Three years ago, our transfer record was broken when we signed Fellaini. I was pretty surprised when I logged on to a hotel computer the morning after the summer transfer deadline had closed and discovered we'd signed a big Belgium guy. I'd never heard of him but liked what I read and was excited about how he would improve our team and season. He settled quickly and looked comfortable with the pace of the PL; getting plenty of goals, plaudits and, of course, bookings.
However, Fellaini still polarises opinion among us fans, at least on this website. Some view him as an expensive liability, totally overrated, while others idolise him. I think he's a great talent and believe he will go on to be one of the best midfielders in Europe. More often than not, he is at the heart of everything good we do. We would have been knocked out the cup last night but for his well taken equaliser.
Fellaini was untouchable when a highly motivated Everton team beat Man City at Goodison Park a couple of seasons ago. I think we won 2-0. Remember his pirouette? This was as good as I'd ever seen Everton play. I must declare at this point that I don't really remember the mid-80s and certainly nothing before. Prior to streaming games online every week about 4 years ago, I probably only ever watched full games on TV as well as maybe two live games a season. This is probably the case for a lot of us not living anywhere near Liverpool.
With a visit to Manchester City this weekend, I'm hoping for a similar performance. Can we continue to take 6 points from a flying City team this season?
Have you seen a better performance from Everton in the league in the last 20 years? Were we even that good that Wednesday night back in early 2010 or am I way off the mark?
Tom Winek, Posted 22/09/2011 at 12:00:41
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1 Posted 22/09/2011 at 14:45:23
2 Posted 22/09/2011 at 15:05:54
3 Posted 22/09/2011 at 15:08:52
4 Posted 22/09/2011 at 15:16:02
5 Posted 22/09/2011 at 15:25:44
6 Posted 22/09/2011 at 15:40:16
7 Posted 22/09/2011 at 15:38:25
I think the position he plays as the 'Makalele' as it's become known isn't one where you're likely to win many games for your team and sometimes it can look like you're doing not much ? but he's great on the ball, great when we're defending set pieces and links play very well. On top of this, he is an option further up the field as proven last night. I'm very surprised that Chelsea or Utd didn't go for him in the transfer window, but also very glad!
8 Posted 22/09/2011 at 15:47:15
I think he's a really good player and I like him, but I think that for a club with our finances, we threw all our eggs in one basket with him.
9 Posted 22/09/2011 at 15:52:39
Nobody pulls out of a challenge against Fellaini... he clearly drives opponents nuts at times... and I think he will continue to be a target for ugly fouls.
As to whether he stays at Everton long-term... I doubt it. I hope so, but I doubt it. His father clearly has big-time ambitions for him, and those are ambitions that Everton cannot meet right now.
10 Posted 22/09/2011 at 16:09:35
11 Posted 22/09/2011 at 16:33:05
Regarding Fellaini he has talent no doubt and was starting to really show it last season before his injury.
He can be the fulcrum that Everton need now that Mikel has gone. Together with a maturing Rodwell, the youth of Barklay and the speed and cleverness of Drenthe we have cause to believe in better things down the line.
We usually play well against City but they are going to be hard to stop the way our defence is performing.
12 Posted 22/09/2011 at 16:27:08
13 Posted 22/09/2011 at 16:47:44
14 Posted 22/09/2011 at 16:31:23
I expect a good perfomance on Saturday though.
15 Posted 22/09/2011 at 17:09:22
Poles apart is right.
16 Posted 22/09/2011 at 17:09:16
17 Posted 22/09/2011 at 17:19:30
Personally I would build a team round Fellaini instead but what are the odds of him being here by 2013?
18 Posted 22/09/2011 at 17:18:41
I still think he personally slows down the play too much and is just as negative in his passing as Rodwell. His height has been a useful weapon both offensively and defensively, but this shouldn't really be enough to rank him as one of the world's bests. Busquets is twice the player he is already.
19 Posted 22/09/2011 at 17:07:37
Things will take shape over the next 4 or 5 games and I have no confidence in them players that played last night at all. I don't see a packed defence and midfield helping on Saturday and I expect we will see how far behind and how average are midfield really is against a top team.
Can somebody explain how Rodwell gets a shirt before Barkley in a midfield lacking guile, skill, creativity and pace? Things will get that bad I expect calls for Anichebe to be bought back in as soon as he regains fitness.
20 Posted 22/09/2011 at 17:33:11
He's okay but too ill-disciplined to avoid the ref's attention. I worry he will get sent off in every derby!
21 Posted 22/09/2011 at 17:46:56
When players are patchy, is it inconsistency, lethargy, shop-windowing or fan fickleness? Who knows...
