Fellaini: a £27.5m millstone for Moyes and Man United
The Belgian midfielder has been slaughtered after another dismal showing at Old Trafford
MANCHESTER UNITED may have emerged from the Champions League clash with Bayern Munich relatively unscathed, but the same cannot be said of midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who has been savaged by fans and pundits alike after another dismal showing at Old Trafford.
The Belgian midfielder, who was David Moyes's marquee signing in the summer, has become a millstone round the neck of the beleaguered United boss during a difficult first season at United. The 26-year-old, who cost £27.5m, followed Moyes from Everton to Old Trafford on transfer deadline day but has done little to justify his price tag and against Bayern he was dire.
"Fellaini stands at six feet and four inches, yet somehow lost 83 per cent of his aerial battles against Bayern Munich," notes the Daily Mail. "He is a big, imposing central midfielder but lost 76 per cent of his tackles."
He may have completed 75 per cent of his passes, but every single Bayern outfield player did better, according to statistical website Who Scored.
"Fellaini has steadily has got worse as the season has gone on and was the figure of fun across the continent as national newspapers laid into him after a gutless display in the Champions League quarter-final first leg," says the Mail. The paper gleefully points out that Spanish sports daily AS did not even give him a mark in its player ratings, while German publication Bild awarded him a mark of five, on a scale where six in the worst.
Can't believe how awful Fellaini is for United. Thought he was brilliant at Everton. Big club trauma, like his boss?
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 1, 2014
The Mail's own match report notes that the midfielder was at fault for Bayern's equaliser and gives him just 4.5 out of ten, the lowest mark given to any player on the night.
Lots of criticism home and abroad for Fellaini's performance. Abysmal again. £27m would have been better given to Darren Fletcher's charity
— United Rant (@unitedrant) April 2, 2014
Fellaini's display "made a mockery of both his transfer fee and the occupation quoted on his passport," writes Nooruddean Choudry in the Daily Mirror. United "were playing with ten men long before Bayern were", he adds.
Rather than showing composure he "bounded around like a lost puppy", says Football 365. "He was the third most expensive player on the pitch, and yet fans were calling for his substitution as early as the half-hour mark."