Have Everton fans booed Marouane Fellaini out of Goodison Park?
There was a lot of anger at Goodison Park on Saturday as Everton fell 3-0 to Wigan in the 6th round of the FA Cup. Goals from Maynor Figueroa, Callum McManaman and Jordi Gomez in the space of only 5 first half minutes nailed the coffin shut on Everton’s yearly dream of a trophy under David Moyes. (Click here for Sportskeeda’s Match Review)
The moment I remember more than any other from the match, though, was Marouane Fellaini‘s second half substitution.
As his number came up on the 4th official’s board on 67 minutes, boos resonated around Goodison Park from the fans that had bothered to stay for the second half. Darren Gibson, Fellaini’s replacement, was greeted with enthusiastic cheers in comparison, just in case the Belgian midfielder hadn’t already got the message.
Fellaini had an awful game. One of the worst games I’ve ever seen him play in an Everton shirt, in fact. And it doesn’t help that the substitution came after his worst stretch of play in the match. He carelessly gave the ball back to Wigan defenders with several inaccurate passes in the minutes leading up to his departure.
With 12 goals in 27 games, Fellaini has been the driving force behind Everton’s attacking play all season.
Booing players is a fan’s right, of course. But in almost any situation, it’s a stupid thing to do. When has it ever been a useful practice to boo your own players? It doesn’t do any good at all, it just embraces a negative atmosphere.
And it was especially stupid on Saturday.
Marouane Fellaini is Everton’s best player. That is almost undisputed. He has 12 goals in 27 games for the Toffees and has been the driving force behind their attacking play all season. In fact, he’s been so good that he’s drawn serious attention from most major European clubs. The 25-year-old was one of the most talked-about players in this January’s transfer window, and a lot of people expected him to leave Merseyside.
He didn’t. He’s still around and he’s still Everton’s best player. If Everton fans want keep it that way, they need to start acting like it.
Every player in the world, whether it’s Gary Brabin or Lionel Messi, has a bad game from time to time. Fellaini just had a bad game. It’s rare that he does that, and the Everton faithful should have been a little more patient with him. After all, he wasn’t the only reason Everton were losing. Almost every other player, and notably Phil Neville, contributed significantly to the Toffees downfall. It was Fellaini, however, that felt the brunt of Evertonian frustration. That was wrong.
You don’t have to give the guy a standing ovation, but booing him as aggressively as they did on Saturday is only going to help push Fellaini out of the door. He walked straight down the tunnel after he was replaced, despite being asked to stay on the bench by Everton players and staff. This is a guy that is not happy at the moment.
There comes a point where fans need to actually think before they open their mouths. Making Fellaini feel unwanted is the dumbest thing they could possibly do. Because if the Belgian decides to leave in summer, David Moyes’ side are not going to get any closer to ending their trophy drought. Everton fans should be thinking about that the next time they start booing at Goodison Park.