02/2009 at 08:51:04
With regards to Rodwell - let’s get realistic: the boy has done very well in the last two games. But better than Fellaini? Not yet, surely! In my eyes our best XI has a five man midfield of (right to left) Osman, Fellaini, Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar, although I really think Ossie should be fearing for his place. People forget that Arteta is at his most effective in deep positions, where he starts attacks; he’s never been a "number 10". With Fellaini alongside him as the powerhouse, box-to-box player, plus Cahill’s tremendous workrate in front of the two of them I think this gives us enough balance in the midfield.
Perhaps in some games we might need a Neville or a Rodwell in there for a bit more protection, but that central midfield trio (behind the Yak ideally) would be a fantastic combination in my eyes.
19 Posted 17/02/2009 at 09:05:56
20 Posted 17/02/2009 at 09:04:58
21 Posted 17/02/2009 at 09:17:28
To suggest that there is no place for Fellaini in the team is shortsighted, yes he’s taken time to adapt to the premier league but at 21 time is very much on his side. If he carries on progressing then we will have a very good player in our team. His position? I’d see him as a proper central midfielder, not defensive nor attacking but a bit of both. He has a good touch, can pass the ball and at the start of our current run was very important in helping keep the team ticking over with short sharp passes.
If you don’t rate him Joe then fair enough but don’t write him off because we’ve won a couple of games without him and a young 17 had one excellent game.
22 Posted 17/02/2009 at 09:29:07
23 Posted 17/02/2009 at 09:24:56
Admittedly, I think Moyes might have been able to spend the money on more sensible targets, but the emergence of Rodwell doesn’t make Fellaini any worse does he?
To be honest, I’m looking at the centre of our midfield thinking... Arteta (26), Fellaini (21), Rodwell (17). What a prospect for the next 5+ years...
Now if only we can sign a decent winger or two...
With Chelsea and Arsenal in apparent meltdown, we’re nicely in place to make a real run at them in the coming few seasons...
24 Posted 17/02/2009 at 09:31:21
I like Fellaini, I think he?s a good player and can be very effective but you have to be realistic. He looked bog average in the middle and only started to look promising when he moved into a more advanced position, behind the striker. There he gives us an outlet, he?s good with his back to goal and we can use his aerial ability to full effect.
In the middle it?s a different story, the lad is slower than Osman, he?s immobile. And whilst slow players can make up for there lack of speed with hard work and tenacity Fellaini doesn?t do that, he isn?t that type of player. Central midfield is a demanding position and you need to be able to move, unless he learns how to run he won?t have a future in that position.
That?s one thing, another is the fact that Mikel Arteta is now playing in the middle and is the main man, I don?t care what anyone says. He?s the player we should be building the team around. Playing Arteta alongside Fellaini wouldn?t compliment the team, Arteta would have to sit and be very disciplined. He?s very capable of doing that but it?s not using him to full effect, he needs a bit of freedom.
Realistically we should be looking for an athletic central midfielder to compliment Arteta, Rodwell could potentially be that but it?s too early to say. If Rodwell?s not ready then that?s then we need someone in that mould, someone strong, mobile and athletic.
Fellaini is better suited to Cahill?s position, just behind the striker. Cahill still has another few years left in him and is in terrific form. Either he takes over from him or Moyes reverts to a 4-3-2-1 or a 4-3-3 so he can play alongside a defensive midfielder and a playmaker.
It?ll be interesting to see, I hope what I say is wrong, it very much could be but that?s how I see it at the moment. Especially with a fully fit squad.
25 Posted 17/02/2009 at 09:52:14
Why do people want to shut out players when they think things are perfect with the current team.. ??
Two good wins in a row... plenty of hard work left to be made by the squad not the current 11.
26 Posted 17/02/2009 at 09:51:37
27 Posted 17/02/2009 at 09:40:51
Joe Jennings is only looking at us having just the 11 places available for the whole season. To compete in a season you need a squad. Ask a group of Man U fans what their preferred formation is and who their best starting XI is and I bet none of them agree. This is because they have a squad of quality players. The best 11 may vary from game to game depending on who you’re playing. Too many times, Evertonians on this site have complained about Moyes’ one dimensional tactics and his lack of a plan B. Now it seems we have some semblence of a squad with different options in it, and we’ve got people moaning about one of our players being a spare part! How many times has Moyes even had a full squad to choose from this season?
