Fellaini looks like he’ll play deeper role for United…
Manchester United’s star summer signing Marouane Fellaini made his debut in his new side’s easy 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, and gave us a glimpse of what we can expect to see in the coming season.
Fellaini joins the fray pic.twitter.com/a0mRks2tOg
— FourFourTwo (@FourFourTwo) September 14, 2013
Fellaini brings box-to-box energy, and the raw power and dynamism that is severely lacking at Old Trafford. For as good a passer as he is, Carrick is not mobile, and Giggs cannot be expected to be as the Premier League’s oldest outfield player. The 25-year-old Belgian is a huge physical presence in the middle of the park, and provides as good a defensive option as he does an attacking one. Fellaini can tackle and break up the flow of opposition play, but also provides a dangerous option arriving late in the box, and is a fantastic aerial threat. As if well documented, he also has virtually unrivalled chest-control.
For Everton, Fellaini played an advanced role in David Moyes’ direct formation. The 25-year-old was often the furthest forward midfielder. For United today however, Fellaini played a deeper role – with Wayne Rooney playing as the second forward. With the England striker likely to play just off Robin Van Persie in United’s first-choice line-up, Fellaini will have to adapt his game and play in a deeper role – probably alongside Michael Carrick. He seemed to adapt well, and was cheered loudly with every positive piece of play he provided. He completed 40 passes in just 28 minutes while on the field, at a success rate of 89%
For Everton, their direct style of play meant Fellaini was not instructed to play sideways passes, and was encouraged to move the ball forward quickly. For United though, Fellaini will have to retain possession from a dictatorial midfield position. His physicality on the field was easily noticeable, and the Belgian dwarfed the rest of United’s midfield. This will help United win midfield battles, and Fellaini will be also be a threat from offensive set-pieces.
Marouane Fellaini won 151 headers last season, which is more than the 11 midfield players that featured in Manchester United’s entire squad (93). From the short glimpse we saw of Fellaini, he could well become an integral part of United’s set-up. He will be used in a deeper role, encouraged to retain possession with simpler passes. Moyes knows how much of a bonus his strength and power is however, and this will not go unused. United fans were pleased with their £27m Belgian, and will be watching his progress this season closely.
What a Premier league debut for Adnan Januzaj, fantastic stuff by that man. Fellaini had an excellent United debut! Satisfied. #MUFC
— Sachin Bhoora ॐ (@Sachin_b19) September 14, 2013