When I woke up on the last day of the transfer window last September, I turned on Sky Sports News and read that Everton had signed Marouane Fellaini for ?15M. I was gutted as it seemed we had failed in signing someone in Joao Moutinho?s calibre. I remember that night, when the transfer window had closed, thinking to myself: ?Oh no, this is going to be a long season.?
I did my research on Marouane. He was young, tall, talented at heading and was a Belgium international. YouTube showed how good he was in the air at heading. I asked my fellow Liverpudlians what their views were because he had played against Liverpool in a Champions League Qualifier with his past club Standard Liege. I got a positive response which was pleasing.
He never set the place alive when he arrived. I was expecting more of a ?15M signing. In his first few games, he looked neat in passing and possession. He also gave a tall presence in the midfield which we needed. As the season went on, Marouane scored many vital goals for the Blues. Heading home a 90th minute winner against Bolton and another header against Manchester United which arguably was the turning point of our season.
However, there were negatives: Marouane seemed to ?stroll? around the pitch instead of ?running?. Maybe this was the manner in which he played. It frustrated many, including me. It looked as though he wasn?t interested at times. Another negative was his poor discipline; he was picking up needless bookings which resulted in him being suspended for big games such as the two derbies. Questions were being asked whether he could even tackle as when he tackled an opponent he was getting penalised by the referee, and quite rightly so as he just couldn?t tackle in my eyes.
Marouane scored the vital goal against Middlesbrough which secured Everton?s place in this season?s FA Cup Semi-Final clash with Manchester United at Wembley but there was criticism towards Fellaini over the way he continued to ?stroll? around the pitch and still commit needless fouls. He picked up his game in the second half against Boro and overturned his poor first half display.
Overall, you have to take into account Marouane is only 21. He is still learning to speak English. The Belgium League is a lot different to the English Premier League and carrying a ?15M price tag is added pressure. He has come under much criticism for some of his performances, perhaps understandably so, but that?s not helping him. He is only young and his game will improve massively over the next year. We all know it was a huge gamble from David Moyes but I?m sure it will pay off over time. I was amazed to hear some people suggesting we cash in on Fellaini. He has showed glimpses of what he can do; he just needs to do it consistently. Be patient.
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1 Posted 15/03/2009 at 15:49:08
2 Posted 15/03/2009 at 15:56:01
3 Posted 15/03/2009 at 16:03:49
4 Posted 15/03/2009 at 16:20:16
He didn?t agree the fee, of which it has been said many times that the figure put down was about a fifth of the asking price. Stop going on about it ? is Cahill a £2.5M player, Arteta a £1.8M one? Valuations are placed on players by the clubs so for a while forget about the price tag and judge him on his playing ability, which is not that bad really.
5 Posted 15/03/2009 at 16:05:23
I think he?s a natural second striker who will eventually score a lot of goals and set up a lot more with his lay-offs. A player in that position doesn?t necessarily need speed, and he doesn?t have to be a good tackler. Fellaini scares defenders ? that?s evident from the attention they pay him and the way they wrestle him on set pieces (Huth) ? and I believe that, while he probably isn?t worth his price now, he definitely will be later.
Patience is definitely a virtue with this guy.
6 Posted 15/03/2009 at 16:32:41
7 Posted 15/03/2009 at 16:35:17
He?s got great potential, will always prove a threat around goal but a box-to-box player he isn?t ? which is what I thought we were getting for our investment.
8 Posted 15/03/2009 at 16:44:31
9 Posted 15/03/2009 at 17:03:01
10 Posted 15/03/2009 at 17:06:20
And Karl, please... we?ve all spent the whole year moaning about losing every player who can score to the injury list, so what?s more important than Fellaini?s ability to put the ball in the net? Even if he could do nothing else, which isn?t the case, he?d be of great value. As to the silly fouls, no argument but I see improvement there already.
11 Posted 15/03/2009 at 17:24:00
12 Posted 15/03/2009 at 17:22:50
Fellaini isn?t going to be a Tim Cahill ? but neither was Tim! His contribution simply couldn?t have been predicted, but he had the makings. Same with the Big Fella. He shares a few good qualities with Tim ? opponents hate him for starters ? but he will become Fellaini the First, not Timmy the Second.
