Marouane Fellaini has been banned for three matches after the Everton midfielder accepted a charge of violent conduct for his clash with Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross.
The Football Association brought the charge retrospectively after reviewing footage of Everton’s 1-1 draw with Stoke in the Premier League on Saturday.
Fellaini and Everton accepted the charge, little surprise considering the player had already apologised and his manager, David Moyes, also condemned the incident.
There was a lot of guff about a mult-game ban coming into this, because Fellaini did bad things for the entire ninety minutes. It’s all a bit arbitrary of course. Anyway, you can have fun connecting the obvious narrative dots:
Fellaini didn’t want to play over the Christmas holidays!
Fellaini wants to leave Everton so this was apparently the best way of getting her done!
Shawcross provoked him by being Ryan Shawcross!
Fellaini is evil, so you have to balance his evil against his skill, apparently!
Considering everyone else seems to be cashing in on the “Love Letter to Marouane Fellaini” genre, the latest being Roger Bennett’s two cents on ESPN, I thought I’d kick in my two cents over the Belgian star at Everton.
Why do I love Fellaini? Is it his 8 goals or 3.6 shots per game? His ability on the ball?
I love Fellaini because his ability to trap the ball is among the best thing a bad Premier League season has going for it this year.
Picture any odd English football game you’ve ever seen. A lull in play following a goal-kick. The keeper, feeling he’d better just punt the ball forward in the hopes of creating something, anything, to appease his fans, his manager, his god, sends it long to a forward or attacking midfielder who usually a) heads it back to the defensive midfielder or out to either a winger or full-back, b) tries to run on to in a way that gets him past the central defenders, or c) bobbles it out to touch, conceding possession.
However, when the keeper is Tim Howard and Fellaini is the target, things tend to turn out a little differently. As in, Fellaini will trap the ball calmly, make space for a pass, and pass the ball to an onrushing midfielder or winger.
Despite the hemming and hawing about the interdependence and complexity of football and its lack of discrete events, Fellaini’s little things pay huge dividends.