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Dimitar Berbatov – How much longer will you give him?

We’ve been split down the middle with our opinions of Dimitar Berbatov ever since he made the decision to swap North London for Old Trafford. You’ve had those supporters that are mesmerised by his beautiful touch and close control and then there are fans who continually berate his unambiguous lacksidasical style that, at the end of the day, epitomises him as a player.

The criticisms of the former Spurs man will undoubtedly spread like wildfire after his pathetic attempt at a penalty on Sunday, although after a somewhat average season thus far, can you really argue that these criticisms aren’t justified?

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Bulgarian from day one, I’ll quite happily admit that for starters. The whole Tottenham sulk affair was frustrating and although Spurs can’t escape blame for the handling of the transfer, Berbatov shouldn’t get away scot free for his attitude either.

In all honesty, I couldn’t really comprehend why we were splashing out so much money on a player that we didn’t really need. We had just won a domestic and European double with Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney leading the line, so why complicate things by bringing in a striker who doesn’t take criticism, and more importantly squad rotation lightly. Fortunately we haven’t experienced what could be described as an infamous Berbatov sulk as of yet, mainly due to Ferguson’s apparent unending desire to prove that he has made the right decision in signing him. Look at Tevez scoring four goals in the Carling Cup earlier in the season and then being dropped the following game. I ask would Berbatov really have received the same treatment.

Despite my early pessimism, there’s certainly no denying the positives that Berbatov brings to the table. His first touch is, at times, breathtaking. The way he almost effortlessly slows down play can also be extremely effective. There’s also the fact that as much as he hasn’t found his goalscoring touch thus far for United, Dimitar Berbatov does know how to hit the back of the net. In his time with both Spurs and Leverkusen he averaged just short of a goal every other game and that’s not a record to be scorned at.

So where does my gripe and the gripe of many other United fans really stem from? Well if we ignore his lazy and what often seems uninterested style of play, I just don’t see what Berbatov is giving us at the moment. Carlos Tevez is in a similar predicament with his lack of goals and fundamentally average performances but his desire and attitude has won us over and that does go some way to make up for his lack of cutting edge in front of goal. Indeed, how will we all react if our bustling Argentine centre-forward does decide to move in the summer in search of first-team football? Berbatov will no doubt again prove to be the brunt of the blame.

Sure the fancy flicks and gorgeous touches can be pleasing on the eye but at a time when results are a necessity, surely Berbatov needs to start offering a hell of a lot more. At the end of the day at £30 odd million he was presumably brought in to help spearhead our attack and was billed the final piece to a jigsaw that had arguably already been completed.

It’s ultimately a tough one. There’s no doubt that Berbatov has the ability to become a hugely successful player for us but is eight goals in 25 league games really an acceptable return? Every player needs time to adjust to new surroundings but will those fans who are strictly opposed to his consistent selection be prepared to give him another season to prove his worth? I’m certainly not giving up hope on him yet but my patience is wearing thin with every passing minute.



  1. Stephen

    April 20, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I have been banging on all day we need to give him to the end of the season to really see, see hasn’t been a sensational hit but with two hobbits up front last season who are essentially hard workers a taller player with guile and touch offered us something different so I don’t agree we didn’t need him.
    He has everthing a player requires to make him a top united player, I just hope he takes the ball and runs with it, well with Berba I didn’t mean that litarally.
    With the fee you can hardly blame him for that, but we rarely pick up bargins do we?

  2. edwin

    April 20, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    I think we should give him more time. Of course he can be frustrating, but we gave time and space for Vidic and Evra, why not Berba?

  3. Oyvind

    April 20, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Well, Tevez has 3 goals in 24 leauge games.. is that so ****ing much better? Berbatov has 9 assists as well in those 25 games you were talking about

  4. Jon

    April 20, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    It’s the weight of Dimitar’s arrival that made a huge deal of this. Had Berba been half the price of his fee, do you really think Ferguson would play him day and night in a system that clearly doesn’t work? Certainly not. I think it has played on the management’s mind that if we’re gonna spend 32 million pounds on a striker hailed as the new Cantona, we’d better play him. I can imagine the Glazers phoning up Fergie to inquire why the massive investment on a player he refuses to play. Everybody had to adjust to Berba’s play because he cost a bomb. And that’s bullshit.

