Azzurri Gio...
Flawed Fellaini
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It's Sunday afternoon and I've just sat through Match Of The Day, Sunday Supplement, and Goals On Sunday, where the biggest talking point has been the behaviour of Marouane Fellaini.

I'd like to say I'm surprised by Felli's actions in yesterday's game but I'm not. I think we all know he had something like that in him, but also hoped that the maturity he has shown since his yellow card strewn first season would help him keep his temper in check. I guess I'm just disappointed really.

As a massive fan of Duncan Ferguson's I've been through this situation a few times before, and just as I couldn't defend Dunc then, I can't defend Felli now.

When a player does this he lets us down. I've heard all the usual stuff about letting himself, the manager and the club down, but at the end of the day we're the ones that really feel it. While we're still effectively paying his wages we're missing out on the fantastic performances he's been putting in this season. We'll have to watch our team playing a series of games without arguably our best player of the season in it, all because of a moment of madness.

Marouane must take the blame, and to his credit he has already done that with his speedy and complete apology

I have to ask if the referee was the only person not to see the second half, running battle going on between Felli and Shawcross ? If the other players saw it why didn't one of them get a grip of Felli and tell him to cut it out, or get a message to the bench and let the manager bring him off ? I'm not trying to shift blame here, the damage was done with the outrageous headbutt, but everyone should have been able to see that it wasn't going to stop there, and although it's Felli's job to control his temper, once he'd lost it, a helping hand to avoid further incidents should have been forthcoming from either his teammates or the bench.

Ryan Shawcross is not the most popular player in the league with opposition fans, but his limited reaction to Felli's assaults yesterday were very creditable. I can think of many other players who would have been calling for a stretcher to try and ensure the referee noticed the incident, hoping for action to be taken against his opponent. Some people are trying to say Shawcross provoked Felli, and should therefore accept some of the blame. Bollocks. Unless he'd spat in Felli's face, (which he hadn't), or made a racist remark, (which he hadn't), I can think of no other provocation which comes close to warranting a reaction such as a headbutt to the face. No doubt some of you will think those two offences would not deserve a reaction like Felli's but unless it's happened to you, and I hope it never does, you'll never know.

Marouane has accepted the blame totally, never trying to deflect the blame onto Shawcross, and neither should we, (although I've no doubt he'll be subjected to the usual boos when he next appears at Goodison).

I'd also like to give credit to our manager for his press interviews straight after the match where he condemned Felli's actions, refused to defend him in any way, and totally accepted any punishment for the player or club that would be forthcoming. People may say he had no choice but I can think of several managers who have used the "I didn't see it" defence, and I'd love more managers to be as honest as Moysie.

Now on to all of those pundits, ex players and journalists I've just had the pleasure of listening to. I can't defend Felli's actions but I will defend him against the growing lynch mob who are baying for blood.

Redshite Lawrenson started it by describing him as a thug and asking for a lengthy ban, (no surprise there), while Shearer sat alongside him with his "holier than thou" face on, tut tutting as though he'd never deliberately elbowed a defender or committed any other acts of violence on a football pitch.

Then we've got four "well respected" journalists who try and compare Felli's offences with those of Joey Barton, and support a ban of similar length to his.

Finally a voice of reason from Owen Coyle who quite simply said three match ban.

That's the correct punishment for the offence, but if the good old boys at the FA decide to listen to the bloodthirsty mob of headline writers we can expect a ban of at least a couple of months, with some of them preferring Felli to be handcuffed and deported back to Belgium.

Think that's my rant over. Hopefully I've expressed my disappointment clearly, blamed Felli totally, and made my case for a just and realistic punishment.

I'd like to finish on what I can see as being the only positive things to come out of this.

The loss of our most influential player means others have to up their game, and it gives other players a chance to stake their claim for a first team place.

This also allows the manager to show his skills by coming up with a "Plan B" which ensures that neither our performances or our results suffer during Felli's absence.

A tough task no doubt, but one I'm happy and confident to leave in the capable hands of David Moyes. Azzurri Gio

Comments about Flawed Fellaini
No excuses for Felli and none will be given. Listening to the pundits though was an exercise in listening to a gang of two faced hypocrites who found something to pontificate. Shearer in his later years was one of the worst offenders. Lawrenson is just a pile of sour faced fat shit. Savage just a mediocre nobody who kicked everybody in sight. So who calls the pundits to account?
Spectator, Crosby, 5:31 PM 17/12/2012
A fantastic piece of journalism. Well said BK. Correct in every aspect. We don't want this sort of behaviour associated with Our Club. The one piece that stood out for me was the fact that someone should have seen the red mists surrounding Felli and had the sense to drag him off or sub him. He was an accident waiting to happen. I hope he reflects in his self imposed ban just what he has cost us !
Craig Findlater, Romsey Hants, 1:29 PM 17/12/2012
But, what if after the Chelsea game (if he gets a 3 match ban) Moyes is in a position where whoever comes in now is a better bet for the rest of the season. Do we sell him or loan him to some French outfit.
Win, Stafford, 12:40 PM 17/12/2012
A 3 match ban would be appropriatte as that would have been the consequence if ref had noticed the ongoing feud. Shawcross reaped what he sowed apart from the desired sending off his team were seeking. Any longer ban would just mean the FA was just reacting to self rightious pundits. No career or season was ended just a ill disciplined reaction to the intimidation and provocation as to what some would regard as a "good pro" doing his job. Shearer should remember how his stupid foul cost a battling 10 man England a place in quarter finals of 98 world cup before being so judgemental. Then he was wound up by cynical "nasty argies" who had got a stupid boy sent off.
BLUEHAWKLORD, Wirral, 12:06 PM 17/12/2012
The condemning of Fellaini's actions is absolutely right, but there is a bias towards British players when it comes to this sort of incident. Last season at home to Norwich Grant Holt elbowed Fellaini in a similar sort of tussle, but it was barely mentioned. He was just described as a ' big, strong traditional centre forward' and it was never mentioned again. Forget the Liverpool connection, but the other week Liam Ridgewell got away with a blatent dive and the BBC pundits said 'If it was Suarez, we'd be talking about it, so I suppose we'll have to talk about this' and then they were laughing about it. When Neville dived for us they were laughing about it. This doesn't excuse Liverpool's continued defending of Suarez' behaviour, but if you condemn Suarez you have to condemn others equally. Moyes anger and refusal to defend Felli was right and should be the norm, but it is now a shining, stand out quality among Premier League managers. Tony Pulis obviously 'didn't see' Robert Huth's stamp on Suarez' chest earlier this season. I'm sick of the bullshit, and glad Moyesie refused to join in.
Grongy, Salford, 11:13 AM 17/12/2012
Felli should get a three match ban, no more, no less. The referee missed (somehow) three sending off offences. He allowed the spat between Felli and Shawcross to grow and continue, and he has to accept that he could not/did not control the incidents. Felli should get a three match ban. The referee AND his team should also get a three match ban for not doing their jobs. And there is my massively biased opinion :)! Felli is a legend, it's not the first flawed Genius we've Gio mentioned - Big Dunc!
David, West Derby, 10:36 AM 17/12/2012
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