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Be Patient with Fellaini

By Tom  Owen :  15/03/2009 :  Comments (72) :

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.

Reader Comments

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Kevin Hudson
1   Posted 15/03/2009 at 15:49:08

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Couldn?t agree more. He has a noticeable talismanic quality that adds considerably to the personality of our team. I?m thinking that next season, he will cement his position as the heir to Patrick Viera?s throne. Watch this space... (With patience, I agree.)
Ray Robinson
2   Posted 15/03/2009 at 15:56:01

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I think the guy is an asset but worth ?15m? No way! For that amount he should have an element of pace. At 21 or 26, he isn?t going to acquire speed purely because of his physique, no matter how the other aspects of his game develop.
Jamie Carroll
3   Posted 15/03/2009 at 16:03:49

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It seem?s fairly obvious that Fellaini is Cahill?s understudy and when Cahill isn?t playing or is gone, Fellaini?s role will be that of Cahill?s, as was evident when Cahill went off. He has similar attributes to the Aussie and look?s like the perfect successor, in time, certainly for the 4-5-1 formation that Moyes uses.
Tony Williams
4   Posted 15/03/2009 at 16:20:16

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It would be nice if just one post about Felliaini would not include the, "he?s not worth ?15M" speech. Of course he?s not but to use it as a stick to beat him with is just downright ridiculous.

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.
Mike Gaynes
5   Posted 15/03/2009 at 16:05:23

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Agreed all round ? I see a growing element of maturity and confidence in Fellaini. His knock-downs are a key element in our offense, his touch is outstanding (evidence the goal against Stoke) and his passing is superbly accurate. I don?t see him "strolling" ? I see continuous movement that looks casual because of his long strides and lack of pace.

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.
Paul Box
6   Posted 15/03/2009 at 16:32:41

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Ray Robinson, hang about... I don’t seem to remember Zinedine Zidane having blistering pace either??
Ray Robinson
7   Posted 15/03/2009 at 16:35:17

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Come on, Paul, I?m not expecting blistering pace ? just more than he exhibits at the moment. Osman, Pienaar, Arteta, Cahill, Neville all lack pace to a certain degree which is why our build up play is often quite laboured. I?m just saying for the amount of money that we paid for Fellaini (which I?m not allowed to mention any more!), I?d have expected something faster on two legs.

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.
Karl Gilboy
8   Posted 15/03/2009 at 16:44:31

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He is not up to Premier League standard: no pace, can't tackle, gives silly fouls away. Yes, he can score goals ? no denying that, but for me has got to have a lot more in his locker than that. I would love nothing more than for him to prove me wrong but, sorry guys, I just can't see it.
Sean McKenna
9   Posted 15/03/2009 at 17:03:01

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Karl, spot on, mate. Like you, I hope he proves me wrong, but like you, I just cant see it. If I compare him to Rodwell, I see Rodwell as streaks ahead of the Fella. If we want to push on next season, we need top-notch like Moutinho, M'Bia... and, if we get them, where do you play the Big Fella??? Squad player at best.
Mike Gaynes
10   Posted 15/03/2009 at 17:06:20

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Ray, really? Pienaar lacks pace? I think the Pocket Rocket has the quickest 20 yards in the Prem. Maybe he doesn?t have sprinter?s speed end-to-end, but who?s quicker to the ball?

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.
Ray Robinson
11   Posted 15/03/2009 at 17:24:00

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Mike, you?re right about Pienaar over 10 to 20 yards... but he can?t sustain it and then backtracks. Our midfield in general does not break quickly ? that was my point. And Fellaini is the slowest of them all.
Keith Glazzard
12   Posted 15/03/2009 at 17:22:50

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If anyone could produce a piece they wrote about Tim Cahill four years ago which listed the things he was really good at and how these would fit in with our development as an improving footballing squad, I would trust their judgement now.

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.
Mike Keating
13   Posted 15/03/2009 at 17:37:58

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After the Wigan game this season, I described Fellaini as performing like a giraffe with a hangover and I?ve seen little to alter my opinion. Maybe the ?15M price tag is not a helpful means of assessing the player but it is what we paid for him and is allegedly what Wenger paid for Arshavin.

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.

Brian Waring
14   Posted 15/03/2009 at 17:42:59

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For me, the jury is still out, but I will give him the benefit of the doubt that, it being his first season, he just needs time to settle. Next season, there can?t be any excuses.

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.
John Talbot
15   Posted 15/03/2009 at 18:33:34

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Just glad he has sorted his hair out, might not get booked as much.
Brian Waring
16   Posted 15/03/2009 at 15:10:09

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Could anybody let me know where I could find out about the transfer fee we paid for Fellaini? It's just that when someone brings up the £15m fee we paid for him, they are told that we haven't given it all up front, we are paying the fee, similiar to the Rooney deal.

