How do you solve a problem like Dimitar Berbatov?

Okay, while problem isn’t the right word to use to describe the club and League’s top goalscorer, when United go into the final straight of the season after the International break, they will more than likely do so with the emerging forward partnership of Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney – leaving the enigmatic Bulgarian confined to the substitute’s bench.
While it’s a welcome selection headache for Sir Alex Ferguson, it’s not a welcoming feeling for a player enjoying the most prolific season he’s had in English League football.
Berbatov responded to coming on as a 45th minute substitute against Bolton at the weekend by scoring the game’s only goal and his 20th of the season with only two minutes remaining that could be a defining moment in United’s campaign if they are to win title number 19.
United’s number nine has been vital to the club’s League position but before Saturday hadn’t scored since he got a brace against Blackpool at the end of January. Such is the fickle nature of top-flight football one below par performance can see a player dropped and that coupled with form of Hernandez has seen Berbatov start only two of United’s last nine games.
Berbatov’s game sees the striker drop deep and thrive in games where he is allowed to dictate the tempo and when utilised in games where this isn’t the case comes across as indolent and feels the verbal wrath of a substantial amount of the club’s support.
There is also some uncertainty regarding Berbatov’s Old Trafford future with the striker yet to be offered a new contract despite only having one year to run on his current deal. United have the option to extend his deal by a further year at any point, so it isn’t a pressing matter in that regard but the more time that passes, the more questions will be asked as to whether the club intend to keep Berbatov.
It’s alleged in some well-informed circles that during the summer Ferguson was offering the 30-year-old to clubs on the continent with Bayern Munich believed to be interested but for whatever reason – possibly Wayne Rooney’s flirtation with Manchester City, no deal was made and Berbatov remained a United player.
Whatever the future holds for Berbatov, he has been a joy to watch for the most part of the season and has shown that even when benched he’s more than willing to contribute to the team when called upon.
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2 Responses to How do you solve a problem like Dimitar Berbatov?

  1. Conner says:

    Thought I’d have a quick a read of some of your stuff, and in general agree with what you have to say. Berbatov is almost definitely the most talented player in the league who can’t guarantee they’ll be in the starting eleven and if it was anyone else say Rooney or Drogba I think it would spur them on to give more on and off the pitch however I think with Berbatov’s style of play and his persona he just comes across a bit lackadaisical. The fact that he’s been on the bench for so many games and hasn’t publicly come out and says something to i.e He’s happy to sit there pick up his wage and play every now and then.

    In my opinion Berbatov could go to the Italian and German league and finish as the top scorer in the whole of Europe as its much easier to be talented and be successful, Where in the Premier League I feel you also need that drive to push yourself.

    Nice Blogging, Conner

    • beatnikmufc says:

      Cheers Conner.

      I don’t think keeping quiet is solely down to his lethargic nature, he’s so technically gifted I’m sure he understands that there’s a time and a place for his inclusion – although he would have questioned being on the bench for a game like the one just gone where Bolton wouldn’t play at too high a tempo to render him ineffectual.

      Ferguson’s penchant for playing 4-5-1 in the big games is also a reason why he’ll never be firmly in the first team picture because that formation doesn’t suit him at all, he needs a strike partner who’ll play off him and make runs that’ll give him the space which makes it surprising that he hasn’t been tried up front with Hernandez because I’m positive that given time they’d form a formidable pairing up top. Then again you have Rooney in the picture, who wouldn’t be as content to sit on the bench even though his performances up until a month or so ago certainly warranted a spell out of the first-team.

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