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. Nine FIFA officials, including CONCACAF president, arrested in Switzerland during dawn raids

    May 27, 2015, 5:20 AM EDT

    65th FIFA Congress Previews 65th FIFA Congress Previews

    FIFA officials from CONCACAF region and South America dominate the FBI’s wanted list.

  2. Report: Multiple FIFA officials arrested in Zurich, will be extradited to United States

    May 27, 2015, 12:44 AM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    An unprecedented blow to the upper tier of FIFA’s personnel structure could be the beginning of a sweeping takedown of the organization’s corrupt inner workings.

  3. Aguero, Toure, Nasri, Silva among Manchester City’s roster for Toronto FC friendly

    May 26, 2015, 11:17 PM EDT

    Manchester City's Sergio Aguero celebrates his second goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester Reuters

    Toronto FC has put a “projected Starting XI” on Twitter, one that includes Michael Bradley and Sebastian Giovinco.

  4. Tuesday’s transfer rumor roundup: Several linked with Manchester United, Liverpool, Newcastle

    May 26, 2015, 10:28 PM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Getty Images

    Well, the Premier League season has been over for a solid 59 hours, and we shouldn’t let it get to 60 without digging through the muck that is the transfer rumor mill.

  5. There has been an Oguchi Onyewu sighting at New York City FC training

    May 26, 2015, 9:30 PM EDT

    LARNACA, CYPRUS - MARCH 05:  Oguchi Onyewu (R) of the USA in action during the Ukraine v USA International Friendly  at Antonis Papadopoulos stadium on March 5, 2014 in Larnaca, Cyprus.  (Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty Images) Getty Images

    All-in-all, he’s played for 11 clubs — four on loan — and only one for more than 30 matches (Standard Liege).

  6. Mourinho rips Top 4 rivals at awards dinner; Takes extra shot at Wenger’s Arsenal

    May 26, 2015, 8:36 PM EDT

    WengerMourinho AP

    He finished off the speech with a brilliant line regarding Chelsea, “They played from August till May and sometimes they brought the bus.”

  7. Real Madrid declines purchase option on Chicharito, who heads back to Manchester United

    May 26, 2015, 7:47 PM EDT

    Manchester United v Los Angeles Galaxy Getty Images

    Chicharito’s career will make an interesting case study when all’s said and done.

  8. Ireland FA chief: “We won’t be voting” for Sepp Blatter

    May 26, 2015, 6:42 PM EDT

    Sepp Blatter AP

    “Surely he knows … that outside of the voting chambers, that the world … the players and supporters, want change,” Delaney said.

  9. Loew to rest Neuer, Muller for friendly vs. USMNT, Euro qualifier vs. Gibraltar

    May 26, 2015, 5:51 PM EDT

    Bayern's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer (L) and forward Thomas Muller give a press conference in Porto on April14, 2015, on the eve of the UEFA Champions League quarter finals football match FC Porto vs FC Bayern Munich. AFP PHOTO / FRANCISCO LEONG        (Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    The USMNT faces Germany on June 10 in Cologne after a June 5 date at Amsterdam Arena against the Netherlands.

  10. Ten best young ‘newcomers’ of the 2014-15 Premier League season

    May 26, 2015, 5:00 PM EDT

    Can gave Liverpool an early lead but they collapsed. Can gave Liverpool an early lead but they collapsed.

    A great deal of clubs can find young talent on our list, as the 2014-15 season review continues.

  11. Reports: Napoli will announce Rafa Benitez departure Thursday; Headed for Real Madrid

    May 26, 2015, 4:33 PM EDT

    VERONA, ITALY - MARCH 15:  Head coach  of SSC Napoli Rafa Benitez looks on  during the Serie A match between Hellas Verona FC and SSC Napoli at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi on March 15, 2015 in Verona, Italy.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Napoli finished fourth in Serie A, and made it to the Europa League semifinal before being bounced by Dnipro.

  12. The Premier League’s top and bottom transfers of the season

    May 26, 2015, 3:41 PM EDT

    Arsenal FC v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League Getty Images

    This list will tend to include more high-profile names than low-risk moves that didn’t pan out.

  13. VIDEO: Premier League Team of the Week – Round 38

    May 26, 2015, 2:38 PM EDT

    Find out which 11 players shone during the final matchday of the 2014-15 PL season.

  14. VIDEO: Premier League Player of the Week – Round 38

    May 26, 2015, 12:39 PM EDT

    Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League

    A hat trick hero finished the season off in style. Find out who was the best in the PL during the final week of the season.

  15. Premier League Playback: Looking back at a memorable 2014-15 season

    May 26, 2015, 11:55 AM EDT

    Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League Getty Images

    PST’s Lead Writer and Editor reflects on another action-packed PL season.

  16. West Ham awarded Europa League spot via Fair Play rankings

    May 26, 2015, 10:12 AM EDT

    cD05ODdlNmNhY2MwMjRlZWQzNTJhM2ViYTQ1Y2VlY2YzOCZnPWIzNjEyZjUwZDc4ZmQzZDA4NzM5NWMyMzFiMjMxN2Nh Getty Images

    West Ham’s 2015-16 season will now kick off on July 2.

  17. Didier Drogba open to Major League Soccer move after leaving Chelsea

    May 26, 2015, 9:27 AM EDT

    Chelsea FC v MLS All-Stars Getty Images

    Will the 37-year-old finally make his long-rumored switch to MLS this summer?

  18. Despite guiding Watford to the Premier League, Jokanovic on the way out

    May 26, 2015, 8:30 AM EDT

    Brighton & Hove Albion v Watford - Sky Bet Championship Getty Images

    The Hornets are extremely likely to have a new manager in charge for the 2015-16 season.

  19. Real Madrid president asked what’s wrong with Carlo Ancelotti: “I don’t know”

    May 26, 2015, 7:38 AM EDT

    Carlo Ancelotti New Real Madrid Manager Press Conference and Photo Call Getty Images

    Real’s president isn’t quite sure why he fired Ancelotti. That says it all.

Featured video

Chelsea lift the 2014-15 PL trophy