He’s got big hair but we don’t care… Marouane Fellaini

Welcome
to another week of
“What’s the score?!”
– It’s been another frustrating week with the transfer market hotting up around
Europe.

Arsenal are yet to make any
notable signing. However, as I said a few weeks ago, I don’t honestly think anything
will happen until the transfer window officially opens this forthcoming Monday,
July 1. Twitter has been having a meltdown in the last few days, with
negativity creeping in, but I think we just need to be patient. It is what it
is!

With
constant reports over the last seven days, particularly about Gonzalo Higuaín,
his odds have been slashed for his arrival at Arsenal to as slim as 1/8. There
is still also talk of Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas and Marouane Fellaini. I
don’t profess to be in the know, but I do know what I know, and believe this
next week to ten days will be exciting, with a surprise or too that will
silence even the most pessimistic of supporters. Enough said!

Mad
hair, but huge stature…

So, both
before and again after Arsenal’s home game against Everton, at the end of last
season, my pal the
not so fat London Taxi Driver
, and I were talking about Marouane Fellaini
being the powerhouse lacking in Arsenal’s midfield. In reality, we didn’t see
it as a feasible possibility or that he would leave Everton this term with
David Moyes still in charge (which he effectively still is until July 1). But
things do change in football, don’t they?

However,
now there has been continuous talk that Marouane Fellaini with be an Arsenal
player in due course. It is reported that Arsenal have met the release clause
of £22M (as have another club apparently) that Everton are demanding, and terms
have in principle agreed. As always, it is only speculation until there is an
official announcement by Arsenal Football Club.

Sami
Mokbel, of the Mail Online reported on
Tuesday of this week of interest between Arsenal and Marouane Fellaini.
However, the total cost of any possible agreement, which could approach £50
million, is making things more difficult to work through. Having said that,
Arsenal does have the money to pay £100,000 plus wages, which is an increase on
Fellaini’s current £75,000 per week with Everton at present.

Take a brief look at the following video highlights of Marouane Fellaini’s 2012/13 Season.

As
you will have seen from the above video, Marouane Fellaini
is without question the type of
player that Arsenal need to fill the void of a true powerhouse that has been
missing thus far. It did take a couple seasons for the 25-year-old Belgian
international to establish himself with Everton, however, he has finished his
most productive season to date, and should be hitting his peak in the
foreseeable future.

He scored
11 goals in total in the Premier League last season (plus one in the FA Cup) and
had five assists (plus two in the FA Cup). He also further illustrated his
versatility, as Fellaini is at his best when
playing in the central midfield or as a defensive midfielder, but when Everton needed him to jump-start the attack; he didn’t
hesitate and moved forward. He was used as an additional striking option. That
would indeed come in handy for Arsène Wenger when
Arsenal do need to dig deep, as they have had to do certainly for the last few
seasons. Fellaini could push forward, and with his size and aerial ability
could definitely cause some havoc. No doubt about it. He would give Arsène
Wenger plenty of options to mix and match the lineup.

Marouane Fellaini’s
Characteristics

Strengths

 
 

Aerial
  Duels                        Very Strong

 

 
 

Finishing                             Strong

 

 
 

Tackling                              Strong

 

 
 

Defensive
  contribution        Strong

 

Weaknesses

 
 

(Has no
  significant weaknesses)

 

Style of
Play

Likes to play short passes, Likes to
tackle, Commits fouls often

Playing Positions (Premier League
matches only 2012/13)

 
  
  

Position                                               Apps     Goals      Assists     Rating

  
 

 
 

AMC (Attacking Midfielder – Centre)        27          11              5           7.61

 

 
 

MC (Midfielder – Centre)                          4            0             0            7.27

 

Personally,
I think he would shift back towards a more defensive role with Arsenal, which
would allow Mikel Arteta to move up. Not only would Fellaini
still make a significant impact, but Arteta can then better utilise his playmaking talent. Additionally, due to his strength
and height, Fellaini would be a tremendous asset in both boxes too!

So
he has a temper… and the problem is?

There is no
doubt that Fellaini’s style of play is most certainly not one of ‘soft lad’,
but hard and ‘old school’. Does he have a temper? That’s like saying is the
Pope Catholic? As an example, see below Paul Merson’s excellent commentary of
Marouane Fellaini’s headbutt on Ryan Shawcross in December last year…It is most
certainly worth a look!

So although
he is a committed player in the true sense of the word, and he did not receive
any red cards in the last campaign, he was booked on nine separate occasions in
the Premier League as well as twice in the FA Cup and once in the League Cup
making a total of 12 times.

Despite
being a relatively ‘hard’ player, Arsenal would always get from Fellaini in my
opinion a remarkable work rate. It is often an overlooked trait, but Fellaini is rarely outworked on the pitch and wins the
50-50 tackles that Arsenal lost too often last season. His ability to help the
team win possession as well as disrupting an opponent’s attack is why he would
be worth such a huge investment in both terms of transfer fee and wages. He is
one of the main reasons why Everton have been
reasonably successful in the last couple of years, despite their lack of funds
and stature compared to their main rivals Liverpool.

Although I
am sure there will be people who will disagree with me, all in all, I believe Marouane
Fellaini could actually be the most important addition to the squad this term,
even above Gonzalo Higuaín, Wayne Rooney or Cesc Fabregas.

I would be
interested to know your views/thoughts on Marouane Fellaini, and how he would
fit into the Arsenal way. Please feel free to leave a comment below, or send me
a tweet @jeremylebor.

If
it’s not worth knowing… Jeremy knows it!

So,
here is yet more useless trivia about our beloved club!

Did you
know?

– What is the link between Aaron Ramsey, Kevin Campbell and Tony Woodcock?

Answer – Well, there are two
links. The first is that they are all Welsh. The second is that all three of
them have played for both Nottingham Forest and Arsenal.

Thanks once
more to my good mate, the
not so fat London Taxi Driver
,
for the above stat!

If you have
any ‘trivia’ about either the team or
the club, then please let me know and I will gladly post them in this section.
The wackier the better! Tweet me @jeremylebor.

Last
Word…

July 1 is
only two days away, pre-season training for those not participating in the
Confederations Cup will start next week, so expect things to heat up as
indicated at the beginning of this blog.

Despite the
panic (and there is no panic yet…that is a long way off), the frustration
should be over very shortly. I say it over and over, and regardless of the
doubters who say Arsène Wenger again will not buy any notable ‘world class’
player, this is his time to shine once more, and Arsenal’s time to show
everyone what a great club and institution that they truly are.

I leave you
with this thought; Would you rather be a supporter of our beloved team, or
would you rather be a Spurs fan creaming yourself over Gareth Bale? If you even
need to think about it then you need serious professional help!

So, now you
know the score…until next week – Jeremy!

Jeremy Lebor


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2 Responses to He’s got big hair but we don’t care… Marouane Fellaini

  1. WrongFootPele June 29, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    Enjoyed this… Now I’m getting my hopes up again. I think Fellaini would be a fantastic addition to our squad… would add some much needed bite and toughness.

    • jeremy@gunnerstown.com June 30, 2013 at 8:54 am #

      THanks once again for your comment Pele… Really appreciate your continual support!

      Ultimately, Fellaini is the sort of player we need, and I do believe it is going to be an exciting few weeks ahead, and I have no doubt there will be major new additions to the squad! – Here’s hoping!

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