Fellaini’s contribution has been priceless and he has easily shown enough this season to prove he is quality. I think he is an unlikely target to pick on, Joe.
28 Posted 17/02/2009 at 09:40:26
This I believe is where our Belgium comes in. Osman would not be able to cut it in a 3 man midfield IMO, Arteta surely would be a must and could you leave Cahill on the bench? Which 3 up front??... who knows!! I would probably say Saha on the left, simply because he is great with both feet (when working), the Yak surely in the middle... with Jo on the right? Cahill ghosting in from midfield... Arteta with the ammo... and our man Fellaini, hopefully becoming the next Phil Nevile?
Either way, a great headache to have... lets hope we have it soon!!! COYB!!!
29 Posted 17/02/2009 at 10:12:38
Now that’s cleared up, I have a wonderful investment opportunity to offer; having recently acquired the Runcorn Bridge...
30 Posted 17/02/2009 at 09:48:56
31 Posted 17/02/2009 at 10:06:29
>In my opinion, this is the main problem with Fellaini ? yes, we all scratched our heads when he said he was a defensive midfielder... but he?s quite clearly not.
If you look at him objectively without considering the price (which I think we either made up, or were robbed) ? then we have a very good box to box midfielder ? who is still learnign the game... has a good range of passing, and is on the same wavelength as Arteta...
He certainly doesn?t conflict with Rodwell, who will be taking Neville?s place in midfield in the long term. It?s just a guess, but I?m thinking that the re-emergence of Mountinho?s name at the end of the last window has clouded some people's vision? Is it that people are really suggesting that Fellaini wouldn?t fit in if Moutinho miraculously arrived here? Personally, I think it means that we don?t need him.
A central three of Rodwell, Arteta and Fellaini is quite a salivating prospect.... having Rodwell progress so well almost makes up for losing Manny from that DM position.
32 Posted 17/02/2009 at 10:13:48
This for me Joe is another article you?ve written in the heat of the moment with the euphoria of the recent villa victory in mind. Make no mistake, Fellaini is on a different level to Rodwell(who is only 17 still!) And he is a massive massive player for us. Just because we have played well in a couple of games in his absence doesn?t mean we don?t need him. It?s really amusing how we see the uproar after the hull game when we had apparently thrown away our chances against the reds according to most on here because fellaini had been suspended and how we don?t need him now! Fellaini is one of the most promising young midfielders in the world, he was before he joined us(many of us had actually heard of him before the Liverpool tie) and still is.
And one more thing! everton playing a 4-4-3 with three strikers? are you mad! Moyes will never start with three strikers, because he isn?t mad! If we want to get the best out of our team we should continue with a 4-5-1 as it?s with that formation that we are at our most impressive. With regards to our best midfield, at the moment its quite simple ? Arteta, Fellaini, Cahill, Neville, Pienaar and in a couple of years maybe rodwell or gosling will be ready to join the mix or another talent whom moyes has secured. With respect to Fellaini, he is a fantastic talent, and the fact that some are questioning his first team position is, although dubious, is still a mark of how good how our midfield is beginning to look. But he is a great talent, an amazing aerial threat and furthermore, has incredible hair.
33 Posted 17/02/2009 at 10:32:30
I think some Evertomians have seen Felli drift out of matches, but this has predominantly been after he has been booked. The Goodison derby in the league is a prime example of this. He got booked early and was treading on eggshells for the rest of the match.
I would second some of the comments made on here about his role when he was signed. I clearly remember Moyes saying that he was more of a Cahill type player, rather than a Carsley. This has proved to be the case, where Moyes has played him. Cahill gets goals by floating unnoticed into the box and timing his runs well, Fellaini will get similar goals, but he couldn’t go unnoticed in the box if it was a mile wide, so he has to approach the position in a different way. I think Moyes sees the two players as two very different problems for defenders coming from attacking midfield. How do you combat Cahill and Fellaini, without losing any of your own tactical edge?