There is a lot of this season to go, and he will work his socks off for the club, but we?ll only see him start to play to his potential when he runs out to start the next campaign. I?m glad he?s one of ours.
13 Posted 15/03/2009 at 17:37:58
Unfortunately, I think his natural enthusiasm for tackling back (which was an impressive part of his game) has been curbed by his fear of further suspensions ? I hope he proves me wrong with an Amokachi-like performance in the Semi-Final but I will be very surprised.
14 Posted 15/03/2009 at 17:42:59
One more thing, and this isn?t having a pop at him: When he scored yesterday, why did he look like he had just been told that he had lost a member of his family? There was no celebration, just a face like a smacked arse.
15 Posted 15/03/2009 at 18:33:34
16 Posted 15/03/2009 at 15:10:09
This is not having a dig at anybody, I was just wondering if I could find out the terms of the deal.
17 Posted 15/03/2009 at 18:53:48
Lyndon also said the upfront fee was £3.9M or thereabouts... I’ll see if I can find it and add a link here....
18 Posted 15/03/2009 at 19:09:01
19 Posted 15/03/2009 at 19:17:04
I am satisfied with Fellaini’s contribution so far. He hasn’t set the place alight but he has been influential and is improving all the time. Next season will be the real test, full pre-season, European football, and another run at the Champions League spots. We’ll have another look then shall we. I don’t understand the logic behind moving on a young player for a loss when he’s actually not done bad at all.
There’s a reason that Moyes has had seven years at Everton. He knows a lot about football. So let’s just see how the big fella pans out for now and you can come back on and say "I told you so" if and when he does get moved on.
20 Posted 15/03/2009 at 19:51:15
FFS, actually sounds a lot like people?s posts when Cahill was injured and trying to say he was a limited player at best. Laughable.
21 Posted 15/03/2009 at 19:56:54
22 Posted 15/03/2009 at 19:29:34
The talk of the supposed £15M fee as a yardstick to judge him with begs the question what do you get for your buck these days.
This season we have the following
Bentley to Spurs - £15M
Pavlyuchenko to Spurs - £14M
Jo to City - £19M
Keane to Liverpool - £19M
Does anyone think that the above players have proved to be value for money and have any of them done better than Fellaini? ? as I certainly do not think so.
23 Posted 15/03/2009 at 20:12:56
He's only 21, has no family or friends here, doesn't speak the lingo and he's getting to grips with one of the fastest most aggressive leagues in the world.
At the moment he can be hit and miss but I think he's dynamite and a talismanic player. In the next 2-3 years he will progress into one of the best all round Prem midfielders.
I just hope he doesn?t learn his trade at Everton and then bugger off when he's the finished article.
24 Posted 15/03/2009 at 20:44:52
25 Posted 15/03/2009 at 20:30:27
Fans getting on a players back can ruin a 21-year-old so if you want him to fail, prove a point, and waste the club the big fee then just carry on with the criticism. I think things may move on to the next stage when he has a settled position. We seem to have taken a central midfielder and turned him into a tall young Teddy Sherringham.
26 Posted 15/03/2009 at 21:33:25
And yet he?s scored more than a few vital goals, gives it everything, seems to be growing into it and loving it. And I?ll go back to what I?ve said 20 times on other such threads, that I don't expect too much from him (for all the reasons given) until next season. I fully expect the kid to show next season, big time.
Let?s give him time and encouragement. He might just win us the FA Cup.
27 Posted 15/03/2009 at 21:25:55
He can?t tackle, run or pass that well.
However, he is tall and can head a ball and has a presence about him. He is also young, can?t talk the language and new to the league and the country so will take time to settle.
I don?t think he will be the central midfielder that Moyes wanted with a day to go before the transfer window shut, but more likely a back-up and future replacement for Cahill. I have also heard the rumour before that we only paid £3.9m upfront which if true is a good piece of business. I think that Fellaini was bought and expected to still be here in ten years time. If so and we end up paying the full £15m for him, then he would still have only cost £1.5m a season on average. A £1.5m fee for a goalscoring attacking midfielder which stays at the club 10 years is also a good piece of business.
