After 75 minutes of Manchester United’s win over Swansea City, United fans were probably rolling their eyes.
Jose Mourinho’s side were in control of the game, leading 1-0 and would soon run out 4-0 victors against the Welsh side. However, the sight of Fellaini, rather than Ander Herrera, emerging from the bench to replace Juan Mata, might have worried fans.
For the second game in a row, the awkward Belgian was preferred ahead of last season’s player of the year, who eventually came on with five minutes to go.
On the surface, Herrera’s position looks uncertain after being omitted from the team’s first two games, both of which saw the side win 4-0. Nemanja Matic’s impressive start to his United career, and the fact Paul Pogba is unlikely to ever be dropped, appears to further add credence to the theory that Herrera is no-longer an automatic starter and will struggle for game time this season.
Considering he was the choice of many United fans to be the next club captain, it would represent a swift reversal of fortune for the midfielder.
However, Herrera’s absence, at the moment, is actually beneficial for the side. Most expected Mourinho to start with a three-man midfield this season of Matic, Herrera and Pogba. However, an extra midfielder is unnecessary against bottom-half of the table teams such as West Ham and Swansea. The extra attacking player, in the form of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial from the bench, has been very beneficial so far. Both have scored, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been fantastic, setting up four goals in two games.
Mourinho has let the hand-brake off against the so-called lesser sides. After coming unstuck against so many teams they were expected to beat last season, this can only be welcomed by United supporters and the team are reaping the rewards so far.