What Did Dimitar Berbatov Do Wrong?

Dimitar Berbatov was joint top scorer in the Premier League last season, along with Carlos Tevez, scoring 20 goals in 32 matches. This season he’s only managed just seven league goals for Manchester United, but has only appeared in 10 league matches (only five of which he’s started). His goal scoring record this season is better than both Javier Hernandez (10 goals in 24 Premier League matches) and Danny Welbeck (7 in 23) — both of the strikers reaping much of the pitch time at Berbatov’s expense.

So at first glance it would seem Berbatov is being unfairly benched for two players who aren’t performing nearly at the clip he’s proven that he can. But then you look at the league table and United have opened up a 5 point lead at the top and seemingly can’t stop winning, with ten wins and a draw in their last 11 Premier League matches. Of these last 11 matches, Berbatov has only played in one (and scored). The answer to how United has made up for the absence of Berbatov’s goals this season has been Wayne Rooney’s form. Rooney has scored 21 goals in 26 matches this season. This is about twice the rate at which he scored last season (only 11 goals in 28), but closer to his career best form of 2009-10 (26 goals in 32).

So the argument can be made that Manchester United are possibly better off without Berbatov playing. Rooney is playing as good as he ever has, and the team as a whole isn’t suffering at all. Maybe if Berbatov was starting more matches it would have a negative impact on Rooney, or the style and speed of United’s attacking play. After all, Rooney is their best player, and the team should be set out to get the most out of his strengths. Perhaps playing Hernandez and/or Welbeck alongside him does just that, whereas Berbatov’s style would slow them down a bit too much.

It’s just that ever since Sir Alex Ferguson left Berbatov completely out of the squad for last season’s Champions League final against Barcelona, I feel as if he’s been oddly left out in the cold time and time again for no discernible reason. It’s one thing if the team plays better without him, but it’s another thing entirely to have last season’s top scorer in the country not even worthy of a spot on the bench, as he has been for 6 of the previous 11 league matches. Surely a player who scored 20 goals last season and has been in good form, when played, this season is worth a spot on at least the bench just in case your team is in desperate need of a goal late in a match?

I just don’t get it.

21 thoughts on “What Did Dimitar Berbatov Do Wrong?”

  1. No, United are 5 points clear because Howard Webb and Chris Foy not because they are a better team. This United team probably is the worst one in the last 10 years. Failed miserably in the Champions League and Europa League. Got knocked out of the League Cup and FA Cup too.

    1. Hater, hater. Yup. That’s what you are. The funny thing is that Man Sh*tty has had more penalties awarded to them this season than Utd.

      1. That’s not right at all! Utd have been awarded the most! Why do these plastic rags feel the need to just make things up to try and suit their argument? Penalties against both have the same 3, the difference being all of City’s were said to be debatable by pundits while only one of Utd’s the same was said of. On those that the ref choose not to give even though blatant Utd are a mile in front, some even though clear as day. If Utd get one awarded against them you can pretty much know that it’s a stonewaller. Except the only bad decision to go against them all season, against Newcastle, you know the one, the only thing they can reel out every time ref bias is mentioned! One bad decision in a whole season not put right in the very same game can’t be bad eh? Another fact is that mostly if city have been awarded a pen they were already in front and coasting the game where as with Utd they were mostly needed, or needed it not to go against them. It’s this that’s the big difference, a penalty for or against isn’t a sign of bias just when rightly given replacing a chance taken but when people say that they are constantly harsh or the opposition were unlucky not to get one is where the problem is. Penalties that could or could not be given are gonna be given 90% to Utd, it’s the same, no it’s worse actually for those given against them. ownersIt’s similar with player’s sent off and not, call it the rub of the green, unlucky or bias the fact is it’s mostly with Utd not against what ever you choose to call it. City will have to be 50% better than Utd to win the EPL this year or next but City knew this from the beginning, the fat lady’s not started to sing just yet, clearing her throat maybe but still a few twists an turns remain before she lets fly!

        1. “Why do these plastic rags feel the need to just make things up to try and suit their argument?”
          Dude, take a read of your own post and ask again, who is making up stuff to suit an argument.

          “Utd get one awarded against them you can pretty much know that it’s a stonewaller.” made up

          “One bad decision in a whole season not put right in the very same game can’t be bad eh?” made up

          “Another fact is that mostly if city have been awarded a pen they were already in front and coasting the game where as with Utd they were mostly needed, or needed it not to go against them.” made up..come on, i thought you would even fake it and cite one such situation in support.

          “Penalties that could or could not be given are gonna be given 90% to Utd, it’s the same, no it’s worse actually for those given against them.” made up

          geez, talk about hating exactly what you stand for yourself. Shocking hypocrisy!

          1. Malik, Made up? Really??

            ‘It takes courage to give a penalty against Manchester United at Old Trafford’
            Graham Poll ex ref!