    I agree with everything RedRanter mentioned the letter. Berbatov wa not necessary, changing tactics was not necessary, playing him was not necessary and nothing has seemed to work out with him. There was a phase where he was banging in the goals for us in the CL, and that brought some glimmer of hope. But other than that, we need goals goals goals now, and Berba is short of that. I’d say, drop him, and play Macheda who at least seems busy, and when we do play Berba, for fuck’s sake, play him higher up the pitch.

    Patience will be wearing thin on a player everybody deems as awesome (and rightly so, he’s got talent oozing from him), but no one can raise their hands to admit that he’s a player we don’t need. I’m sorry, but something has to change. Either the ‘world-revolves-around-Berba’ tactic has got to pay off, and soon…or Berba has to find a new niche in the team he’s still trying to settle into. Then of course there’s option C: sell Berba, but that would be wayyyyyyyy too stupid now would it?

  5. Red Ranter

    April 20, 2009 at 5:33 pm

    Carlos Tevez is in a similar predicament with his lack of goals and fundamentally average performances but his desire and attitude has won us over and that does go some way to make up for his lack of cutting edge in front of goal.

    I think most of us tend to fall into that ‘desire and attitude makes up for lack of goals’ trap. I think the reason Tevez hasn’t been good this season is due to lack of games. His desire despite being cold shouldered by Fergie is what wins our hearts (or rather what ought to win our hearts.)

    I also think Berbatov needs to be given this season — even, a good half of next season — to see if he’s really gelled into our system. I would hold out judgment till then.

  6. Red Ranter

    April 20, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    @Jon: It wasn’t me who wrote the article, mind. 🙂

  7. Jon

    April 20, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    @Red Ranter: oh darnit. Sorry Stephen!

  8. Jon

    April 20, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    @Jon: Is the Stephen that wrote this the same Stephen that posted the first comment? Sorry, still getting around to meeting everybody here. =D

  9. Stephen

    April 20, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    @Jon: Yes mate. 😆

  10. Jon

    April 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    @Stephen: No wonder I recognized so many points that were discussed in the earlier post! Great article mate, agree with every word.

  11. Stephen

    April 20, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    @Red Ranter:We can harp back to the lack of games for Carlos yes but 3 goals in 16 starts is poor, and he has come off the bench 8 times, effort is one thing and I love him but we already have that with Wazza Berba offers us another dimension, Ok not playing at the top of his game but there is still a long way to go this season.

  12. Stephen

    April 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    @Jon: Er mate not me who wrote the article thought you meant the earlier post, I can’t read now will blame the stag do I just got back from in Hungary for that! wish I could write like that! 😆 😆

  13. Dan

    April 20, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Look the fact is, berbatov is being played out of postion to accommodate rooney, is that his fault? no, but he still gets blamed.

    He arrived a £30mil striker, was that his fault? no, but he still gets the blame.

    He has a better goalscoring record this season then tevez, yet still fans would rather see a bulldog then a striker on the field.

    When rooney wasnt scoring for long, long periods of time, we’re fans complaining? No, it was “rooney does this for them team” and he “doesnt score goals he makes them” so how come berbatov cant recieve the same treatment?

    I hear people saying they want more from a £30mil striker, hello! if united signed YOU up for £30mil, you would still play to your ability, the price tag doesnt make the player. Berbatov can only play to HIS ability, he is his OWN player. He didnt say, united come get me for £30mil did he? United wanted HIM, and spurs wanted £30mil, a club wanting a player is out of his control, and club setting a price over his head is out of his control, but what the hell, lets blame berba 🙄

    Most of berbatovs criticism are down to things that are beyond his control, and thats the thing that really annoys me to be honest.

  14. Albert Yome

    April 20, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    The manner of that penalty miss was the last straw. Sell him now before he loses further value. The odd flash of brilliance cannot compensate for so many below par performances. He’s at OT on holiday.

  15. Dan

    April 20, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    @Red Ranter: I dont give to shits about heart and desire when it comes to strikers. I want heart and desire in midfielders, and in defenders, but when it comes to strikers and wingers, get the ball into the box and score, dont do it all yourself, tevez, pass the ball to a player that can score.