I'm a bit gutted we didn't get Hargreaves. He put in a shift for England in a game a few years ago (I forget which), during which I felt it was the best performance I've ever seen of a midfield player, any team, any match, any player.
22 Posted 22/09/2011 at 18:12:20
Would people rate him so highly if it wasn't for his distinctive hairstyle? Stupid, I know, but does the "barnet" enhance the exaggerated cult status?
23 Posted 22/09/2011 at 18:28:36
24 Posted 22/09/2011 at 18:33:24
25 Posted 22/09/2011 at 18:41:06
26 Posted 22/09/2011 at 18:48:18
To be fair, I did say it was only once...
27 Posted 22/09/2011 at 18:42:04
I remember watching Hargreaves that day and thinking he looked absolutely amazing.
And he was the only one to score for us in the shoot-out.
28 Posted 22/09/2011 at 18:58:20
29 Posted 22/09/2011 at 18:55:50
Best performance?.......in recent times I think Tommy Gravesen's golden spell in 2004-05? was quite brilliant, and ended with him going to Madrid. I've not seen an Everton midfield player dominate so much, and I include the 80s team. That team were great but individually the influence Tommy had for that half a season was unique.
30 Posted 22/09/2011 at 19:03:05
31 Posted 22/09/2011 at 19:13:06
32 Posted 22/09/2011 at 19:36:09
How many central midfielders are there in Europe who are 6'-4", have a great touch (every time the ball comes to him in the air he instantly controls with his chest rather than engaging in head tennis) and are equally adept at defending set pieces as they are attacking?
Add to that he's only early 20s and with less than 2 years left on his contract... just watch the type of clubs who come in for him over the next 12 months.
33 Posted 22/09/2011 at 19:49:29
34 Posted 22/09/2011 at 19:30:50
For some reason though it clicked with him. Carsley was part of the reason cos he dominated the space just in front of the back two, and Grav did all the rest.
Players develop at different times and a system will work if players complement each others strengths. Xavi and Iniesta wouldn't be anywhere near as good without each other. I'd like to see Osman next to the big Fella, or ideally a maturing Barkley.
If he develops like Tommy did, I'd be well pleased. The problem would then be, as usual, keeping hold of him. Six months might be all we get!
35 Posted 22/09/2011 at 20:25:57
36 Posted 22/09/2011 at 20:27:59
His old man has agitated for a move and is quoted as saying Chelsea are after him.
It would be a shame if he left, he offers a bit of bite to an extremely lightweight midfield.
37 Posted 22/09/2011 at 21:11:14
Best performance was the 3-1 demolition of Man U for me. City are a much superior side than they were last year. A point would be an achievement.
38 Posted 22/09/2011 at 21:13:43
Anything but, Tom. It took him most of his first season to settle in precisely because he looked so UNCOMFORTABLE with the pace of the EPL, hence the mistimed tackles and resultant bookings.
39 Posted 22/09/2011 at 21:45:38
40 Posted 22/09/2011 at 21:45:58
To say he's average is stupid.
I also think its a myth about his 'indisipline'. He was only booked 3 times last season and 1 red. Hardly excessive for a midfielder like him.
On another point, Graveson was dog shite for all but 6 months of his Everton time.
41 Posted 22/09/2011 at 22:20:54
42 Posted 22/09/2011 at 22:19:10
Felliani has the potential to be as good as Veira, but i agree Rodwell doesn't suit him unfortunatly we haven't got another option.
43 Posted 22/09/2011 at 22:46:06
44 Posted 22/09/2011 at 22:53:16
45 Posted 22/09/2011 at 22:49:26
He's ok but too ill disciplined to avoid the refs attention. I worry he will get sent off in every derby! "
I'd be worried if he didn't mate, we need characters like him in derby games!!! did you worry about big Dunc in derby games ? Fella is the type of player we need in these games, who gives a fuck if he gets sent off ? that's what derbies should be all about, hard tackles, niggle, barneys all over the pitch, red cards, the crowd baying for blood, what more could you ask for on a Saturday afternoon?
46 Posted 22/09/2011 at 23:05:53
I reckon they thought they'd signed Carsley.
47 Posted 22/09/2011 at 23:11:01
Fellii is WORLD CLASS, he is young, players in his position do not mature till 26/27 years of age. He's different, he's got the lot.
Someone said in this post that he struggled in his first season... 10 Goals?
He's coming back from injury, and said himself that we won't see the best of him till later.
Real Madrid, or some other money club will buy him in January, because Everton / Kenwright / Moyes have already put him up for sale. By Moyes insisting he won't be a Pienaar, means that if he doesn't sign the new contract on offer, he will sell him in January. We don,t know what the offer is?