28 Posted 15/03/2009 at 21:36:01
Get off Felliani?s back and give him a chance to improve himself; all you critics should be ashamed of yourselves, get behind the players that turn out in a Royal Blue shirt.
29 Posted 15/03/2009 at 21:59:04
30 Posted 15/03/2009 at 22:07:26
He is different, he needs to control his aggression, but his touch can be exquisite, like in his goal yesterday. He is always there to be passed to or to pick up the pieces, and he gets under the skin of opposing teams.
I believe that the best will come ? and that Blues fans should take a leaf from the Stoke fans yesterday. They sang their hearts out for the whole game ? we should support our team with more volume, and stop being so critical when a player like Fellaini does not control the ball or misplaces a pass.
31 Posted 15/03/2009 at 22:23:55
32 Posted 15/03/2009 at 22:56:03
33 Posted 16/03/2009 at 00:22:16
He has a lot of potential, and the key word I think is that he is ?effective? and gives Everton something a bit different.;
34 Posted 16/03/2009 at 00:38:56
Mark my words, Fellaini will be another of Moyes?s gems (a la Lescott, Cahill, Arteta, Jagielka, etc) in the future...
35 Posted 16/03/2009 at 01:09:24
Let's put things into perspective: the guy's just returned from a pretty painful injury. He?s a midfield player who happens to have scored in successive outings and also provided the assist for Jo yesterday. Yet some appear more concerned about whether or not he does cart wheels and jumps into the crowd when he scores as opposed to commenting on the tremendous skill he showed in pulling the ball out of the air before scoring.
Then there?s another group who think he should be competing in track events at the forthcoming Olympic Games. Finally, we have the never ending saga about how much he cost. If he happens to score the winner in an FA Cup Final or somehow scores a goal which secures us a place in the Champions League, his transfer fee will quickly be forgotten. He has the potential to be future star in the Premier League. Cut the lad some slack for heaven's sake.
36 Posted 16/03/2009 at 02:00:46
How tall is the fastest man on the planet?
37 Posted 16/03/2009 at 03:48:20
As it is, at worst we?ve got a lad who?s very hard for anyone to deal with unless they continually foul the crap out of him (a la Boro). At best, we?ve got a cross between Big Dunc and Reidy. Love it!
38 Posted 16/03/2009 at 03:58:38
Personally, I?d say the Premier League (and Moyes's effective creation of styles to suit the players) shows that a one-trick pony, as long as the trick is good and the rest isn?t too bad, is worth more than a neat, hardworking midfielder. We?re investing in that idea. Fellaini can be unmarkable, we play shortish balls into his body just in front of the penalty box and it sticks. We know about the heading... Heck, that?s two tricks already.
I don?t care about lightning quick players or good tacklers per se. I care about winning matches. Arteta?s deadballs, Tim?s leap, Jageilka?s anticipation and timing.
BTW, People seem to disagree on one point: can he pass or not. For me, he can. Add in the point about development and learning and you can make a decent case for Fellaini. At the very least, I have no idea how people can sound so certain about why he?s not up to the mark.
39 Posted 16/03/2009 at 07:11:43
I’m amazed at some of the opinions on here. He’s not Mr Consistency, fair enough, but in the absences of Cahill, Arteta and Yakubu, this guy has stepped in AT 21 YEARS OLD and done way more than his fair share.
I’d be very interested to see how many points and cup games Fellaini has directly had a positive influence on. It’s my humble opinion that after Jags, Lescott and Cahill, this guy has probably been our most important player this season.
40 Posted 16/03/2009 at 08:02:40
People have been on here and complained about Jags and Baines before they settled too. Jags in particular before he settled at centre def pulled endless "he’s shit" comments from self professed experts.
I think he’ll prove to be a bargain, Moyes has a tremendous nose for potential.