            “visiting teams do not get many penalties and it has pretty much always been like that”
            Tommy Docherty ex Utd Manager!

            ‘You don’t get penalties at Old Trafford…’
            Andrew Trotman, Daily Telegraph

            “you have to be brave to give an away penalty at United,”
            Martin Jol, Fulham Manager

            So are all these made up as well? Maybe they’re all Haters? LOL. They’re hundreds more of these quotes! Try finding them about City, good luck.

            1, Newcastle V Utd penalty against Utd wrongly given. 2 pts lost .
            I wonder if this will even itself out over the season? LOL It already has 10 fold!

            Please let me know these other bad decisions against Utd as you say I have made this up, so knock yourself out pal and show me how!! By the way that was the 8th awarded against Utd at Old Trafford in 20 years, yes that’s 20 years!!!! That’s near enough 1 every 100 games! Not made up either it’s a FACT.

            Here’s a few of the bad decisions against City this year.

            1, Silva blatantly tripped in area right in front of ref at Chelsea. 1 pt lost
            2, Renia not sent off for purposely handling out side area (Anfield) as Aguero went past him. 2 pts lost
            3, Balotelli sent off same game for none existent elbow. Banned
            4, Balotelli goal ruled offside when replays show it to be clearly onside West Brom. 2 pts lost
            5, 2 ft off side goal given for Sunderland. 2 pts lost
            6, Barry sent of because for no reason than Ager ran into him. Banned
            7, Konpany sent of v Utd for what is described as ‘a nothing tackle’ and many worse in the following weeks don’t draw a foul! Banned
            8, Johnson Liverpool to footed together studs both showing and making contact with Lescott this doesn’t even get a foul. Clear sending off.
            9, Figueroa only player on the half way or even near it handles to deny Aguero going through on goal.
            10, Balotelli getting banned for a stamp where there was clear doubt. to send off for violent conduct it must be 100% most ex refs said you cannot ban.
            11, Dzeko kick from behind right in front of ref clear pen not given.
            12, Neville clear handball and penalty as he makes himself bigger to stop a Kolarov cross from a good 12 yards away.
            13, Dzeko clearly fouled by Fellani who then passes straight to Gibson who scored . 3 pts lost
            14, Skrtal fouls Toure denying him a goal scoring opportunity he doesn’t get sent of and is allowed to play in the 2nd leg of the cup against City.
            15, The ref amazingly give Liverpool a penalty when the ball is shot a Richards for 4 ft it hit his foot then travels the one ft to hit his hand which are still both below his head yet the ref indicates a penalty saying his hands were up which they were not, this put City out of the Cup.

            This little lot comes to 10 pts lost, large player bans and City out of both domestic cups. All are said by ex refs to be ‘unlucky’ or plain wrong decisions etc. One thing you won’t here is Mancini talking about it not being up to him if officials are working or not next week after these bad decisions, unlike some who seem to have a licence for it! If these are gonna even themselves out by the end of the season they better get a move on!

            So Utd didn’t get 2 penalties v Stoke then? Or 2 in the following game against Chelsea? And these were not needed at all? Doh! Then at 1-0 up against West Brom, Brom weren’t denied a clear cut penalty (foul not accident) to take it to 1-1. Then at OT Fulham were not denied a clear cut one the same yet again which would draw the match? And of course these were not needed for the points were they? LOL. Indecently the Stoke and Chelsea penalties set a record for most penalties ever given in two games in the EPL, funny that they went to Utd isn‘t it? It doesn’t mater if they were or were not penalties they were there when needed as I said above, unlike City’s at Everton or Chelsea both said to be clear cut by others. Two of this 4 for Utd were stonewall, 2 were not but it doesn’t mater as Utd are more likely than not to get them. So the thing is Utd get them and especially when it maters! So what’s made up again?

            City got one while 2-0 up against Liverpool and coasting to make it three and one against Utd in a game which they won 6-1 coasting? so you can have them both back it would make no difference what so ever. So how is this made up?

            The above also proves that Utd will get MORE than the 90% I said of those that are seen as ‘might be, might not be’ as two of the record breaking 4 above were exactly that, ‘might be, might not be‘! and they were both given! That’s 100% in that case. So what made up?

            You just don’t have a clue do you, write rubbish with no foundation then tell people they are making things up like your pal who making thing up 100% is by saying City have had more penalties than Utd that’s easy to see it’s wrong. I’ll ask again, what’s made up? What I have wrote I have BACKED UP. Now you do the same, oh wait you can’t as it’s basically nonsense.You’re not a hypocrite you’re just clueless!

