Was Marouane Fellaini the biggest scapegoat of post-Sir Alex Ferguson era?

Sir Alex Ferguson finally called it a day in May 2013 leaving behind a squad that had just won the league title in a very stylish and convincing fashion. David Moyes was the chosen one to succeed him as the manager of the biggest and most talked-about club in the world, Manchester United.

It was always going to be a sea of change with everything because the club was used to one man running the show for twenty-six years! This sudden shift was going to affect all those involved and those who were going to be involved in this process (new signings) to continue the winning tradition of this famous club.

The 2013 summer transfer window was a very underwhelming one when the club courted players like Thiago, Cesc Fabregas, Gareth Bale, Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini but was only able to sign Fellaini on transfer deadline day.

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There were big expectations set for the new management and Fellaini to perform and win games from the get go but quite obviously with the incompetence shown by the club regarding transfers, it was never going to be that way. The club who had just won the league with the existing players also had ageing players who were approaching the twilight years of their respective careers. 

Fellaini was supposed to arrive along with a group of players ear-marked by the manager. Reinforcements in multiple positions were required to strengthen the squad to continue to aim for silverware.

With performances and results going downhill, the blame immediately shifted towards the new manager and their only new signing in the summer. Fellaini was continuously picked out by the media and supporters alike for every loss and bad performance and at the same time was never appreciated by them for the shift he righteously put in whenever he was on the pitch representing the Red Devils.

Sure, he was never going to a player who was going to add flair and technique in the midfield, but he did have a few talents that could never be duplicated by any other player in the squad. A threat in both the boxes, sheer presence in both defence and attack and that exquisite chest control!

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He delivered an attacking masterclass with his headers many a time for his manager and club. The one moment that no one talks about is the header against Crystal Palace in the dying seconds of the game which guaranteed fourth place in the 2014/15 season. He celebrated proudly, pointing towards the crest of the club.

One could go on about his famous moments in the red shirt which also includes goals and assists in key cup games, but he was more than just that. He was also very well appreciated by his teammates and managers which was evident during his goal celebrations and various social media posts by the players.

With all of this, the hate that he received (mostly by the fans of his own club!) was unprecedented and undeserved for a player who gave it all for his manager, teammates and most importantly, the shirt he wore with pride week-in, week-out.

Written by Shyam Shanker

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