All that said, and admitting that Fellaini has qualities and defintiely brings something to the team and to the squad, I still don’t see him being worth £15million. His passing is good, but he lacks vision. His heading is good, but he does not use his stature to its full potential in midfield battles. He scores goals, but he does not create them as much as a £15million midfielder should.
I hope he does improve in a lot of areas, cause if he doesn’t we are going to make a huge loss.
34 Posted 17/02/2009 at 10:51:15
Sorry mate, stupid article and wrong on so many fronts.
Contrary to your sweeping suggestion, we did not all expect an immediate return on our investment. Some of us saw this for what it is, the capture of a strong & coveted young talent.
I saw it as a young guy who has got great ability (seen to great effect against Liverpool twice), great presence and touch. I also saw it as a young man moving to a new country, not speaking the language and leaving family & friends behind. From the moment we captured him I saw him as being for the future. The price tag is irrelevant in this regard, it simply meant that we got him before someone else did.
I expect, and have always expected, Fellaini to start showing next year. He will be settled, learning the language, a good pre-season, be fit etc etc. I hadn't banked on him grabbing the winner in a few games and, as Moyes said, "carrying the team" for a bit. But he did. Oh yes, and he?s also been carrying quite an unpleasant injury of late that needs to heal.
Your article perfectly sums up the ridiculously fickle existence that most fans inhabit. Give the kid a break, look at the bigger picture and take comfort in the growth of a fantastic young & strong team. Marouane Fellaini is a key member of our squad and, I hope, will remain so for many years.
35 Posted 17/02/2009 at 10:19:25
Did he price himself at £15 million? Was he responsible for Everton pulling out the stops in the last minute?
I fully accept he?s a player still adapting to the style of play and culture but to suggest his price tag should some how mean he should be the finished article at 20 seems unrealistic.
Everyone is talking about Rodwell being excellent now but possibly world class in the future. I go along with this entirely. This means we will all have patience and watch the lads development without ridiculing him for any mistakes along the way.
Yet it seems through this article that the same patience will not apply to Felli just because we paid a fee? What the difference?
There's an argument that both Felli and Rodwell wont make the starting 11 with everyone fit. This is because Felli was physical presence and focal point upfront without any strikers and the emergence of Joe may well negate the need for him to play in that role. I still see Moyes's ideal pairing in the centre as Mikel and Neville and Cahill is indespenible behind the front man. As neither Felli or Rodwell are wide men this could lead them both dropping to the bench. If this happens does this mean Rodwell doesnt ?fit in? as well??
For me there is nothing negative about this, it just means we will have genuine options to change games in the run in. What a great position to be in.
There are flaws to his game but how many truly complete players do we have? The league is littered with examples of players who come in from foreign countries showed promise and developed into world class stars. The idea that Felli should not be afforded that time doesn't go along with any logical thinking. In the mean time he?s still a great addition and a genuine threat to opposition, the sooner we get him back the better.
36 Posted 17/02/2009 at 10:53:25
With the arrival of Jo (lets hope we can get him permananetly in the summer), the emergence of JR and Gosling etc. I am really optimistic about our squad. And we need a SQUAD to compete at the top of the Premier League ? 11 players won?t cut it in modern times.
37 Posted 17/02/2009 at 10:40:48
The only certs to start are Arteta, Neville & Cahill (outside the back four that is). The days of a best XI are long gone & the fact is they can?t all play at once, but what we will have for the first time in a very long time (if ever) is a large strong squad of good players which can only be a good thing
38 Posted 17/02/2009 at 10:57:18
I would still put Fellaini in the first team. while Gosling and Rodwell have done well, no way are they going to be first team regulars for a while. and why do you think that he unbalances the team? Taking the team we put out againts Villa you replace Gosling with Piennar and Rodwell with Fellaini. the full backs are encouraged to get forward as much as possible with Neville drifting out right to help out when needed (like he did against Villa) and bobs you uncle!
