Marouane Fellaini failed to prove his worth in the Manchester United lineup during their 4-1 derby defeat away at Manchester City.
Although we all knew what Fellaini could do before he arrived at Old Trafford, the £27m price tag made most believe that he would make a mark worthy of that price tag. It is still extremely early, but he failed to justify his place in David Moyes‘ starting 11 on Sunday.
Having started in a fairly deep role, he failed to keep up with the pace of the fixture, and it appeared he couldn’t get to grips with the way United was expecting to play. He also looked incredibly weak in comparison to the City midfield.
He didn’t seem to offer anything particularly creative going forward, and his defensive duties weren’t anything special. In fact, there was almost nothing positive to say about that aspect of his game. I’m not criticizing the price tag at this moment in time, rather his place in that starting line up.
Given his height and physical reputation, you can see that he would be the best option to square up against the likes of Yaya Toure. But I think Fellaini was one of the factors that made United’s performance so poor.
How was he any better an option than the other two stand out alternatives, Tom Cleverley and Shinji Kagawa?
You get a different type of player with Cleverley, but I believe he would have done a better job. Cleverely’s work rate is exceptional on the defense, and his tracking back is something that Fellaini had missing from his game. On the other hand, there’s not much good to say about the Belgium man in regards to he performance while he was on the ball. His passing lacked any creativity and was slow in tempo. Cleverley is the complete opposite, despite what people say; he gets the ball moving and picks out teammates in little pockets of space.
Similar things can be said for Kagawa. It baffles me that the Japanese international didn’t even come on as a sub; his creativity is world class. Fellaini was really dull and lacked any spark. It is seriously odd that he managed to stay on the pitch for the entire 90. He has work to do if he wants to impress and change opinions. Currently, I cannot see how he is keeping others out of the team, as they offer far better and more exciting options.