Fellaini has no doubt impressed this season, and speculation around his future at Everton has lingered for months. He’s a player who, although doesn’t seem to possess great technique, can turn a game on its head in a matter of minutes. Standing at just over 6 ft 4 inches, he has surprisingly good feet, and also has the ability to make bursting runs in front if the opposition back four, and has particularly useful aerial ability to boot…or to head. Him, Mertesacker and Giroud could work wonders from set pieces. As well as his aerial and physical presence, he is also a clever passer and reader of the game. He seems to rarely make rash decisions when picking a pass, and gets others involved in the game, working off them to push forward when necessary.
However, we’ve seen Fellaini, over the course if last season, become somewhat predictable, and was man-marked out of the game on several occasions when teams recognised his attacking potential, and his ability to change the game. This occurred most notably against Manchester United at Old Trafford, just after new year – Manchester United have obvious reasons to be wary of Fellaini, having suffered defeat after a Fellaini goal at Goodison Park on the first day of the season – Phil Jones was on him all game, stopping him from becoming a game changing force.
But to assign a player to man-mark someone for almost an entire game highlights Fellaini’s huge ability and danger. Other players who are often picked out to man-mark are individuals such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso. We’ve also seen Cazorla fall victim to similar treatment this season. To be considered dangerous enough by Ferguson to man-mark, a player has to have huge ability. Fearing teams would do the same if Fellaini was at Arsenal? Perhaps they would, but it would be far less effective man-marking an Arsenal player than an Everton player, considering Everton’s other players: if Fellaini were to play for Arsenal, and was to be picked out for special treatment by the opposition, we could counter it, maybe even turn it into an advantage, as more attention on a single, central figure by opposition players would give other players such as Cazorla more room to work their magic (as well as preventing Cazorla from being man-marked himself) – Everton don’t have that kind of option. Fellaini drawing in others could also provide more space on the wings for Walcott and Podolski to run. Arsenal would improve Fellaini greatly, it’s become evident this season that Fellaini’s probably not going to go anywhere or get anything with Everton.
All things considered, it’s becoming harder and harder to put a negative on Fellaini… Oh, I’ve thought of one: his head-butting of that player this season…who was it? Oh, it was Ryan Shawcross? I think we can let that one slide…