39 Posted 17/02/2009 at 10:57:17
??we all expected an immediate return upon our investment?? Is that right, Joe? It?s only a guess but maybe not everybody is as impatient as you appear to be.
Personally, given the circumstances of his arrival (last minute; never played in this league before; the language barrier; his new manager?s unsigned contract; the appalling atmosphere around the whole club, etc etc) then I?d say he?s actually delivered quite a lot.
If you don?t like him, Joe, then fine but at least wait until he?s had the benefit of a full Everton pre-season under his belt before your next essay.
Alternatively, try this as your next topic ? Victor played quite well on Sunday so let?s bin Yakubu as soon as he?s fit. Oh, and then you can complain about us having too small a squad.
40 Posted 17/02/2009 at 11:45:19
41 Posted 17/02/2009 at 11:47:02
Turn it in mate, I know finances are tight but our priority should always be the team & surely knowing that the moment you have a bad game you can and prob will be replaced by a quality player makes us stronger? You only have to look at Leighton Baines to prove that, he knows that now Joey is fit if his form dips below the level he has set for himself then DM will have no hesitation in moving Lescott out there and slotting Yobo back in. Its because of this I think that Baines (on form) is one of the best 3 left backs in country along with Clichy of Arsenal & the money grabbing cockney rentboy Ashley Cole.
42 Posted 17/02/2009 at 11:09:35
?he was the younger, enhanced version of Lee Carsley we desperately desired? ? he was never that and never will be ? Moyes stated from the day we bought him that he sees him as a box-to-box midfielder.
?the performances against Bolton and Aston Villa verify my belief that he unbalances our side.? ? speechless ? to judge our team balance based on our most recent 2 games; after your logic Jo, Saha, Yakubu, Pienaar, Osman, Vaughan and Yobo will be unbalancing the tam?!?!? This doesn?t verify anything at all ? the opposite Moyes stated that he is concerned about the balance of our midfield when Fellaini and Pienaar were missing.
?Now I ask, with the emergence of Jack Rodwell and the prospect of a fully-fit squad come pre-season, where does Marouane Fellaini fit into our plans?? Fellaini adds to our midfield height, power, goalscoring threat, he rarely gives the ball away, he is link-up play is outstanding and he has creative qualities.
Moreover, I believe that Cahill and Fellaini with Arteta behind are match for any central midfield in the League ? you have everything height, aggression, creativity, finesse, goals
??the emergence???? rapid development of Jack Rodwell?? there were too many false-downs over the years to judge player based only on 2-3 games ? Branch, Cadamarteri, Jeffers, Grant ? the list is endless, only 2 weeks ago a poster was slating Rodwell for being slow, uninterested and lacking positional sense. He may have been showing promises but he is far from ready to be regular and seeing how fickle some fans are (you included) all you need is 2-3 bad performances to shot his confidence down and brand him as a ?Championship standard?.
This is very poor written and poor thought article Joe ? the fans are always looking for someone to scapegoat; in the beginning of the season it were Neville and Lescott who was ?found out?, then it was Howard, then it was Arteta who was ?piss poor? and his set pieces couldn?t clear the first man, then it was Ciaran asking what is Cahill contributing to the team and what is his use of as a playmaker; Yobo is the latest casualty with many screaming to be sold. All of these including your article are knee-jerk reactions ? in order to have a good team we need quality players and squad depth, Fellaini is one of our best players and is currently struggling with injury, to slag him of just exposes you as part of the before mentioned pundits.
43 Posted 17/02/2009 at 12:19:42
That isn?t to say I agree with him though. Most of the important points have been made in Fellaini?s defence; he?s a box-to-box player, not a defensive midfielder, the price tag was too high, but that?s not his fault, and most of all, he?s 20. Joe is also a little harsh about his actual ability.
The one thing that people seem to forget is the influence of coaches and managers. If you buy a 20-year-old you should expect to still have to teach him a thing or two. I?m willing to bet that Rooney and Ronaldo don?t just turn up at training and piss about, they listen to what they?re being taught. Fellaini has the attributes but needs coaching on how not to commit fouls and the mental aspect of taking control of a game.