41 Posted 16/03/2009 at 09:20:15
I also disagree with the people who say Fellaini isn’t a box-to-box midfielder. Personally I think he is, he’s just not quite ready for it in the Premiership. His work-rate can be improved just by constant work on the training ground, as can his tackling. As soon as they’re sorted out I think he has the makings of a Bryan Robson type player, although admittedly it’s unknown whether he’ll fulfil the same amount of promise.
42 Posted 16/03/2009 at 09:14:57
Fellaini is only 21 and looks far more advanced than most 21-year-olds to me, his first touch at times is top draw and will only get better and some of his hold-up play at times, most notably against Arsenal with his chest, is quality and before his suspension when he was having a good run of games he was our main outlet and everyone was gutted when he was suspended, with the moans directed at Moyes, now they are moaning to sell him.
Just like the shite that has been written on here in the past about Cahill, Lescott at the start of the season and Arteta in the past, I have a feeling some people will be eating their words next season. It?s all about opinions and he certainly does need to up the miles he covers per game, but give the lad a chance, how many goals has he scored already for a midfielder? it?s not too bad a start in my eyes.
43 Posted 16/03/2009 at 10:26:37
But he does need to learn to tackle or hold up a player.. which right now he can’t .. due to he’s speed they waltz around him without hesitation...
But hopefully he will learn to read the game better and improve...
So for me there are 2 Fella’s .. one when we are in posession.. very good... and when we are not... not up to it yet.....
44 Posted 16/03/2009 at 10:57:50
But that said, he is midway through his first season with Everton and is still only 21, so there is a lot of scope and time for him to improve. There are a few players of that age that adapt to all the elements of the Premier League quickly. Look at Ronaldo at Man Utd and Adeybayor at Arsenal. Both came to England quite young and have taken their time to realise their full potential.
Fellaini has done well in his first season and will develop. His aerial ability and strength and power bring a lot to Everton and I feel the other parts of his game will come.
45 Posted 16/03/2009 at 11:55:25
46 Posted 16/03/2009 at 12:54:11
47 Posted 16/03/2009 at 14:00:16
48 Posted 16/03/2009 at 13:57:32
Cahill?s game is about energy, mobility and making up for his lack of physique by finding space in dangerous areas. He is suited to the second striker role because he can ghost in and around the box.
The Big Fella?s game, as far as the attacking third is concerned, is almost that of a target man. He attracts defenders to himself leaving space for others. He is not mobile and, ridiculous barnet notwithstanding, can?t exactly go un-noticed in the penalty area given his physique.
Lastly, but most crucial of all, the Big Fella can pass. His short passing is superb and he linked up play with Jo pretty well. However, what I will say is that, he has enough about him to become a quality player. He is different to anything else we have, is a determined bloke and seems to get up for the big games. He reminds me abit of Big Dunc ? capable of moments of quality in the big matches, with some stinking displays in between.
Unfortunately, I have no clue what his best position is and I bet neither does DM. He is probably worth finding a place in the team and whilst I don?t believe he will be the new Patrick Viera as many described him when he arrived, he could be the anchor around which DM can build a midfield - giving the likes of Arteta and Peanut the space to exploit.
49 Posted 16/03/2009 at 13:47:30
There are other factors to take into account other than the 90 minutes on the pitch. I think he?s got true potential. Pace is nice but I?d rather have a composed midfielder with a nice touch, quick feet and a good brain. I think he?s got all these things. With some quality coaching and some more discipline, I think he could become one of the PLs best midfielders in years to come.
He?s still raw and when he makes friends, settles down, and is playing in a more settled, quality laden side, he?ll have less focus on him and this I believe will allow him to develop nicely. I agree the price tag clouds the situation somewhat but look at it as a long term investment rather than a one season fix.
50 Posted 16/03/2009 at 16:48:39
He is a threat around goal, and defenders will always be preoccupied with him.
I like the Big Guy, and I’m glad he is with us. I like watching him, and I think the comparison to Teddy Sheringham to be honest may not be far off the mark - a deep-lying second striker, eye for goal, playing in other players around him.
51 Posted 16/03/2009 at 17:02:20
The simple point I was making is that Fellaini seems to be a player who responds to innovative players around him...and at the minute he doesn’t really have that...