This is not having a dig at anybody, I was just wondering if I could find out the terms of the deal.

Michael Kenrick
17   Posted 15/03/2009 at 18:53:48

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Brian, I think Lyndon posted recently that the apparent total price for Fellaini was ?15M, which (on 2 September 2008) converted to approx £12.9M. (So please, can everybody STOP writing £15M ? it’s simply not true!)

Lyndon also said the upfront fee was £3.9M or thereabouts... I’ll see if I can find it and add a link here....
Ray Robinson
18   Posted 15/03/2009 at 19:09:01

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If the up-front fee was £3.9m, I?d say it was a bargain. It?s the £9m midfield fee that I?d gib at!
Neil McKinney
19   Posted 15/03/2009 at 19:17:04

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Thanks Michael, might stop people plucking figures out of the air. Wasn’t Arshavin more like £15-16m? (Now you’ve got me doing it)

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.
Tony Williams
20   Posted 15/03/2009 at 19:51:15

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"He is not up to Premier League standard: no pace, can?t tackle, gives silly fouls away. Yes, he can score goals ? no denying that"

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.
Neil Patten
21   Posted 15/03/2009 at 19:56:54

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Can someone please give me a list of non-English speaking players who have come from other leagues and played in central midfield in the Premier League and have performed consistently better in their first season than this lad? The criticism he gets is madness. Listen to any existing or past manager when they are Sky pundits and they all say that Moyes has unearthed a gem again. Just please be patient. 21 years old ffs!
Sean Patton
22   Posted 15/03/2009 at 19:29:34

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Marouane ?Marmite? Fellaini. You either love him or hate him. I rate him; he has talent and his lack of speed is made up for by his stamina.

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.
Dan Johnson
23   Posted 15/03/2009 at 20:12:56

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Fellaini £12.9M and a bloody bargain. Show me a midfielder with as much potential as this fella.

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.
Kyle Jackson
24   Posted 15/03/2009 at 20:44:52

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I'm a true blue season ticket holder in the back of the Paddock.
Graham Brandwood
25   Posted 15/03/2009 at 20:30:27

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Great first touch, excellent in the air (far better than the great hero Fergison because he weights his headers and finds his man, not just heading it anywhere), eye for a goal. His muted response to scoring yesterday was probably that he knew he had given the ball away badly on two occasions and taken some stick from the crowd.

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.

Alan Kirwin
26   Posted 15/03/2009 at 21:33:25

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Tony Williams - says it all, spot on. The fee wasn?t £15m, it was in staged payments, the kid didn?t value himself, he is only 21 in a new country not speaking English & away from family & friends, he?s also been carrying a difficult injury which has curtailed much training & true fitness.

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.
Matthew Lovekin
27   Posted 15/03/2009 at 21:25:55

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I think it?s obvious that the jury is still out.

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.
Graham Lloyd
28   Posted 15/03/2009 at 21:36:01

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Regarding all the comments about Fellaini and his disciplinary record in his first season here, I seem to recall another tall gangly midfielder namely Patrick Viera having a similar experience with Yellow & Red cards in his first season at Arsenal (could be refs targetting him). He soon settled down and he didn?t do too bad did he?

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.

Guy Hastings
29   Posted 15/03/2009 at 21:59:04

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I love him!
Keith Smith
30   Posted 15/03/2009 at 22:07:26

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I think this guy has all the potential to be a real star for us. At present, he is trying too hard cos of all of the criticism that he cames in for. I see him all too often trying to release a pass to open defences, but that is not seen by his colleagues.

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.

Dick Fearon
31   Posted 15/03/2009 at 22:23:55

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What it all comes down to is whether it is better he plays for and not against us.
Mike Whittaker
32   Posted 15/03/2009 at 22:56:03

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Pienaar quick?? Can somebody remind me when young Stephen stood a fullback up and burned him down the outside?
Ian Tunny
33   Posted 16/03/2009 at 00:22:16

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Speed isn't everything, there were and are many great players who were not blessed with great speed, off the top of my head: Shearer, Ballack, Dunken Ferguson... I'd say Zidane was only slightly faster, Scholes, Carrick isn't lightning... etc etc...

He has a lot of potential, and the key word I think is that he is ?effective? and gives Everton something a bit different.;
Graham Rathbone
34   Posted 16/03/2009 at 00:38:56

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Sean Patton, you missed one: Robinho to Man City £32M, subbed this weekend, doesn?t look interested and poor value for money. Not happy playing for a team with Uefa Cup aspirations, will be gone next season.

