Whilst his behaviour in Everton’s 1-1 draw to Stoke City at Goodison Park earlier this month was ‘deplorable’, Maruoane Fellaini’s head-butting of Ryan Shawcross will have won him some friends in North London.
Arsenal fans have never really forgiven Shawcross for his tackle on Aaron Ramsey, which broke the Welshman’s leg in half and sidelined him for the best part of a season.
When Stoke visit the Emirates in February he will likely be booed every time he touches the ball as he has been ever since his dismissal at the Britannia back in February 2010.
Fellaini received criticism from across the spectrum of managers (including his own), pundits, and players for repeatedly head-butting the Stoke defender in the chest and face, something which some Arsenal fans have applauded and even put together little gif videos in celebration of the incident.
However, reports over the weekend that Arsene Wenger is interested in signing the Belgian may go some way to explain Fellaini’s apparent loss of his marbles – perhaps he was trying to endear himself with the Gunners fans in the hope that he might follow his former teammate Mikel Arteta to the Emirates in search of Champion’s League football.
Arsenal certainly need a strong and powerful midfielder – since the departure of Alex Song, they’ve had to move Arteta back into the holding role and despite his exceptional commitment there, they’ll likely be in the market for a player with Fellaini’s physicality.
Wenger had no doubt hoped Abou Diaby would return to fill the void but the Frenchman still seems to be made of glass and his career never really recovered from Sunderland’s Dan Smith’s horror tackle back in 2006.
Whilst Everton manager David Moyes has told potential suitors he will not sell Fellaini, Arsenal are reportedly willing to spend £25 million to bring him to the Emirates – I wonder whether Moyes’ hands might be tied should an offer in that range come in.
Whether he stays or goes, Maroane Fellaini will always be remembered by Arsenal fans as the guy who nutted Ryan Shawcross – a silly, terrible, unspeakable thing to do. Unless you happen to own an Arsenal shirt.
image: © nicksarebi