Marouane Fellaini is quickly becoming less a midfielder and more an emblem of inadequacy; a shaggy-haired punishment visited upon Manchester United fans for sins of the past. They are increasingly unsure as to what they have done to deserve him.
United took the lead just before half-time at Goodison Park through Zlatan Ibrahimovic, only to sit back in the second half, failing to capitalise on what was quite a poor Everton performance.
With United leading 1-0 with five minutes left, Mourinho decided to shut up shop, and subbed Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Marouane Fellaini. On commentary, Gary Neville explained the decision by pointing out that Fellaini would provide an extra bit of solidity beneath any Everton aerial bombardment.
But United were hoisted by Fellaini's maladroitness just three minutes later, as Fellaini contrived to give away a penalty within two minutes of his introduction. He rushed out to tackle Idrissa Gueye, but couldn't help but foul him. As Jamie Carragher said afterwards: 'he sees the danger, but just couldn't help himself'.
Gary Neville was audibly exasperated with Fellaini on commentary, and was incredibly damning in his summary.
Upon the concession of the penalty, Neville said:
It's garbage from him.
A couple of minutes later, as Sky replayed the incident, Neville was still seething:
To stick your leg out there, from such an experienced player, it's pathetic really. He was brought on to see the game out. No composure....it was obvious what was coming, you could see it from a mile off.
Straight-talking. Neville then descended from his spot in the gantry to join the panel in studio post-game, and was no less frustrated:
Jamie Carragher elaborated on Neville's point, saying that Fellaini is simply a "clumsy player, you see that all the time with his elbows", while Leon Osman said that Fellaini had always been like that, admitting surprise that United risked playing him in front of the back four, given his proclivity for brain farts.
Like this one.