Yes, £15M was too much for the player we?ve seen so far, but we can expect him to get better. The problem was the timing of the buy, why did we wait til the last minute, after he?d shown he could cut it against Liverpool and Gerrard in the Champions League qualifier?
44 Posted 17/02/2009 at 12:09:32
I personally like him and agree with many others on here - you need more than 11 players and Moyes is still learning (and learning well) about changing things succesfully.
45 Posted 17/02/2009 at 12:21:13
He has scored some vital goals, but he has also had some absolute shockers. He had a nightmare against the Red Shite in the replay at Goodison (I was gutted he was banned for the first two, but on that evidence maybe it was best!).
I think Gosling will develop into a good squad player, a cut above Osman but not much more. Rodwell looks class, a far better prospect than Fellaini. If anything Fellaini is a decent player to have in the squad getting regular outings.
If we are to compete over a full season we need good depth and I think he provides it.
46 Posted 17/02/2009 at 12:29:02
I honestly cannot remember a single player who has come from a different nation, joined a struggling team and managed to double his value which is in truth what the poster is suggesting. Unless we did sell him to Newcastle or Tottenham, you can guarantee that he would make £30million!
Children are the FUTURE.
47 Posted 17/02/2009 at 12:44:42
48 Posted 17/02/2009 at 13:04:36
Clearly, with the good form the "Moyes can do no wrong" brigade are out in force and it appears Mr Fellaini is wearing ?the emperors new clothes?!!!
He has made ricks before and shipped them out and, on a lesser scale, he?s made another here IMO. Clearly the lad isn't absolutely terrible but, for me, nor does he show ANY signs of being potential worldclass.
His ball skills are on the good side of average, his size is his main weapon but he is slow over the turf, a bit clumsy, and most of all seems to lack footballing and spacial intelligence.
Time will decide and nothing else but for me you are bang on, with a fully fit squad he just doesn?t fit in.
Those saying "its a squad game"...behave. EFC CANNOT adfford £15M, squad players... yet!!
49 Posted 17/02/2009 at 12:58:49
50 Posted 17/02/2009 at 13:19:03
51 Posted 17/02/2009 at 13:32:02
52 Posted 17/02/2009 at 13:05:40
Regarding the fee: if, at this very moment, he was worth £15m, he?d cost £25m. Moyes knows that he can?t buy the finished article but, given his eye for potential (barring a few exceptions), he?s done pretty well.
Consider this: you?re lying in bed reading (or whatever), you get a call; it?s your boss at wherever it is you work now:
BOSS "Joe, you?re moving to Belgium next week for the next 5 years."
JOE "But, but..."
BOSS "No, Joe, you?re there. But don?t worry about it, you?ll be pushing a brush for the first few weeks then they?ll be giving you a few other tasks as you settle in. Pack your bags and come in tomorrow to pick your ticket up" Joe arrives in Brussels.
LE DAVIDE MOISE: "Bonjour, Joe. Enchanté. Laissez vos sacs là. Voici votre uniforme, vous êtes sur la réception aujourd?hui. Bon chance."
53 Posted 17/02/2009 at 13:49:52
54 Posted 17/02/2009 at 13:45:41
55 Posted 17/02/2009 at 14:03:55
Ben "Baldy" Dyson
56 Posted 17/02/2009 at 13:43:15
57 Posted 17/02/2009 at 13:46:13
Jo likes to play behind the striker - leaving room for the Yak - but then thats taking Cahills place. I wouldn’t personally play Tim in a central midfield of 2... With Mikel and Rodwell AND Felli and Neville there. Things are really looking good lads for the next few years.
We need to be looking at some pace on the wings. This board is evidence in itself that we are on the way up!!
58 Posted 17/02/2009 at 14:29:57
The only downside is his awful tackling - when he can’t get the ball it looks like he has to get the player instead I put this down to his inexpereince, and desire to do well, but he needs to channel it in the right direction.
Moyes will get him right, and in a year or two I think he will be one of the best players in the League.
59 Posted 17/02/2009 at 14:24:22
To date we have seen Fellaini go through only three phases.
