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“It was the worst in my career”: Marouane Fellaini opens up on “nightmare” season under David Moyes – Man United News And Transfer News


Former Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has branded his first season at Old Trafford under David Moyes as the worst in his career but explained he doesn’t retain any ill feelings towards the current West Ham boss.

United forked out £27.5million on transfer deadline day in September 2013 to sign Fellaini from Everton.

He arrived as Moyes’ biggest signing but he initially struggled at his new club. Fellaini only managed 12 Premier League starts in the 2013/14 campaign as United slumped to a seventh-place finish.

When the Red Devils secured Felliani’s services from the Toffees, he had a reputation for being a goalscoring threat. At 6ft 4in, the Belgian was renowned for the danger he posed to opposing teams especially when attacking set-pieces.

However, Fellaini didn’t score for United in his first season at the club.

Moyes’ sacking just nine months into his tenure in the dugout gave the midfielder a new lease of life. Things improved when Louis van Gaal took over.

Van Gaal and his successor Jose Mourinho deployed Fellaini in a more advanced role, where he performed much better.

He found the back of the net seven times in 31 appearances in the 2014/15 term as Van Gaal’s men lifted the FA Cup. Fellaini was also crucial under Mourinho as United went on to win the EFL Cup and the Europa League.

Fellaini, who recently announced his retirement from football, spoke to club media and opened up on his struggles under Moyes and how he turned the situation around.

“The first year at Manchester United was very difficult for me because, like you said, I was the first signing after the era of [Sir Alex] Ferguson and it was not easy. I’m honest and I always said that the first year was very difficult for me, but for the team too. We did a bad season, you know?”

“It was a nightmare one for a few months. It was not easy at all and, when you are in this situation as well, mentally it’s not good, it’s not easy. I played five years for Everton, doing very well [and getting] respect from everybody. Then you go to a big club and mentally it’s difficult, as your football is not the same.”

The 36-year-old added, “You know, for me, it was the worst [season] in my career, my first year in Manchester. Mentally, too.”

“After that [first season], it was much, much better. I knew my team-mates. I knew the club, I knew how to work with this situation and I think, for the last four-and-a-half years, I did a good job. I would never criticise David Moyes because he gave me my chance in England: I played under him nearly every game [at Everton].”

The former United star revealed that initially, Van Gaal told him in very clear terms that he wouldn’t rely on him and he would be relegated to fourth or fifth choice.

Despite this, Fellaini remained undeterred and decided to work hard to convince the Dutch coach that he has a lot to offer.

Fellaini told United media that to his surprise, his efforts bore fruit and he soon became an integral part of Van Gaal’s set-up at the club.

He made a total of 177 appearances for United before he eventually left to join Chinese outfit Shandong Luneng in January 2019.


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