Thoughts of a Manchester United season ticket holder
Monday, 12 April 2010
The Good The Bad And The Berbatov
Statistics are a funny thing.
Last season Dimitar Berbatov, despite appearing static reading his thumbed copy of War and Peace while smoking a Cuban in the centre circle, statistically ran more than virtually every other player in the team. That is what the stats say...they must mean something!!? Right?
The game at Blackburn was Manchester United and Berbatov's last chance at proving the doubters wrong. The chance of defiance. The chance to get that cat and put its ugly moggy face amongst the pigeons. What actually happened was the expected...United tired early, looked in the main thoroughly impotent, and Berba kopped all the flack as per usual. Its a script we've seen alot this year. An aging side that needs to replace some old legs. A team that lacks the world class invention of two catalysts from the last two years. And a player that to the common fan now embodies why it has all gone a bit pear shaped this last twelve months.
We all knew what Berbatov was when we bought him. He was never a runner. Never a worker. He was the cherry on the cake rather than the icing on the top. Turns out that cherry is an old dirty piece of coal which is rock hard. There has been reports about how Fergie has destroyed Berbatov. That the manager has taken a free flowing genius from Tottenham, and crippled him...but with what? Responsibility? Expectation? Well, I'm sorry Mr Berbatov..this is Manchester United. This is what our players do. they bear this burden...and they flourish for it.
The buck stops at the Bulgarians door for me. Two years of settling into the team has led to underwhelming performance after another. I have been present during the bits of magic..the over head kicks..the Cruyff turns...the mesmerising second of skill that fools not only his marker but 75,000 supporters watching on. For those moments he is a genius. BUT IT IS NOT ENOUGH!
There is no witch hunt for Dimitar..far from it. But United's failure this year is equated to the failure of individuals in the team. One of those players is Michael Carrick. You could also point fingers at Anderson (pre injury), Scholes, Ben Foster (when he had a chance)and maybe even Giggs this year. But not one player can really be put on the spot MORE than Berbatov. His stats may look acceptable, but his performance level (that's the thing you actually judge with what you see using your very own eyes!) has been average at best..and you expect more than average for a £30 million footballer. Of course, the price tag isn't his fault, but as it stands if Fergie had snapped him up for £10 million it would currently look expensive. Its funny how many of his supporters still have the cheek to criticize Michael Owen when he cost the club less than a packet of crisps.
Fergie is no fool. I expect him to dispose of Berbatov in the fashion he got rid of Veron. When it doesn't work, even the Scotsman's most fiery stubbornness gets put aside for the victory of common sense. We cannot start next season relying on Berbatov to take the weight of responsibility off Rooney's young shoulders because he has proved that he is no where near worthy. Call it bandwagonesque...call it what you want. But the truth is Dimitar Berbatov is from the Garry Birtles school of MUFC strikers. (if you don't know who Garry Birtles is and his story, and you support United, you need to go Google it all now and learn a bit about your club) It's such a shame as i eulogised the day he signed from Spurs, but that is life i guess. You either achieve or fail. Sometimes it is in your hands and sometimes it is not. Dimi has had 60 games in a United shirt nearly, and we are all less convinced now than when he wore the shirt for the first time.
That means something to me.
Perspiration has to come before the inspiration. Someone should tell Berbatov that.
I wrote this article in July last year about Berbatov..he obviously didnt read it.. CLICK to read here
Manchester United fan since the age of 9 when he saw Norman Whiteside curl the ball into a Wembley goal in the dying minutes.
He is an Old Trafford season ticket holder in the North Stand Tier 3...and cried tears of joy, on his knees with the many in Moscow.
Rob is a contributing author/editor at Man Utd blogzine 'The Faithful'