1.Coming into a makeshift team that had a horrible start not able to speak the language and certainly not knowing how any of the others played.
2.Filling in as a makeshift strikers second man.
3.getting injured and out of the team for sometime.
Non of the three can have given anyone,the manager and coaches included,any realistic idea of how he might eventually progress and fit in.
Perhaps best dealt with by filing under ’wait and see’ and Joe perhaps you could revisit 12 months from now and give us the benefit of you observations over the longer term.
Get well soon Fella.
UP THE BLUES
60 Posted 17/02/2009 at 15:25:10
As someone else mentioned, Patrick Vierra.
Also slow, gangly, lots of bookings early on in England. Since he has gone, how many times have we all heard "No steel in Arsenel’s team"?
As for the price, it ain’t his fault.
61 Posted 17/02/2009 at 16:30:33
It is still early days to write him off and I have seen enough of him to think he will be a very important player in the future. He has a tall physical presence which was needed he hardly gives the ball away, mostly playing one- and two-touch football, and has surprised me a few time when getting out of sticky situations. Yes, he has a lot of rough edges but he?s a potential diamond in the making.
You ask the question, "Where does he fit in?" ? I think from next season he will replace Osman and, in the long term, Fellaini or Baxter will replace Cahill.
62 Posted 17/02/2009 at 17:30:47
63 Posted 17/02/2009 at 17:44:38
64 Posted 17/02/2009 at 18:32:28
He was poor in the cup replay against the RS but he was playing up front and by all accounts wasn?t fully fit. One goal could be all important in the cup games to come and i don?t see anyone to match him aerially so he could be the secret yet.
Secondly, I don?t think it is much of a stretch to say that Rodwell must be the best 17-year-old in Britain. His performance in the cup replay against the RS was superb. The sooner he is signed to a long term deal the better. He is better off here than on the bench at one of the other clubs and in fairness to the lad he seems to know that.
65 Posted 17/02/2009 at 18:34:25
A lot of the opinions above start from that very base idea "is he worth £15M". Probably not yet, but seeing as we probably haven?t paid £15M yet, it?s fucking irrelevant.
Neil Steele ? "His ball skills are on the good side of average, his size is his main weapon but he is slow over the turf, a bit clumsy, and most of all seems to lack footballing and spacial intelligence." ? That is a very very harsh analysis
Si Kirwan ? "Shame we didn't bring in a young, rapid, skillful winger we desperately crave" ? Oh that old chestnut, the winger that we crave. Any suggestions? You have to play a certain way to use wingers. They tend to be luxury players and you can?t just buy one and slot him into an existing team, you have to play a certain formation with the right personnel. Get back to FM and buy yourself this mystery winger.
The jury will remain out on Fellaini, but some of the sweeping assumptions made in earlier posts are ott considering how much you have seen of the guy. Next season all eyes will be on him looking for an improvement, only then should we really begin to be critical IMO.
66 Posted 17/02/2009 at 19:46:17
As others have stated, Fellaini is very much a box-to-box midfielder whereas Rodwell?s real strength is in reading the game and breaking down the oppositions attacks but above all great composure and likes to keep things simple. Remarkable attributes for a lad of his age.
Fellaini is constantly looking to close down the opposition forcing them into errors and above all he is always available for the pass he holds the ball up better than anyone else in the team and is a huge asset going forward. What impresses me most is that he more than holds his own against the stronger teams. With the exception of our defenders and the truly outstanding Cahill, I?m not sure that can be said for the others who sometimes wilt in the face of the the SKY 4.
Fellaini gave us back our belief that we could play football on the ground and demands it of his team mates. I for one can?t wait for his return. He will I believe prove to be an outstanding acquisition. If anything I?d say Rodwell and Fellaini could potentially complement each other.
As others have rightly stated, if we are to seriously challenge the clubs above us, we are going to need strength in depth. For that reason, I struggle to understand the logic of your argument. The question I think that will be posed at some point is not whether we can sell rather will we be in a position to hold on to him.
67 Posted 17/02/2009 at 22:11:35
It?s a squad game now. Don?t worry about a player?s place in the team ? the team is different from week to week, from half to half, from one necessity to another. (Except when we can barely get eleven on the pitch.)