  16. Dan

    April 20, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    @Albert Yome: 🙄 I bet you wouldnt be saying that if it was tevez.

  17. Stephen

    April 20, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    @Albert Yome: He is harldy on holiday, sell him straight away what now? That would be somewhat difficult and as i have been boring people all day he could score big goals for us later in the season.

  18. Red Ranter

    April 20, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    @Stephen: I don’t know mate, but in pre-season he was the standout player for us. He seemed to have recovered some of his first touch, and he was able to beat people. The enthusiasm was compounded with a show of genuine skill. But somewhere along the way when he wasn’t given enough games in succession, it all fell away. A striker needs to play regularly to keep his confidence, and the adrenaline to flow. If that doesn’t happen, it’s really hard to get going. It’s partly his fault for his game slipping, but bulk of the blame will have to go to Ferguson on that front.

  19. Stephen

    April 20, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    @Jon: Oh fuck me it was we who wrote the first comment, jeez I am a twat I doing more damage to my flagging reputation on this site, I posted comment one, shit too much beer and a lovely Hungarian drink called Unicum! 🙄


    April 20, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    people tend to ignore the fact we were behind 7 points when we came back from japan , and then he started winning us matches to be in the position we are in now.

  21. Stephen

    April 20, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    @Red Ranter: Surely you can’t judge a player on pre season form? I am a big Carlos fan but his tendancy to run into defenders with his head down is becomming his achilles heel, but I agree a succession of games would have done him the world of good, but it didn’t stop Ole scoring!

  22. Red Ranter

    April 20, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    @Dan: I don’t either. You didn’t get my point. When I said desire, I meant the professionalism and class with the way he’s conducted himself so far by showing his desire on the pitch is what wins our hearts. I am not talking about the desire that involves running like a headless chicken. What really should touch a chord with many among the United faithful is the grace and class with which he’s conducted himself throughout a season being snubbed by the manager. In today’s world of mercenary footballers, he remains a rare breed in that sense.

    Of course, he also is a rare breed of striker (in that he hardly stays in the box) but that’s a different issue altogether 🙂


    April 20, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    next year pre-season should be fun , we are playing in germany with ac milan and bayern right?

  24. Stephen Darwin

    April 20, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    @Jon: That would be me mate. Thanks for your comments and glad you agree with what I am saying.

    @Dan: You say he’s being played out of position but it’s not as though he’s being asked to play as a winger or a central midfielder. He’s still leading the attack in one form or another.

    As you quite rightly state, he was brought in for £30 million but that wasn’t his fault. I tried my best not to attack him for that anyway!

    I think some fans just want to see a bit more passion and desire from Berbatov. I don’t expect him to throw his shirt in the crowd when he scores or even chase back 40 yards to make a challenge but don’t just throw the towel in if things aren’t going your way, as he has done at times this season.

    To be honest Dan, I do expect more from a £30 million player, however much the price-tag was out of Berbatov’s control. He’s certainly got the personality and ego to match that valuation. I’m not saying he’s been shit by any stretch of the imagination, because he hasn’t. I would just expect more than eight goals from what is effecitvely supposed to be a world-class striker.

    I do want to give him time though, most definitely! 🙂

  25. Red Ranter

    April 20, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    @Stephen: You can’t. But he looked fresh and for once, wasn’t playing with some of his annoying traits. There is a momentum most strikers build. Ole, again, was an exception. And when you pick exceptions and treat them like rules, it’s a fallacy in argument. You don’t have too many strikers today gifted with the ability to study the game and adapt themselves to the situation when they come off the bench (and also have ice cold nerves). Ole did that. Tevez can’t be expected to do that, but he could have been better judged had he been given enough continuous starts to prove himself.

  26. Jon

    April 20, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    @Stephen: Lots of Stephens floating around I see. Work or pleasure in Hungary? Hope your liver is still fine. You’ll need it come May (if we win, we celebrate. if we lose, we mourn – both still involves heavy alcohol 😉 )

  27. Stephen

    April 20, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    @Red Ranter: I used Ole the analogy as somewhat toungue in cheek, but I agree most strikers and Carlos is no exception need a run of games.
    @Jon: A three day stag do, I still feel a little like I’ve just had every one of my organs transplanted and, one by one, my body is rejecting them. 😆

  28. Stephen

    April 20, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    @Stephen Darwin: We always over pay for players it is what we do, if Wenger had bought Nani and Anderson it would have cost him £5m a player, us over paying is like the Antony to the Cleopatra.

