Skip to content

Mathieu Flamini over Marouane Fellaini – Arsenal’s stroke of genius

Oct 29, 2013, 11:22 AM EDT

Marouane Fellaini AP

Marouane Fellaini claimed today to have turned down Arsenal in favor of a move to Manchester United.

The Belgium international midfielder, who left Everton to join Manchester United in a £27.5 million deal on transfer deadline day, cited manager David Moyes as the decisive element in his decision making process.

“I knew United were interested in signing me – just as Arsenal were,” he admitted. “But it was United who snapped me up.

“David Moyes did everything to get me. I leapt at the chance to work with Moyes. I spent some fantastic times with him at Everton.”

Since moving to Old Trafford, however, those fantastic times have ended for both player and coach. Fellaini has struggled to adapt to life with the champions, admitting the switch to Manchester has been quite the culture shock. “I couldn’t believe it during my first week,” Fellaini said. “It’s a change, a big step. I’m training now, and starting to get used to it, but I couldn’t believe it at the start.”

After occupying the striker role for much of his time at Goodison Park, Fellaini has been deployed as a box-to-box midfielder alongside Michael Carrick at United. It’s a role that Fellaini has noted he prefers yet one that has left United fans worried that their investment may be all for not.

The consensus is that in the four Premier League matches he’s played since joining United, Fellaini has looked off the pace. Despite his physical stature he has failed to impose himself defensively while on the offensive end his passes have been off the mark and he’s lacked the bite in the box that made him a star at Everton.

While poor form has plagued Fellaini the harsh and quick criticism has undoubtedly been exacerbated by the fact that, as the only new recruit into United, the spotlight is entirely his own.

Whether Arsenal’s “interest” in Fellaini would have transpired into actually making a bid for the player is highly speculative. Notoriously tight-fisted in the transfer market, it’s unlikely the Gunners would have bid anywhere close to £27.5 million for the Belgian.

Although Arsene Wenger did splash the cash (a club record £42.5 million) to acquire Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid, there’s a big difference between shelling out for a player with high upside (Fellaini) and a player of world-class stature (Ozil).

Instead, Wenger filled Arsenal’s need for midfield grit by signing Mathieu Flamini on a free transfer from AC Milan. The move has proven to be a stroke of genius as Flamini’s bull-dog mentality and endless stamina has been a massive boon to the Arsenal midfield.

Although a concussion and groin injury have sidelined the Frenchman of late, many consider Flamini to be the signing of the summer transfer window and a major reason why this Arsenal side might just have what it takes to make a run at the Premier League title.

Latest Posts
  1. Monk has Swansea unbeaten through three, but still eyeing safety first

    Aug 30, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Getty Images

    The young Swans manager is hoping to get “to the 40-point barrier as fast as possible” after the hot start.

  2. Premier League Saturday Roundup: Chelsea win classic; Stoke stun Man City

    Aug 30, 2014, 2:57 PM EDT

    Costa scored twice, as USA's Howard let in six on Saturday. AP

    All the action from a sensational Saturday of Premier League action.

  3. Pellegrini questioned on Falcao to Man City rumors; Real Madrid lurks

    Aug 30, 2014, 2:35 PM EDT

    Radamel Falcao AP

    Real Madrid could be the deepest attacking side in the world right now, and they just may get deeper.

  4. Everton 3-6 Chelsea: Blues prevail in sensational match at Goodison

    Aug 30, 2014, 2:25 PM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    One of the greatest games in Premier League history played out at Goodison. Relive it, here.

  5. WATCH: Juan Arango hammers one of the hardest strikes you’ll see

    Aug 30, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

    Juan Arango AP

    The Tijuana midfielder absolutely smoked a goal home against Leones Negros on Friday night.

  6. Sam Allardyce slams officials after West Ham “taught a lesson” by Saints

    Aug 30, 2014, 1:14 PM EDT

    West Ham United v Southampton - Premier League Getty Images

    Hammers boss laments poor decision but must look at his own teams shortcomings after poor display.

  7. LIVE – Two goals in first three minutes puts Chelsea 2-0 up vs. Everton

    Aug 30, 2014, 12:44 PM EDT

    Mourinho AP

    The Special One got a special start from his players. Watch Chelsea vs. Everton live, right here.

  8. Louis van Gaal laments “very nervous” first half, officiating in draw

    Aug 30, 2014, 12:43 PM EDT

    Screen Shot 2014-08-30 at 12.11.46 PM

    “We had more possession of the ball than Burnley but more free-kicks were awarded against us than in favour of us,” van Gaal said. “I think that is remarkable.”

  9. VIDEO: Diouf dribbles for miles, nutmegs Hart to upend City 1-0

    Aug 30, 2014, 12:19 PM EDT

    Manchester City v Stoke City - Premier League Getty Images

    Mame Biram Diouf is back from Germany, and the Senegalese forward has already scored a Premier League goal in exhilarating fashion.

  10. Watch Live: Everton vs. Chelsea (Lineups)

    Aug 30, 2014, 12:11 PM EDT

    tim_howard Getty Images

    Watch Everton and Chelsea clash, right here.

  11. Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Sunderland: Austin helps QPR get three points

    Aug 30, 2014, 12:06 PM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers v Sunderland - Premier League Getty Images

    One goal does not an exciting game make, but Harry Redknapp will be content to snare his first three points of the year.

  12. Manchester City 0-1 Stoke City: Diouf’s dribble springs upset

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

    Manchester City v Stoke City - Premier League Getty Images

    Mame Biram Diouf’s dazzling run through Man City was the moment, but Stoke won the match with defense.

  13. Swansea City 3-0 West Bromwich Albion: Dyer’s double keeps Swans perfect

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT

    Swansea City v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Getty Images

    Swansea flying after third-straight win to start the season.

  14. Newcastle United 3-3 Crystal Palace: Zaha hands Warnock dream comeback

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:57 AM EDT

    Newcastle United v Crystal Palace - Premier League Getty Images

    Remember the name Rolando Aarons, as the 18-year-old Jamaican-born Englishman starred in leading Newcastle back.

  15. West Ham United 1-3 Southampton: Stylish Saints bag first win of the season

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT

    West Ham United v Southampton - Premier League Getty Images

    Schneiderlin double hands Saints their first win of the PL season.

  16. LIVE – Half time update: QPR, Swansea ahead, Stoke holding Man City

    Aug 30, 2014, 11:02 AM EDT

    Manchester City v Sporting Kansas City Getty Images

    All the action from a frantic first half. Watch the 2nd half live, right here.

  17. West Ham officially adds Alex Song on loan from Barcelona

    Aug 30, 2014, 10:12 AM EDT

    ?????

    The long-time Arsenal midfielder is returning to both London and the Premier League.

  18. Burnley 0-0 Manchester United: Sloppy Utd overshadows Di Maria debut

    Aug 30, 2014, 9:40 AM EDT

    Burnley v Manchester United - Premier League Getty Images

    The Premier League got its first taste of what Di Maria can do when he served an absolutely gorgeous 50-yd ball to a streaking van Persie.

Featured video

Breaking down Di Maria, Balotelli deals