They're setting him up, like Arteta, for a transfer..............
Hang your head in shame Moyes / Kenwright.
Felli.................. world class.
48 Posted 23/09/2011 at 00:49:43
I ask you this: would you take Carsley in the holding role or Felli on their peak? Felli plays it simple just like Carsley did, only Carsley puts in much more of a shift and tracked runners better. Our defence has never been the same since Carsley left.
49 Posted 23/09/2011 at 03:23:08
50 Posted 23/09/2011 at 09:08:52
Last season we seemed to do better against such teams than against the bus parkers. Think in a mini league of the top 8 we came 2nd or 3rd! If we can do anything like that again this season i will be impressed.
How Felli and Rodwell play together (assuming they start- wouldn't be surprised to see Neville or Heitinga thrown in) will be crucial. I fear they may come up short against a very talented City side.
51 Posted 23/09/2011 at 10:05:56
52 Posted 23/09/2011 at 10:03:41
I also think its a myth about his 'indisipline'. He was only booked 3 times last season and 1 red. Hardly excessive for a midfielder like him.
How exactly is it stupid? You're comment is stupid. It may be your opinion that he hasn't been average - but THAT'S YOUR OPINION.
He's been very consistent over his career here - constantly dwells on the ball concededing posession, has a questionable first touch and is clumsy on teh ball at time - to balance that he's had some very good appearances - BUT THEY ARE IN THE MINORITY, the fact that people refer to a single Man City game - only goes to support this...therefore in terms of permiership midfielders, it's my opinion that he's been average. If you have a counter-argument, then produce it.
As for your suggestion that his indiscipline is a myth - I can only imply that you don't watch a lot of Everton. It's also convenient that you only analyse last season.
53 Posted 23/09/2011 at 10:27:20
However, if we did sell him (if anyone wanted him) we would need a replacement because he is tall and wins alot of headers in the middle of the park. I'd also like to point out that it's no co-incidence that we always seem to go on good runs when he is injured.
54 Posted 23/09/2011 at 13:03:27
The single game v City last year was in context with tomorrow's match and I couldn't disagree more with your analysis of Fellaini. He dominates midfields, dicates play, breaks up play well, evidently has an eye for goal, good passer, is good in the air, has the stamina of a mule, an improving disciplinarily record and has great hair. He's 23. We'll see how average he is when he's playing with teammates as good as him. That's my opinion anyway.
55 Posted 23/09/2011 at 12:59:38
56 Posted 23/09/2011 at 13:04:43
Moyes didn't know what to do with Gravesen either and it was not until he switched it to a five man midfield that we saw the best of him. People often commented, including the lad i sat next to that he looked like a headless chicken. I used to say that this was due to the fact that Gravesen wanted to be on the ball always, to dictate play and he could not do this if Unsworth was continuously booting it over his head for Ferguson (regardless if he was playing or not). Eventually, I expect by chance, Moyes pushed Gravesen further up the pitch and made Carsley sit, and as Iain points out got others to do his running for him. Whilst this is not quite true, as Gravesen was largely mobile, he did require others to perform his defensive duties. Gravesen was then able to drift around the pitch where he wanted to, to impose himself on the game, and to dictate play. I believe that he performed to the best of his abilities in that wonderful 6 month spell and we achieved so many points in it, that even when he left and we struggled in the second half of the season, we were still able to secure 4th. Most of that was down to Gravesen. I'm pretty sure that we got 66% of all of our points that season from the Gravesen period.
I think Moyes did a similar thing with Arteta. He arrived in a defensive role, found that he was not the type of player to play as a DM in the english game and was shifted out of the way to the right wing and given licence to come in from there and try and dictate play. Eventually when losing his pace after injury, Moyes had no choice to play him in the middle.
With Fellaini, Moyes has played him al through the middle. It's obvious that like the two aforementioned he is not a DM / holding player, but he is a similar type of player who wants to dictate play, but lacks the all round (defensive) game to be trusted by a manager like Moyes in the centre of a midfield 4. Unlike the other two, Fellaini is less mobile and less able to influence play as a result. He doesn't seem able to drive play forward with the conviction of a Gravesen in his pomp, and he also lacks the long range passing ability of Arteta. I don't think he will ever be as good as them, and if we got our money back (£20m+ after interest on the loans secured to buy him) then we should certainly sell him and look to bring a better playmaker in, like Moutinho formerly of Sporting (remember how he destroyed us in the EL) and now with Porto.
57 Posted 23/09/2011 at 13:34:15
I'll give you that bit Tom.
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