THINGS move quickly in football. Moods change fast, popularity ebbs and flows and the old cliche about some supporters being fickle remains true as ever.
For Marouane Fellaini that has been underlined this week, when he was feted at a lunch to reveal he was Everton’s player of the month.
On paper few would argue that the Belgian had not done enough to justify the tag with his two barn-storming performances at the start of the season which helped the Blues to such a blistering opening.
But there is something jarring about seeing the midfielder end a month when he also showed blatant disrespect to his employers by publicly discussing his desire to leave with an award.
Goodison Park showed leniency to the 24-year-old on Monday night.
Instead of chastising boos, he was given the same level of support as ever and was unfortunate not to reward that largely unflinching devotion with a goal, after his strike was erroneously ruled offside by blundering Ceri Richards.
But contrast Fellaini’s treatment with someone who did actually score on Monday – Victor Anichebe.
The powerful forward was jeered by some sections of the crowd before he had even come onto the pitch, and many still have not forgiven him for reportedly throwing a strop over the terms of his last contract before he eventually signed and committed himself to the Toffees.
Admittedly Fellaini has shown a lot more over recent seasons to warrant adoration than Anichebe, with the later suffering from injuries, and the impression in some quarters that he occasionally lacks the hunger for the fight.
Fellaini’s energy, drive and commitment on the pitch rightly won over an initially sceptical supporter-base after his £15m arrival in 2008, and that’s why he’s likely to find no such jeering or disdain as long as he keeps his lips sealed until next summer.
Anichebe could be forgiven for fearing double standards, but he can also learn from the situation and as his renewed goal-scoring instinct earns him more game-time, could win over the doubters by reflecting on his body-language and work off the ball.
However, just as Evertonians were right not to boo Fellaini on Monday, the minority were wrong to dish out the cat-calls for Anichebe. Booing your own players simply never makes sense.
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