Dimitar Berbatov is a sublime forward with many gifts that will, no doubt, push United forward and challenge for both the Premier League and Champions League. However, will the purchase of the Bulgarian come at a costs of losing out on the permanent purchase of an Argentinian. Carlos Tevez signed for United, on loan, in August 2007 in a transfer wrangle that would have rivaled both Ronaldo’s and Berbatov’s ordeals this summer. However, let this not be forgotten, that our number 32 is still only on loan till next season. There have been reports of a permanent record breaking transfer, however this has not yet been finalised.
Carlos Tevez scored so many vital goals last season
Carlos Tevez is a world class forward that was a vital part of our success last term and it would be a massive loss if we did not retain his services for the next few season. We already know that he isn’t going to be United for years to come – which is acceptable, he gives his heart and soul for United and was superb against both Portsmouth and Zenit St Petersburg recently. However, after the Berbatov signing, can we merit forking out another 32 Million pounds? Remember, there will be no shortage of takers for the former South American footballer of the year – with Chelsea or our good friends Real Madrid.
The concerns that I raised last week were not against the judgement of the gaffer regarding Berbatov or the qualities of the Bulgarian forward – it was merely in support of our unique style of play and for the man who may miss out on playing time – Carlos Tevez. Of course a large squad, of quality, is needed to succeed at top level football – thats a given – but in Rooney, Tevez and Berbatov we have three of the best forwards in the league and I do not believe that the three can be accommodated in the same side.
Some fans and journos have also suggest that the Berbatov deal means that Ronaldo is going – which is a load of rubbish. Why on earth would Fergie fight tooth and nail to keep the boy at Old Trafford, to only lose him 6/12 months later – having recovered from injury? I believe that Fergie will want to line up with Ronaldo on one flank, Carrick and Scholes in the middle of the park, with Nani, Hargreaves or Park occupying the other side. Which leaves two spots up top, which means that one out the three will miss out. On the basis of form, Berbatov hasn’t played – but of course he’ll play having spent so much on the player, Rooney had a decent game against Portsmouth but has not looked as impressive as Tevez did in the two games they’ve played together.
So who should start? We ran a poll last week and you voted in your droves with the selection of all three strikers leading with 33%. Surprisingly, for me anyway, Tevez and Berbatov was second with 28%, whilst Rooney and Berbatov was in third with 22% and last was our pairing from last year in Rooney and Tevez with 16%. I am intrigued to see how all three could line up together and i’m sure at some point of the season they will but with Ronaldo coming back from injury can all of this attacking talent play together? Ronaldo can never be considered a midfielder. He is an forward, who can put both the fullback and winger (if playing a 4-4-2) on the back foot and allow United to press on even further. The best way, although much easier said than done, is to force Ronaldo back into his own half – as done by Clichy at the Emirates this season. With the attacking freedom that Ronaldo is given, is it really a possibility that all three strikers can play together?
A major part of this is the form of Wayne Rooney, who over the past couple of seasons has had some raised eyebrows – unfairly in my eyes. I’ve spoken before about Rooney’s work rate and movement that is so vital to the success of United over the past two seasons. When Wayne Rooney was on the pitch, with the exception of the Portsmouth FA Cup game last season, Manchester United didn’t lose a game.
I’ve heard people spout nonsense like ‘Manchester United ruined Rooney’ or ‘He’s not the player he used to be’. I literally am bamboozled by such remarks. When Rooney signed for United in 2004 he was a young international starlet who was coming into a side that was in transition – that he would then become part of. He, single handedly at times, lead the line so well in that season when Ruud VanNistelrooy was injured and played a massive role in the 4-2 win at Highbury, which ironically – considering his current climate – was overshadowed by a brace from Ronaldo. I believe Rooney is a worldclass player with sublime vision, great strength and desire to succeed. He is also capable of scoring a decent amount of goals with a vast amount of quality.
I’m both intrigued and excited as to how Fergie will line us up over the next few weeks and I have no doubt that Berbatov will be a success – but hopefully not at the cost of losing Carlos Tevez.
So please leave a comment as to how United will line up over the next few weeks (with or without Ronaldo) and your thoughts on Carlos Tevez – am I making an issue out of nothing? If all three line up at Anfield, will it be Rooney that adopts a left sided role? Looking forward to seeing your lineups.