It?s the place in the squad that counts - and Fellaini is a key player offering huge options in our squad.
I admire Tim but I don?t believe for a minute we?d be lost without him. Arteta maybe.
68 Posted 18/02/2009 at 07:49:39
The lad?s already looking good. Given time to mature, the confidence of knowing the English language and being able to communicate with the manager and his team mates, then we really could have a great player on our hands. All young players need time to develop.
I?d play Gosling before Pienaar (who is too lightweight for me, gives the ball away too easily, goes ?headless chicken? at times). Still think he?s ok, but Gosling is another great prospect.
Moyes is terrific.
69 Posted 18/02/2009 at 10:35:33
Your tedious articles just get worse and you seem to just write for the sake of writing ignoring whether there is a valid point or not.
Fellaini has been, on the whole, good so far and a useful addition to the team and supporters drive me mad with knee-jerk reactions.
Lay off the lad and just him over the next couple of seasons.
70 Posted 18/02/2009 at 10:51:18
Who said you have to read my articles? It?s personal choice. How about instead of following me around with your snidey ? if not moronic ? comments you actually read it properly.
As everyone else seems to recognise, the article has a point, a big one, if you can?t see that then that?s your problem.
71 Posted 18/02/2009 at 12:15:54
The image of him being bollocked by Neville, whilst standing there with his beehive during the Derby replay was an enduring one for me. He was substituted soon after.
As other?s have said, I?m sure we?ll see a different player after a full pre-season and hopefully a fully shorn one!
PS and no, I?m not a hairdresser.
72 Posted 18/02/2009 at 13:51:35
I have no doubt you are an accomplished writer although I wish you had more to write about rather than just taking silly threads from other sites and rewriting them on here. Judgeing by the reaction to your previous two offerings I would say I am not the only poster to think this.
I am sorry if it affends but it just seems that you love the sound of your own voice more than posting about what people are really interested in EFC.
I can see a midfield of Fellaini and Rodwell working well in the future and cant wait for the lad to prove his doubters wrong.
73 Posted 18/02/2009 at 15:08:43
No footballer is the finished article at the age of 21. That is why they need coaching. I am sure Moyes has a plan for him which will only be achieved with patience, in time. His mentality and raw talent is not in question so I live in hope.
He is a Marco Materazzi in waiting and will get bigger, stronger, quicker and more aware in time. If not, he will go.
This will be remembered as his worst season in an Everton shirt because youngsters improve. Judging his Net Worth on a handful of appearances is simply short sighted.
I still believe that he was a Plan B signing to appease the fans after the comedy of errors which was our summer. But ask yourself? Would you rather he played for us or Liverpool!?
I know my answer? let?s get behind him? the Everton way!
74 Posted 18/02/2009 at 16:21:21
I remember thinking more-or-less the same when Manyoo paid that " enormous " fee for Roy Keane.
75 Posted 18/02/2009 at 17:36:35
I must admit that I may have agreed with you at the start of the season but he’s settled in now and as a result I see him him as one of our most influential players. Just like other people have pointed out its a squad game and Fellaini give you options... he give you a bit of something different.
76 Posted 18/02/2009 at 19:55:21
This guy has won games for us this year, plain and simple. He is tough and he will adjust to constant flaggings much like my young puppy will finally learn to quit chewing on everything in site. The fella isn’t even old enough to drink in the states.
77 Posted 19/02/2009 at 03:32:23
After all, Felli speaks fluent Arabic as well as French and now no doubt he?s picking up English as well. Give him time, he?s still young. He was willing to come to Everton and adapt to another playing style and a different life. I like him four or is it more?
78 Posted 19/02/2009 at 12:50:13
After reading this article, it's clear you know little about football, never mind Everton. You describe one of our brightest prospects as ?the odd one out? even though he has won us vital points this season, brought a much needed physical presence to our midfield and showed a lot of promise. If anyone is ?the odd one out? its our ?captain? Phil Neville, who looks lost everytime he steps onto a football pitch.