    2. Well if United team are the worst then what does that tell us about the other teams. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

  2. Um…. back on topic.

    The reason why Berbatov isn’t in the lineup is the same reason why Ruud Van Nistlerooy eventually had to go. United want to play at a pace he can’t (well, at least doesn’t) keep up with. When Ruud could get in the 6 and nod crosses home, he was a 30 goal man. When he couldn’t it was time to ship him out. That’s Berbatov.

    When Berbatov was doing most damage for United, he was finding the clever pass that unlocked a staunch “parked bus” of a defence. These days, Rooney can do that and keep the tempo up.

    With Berbatov in the lineup, United play a much slower, methodical pace. So much for Fergie’s famous tactic of killing you in transition. Welbeck, Rooney and Chicharito turn a football match into a track meet. High levels of skill (albeit not as high as Berba’s, in the cases of #19 and #14) at superior rates of speed (much much higher for 14 and 19).

    It can also go back to that famous old Sir Matt Busby quote: “Superior talent only comes into play if you match your opponent for effort.” Berbatov’s effort negates a lot of his talent.

  3. Right now the Prems leading scorer and assist giver from last season can’t get on the field. Then they say it’s not a good team.

    No team has ever failed to win the league when having the number of points United AND City have right now at this stage.

    Looking at the stats, United’s away form is very impressive especially since it was so bad last year. It’s also clear how far ahead of everyone else United and City are, they are statistically massively ahead of everyone.

  4. Berbatov has no heart and slows the game down….period. Rooney is a beast that tracks back and shows heart.

  5. What Did Dimitar Berbatov Do Wrong?

    1. He scores against poor teams
    2. He doesn’t score against good teams

    It’s not hard to understand why the manager of an elite team would be unsatisfied with such a player.

    1. 3 points are 3 points nomatter you beat “poor team” or “good team”. BTW which are poor and good teams and how do you define them on that way?

  6. of course 3 points is 3 points, but if a player is only scoring against teams from the bottom half of the table at home, then there is plenty of reason to see why he is not even on the bench for most games. close to 80% of berba’s PL goals for MUFC have come against bottom half teams. yes, those are still goals and are still imp, no one is denying he contributed A LOT to our 20th title. however, he was even in that season only scoring lots of goals in certain games, but went many games without scoring. he also has a distinct lack of pace and does not suit our style of fast paced football. he is a decent header of the ball, but if you actually watch us play 90% of his headers go straight at the keeper and never even look like troubling him.
    he has only scored ONCE against a top four club. that was against chelsea and it was the 3rd goal in a 3-0 win. hardly significant. when was the last time berbatov came off the bench to influence a game? yup, the answer is never. he was on the bench for the cl final in 09 having arrived the summer before and didnt even make the bench in 2011.
    berbatov only plays well when the team is doing well. when we are struggling, so does he. i remember him at ewood park 2 years ago when a 0-0 cost us the title. leading the line, he was disgustingly woeful. no effort, no nothing. instead he was berating his teammates for not putting the ball on a plate for him to score off of.

    brilliant, brilliant player but for me he was the wrong signing at the wrong time from SAF. you can say he did welll for the goals he scored. but really? for a record signing was that enough? no. just imagine if that 30 million had gone towards benzema or aguero.

    so for me berbatov failed at united, given his price tag. we all thought hed kick on from his spurs days and IMPROVE. much like carrick came here and actually improved. yet he did not. he stagnated and has declined in my opinion. disappointing and hopefully he can get the move he deserves in the summer.

  7. And Mr. Badger, the reason Berbatov does not feature on the bench is that he does not influence games when he comes on. He had been used of the bench a few times his first two seasons when he needed a goal. Each time he came on and did NOTHING. He would stand there, make a few decent passes here and there and maybe hit a shot or header straight at the keeper. That was about it. If we were in the 90th minute and needed a goal to win the title I would have infinitely more confidence in a half fit Michael Owen to know where to stick the ball as compared to Berbatov.

    I remember 1-2 down to Chelsea at OT 2 seasons ago the ball was pumped into the box and Berbatov hit a shot (or was it a header, I dont remember) as usual STRAIGHT at the keeper. Typical of him. Rooney would have buried such a chance. Too bad he was injured at the time. For a record signing, Im sorry that is not good enough. A record signing should be influencing and winning matches for us at the HIGHEST level. He should be the one SAF throws in against the Barcas of this world, not the one who doesnt even make the squad for such games.

    Compare that to Rooney, who can play behind the striker, can lead the line, can put a shift in on the left and even play in central midfield if and when we need. Can Berbatov do any of that? Can he excel in different roles and positions as the game demands? No. So hes not in the squad. As we have talent that is more valuable to the team to get in the 18 man match squad.

    And as for Nani, someone mentioned him not being in the team but he is injured. Once he is fit, I am sure he will be rotated in along with Young and Welbeck to support Rooney, as Valencia is a must start each game given how he is playing.

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