P.S Using our points tally is a strange way of analysing performances....sure - we won against West Brom, Boro and at the weekend...but they were hardly convincing performances.
52 Posted 16/03/2009 at 17:04:36
Also, he seems to get about quite a lot to me, despite his gait which makes it seem as if he doesn’t cover much ground. It would be interesting to see some opta stats about how much ground he covers in games compared to others in a similar position.
Personally I think when we get him fit and in a settled position with our best players around him we will see a great player emerge. He’s already proved himself to be unplayable at times.
53 Posted 16/03/2009 at 17:01:23
Ok so maybe I shouldn?t blame him he didn?t put this price tag on. Which means Moyes is held accountable. He promised something good and from what I have seen so far im not thoroughly impressed to say the least. I hope I will be made to eat my words though.
54 Posted 16/03/2009 at 17:44:41
There has been much talk and speculation as to the need to sign a midfield playmaker during the summer given Mikel Arteta?s prolonged period of rehab, Moutinho, Fernandez and others have been mentioned.
My hunch would be to look at Standard Liege once again and take a punt on their 20-year-old midfield maestro Steven Defour. Fellaini would gain a pal and we would acquire a player with many assests and age on his side.
55 Posted 16/03/2009 at 17:49:09
And comparing him to Viera! not fit to wipe his arse. Really hope I?m proved wrong but I think he?s shite with a capital S, having said that better than that waste of spunk Osman, how does that cunt get in every fucking game?COYB.
56 Posted 16/03/2009 at 18:33:53
Come on now fella
57 Posted 16/03/2009 at 19:10:25
I’ve always been a huge fan of Fellaini & believe he will one day be our most important player if we can keep hold of him!
58 Posted 17/03/2009 at 09:57:56
59 Posted 17/03/2009 at 12:58:04
60 Posted 17/03/2009 at 13:30:59
Point being, I think he?s a tremendous acquisition but only in his best position ? don?t see what?s wrong with that, providing we can find a way of putting in Tim Cahill (who incidentally I don?t think plays half as well in a 4-4-2 or as a deep-lying midfielder as he does in the support striker role either) at the same time. Don?t really want a Gerrard-Lampard situation...
61 Posted 17/03/2009 at 16:54:10
62 Posted 17/03/2009 at 17:50:54
For now, critism of the sort being posted is negative and potentially damaging. I number myself among the many who see him as a real asset now and potentially a huge asset in the future. Come On Big Fella
63 Posted 17/03/2009 at 19:42:39
Moyes rates him, as do other rather more informed observers than you or me. Here’s a link to Pat Nevin’s observations on Fellaini - http://www.evertonfc.tv/news/archive/nevin-fellaini-is-best-in-world.html
Give it a rest & give the kid some credit.
64 Posted 17/03/2009 at 22:10:51
6 goals 26 appearances
4 goals 33 appearances
3 goals in 29 appearances
5 goals in 34 appearances
Answers on a postcard...
65 Posted 18/03/2009 at 01:13:12
66 Posted 18/03/2009 at 09:43:55
Fellaini is limited in tackling, one-paced, and can make some poor decisions ? but can read the game, excellent in the air, good holding the ball up, good touch. Could turn out to be a world beater...
67 Posted 18/03/2009 at 16:26:20
68 Posted 18/03/2009 at 11:33:06
Legend? you're having a laugh. Biggest fraud to ever grace the hallowed turf of GP. Fellaini has done more in 6 months than he did in his whole time with us.
69 Posted 18/03/2009 at 23:02:40
70 Posted 19/03/2009 at 10:43:16
Also note this OS translates Pat?s words as ?Best in world? ... Unbelievable really.
71 Posted 19/03/2009 at 18:24:12
Plus, he seems to love the big games. He can only get stronger and more confident... Not bad for a young lad in a new country, learning the lingo. Quality buy. COYB
72 Posted 14/04/2009 at 10:33:37
There are not many players in the Premier League now that could run as much as him. In the Everton team the only one that could in my opinion in Pienaar. So, as Tom said, give him time, and he is sure to develop into a cult hero in the coming years.