Deadline day at Manchester United this summer was a tense one and the signing of Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini left many unhappy. However, The Long Ball debutant (and United fan) Ruari McGeoch is happy with the Fellaini deal and tells us why…
The frantic dealings of deadline day; usually of no interest to fans of Manchester United as we have been accustomed to Sir Alex Ferguson’s policy of getting business done early and thereby having more time to allow new players to gel into the squad. We know from Moyes’ days at Everton that this is not a policy which he has in common with the former boss. However, rather than deciding to leave it until the final day to make a move, I believe that Moyes had very little interest in signing the star of his former club Marouane Fellaini until the final week of the transfer period.
It was evident to me that, after the matches against Chelsea at Old Trafford and away to long-time rivals Liverpool, United needed someone in the squad who can dominate an opponent’s penalty box when the ball is crossed in and I think Moyes was in the same frame of mind.
The way which both Chelsea and Liverpool were set up to defend against Man United is very similar to the style which has been effective against Barcelona for Real Madrid and Celtic – it was very compact in the box. This style of defending prevented our usual attacks where we play through the centre to Robin van Persie. This forced us to attack the wide areas but left our wingers with no option but to cross and our strikers were marked out of the game by big defenders like Branislav Ivanovic and Daniel Agger. The delivery from the wingers was good but van Persie can’t compete with these defenders for an aerial ball. It was blatant that United needed a player who can score goals from these situations. Marouane Fellaini is that player.
5 of Fellaini’s 11 Premier League goals in the 2012/13 season were scored with his head so he knows how to put the ball in the net when it is crossed in to him. He’s not only a giant in the box, he has the skill to bring the ball down and bring other attackers into play with his passing. He ticks all the boxes from my point of view, an excellent addition to the squad. He may not be first choice but I’m sure that having someone with his aerial dominance in our side will be hugely beneficial in the fight to retain the Premier League title.
You can follow Ruari over on Twitter (@Ruari_McG) and let him know if you agree with his stance on the Fellaini deal.