Mark my words, Fellaini will be another of Moyes?s gems (a la Lescott, Cahill, Arteta, Jagielka, etc) in the future...

Gerry Western
35   Posted 16/03/2009 at 01:09:24

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I?m glad someone has pointed out that Zidane ? one of the greatest midfielders ever to play the game and, like Fellaini, of North African descent, wasn?t exactly blessed with pace. Not that I?m suggesting Fellaini is in that league but since when has it been a prerequisite for a central midfield player to be able to sprint from end to end of the park? ? this is total nonsense.

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.
Drew Phelps
36   Posted 16/03/2009 at 02:00:46

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How tall is the fastest man on the planet?
Pete Jones
37   Posted 16/03/2009 at 03:48:20

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Best thing about Fellaini is I love watching him play ? very charismatic, even when he?s being clumsy.

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!

Andy Lambert
38   Posted 16/03/2009 at 03:58:38

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Here?s a question: in a footballer, do you think it?s more important to have a modest set of all-round skills or a few outstanding attributes?

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.

Richard Parker
39   Posted 16/03/2009 at 07:11:43

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Fellaini is a quality player already. He’s going to improve. A full pre-season will help no end.

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.
Aidan Wade
40   Posted 16/03/2009 at 08:02:40

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After Arteta’s hesitant introduction to the prem, it was touch and go whether he was worth 2.8 (he was also infamous for his badly timed tackles).

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.
Tim Wardrop
41   Posted 16/03/2009 at 09:20:15

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To whoever says that Rodwell is better than Fellaini......please! Rodwell might be younger, but in about 15 games this season he’s played well twice.

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.
Paul Gladwell
42   Posted 16/03/2009 at 09:14:57

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Someone mentioned Rodwell is streets ahead of the Big Fella and whilst I am not having a go at Rodwell (who looks like he will be the part in time), he was not streets ahead to me last week.

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.

David Chait
43   Posted 16/03/2009 at 10:26:37

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Fella for me is one of the best passers in the side... Decisive, generally accurate .. great attribute....

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.....
Jack Lavery
44   Posted 16/03/2009 at 10:57:50

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I like Fellaini. He is excellent in the air, and is superb at holding the ball up and bringing others into the game, but he isn?t yet as good with the ball on the deck (in saying that I think he has an excellent touch). This, along with his ?laid back? demeanour makes him a frustrating player to watch.

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.

Ciarán MacGiolla Eoin
45   Posted 16/03/2009 at 11:55:25

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He needs good players beside him in order to the minute he doesn?t have that... Next season hopefully he?ll have that quality beside him and will shine. I'm gutted that he cut his barnet.
Tony Williams
46   Posted 16/03/2009 at 12:54:11

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Ciaran don’t worry, it’s not cut just braided. Come the semi he will once again "RELEASE THE FRO"
Damian Wilde
47   Posted 16/03/2009 at 14:00:16

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What Ciaren, the rest of our players are shite, ye? Four points behind 4th, semi’s of the cup, with loads of injuries. I reckon our midfield and the rest of the boys are fairly decent. Hopefully we can add even more to the good that’s already there.
Amit Vithlani
48   Posted 16/03/2009 at 13:57:32

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Jamie Carroll - heading aside, Fellaini and Cahill are totally, totally different players.

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.
Chris McCleary
49   Posted 16/03/2009 at 13:47:30

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Price tag apart, 6 goals from a midfielder in a weakened side in his first season in a new country isn?t to be sniffed at. He?s only 21 and apparently is living alone in a hotel in the city centre. If you were 21 and asked to go and live in Belgium (for example), how easy would you find it in your first season?

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.
Nick Murray
50   Posted 16/03/2009 at 16:48:39

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I think he can certainly be frustrating at times, but he also has that rare ability to make something happen.

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.
Ciarán MacGiolla Eoin
51   Posted 16/03/2009 at 17:02:20

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I never said they were shíte Damian...our current other midfielders are not however on the same wavelength as Fellaini...the only one who is close to it is Pienaar.

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.
Wayne Smyth
52   Posted 16/03/2009 at 17:04:36

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Amit, I think saying some of his displays have been "stinking" is a bit harsh. Its very easy to overlook the fact that aside from all the issues already mentioned, the guy is hardly fit. He’s had/having injections so that he can play. I’m sure if we had a bigger squad Moyes wouldn’t even be risking him.

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.
James Boden
53   Posted 16/03/2009 at 17:01:23

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Did I just read someone say that Fellaini is far superior to Ferguson in the air? He?s not fit to lace his boots. Big Dunc was a major force in the air, far superior to this donkey. Ok he has had a few moments but nothing that has blown me away.

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.