  29. BAMF

    April 20, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    @Red Ranter: Personally, I say let Tevez walk and make a cheeky bid for Pato. 5 years younger and already better.

    In all honesty though, when things are going for you, they arent going for you. Tevez had a couple of times in the box when I think he took one touch too many. But if Berba’s pen takes a lucky deflection off Howard and finds the net, much like Vida’s was off the post, we wouldnt be arguing this. He made a huge difference when he came on for Macheda with us immediately keeping possession much more easily. For some reason, Anderson wants to not make any passes and Gibson only shows up when its time to shoot.

    My point is, luck is as much of this game as skill sometimes (Read penalty calls not given). Blaming Berbatov for something EVERYONE’s done is ridiculous. I’m actually asking more about why Ferdinand and Vida took kicks before the likes of Tevez and Gibson is beyond me anyway.

  30. AndyCR7

    April 20, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Adebayor and Van Persie out of Liverpool game… 🙄


    April 20, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    eduardo is better

  32. Grognard

    April 20, 2009 at 7:26 pm


    In the previous thread you asked me the following questions?

    “So in the next transfer window, who would YOU buy? My guess is that you’ll offload Anderson. But would you buy a holding DMF or a strong, forceful attacking play maker? Just interested in your ideas.”

    Well that is really a tough thing to answer and in 99% of the time it is totally futile and pointless because Fergie will do his thing and of course he listens to none of us. Even if we make more sense than him.
    If I had control of the team in a hypothetical fantasy world, I would make changes but before I did, I would make sure that certain factors were in place.

    First, What is the honest long term prognosis of one Owen Hargreaves?
    Finally, What is the financial future of Man Utd under the Glazers and how much of a transfer kitty do I get this coming season and how much of a the money would I get from the sale of say, Cristiano Ronaldo?

    Once I get positive answers to those questions, I would do the following.

    1. Sell Patrice Evra to whatever team is stupid enough to pay big bucks for him.
    2. Sell Gary Neville and Paul Scholes to Second Division teams unless they are will to retire gracefully. And if they retire, give them positions in the organizations coaching branches.
    3. Sell Anderson and Nani to either Portuguese or Spanish teams.
    4. Sell Tevez to Real Madrid because they deserve him. I like Tevez but his first touch and ball control as well as his finishing has a lot to be desired.
    5. Sell Berbatov to any team (although I might also be tempted to keep him knowing that my tactical style would suit him much better than what Fergie was dishing out.)
    6. Force EVDS to retire or move back to Holland.
    7. Finally, I would consider selling Ronaldo to Madrid but for nothing less than 75 million and Klaas Jan Huntelaar coming to United in return.

    Once the clearance sale has ended, I would buy a DMF. Someone like De Rossi or Senna (again, the health of Hargreaves would play a major role in this). I would buy an attacking midfielder like Diego. A box to box type who is a play maker and who can score goals and take free kicks. I would then try for the impossible which is to buy Franck Ribery whether I have sold or kept Ronaldo. He is the ideal man for the left side of my midfield but he is also able to play the attacking midfield role or RMF too.

    Failing that, I would go after Alex Sanchez or Marko Marin. I would also go after Klaas Jan Huntelaar and having gotten rid of at least Tevez and perhaps Berbatov, I would go for Aguero big time. Finally, I would sign any of these men to be our next #1 goalkeeper, Adler, Neuer, Frey, Akinfeev or Boruc. If Buffon wanted to come and play for us, I would obviously be overjoyed, but I seriously doubt he would come.

    The tough thing is getting Aguero and Ribery. But a sale of Ronaldo would make that possible. Also the money gained from selling Berbatov, Anderson, Nani and Evra, would generate enough money to get the others.

