Making the switch from Everton to Manchester United in 2013, Marouane Fellaini was brought to Old Trafford for a $43.6 million transfer fee because there was clear intention that he would be a key component to the squad.
However, the Red Devils floundered under Moyes and didn’t have the superb quality that the storied Premier League squad usually holds.
The manager and the majority of United’s starting lineup was bombarded with criticism, and Fellaini told press recently that he felt targeted a year ago, but is optimistic about the results of this 2014-15 campaign.
“Yes a little bit. That is a difficult question. I agree last season was tough,” he said. “There was a new manager and it was difficult for all the players but we have another new manager now with a new philosophy and we have to work hard.”
Under new boss Louis van Gaal, not a great deal has changed in a short period of time. The time window of this season so far has been exactly that: short. With that being the case, Van Gaal still has months to improve his squad’s standing, as long as the team doesn’t hang too low in the table.
Fellaini, meanwhile, has found himself in the starting lineup for the past few matches, and he believes that 2013-14’s adversity, in addition to the momentum gained from the World Cup, where he starred for Belgium, has strengthened his will to perform better.
“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. I came back after the summer confident. The manager said to me I would have to fight if I wanted to play. I did fight and trained hard and that was it.”