MAROUANE FELLAINI has been playing through the pain barrier at Everton this season – after throwing off his reputation for being a Premier League pain in the neck.
The distinctive Belgian picked up his first booking of the season at Portsmouth last weekend – in his 10th appearance – compared to last season when he was booked five times in his first eight matches and finished with a dirty dozen yellow cards.
And boss David Moyes revealed yesterday that Fellaini has been playing in considerable discomfort for the past month.
“He’s struggling just now,” said the Blues boss. “He’s due to have both his wisdom teeth taken out on Monday and he’s been playing with an infection for three weeks now.
“He’s done well for us. He’s been on antibiotics for three weeks and we asked him to just hang on.
“Sure there are bits of him which are disappointing at times, but there’s other bits when he has a big affect on games.
“I always said that this was probably going to be his hardest time. He made an impact in the Premier League and scored, what was it, 10 goals as a newcomer?
“But I always thought the second season might be harder.”