    Bold moves indeed, but I for one do not like the look or shape of our current team. I think it needs to get rid of the old and bring in the new and it needs another approach. For example, adding Huntelaar into attack would give us more of an aerial game and a true in the box poacher. In that scenario I like Ribery’s ability to cross but I also would consider a crossing machine like Schweinsteiger as well. Old School football. Something that works and is difficult to defend but with enough new school variety and Latin charm to keep teams off balance.

  33. Ilamb22

    April 20, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    @ Red Ranter: You said:”I think most of us tend to fall into that ‘desire and attitude makes up for lack of goals’ trap. I think the reason Tevez hasn’t been good this season is due to lack of games.”

    This isn’t really true, though, is it? If you look at the stats across all competitions:
    Berbatov: 32 Starts, 4 Subs
    Tevez: 31 Starts, 13 Subs

    Their output has been pretty equal, although, I’d argue that Berbatov’s goals have been more important.

    Bad penalty, but give him a break. He wasn’t being sulky.
    Also, Scott has a great article on Berbatov over at ROM that is really worth checking out.

  34. Darth Red Diablo

    April 20, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    @Grognard: WE arent playing Fifa 09 here Groggy! This is freakin real life! It takes years to build a team something like that! You’re team has NO young players in it.
    And we arent freakin rich like City! We’re miser Man Utd who cannot compete in the market for any player provided chelski, man city, madrid and barca show up!

  35. Red Ranter

    April 20, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    @Ilamb22: Where did I criticise Berbatov? Did you read the second half of that very same comment you quoted from that said: I also think Berbatov needs to be given this season — even, a good half of next season — to see if he’s really gelled into our system. I would hold out judgment till then.

    So you’re talking to the wrong person about laying off Berbatov.

    Yes, I did read Scott’s article and I agree with his overall call to support Berbatov. But I don’t exactly agree with some of the reasons he gives for it because I see that he tends to criticize Ronaldo for the very same reasons that he gives to support Berbatov. But I digress.

  36. Mr.Muhozi

    April 20, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    @BAMF: Pato is a dream signing, though it will never happen because he is the future of AC milans attack,

    If i was united manager i would rebuild this team from the ground up, a complete Barcelona overhaul, sell mediocre players like park, o’shea, fletcher, brown, let the 3 musketeers go to the inland revenue and pick up their pension, it’s time they retire.
    Sort out evra or sell him and bring up fabio
    Either use nani or let he poor man go, yesterday was a telling situation where it showed Fergie hates him. How could you play kids and give the role of winger to park, that game was begging to be stretcher, ground passing proved to be futile, yet he persistently refused to bring on nani when a cross would be an excellent weapon on a horrible pitch, Howard was proving to shaky with crosses so let our best crosser come in

    The situation of Tevez, the man has no confidence at all, let him leave and use the £30m elsewhere

    Now this is probably the most painful thing i must say, Anderson is probably one of my favourite players, but the kid has been ruined by fergie, he is still 21 so he has time to turn it around, but i feel he will never realise his potential, gone is the anderson who would terrorise opposition with flicks, tricks and deadly acceleration, a new anderson has appeared whom plays quick square one twos, lackadaisical dribbiling and shooting, the player has just lost all of his skill in the 2 years he has been in this club, for the life of me i do not know why, watching the anderson of the U-17 world cup compared to the anderson of now, he seems like two different people, maybe that horrific leg injury changed him as he stated, but i doubt that can change a players mentality

    With the money generated from those sells, i would say about £40m, add another £30m of transfer money we would have about £70m to spend

    The first player i would buy is Hernanes of Sao Paulo FC, this guy is the real deal, natrually two footed and an absolute joy to watch, can play anywhere in midfield, but deadly in the centre, would be the perfect partner to Hargreaves or Carrick, a box to box midfielder, he can carry a teams attack and being a former DMF he knows how to defend too, perfect for united and the perfect heir to Kaka’s throne

    Diego Ribas De Cunha- A midfielder i’ve watched for years and is constantly ignored, so much talent skill and flair its amazing how all the big clubs forget about him, fantastic deadball maestro with an amazing long shot, great playmaker

    Ashley Young- Great Winger who can dribble,cross shot and make things happen, if nani leaves replace him with Young, proven in the premier league will provide another dimension to our ronaldo-based attack

