Marouane Fellaini is a rubbish footballer. In that regard, he is hardly unique; Manchester United have certainly not lacked for rubbish footballers over recent years. But none have been as maddeningly, comically bad as Fellaini. The United team would be immediately improved by removing Fellaini from it, even if his replacement wasn't a live human being. Here are five inanimate objects that are better at football than our Big Felli.
Unlike Marouane Fellaini, whose inclusion on the teamsheet only brings despair and frustration, lampposts are sources of light. Furthermore, as lampposts are stationary by nature, they are highly unlikely to go wandering up the pitch and leaving their midfield partners to be over-matched in the center of the field. A lamppost would provide the same aerial threat for which Fellaini is supposedly in the team, but as lampposts lack elbows, it would be incapable of cowardly trying to concuss an opponent while contesting for a high ball.
The Statue of Sir Alex Ferguson outside Old Trafford
It's been clear for sometime that Louis van Gaal is no longer able to extract the maximum from his players. They all quit on him some time ago, and for good reason - he's useless. Sir Alex Ferguson, whatever his faults, was perhaps the greatest man manager in the history of the sport. Setting his statue down in the middle of the pitch would bring a vast improvement to the team. Footballers are notoriously not very bright, and you have to assume that at least a couple of them would take several weeks to work out that it was a statue and not the real thing. If the real SAF was able to get players to perform 10% above their true level, then a bronze likeness could probably have at least half that affect. On top of that, no statue has ever been known to run a full fifty yards with the ball, only to drive it directly out of play.
The Rotting Corpse of Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney, who has been dead for several years, and whose corpse is only successfully animated once in a blue moon, is somehow less terrible than Fellaini. Rooney's corpse is arguably just as slow as Fellaini is, and it certainly shares the same propensity for losing possession and breaking down attacks. If nothing else though, replacing Fellaini with the rotting, bloated corpse of the England captain will open up a space in the attack for a live footballer with working legs and perhaps even an acceptable first touch. As a bonus, the scent of decaying flesh will literally stink up the place, as opposed to the figurative foul stench that is Fellaini trying to pass the ball to a teammate.
A cupboard has all the mobility of a Marouane Fellaini, but with added benefits. It could be wheeled onto the goal line when defending set pieces, and opening its doors and padding its interior could at least partially replicate Fellaini's velvety chest control. A cupboard, by virtue of being an inanimate object, is incapable of losing its cool and picking up costly bookings. With its solid surfaces and clean right angles, kicking a ball at a cupboard would at least produce a predictable response, which is more than can be said for Fellaini. A cupboard would also be a handy place to store Memphis when he starts running into defenders and cheaply losing possession.
A Literal Human-Sized Toilet Brush
As some keen observers have noted, Fellaini has both the appearance and footballing ability of a cartoonishly large toilet brush. While Fellaini's unique appearance serves no purpose other than making it easier to identify the worst player on the pitch in any given game, a literal six foot long toilet brush would probably be quite useful. Toilets could be cleaned without having to get too close to them, and in a pinch it could even double as a ceiling duster. On the pitch, the toilet brush could be wielded by Chris Smalling to demonstrate to Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young how an offside line is supposed to work - an act that would do far more for the defense than Fellaini's inclusion does. Best of all, a novelty toilet brush would not concede stupid fouls in dangerous areas of the pitch.