Football

Fellaini: I was made to feel like a scapegoat for Man United's shortcomings last season

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini said he was made to feel like a scapegoat for his team’s struggles during the previous season.

The footballer made the claim at an event organised by the club's global partner Nissin on Tuesday (Nov 11).

The 26-year-old followed manager David Moyes from Everton to Old Trafford last year in a £27.5 million (S$56 million​) transfer, but failed to impress as the club slipped to a disappointing seventh-place finish in the Premier League.

The gangly Belgium international with the afro haircut did not score in his debut season and became an object of derision for rival supporters.

But he has improved under Moyes’s successor, Louis van Gaal.

Came back confident

Asked at the event if he felt he had been made a scapegoat for United’s failings under Moyes, Fellaini told reporters: "Yes, a little bit. That is a difficult question. It is difficult to answer that."

He added: “I didn’t lose faith in myself. In football, you have to be strong in the head. The mentality is important and I do have this quality, so I can keep going.

“My family helped me through it. I was also in the national team for Belgium at the World Cup and I played well and the team also played well. For my confidence that was important. I came back after the summer confident.

“The manager (Van Gaal) said to me I would have to fight if I wanted to play.

"I did fight and trained hard and that was it. When I got my chance, I tried to show myself and tried to do my best."

Sources: AFP, ESPN FC

Manchester UnitedMarouane Fellainieuropelouis van gaal