It would have been terrible if with the current situation of the Manchester United squad, they still had to lose one of their in-formed squad members. Marouane Fellaini was alleged to have spat at Sergio Aguero during the latest Manchester derby. The incident occurred in the second period of the game when the Belgian seemed to have fouled Manchester City’s striker in the penalty area. Although the referee, Michael Oliver was not convinced enough to award a penalty, Fellaini was so bitter that he went over to meet Sergio Aguero and tell him his mind. Replays of the incident however show that saliva had indeed left Fellaini’s mouth and hit the Argentine.
Manager, Louis van Gaal was quick to defend his versatile midfielder saying he believes that Fellaini had no intent to spit on Aguero and it was only normal that spit would come out especially when a person is furious. The good thing is, reports in the media yesterday indicated that Fellaini will not receive a ban as there was not enough evidence to suggest that he spat on the Argentine deliberately and this claims have now been proved with the FA stating on its twitter handle that it will take no action against Marouane Fellaini for allegedly spitting on Sergio Aguero during the Manchester derby.
If Marouane Fellaini had been banned, it would have provided Louis van Gaal with bigger woes considering the recent loss of the last two senior centre-backs he has. With the ban that Chris Smalling received and the injury sustained by Marcos Rojo, the manager is said to be considering partnering the newly returned Michael Carrick with either of Paddy McNair or Tyler Blacklet in the defence. This will leave Luke Shaw as the only regular member of the back four available for the Crystal Palace clash as Antonio Valencia will still have to continue deputizing for the injured Rafael.
It would have been nice for Michael Carrick to help out in the midfield if it wasn’t for the misdemeanour on Chris Smalling’s part but as of now, the midfielder is needed more at the heart of the defence.
This brings us to how Fellaini’s ‘ban’ would have blown the manager’s worries out of proportion. The Belgian had been a sight for sore eyes under erstwhile manager David Moyes but just of recent, he has been silencing his critics with wonderful performances so much that he has now assumed a spot in the starting eleven ahead of Juan Mata. In this low period at the club, Fellaini’s height, poise and strength that has earned him the nickname ‘the Afroed Beast’ will be integral especially when there is the need to win midfield battles for the Red Devils.
However, had the FA handed him a ban, the team would have been seriously depleted and it would be more painful seeing as the midfielder didn’t commit the atrocity out of intent. Manchester United need to come out strong against Crystal Palace on Sunday if they are still interested in a first four finish and to achieve this, the remaining players available need to maintain the energy flow with which they played their last two matches.