Marouane Fellaini Avoids FA Action Following Spitting Allegations

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2014

Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini  during the English Premier League soccer match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United at The Hawthorns Stadium in West Bromwich, England, Saturday, March 8, 2014.  (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Rui Vieira

Marouane Fellaini will not face punishment after allegedly spitting at Pablo Zabaleta during the recent Manchester derby, as reported by BBC Sport: 

The FA recently banned Hull City striker George Boyd for three games after he was judged to have spat at Joe Hart, reported by BBC Sport. Fellaini was said to have also spat toward Zabaleta after he appeared to elbow the Argentinian right-back—an incident that could have easily resulted in a red card by itself, as noted by Daniel Taylor of The Guardian:

Fellaini was booked for the collision with Zabaleta but fortunate not to be shown a red card bearing in mind the seriousness of the offence. It is when he is protesting his innocence that he turns to Zabaleta and the TV cameras capture the footage that is now in the possession of the FA's disciplinary investigators.

Sang Tan

Upon reviewing the television coverage, the FA have decided against ruling the Belgian midfielder out of fixtures against Newcastle, Everton and Norwich. Fellaini will be particularly pleased to be available for the trip to Goodison Park on April 20, his first return since leaving last summer.

Fellaini has struggled to shake off his £27 million tag during his first season at Old Trafford. Many have lambasted the 26-year-old for sloppy displays that see him repeatedly give away possession in crucial areas.

His performance level has improved recently, but there's always the sense Fellaini is one misstep away from receiving a red card. He enters aerial duels elbow first and appears unwieldy when shrugging off opponents, as if he's always going to make contact with his arm.

Sam Pilger of FourFourTwo magazine summed up the feeling that Fellaini will struggle to replicate his Everton form under United's considerable spotlight:

The Belgian behemoth has made 18 appearances in the Premier League and Champions League for the Red Devils, per He is yet to score or assist a goal and appears to lose focus quickly during important encounters. Fellaini is expected to start against Bayern Munich on Tuesday—a particularly daunting task when considering the German champions' powerful, free-flowing midfield.

SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 05:  Marouanne Fellaini of Manchester United is shown a red card by referee Nicola Rizzoli for a challenge during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Real Sociedad de Futbol and Manchester United at Estadio Anoe
David Ramos/Getty Images

He has has already received his marching orders in Europe this season and will need to improve his discipline if he is going to escape a repeat of the red card against Real Sociedad. Like many under the tutelage of David Moyes, Fellaini has an awful lot to prove before he is considered Manchester United quality.

The player's natural physique and ability to win the ball ensures he is talented, but as we've repeatedly witnessed throughout the current campaign, his concentration needs to improve if he is to become a key member of United's first-team.