Peter Laing
54   Posted 16/03/2009 at 17:44:41

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Fellaini has undoubtedly taken time to adjust to the EPL, his disciplinary record combined with niggling injuries have hampered his progress and consistency. However I personally believe he has made an impact and that given time we are like to see sustainable improvement.

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.

John Boden
55   Posted 16/03/2009 at 17:49:09

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Only similarity with Big Dunc is his ability to get booked like it's going out of fashion.

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.
Tony Williams
56   Posted 16/03/2009 at 18:33:53

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"far superior to this donkey."

Come on now fella
Chris Brigden
57   Posted 16/03/2009 at 19:10:25

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Good article, and couldn’t agree more.
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!
Paul Withe
58   Posted 17/03/2009 at 09:57:56

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Think with the euro/pound exchange rate, he may end up costing us more than £12.9m! Personally, I don’t rate him - he can’t tackle, his passing is erratic and he has a tendency to go missing in games. However, I would love to be proved wrong in the coming seasons...
Alan Clarke
59   Posted 17/03/2009 at 12:58:04

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He’s frustrating because he should be better. This shows though that he must have some potential. As shit as his overall performance last Saturday was he still set up the first goal and scored the 3rd. That’s not a bad contribution considering a lot of the shite that’s been served up in our midfield over the years.
Mark Lowery
60   Posted 17/03/2009 at 13:30:59

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I thought he was outstanding on Saturday... but only in the first half. When he was supporting Jo as a kind of withdrawn striker, he was unplayable, winning everything in the air and showing some really neat touches. As soon as Cahill went off and we reverted to 4-4-2, he went much deeper and was, frankly, crap until he popped up with the winner.

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...

Colin Malone
61   Posted 17/03/2009 at 16:54:10

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£3.9m up front? Give them the rest to take him back.
Mick Stanley
62   Posted 17/03/2009 at 17:50:54

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Certainly a mixed bag, but I sensed a thread much as my own. It is too soon to expect the finished article this season. He needs to show more next season for sure and that will, in itself, put him under pressure. With a season?s experience, better grasp of English and a more settled life outside football I am confident he will win the fans over.

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

Alan Kirwin
63   Posted 17/03/2009 at 19:42:39

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John Boden - Quite apart from the offensive tone of your comments, you’re also talking rubbish. Likewise Colin Malone.

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 -

Give it a rest & give the kid some credit.
Joe Johnson
64   Posted 17/03/2009 at 22:10:51

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Attach the following names to the goals per game ratio - Fellaini, Riera, Deco, Milner

6 goals 26 appearances
4 goals 33 appearances
3 goals in 29 appearances
5 goals in 34 appearances

Answers on a postcard...
Colin Malone
65   Posted 18/03/2009 at 01:13:12

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Sorry for being so negative about Felliani but i see more potential in Dan Gosling. OK it not the big fella fault for getting played here and there but he just reminds me of a center half in midfield. Maybe if he settled in a position, holding player, then we could see him progressing.
John Parker
66   Posted 18/03/2009 at 09:43:55

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I remember Kevin Sheedy ? one-footed, one-paced, poor header, great player.

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...

Peter Howard
67   Posted 18/03/2009 at 16:26:20

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He?s Kevin Davies with goals ? and that is no bad thing.
Stuart O'Malley
68   Posted 18/03/2009 at 11:33:06

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John Boden... what are you talking about? I never did get the whole hero worship of Big Drunk Dunk. He had the odd good game in between being injured most of the time. The rest of his time at our beloved club he was on the piss having a great laugh spending his £25k a week.

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.

Graham Brandwood
69   Posted 18/03/2009 at 23:02:40

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John Boden. You watched Duncan through rose tinted glasses. Duncan would win headers but never seemed to have control over where they were going. Fellaini is able to guide and cusion headers so that they find a blue shirt.
Ciarán MacGiolla Eoin
70   Posted 19/03/2009 at 10:43:16

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Alan, a little observation on that Pat Nevin article... What Pat actually says is that he could be one of the best in Europe (which itself is a bit of an abstract statement) with a whole raft of caveats... one that includes him learning to arrive in the box a la Cahill (can you learn this?).

Also note this OS translates Pat?s words as ?Best in world? ... Unbelievable really.
Paul Lally
71   Posted 19/03/2009 at 18:24:12

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One point - After just 26 games, opposing defenders fear him before a ball has even been kicked. On the pitch, they are resorting to near violence to stop him. Yet, he is still getting vital goals.

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

Paul Whittle
72   Posted 14/04/2009 at 10:33:37

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Totally agree, Tom. I think Fellaini has adapted to the English game very well considering his age. I think players like Tim and Mikel, as well as his role in the current team (just behind Jo) have been a massive benefit.

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.

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