Manchester United picked up another win on their pre-season tour of the United States, with a 3-1 win over San Jose Earthquakes, in the early hours of this morning.
Louis van Gaal, again, made wholesale changes at half-time, with only goalkeeper Sam Johnstone playing 90 minutes. Four different central midfielders were used in the game.
New signings Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin were given more time to gel with their new team-mates, alongside Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera respectively. But what about the man who so vital to United's European qualification last season? Marouane Fellaini.
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It appears the Belgian midfielder is paying a heavy price for his actions in the final game of last season, where he was sent off for stamping on Hull City's Paul McShane.
The former Everton will miss the opening three fixtures of the new season and as Van Gaal has said, it is effecting his game time in pre-season. Fellaini has been an unused substitute in both of United's matches so far.
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As seen in the Daily Telegraph, Fellaini acknowledges he only has himself to blame for his current situation.
“It was stupid,” he said. “When I received the card, I got to the dressing-room and knew already that I had been stupid and it was a stupid sending off.
“The manager was angry with me and he fined me, which is normal. But the next day, I went to talk him and said sorry.
“It was my idea to say sorry for the tackle and the trouble. Of course, it is something he appreciated. I let him and my team-mates down and that was not good for the team.”
Following a £27.5 million move from Everton is 2013, much of the flack for United's disastrous season under David Moyes fell onto the shoulders of the big man.
However he was able to revive his Old Trafford career last season, with six goals in 27 league appearances last season, as his physical presence caused numerous problems for opposition defenders.
The 27-year-old was thrust into the spotlight through desperation more than preference during the previous campaign, before proving his worth to the United faithful with a string of top draw performances.
But Van Gaal is now beginning to shape his own side, with a string of new additions in a number of positions and Fellaini could find appearances hard to come by should the Red Devils make a strong start to the season.
But ever the optimist, Fellaini is positive about his chances heading into the new campaign. He said: “We have some great players, so I have to fight for me place, that’s it. I have trained now for two weeks and, slowly, slowly, I will get there. It is just important that I don’t have any injuries and that I am fit when I start my season.”
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