79 Posted 19/02/2009 at 17:56:40
For there’s no doubting that in order to get your (entirely valid) point across you had to be so episodic simply because there have been so many versions of Marouane Fellaini thus far.
But that’s just the point: I simply don’t believe that there’s a single Evertonian out there who has yet figured this cat out entirely.
It was interesting in your phase-by-phase segments you managed to be so detailed as to include a cross-field pass at Stoke but ommitted the audible groans around Goodison versus Hull when he picked up that yellow.
As much as I haven’t yet figured the lad out, I know I was definitely of the view that we’d not only struggle against our brethren but further that Fellaini (not least due to his increasingly telepathic understanding with one Tim Cahill) had been one of the lynchpins of the remarkable pre-Christmas resurgence.
But, segmentally speaking, it now seems that somehow we’ve been time-transported back to the October criticisms of Fellaini on the basis of one lukewarm half-performance and we’re again questioning why we need him.
Yet, we spent all of last summer stressing the need for Everton to have strength in depth.
So what are we saying here: that when we’ve got a fully fit squad (don’t forget it wasn’t that long ago - in fact when we signed Fellaini - that we were generally wondering whether we’d ever see Cahill again...and don’t tell me you didn’t wince when he was helped off v Arsenal) that we’ll have competition for places?
Bring it on.
Hopefully we’ll be in a position next season to try and break into that top four, rectify a few things in the UEFA Cup (based on last night I’d love to draw Liege again, frankly!!), push as far as we can in the Carling and defend our FA Cup!
For that we’ll need a broad squad of talents; and that’s what I believe Moyes is stealthily ensuring. The Great Fellaini Debate (he even out-Gravesens Gravesen in the discussion stakes and I never thought I’d say that!) has to be a long-game.
In fact, the Great Fellaini Debate is a microcosm of the Great Moyes Debate. For in the same way that Moyes can go from hero to zero and back again in the space of a month, so it seems with Fellaini.
But as a fully-paid-up member of the "In Moyes We Trust - As Long as He Plays the Bloody Ball on the Deck" brigade, I have to say that I like the idea that he signed a player like Fellaini who almost dictates that we have to keep things on the ground (if he could reach it more often than not it would deffo help), so I’m keeping my powder dry with the Baffling Belgian (or is he Moroccan? see!!!).
Something tells me - given his career so far - that we could all be loving him again in a game or two’s time and I, for one, wouldn’t put it past the lad to do something utterly stupid like score a cup winning screamer in about eight weeks’ time (or maybe get sent off!).
It’s the Fellaini way.
And I suspect the Great Fellaini Debate still needs to take as many twists as his resplendently bizarre barnet.
80 Posted 19/02/2009 at 18:54:14
81 Posted 20/02/2009 at 01:48:11
Joe makes valid points regarding Fellaini. For a club like ours, £15 million is a monumental amount of money & for that you would expect an accomplished top drawer player which Fellaini clearly isn?t. If he had only cost £2 million no-one would have batted an eyelid.
But, as many have already pointed out, the fee is not down to him but he will be judged by it regardless. Personally I see a very good player beneath the hair, at times awkward & guilty of giving the ball away cheaply, yet he is also influential & seems to be constantly involved. Should we expect more for the fee? I would say yes. Should we cut our losses? Definately not, there is more to come from this kid, let's just give him some time.
82 Posted 20/02/2009 at 02:54:00
83 Posted 21/02/2009 at 08:14:45
Just out of curiosity, what has Neville proven to you? His lack of awareness and creativity, his inability to pass, run, shoot, head the ball, his unrelenting need to give the ball away?
And Gary, if you read the article you would’ve noticed that Joe concludes it by stating that Fellaini "doesn’t fit in". I do agree with what you’re saying about Fellaini, but the criticism of Joe is certainly justified.
84 Posted 22/02/2009 at 23:01:59
You can now add the Newcastle display to the list of games were Fellaini contributed nothing other than add to his collection of yellow cards
85 Posted 27/02/2009 at 13:51:16
Stop being so negative.
86 Posted 22/03/2009 at 16:26:33