Jamie Carragher has admitted he was being harsh when he criticised Manchester United’s Marouane Fellaini following the Belgian’s three-game ban last week.
Carragher, writing in his Daily Mail column, said that he ‘hoped we don’t see his elbows in England again” after Fellaini received a ban for elbowing Leicester City’s Robert Huth earlier this month.
Many took that as Carragher saying Fellaini should be thrown out of English football but the former Liverpool defender moved to explain his comments recently.
“I shouldn’t have said that I hope he doesn’t play in England again. I didn’t mean it like that and on reflection I should have taken the line out,” Carragher said.
“I didn’t mean he should be thrown out of the league, more that United should move him on. Fellaini is a good player; I just don’t think he’s a Manchester United class player. He’s used in an effective way by Louis van Gaal and he did play.
“My point was that he’d played his last game in the league this season for United and that was hopefully the last we’ll see of his elbows.
“I know that sounds like the same thing, but I didn’t mean it as bluntly.”
Fellaini did seem to have a remarkable ability to escape punishment for his flailing elbows in months gone by and, in fairness, his ban was a long time coming.
The Belgian divides opinion and rightly so: his physicality and negative style are not conducive to the sort of football United would ideally like to play and it seems he will be let go as a result.
Of course, Fellaini has shown this term that he has his uses but a club of United’s resources and stature should be aiming for a higher calibre of player.