    Franco Zuccilini- Plays for small spanish outfit, watched him play the other weekend, he was fantastic until to my horror i found out he was Argentinian, great replacement if Hargreaves can not hack it

    Sakho- fullback and centreback would be a perfect candidate to play if fabio is tired or rio and vidic need a rest

    Striker- there a millions of strikers to choose from, it would take ages to list them all, but the main one i like is keirrison, a natrual eye for goal, can shoot from inside or outside the box, two footed and lives to be in the area, he would be great until Fergie tells him to play deep killing him game

    Im not saying buy all these players, but 3 or 4 of them would be enough to renew our old side which is in dire need of a makeover, until will be watching every game with a lack of faith, but the utmost belief


  37. Jon

    April 20, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    @Grognard: Wow! That’s a hell lot of changes! Counting our players, the only of them remaining in our current first team would be Rio, Vida, Rafael(assuming he’s ur first choice), Carrick and Rooney. It would be a massive shake-up.

    I think we’ll be spending big on midfield once again next season. Not to mention, Ljajic is coming in too. But if he turns out the way Tosic did, well we might as well cancel the transfer now.

    I like the idea of Senna and Diego,but I think Diego has past his peak. Is there any German playmaker we can get to cover for Hargo if he’s down, which is more of a certainty than a probability? A young Ballack?

  38. Darth Red Diablo

    April 20, 2009 at 7:48 pm

    Cheez… Fergie doesnt have time to build a new team! The guy will be out in a year or two. Do you really think that anyone would want to come to OT when Fergie is gone? FORGET IT!

  39. Red Ranter

    April 20, 2009 at 7:52 pm


    Ok I would like to rephrase that question with one of my own. I take that the above question was more of ‘what would you wish to ideally do in the transfer market?’

    Here’s my question:

    “What would be a transfer strategy that is doable in the real world? With all things considered in the market, with clubs’ tendencies, money, team chemistry with so many changes etc.”

    It will be speculative, I’m sure, and needs to be something realistically possible in the transfer market and less football manager.

    Take your time with this. Looking forward to it. (And I repeat, take your time with a considered answer.) You don’t have to reply to this right now. 🙂

  40. Jon

    April 20, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    @Red Ranter: Actually my comment was meant to be more like yours. Something realistic and tact. The answer I had in mind involved maybe just 1-2 buys, and some quiet shipments out. But everyone has their own Fantasy Football dreams, and Grog just shared his! It sounds good too! 🙂

  41. Jon

    April 20, 2009 at 8:04 pm

    Anyways I’m off to bed, its wee in the morning where I am. Spent the whole day refreshing the blog pages over and over, what a good way to spend your first day on RedRants eh. Thanks for the warm welcome guys. Glad to be onboard at last. 😆

  42. NicoQB

    April 20, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    I thought Scott of ROM wrote an accurate assessment of the Berbatov conundrum. It relates well to the today’s thread subject.. Read it here. DO IT!

    And forget most of the ensuing comments as many have not bothered actually thinking about what scott wrote…

  43. Ilamb22

    April 20, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    @ Red Ranter: You are correct, I didn’t make that very clear. The first part (about the appearances), was what I wanted to point out to you. The rest of it was to the global community. I tried to edit, but don’t have an account, and am not sure how one gets one. Apologies.

    @ Grognard: Every time United loses a match, this forum is full of comments about transfers. I have to say, I’ve never seen one so harsh as yours though. I’ll give you credit for ambition, but don’t you think selling everybody but Rooney, Carrick, Vidic, and Ferdinand is a bit of an over reaction? I really don’t think that we would ever get the players that you mentioned. We don’t seem to do a lot of buying from Spain or Germany. But I will agree completely that the first situation that needs to be addressed in the off season is whether Hargreaves is really going to stay fit next season, and if not, we will require a suitable second option that can play in a holding midfield role. It’s something that we really miss this season.

  44. NicoQB

    April 20, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    @Stephen: definitely agree there.

