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Will The Real Dimitar Berbatov Please Stand Up?

So the dust seems to be finally settling on the criticism about Berbatov’s mishit penalty on Sunday in the semi-final defeat against Everton. There’s no doubting it was a badly hit penalty, but it seems to have unpicked a scab over his performances for Manchester United as his time so far with the Red Devils.

After the protracted courting ritual that saw Berbatov fluttering his eyelids at Sir Alex Ferguson all Summer long to try and engineer his dream move, it seems that for some, Berbatov’s debut season is turning into one long underwhelming performance. For a player that lit up White Hart Lane for two years, it seems as if his less talented twin brother has taken his place or has it really?

Now I’m not one of those Spurs fans that still thinks it’s the mid 80’s and we’re challenging for major honours every season. I’m a realist, I know we can’t compete with the Big Four. It’s tough to take but I can understand when one of our top players wants to join Manchester United, why wouldn’t they. We’ve still not replaced Michael Carrick and when Berbatov finally went on transfer deadline day to join him last August for £30.75 million, I was disappointed but I understood his reasons for wanting to leave. He didn’t go about it in the right way and Tottenham didn’t have a replacement lined up but that’s football these days.

Once he went to Old Trafford, I thought he’d show those United fans just what us Tottenham fans had been spoilt with for his two season at the Lane, with 46 goals and countless assists in his 102 appearances. What has surprised since Sunday is the level of vitriol aimed at the Bulgarian by Manchester United fans and the fact that people seem to be judging his season by that snail paced penalty.

Now I’m not sure just what type of striker people thought Berbatov was before he joined Manchester United, but I do know one thing. He’s no Ruud Van Nistelrooy, he’ll never get you 30 goals a season, but by god he’ll set 30 up for you. For people to start clamouring that he’s one of the worst transfers ever, one of the costliest flops is ludicrous, regardless of his experience of the Premier League, he’s still getting used to being a Manchester United player.

He’s no Juan Pablo Veron scale flop, who’s performances still have me scratching my head and thinking, is that the same player I saw so imperious for Argentina, Sampdoria and Lazio or Chris Sutton hell bound spell when he moved to Chelsea and couldn’t score a goal against the Pensioners, never mind anyone in the Premier League. Even a player of Shevchenko’s reputation failed to set his time in England on fire with just 22 goals in 2 seasons at his stint at the Bridge.

Yet to write him off now is crazy, 13 goals and 15 assists so far this season isn’t too bad a return but I think he’s still suffering from a little bit of nerves. I thought he’d dovetail perfectly with Rooney and Ronaldo this season but its not quite come off yet. Once he gets his first season out of the way and gets a full preseason of training rather than courting under his belt, he’ll show the Unitedites just how good he really is but remember he’s no Eric Cantona, he’s no Van Nistelrooy, He’s Dimitar Berbatov and people need to remember that.

That’s the crux of Berbatov’s problem for me, he needs to be judged on who he is, not who people want him to be.

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  1. FunnySite

    May 3, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Not the exact match for Man U for sure….

  2. Johnson

    April 28, 2009 at 6:20 am

    I guess most of the people posting here are Berbatov fans, rather than Berbatov haters.

    I’m neither, but I do agree that Berbatov’s performances have been underwhelming to say the least.

    Tottenham fans and the media hyped him up so much before his move, and it seems like that hype is still going if this article is anything to judge it by. But despite what it seems you, and many others think, it’s not that Berbatov has failed to fulfilled his hype, it’s that he’s spectacularly failed to fulfill it.

    In the article you said: “He’s no Ruud Van Nistelrooy, he’ll never get you 30 goals a season, but by god he’ll set 30 up for you.” If this was true, then I doubt that there would be this level of furore regarding Berbatov. The point is that he hasn’t been performing, either by scoring or creating chances. Yes, he has 15 assists, but those have mainly been easy passes, not the defense splitting ones that United fans thought they had paid for.

    His performances against the bigger teams have also left a lot to be desired. Tonight is another huge game, against Arsenal, and he needs to start performing against these big teams, in these big games, to justify his price tag for me.

  3. Andrew

    April 27, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    The problem with Berbatov’s penalty kick was that it was his starring moment. United frequently play that 2nd team 1 star 11 against sides in “smaller competitions” (don’t get me started). When Tevez is put in to lead we see him leading, winning balls, even scoring goals, but we feel safe that he will be in charge. With Berbatov we aren’t going to feel safe anymore unless we see ronaldo or rooney in with him. Yes, he sets up goals with the first team, and occasionally tacks one on for him self, but we can now question his ability to create for himself, and that is something I think all United fans wanted. I know I was personally on the Huntelaar bandwagon.

  4. Myles Matarise

    April 24, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    tell you what,this guy has got talent and also i like his ball control but we are yet to see the of him for man utd………….

  5. tony

    April 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    i think some man u fans expect every man u player to be a football god of sorts and trample opponents like hercules. berba is what he is: the best ball holder i’ve ever seen. he’s probably a bit intimidated by the expectations he is under, being compared to cantona. berba doesn’t track back and is lazy. well, so is ronaldo. when he loses the ball he just stands still 90% of the time.

  6. Derek

    April 23, 2009 at 6:11 am

    Well written indeed. Berbatov still oozes class and will doubtlessly show it once again at Utd. You can easily see him getting a crucial goal in the next several matches (poss. against Spurs this weekend) and then all the Man Utd supporters will love him. Again, though, those who are upset at him are probably expecting the wrong sort of thing from him, as you noted above.

    On a Spurs forum I’m on, and even though this won’t ever happen, all the fans say they would never take him back in a million years. Rubbish, I’d book his EasyJet flight myself if it were a remote possibility.

  7. Peter

    April 23, 2009 at 1:16 am

    The majority of United fans value his skills and are exited about his move to OT. Just that, not everyone has the trained eye to see his enormous contribution to the team. Yes, he doesn’t sprint after each ball, not after every lost ball. But he moves a lot and opens spaces. Yes, he doesn’t shoot as soon as he gets the ball, he sees someone in a better position and passes the ball. He keeps the ball well and takes a lot of kicks. He always puts the team first. He’s a real joy to watch

  8. Ivo Ivanov

    April 22, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    well written!

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