Once again another song we are not likely to hear from our faithful at the Theatre any time soon.
Looking more like a lead actor in a French Noir film, smoking a cigarette and sporting poetry as he glides across the Old Trafford grass, rather than an international world class striker, Mr Berbatov has not endeared himself to any reds, as of yet, due to his languid style. Many claim to have actually seen Dimitar on the halfway line, reading aloud a play by Balzac, while United defended a corner. And many have also seen him sunbathing on the pitch, on a deckchair, when the Manchester weather permits such an unexpected surprise, for cloudy Lancashire.
Are these sightings true!? Or is the man just plain bloody lazy!?
Everybody knew what we were getting when Sir Alex sent a big fat cheque to North London for the Bulgarian's services. Berbatov has NEVER chased back, has NEVER made a last gasp sliding tackle, and will NEVER thrown his head at a ball that was just about to be booted into Row Z by a John Terry-esque character. For this is NOT what the man does. In 2008, it was clear we needed a different type of striker. One that was not all blood and thunder like Rooney. Not all heroic bravery like Tevez. And not one, that was a million stepovers like Ronaldo. Everyone agreed we needed a Cantona...a Sherringham. Someone who would drop a little..look up and calm the play down when needed. We all agreed that there was only one footballer in England that fitted that bill. And we signed him.
Twelve months on, and paper gossip dictates that our number 9 would be offered to Athletico Madrid, or even Valencia, in part exchange for their own prodigious striking heroes. So we no longer need that Cantona/Teddy type of striker? We no longer need someone with a deft touch? Funny how opinions change in a few hundred days!
Admittedly, i have been less than impressed with Berbatov so far. As a fan witnessing him from the stands his play is less than electric...it almost makes you NOT want to cheer for him. But the truth is and always will be, that while he plays for us, we will always want him to unequivocally succeed.
Because We need Dimitar Berbatov now as much as he needs Us.
Nothing has changed at United in the striking department. OK, we've lost Tev and Ron. But the fact remains that we still need that talisman. The one who can give balance to our striking options. When you think about it there is not another striker in Europe like Berbatov, not at the top level. He has a first touch to die for, vision which dictates he must have three pairs of eyes, and a calm consistency not seen since Matthew LeTissier walked (not ran!) around Premiership pitches destroying opposition at will. He is the footballing equivalent of a chess player.
We need Dimi now. Today. This is his time. The man has openly admitted that he needs to play better and score more goals, and has promised such. The balance of himself, Roo, Owen and Kiko (not forgetting Danny Wellbeck) is exciting enough to put fear into every English and European defence we encounter. If we can get the supply chain to the strikers correct (and lets face it, in recent memory, when have we played with two providing wingers? Ronaldo nullified any of that because he provided himself!) then we can march toward title number 19.
So lets not discount the boy with the slicked backed hair just yet. Maybe he will decide to lose the imaginary cigarettes and emerge as a United hero sometime very soon...
"When the seagulls follow the trawler it is because...oh shut up!"