  45. Gabriel

    April 20, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Poor Berbatov!! This is what you get when you decide to come across arrogant and lukewarm in your effort. Looking at it in perspective, Berbatov is our most productive striker, yet he is bearing the grunt of all our attackin woes, why? Maybe it’s because he’s never in the darn box, or maybe it’s because he cuts a non-chalant figure on the pitch, on and off the ball. I don’t know. Even Groggy, his most vocal supporter early on this season, is advocating he be sold. WOW!!

    I said in the previous post that Berba is being employed in a supporting striker cum attackin mid role for United. Similar to the role Stevie G plays for Liverpool. This is why he is usually deep, creating and spreading play. However, he rarely moves into the box, not even late runs, which is supposed to be the bread and butter for any player in this role (lampard, gerrard, Totti etc). This can only be down to his general sluggishness, which we already knew he had. Fergie tried him in the No.9 role and he would not run for the ball when Vidic lumped it so Fergie played someone there who would, Rooney/Tevez. Besides, Berba is a better dribbler and ball-retainer than Rooney/Tevez so it made sense to let him set up attacks and control/retain the ball/possesion in the final third, especially when we were facing those parked buses earlier this season.

    Personally, I would prefer if Berba was played in the No.9 role. He wouldn’t have to chase balls if vidic doesn’t lump ’em. Have a trio of speedy players behind him; Rooney, Ronaldo, Nani/Giggs and let them do the havoc while he stays in the box and pounces on the chances created by those trio of players. Allow one of our central midfielders more freedom to roam, esp Carrick and Ando. Let them do what they do best, be creative. We are too reserved. I know it has worked a treat the last two seasons but it’s not bringing the results anymore, so we need to adapt. 🙂

    But if we still play the same way, here’s hoping this loss and his comments afterwards will spur Berba to at least attempt some late runs into the area, as he should already be doing. 😆 .. or maybe long range shots ala Ronaldo. 😛

  46. NicoQB

    April 20, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    @Stephen: From your logic, I’ll try my hand at a bit of spin-doctoring!

    Considering that we’ve sealed the Berbatov deal on the last day, at the last hour of the open transfer market against the abberation that is manchester city, it can be argued that we paid around 5million to amek an offer which spurs could not refuse. Now, we are manchester united football club. By default, we already pay over normal market price. MAke that another 6 million.

    30million – 11 million = 19 million.

    Would the fans have been more lenient if that had been actually his price tag? Actually I very much doubt it. As Scott rightly pointed out the media in london had to sell papers and by the time the deal was done, everybody knew that he was a moody, lazy git. 🙄

  47. Red Ranter

    April 20, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    @NicoQB: Scott was spot on about asking fans to give a little more time to Berbatov. But I didn’t agree with some of the reasons he uses to support Berbatov, because he’s used being lazy, and not making an effort to win balls in defence, as a stick to beat Ronaldo with.

    However, I do agree with the core idea that he needs to be given longer time to be judged.

  48. yossi mizrahi

    April 20, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    there are only two options to deel whit this no.9
    send him back to london or shoot him.

  49. Grognard

    April 20, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    @Darth Red Diablo: I’d suggest you read what I have to say a little more clearly young apprentice unless you want your master’s wrath flung upon you. 😀 I did say that in a fantasy world where I would be running things, this is what I would do. I made a major disclaimer that it wasn’t the real world and that under Fergie none of the following would happen so please, lay off with the FIFA 09 reference. I seriously doubt there is anyone else on this blog as serious and as practical as I am.

    From a realistic perspective I see the following changes;…………Carlos Tevez leaves town and Fergie signs yet one more person who is a square peg trying to fit into a round hole. Who that is I have no idea, but I do know that it will be somebody who is not only wrong for this team, but who will also be useless and not thrilled to be here. Can anyone say BENZEMA? And that would be it. Because the reality of the situation is that Fergie doesn’t see anything wrong with his present abomination nor does he feel he needs to add too much too it other than a better forward than Tevez and the inclusion of Hargreaves back in the squad.

  50. Grognard

    April 20, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    @Mr.Muhozi: Pato is about as easy to get as Messi would be. On a powerful and successful team and with the support of the team and the millions of supporters. Their would be anarchy in the streets of Milan if they tried to sell him, much like there was when they tried to sell Kaka. Not going to happen. Aguero is a much more attainable star to go after, and one that truly would fit our style.

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