Fergie: Hard to include Dimitar Berbatov in 4-3-3 formation

Dimitar Berbatov

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that he has explained to Bulgaria’s leading goalscorer of all time, Dimitar Berbatov, why it is difficult to include the player when United play a three man midfield. Some of Manchester United’s most impressive performances over the past eighteen months have come when United adopt a 4-3-3 formation, especially in Europe. Dimitar Berbatov was selected last season in the 0-0 draw against Inter Milan as the lone front man (which was due to Wayne Rooney coming back from injury). However, due to the scintillating form of Rooney, Berbatov’s appearances in a 4-3-3 formation have been limited, with the recent games against Arsenal and Milan as evidence.


Ferguson praised the consistency of Fletcher, Scholes and Carrick in midfield and indicated that this was the main reason for Berbatov’s exclusion. Fergie was quoted as saying:

“It’s hard [to include him] when we decide to play three central midfield players. That’s the difficulty for him. We could have played him in Milan but the threesome of Scholes, Carrick and Fletcher have created a consistency, a level of performance that makes it difficult to change, particularly in those kind of matches. Every time I have spoken to him [Berbatov] he understands what we are doing.”

Dimitar Berbatov has had a mixed season so far, with his season being disrupted by injury. So far Berbatov and Rooney have scored thirty goals between them – and the Bulgarian is the clubs second top scorer with nine goals. He has been cricitised for his casual approach to play, however there is no doubting the creative streak that roams through our number nine’s body. His oozes class, however he sometimes doesn’t have the impact in some of the ‘big games’ that he is obviously capable of.

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9 Responses to “Fergie: Hard to include Dimitar Berbatov in 4-3-3 formation”

  1. liam_stretty says:

    I have said it before and said it again. I think Dimitar Berbatov will be sold in the summer. For three reasons:

    (1) He doesn’t fit in to the 4-3-3 formation like SAF says

    (2) When he does play, he seems to slow down our attack and I have noticed a few team mates look a bit frustrated, although they don’t seem to have a go at him or anything but he seems the first to have a go at some of his team mates when they don’t place the ball at his feet

    (3) His mentality. I don’t think he has the mentality to play for United. He seems to be far too phased by his price tag. Part of being able to play for us, is having the mental strength to cope with any kind of pressure

    I found it interesting that Fergie was looking at Benzema in the summer.

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  2. Kamikazee says:

    Hahaaa..is it really true tht michael owen did not have a touch of the ball til the full tym whistle???…wat a stryka in him we’v got

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  3. ben says:

    Well said liam_stretty. I do agree with you and you observe so well that i’m impress. I do hope we can buy some strikers in the summer to booast the attack. Saha was really good. If we had him we could have easier match.

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  4. dapxin says:

    liam_stretty is right.

    The guy does look phased.

    And the guy isnt doing enough to get out of that phase – of course, not gonna do that a lot, without the games, but what of the ones he gets ?

    Because of his self, there is a perception of slow, but i dont believe this is not something he couldnt change, you only need look at the unpredictable shift of speed/variety of his feet ( thought ) while on the ball.

    Question is, does he have the mentality to appreciate these issues and the dare, to bring it on from within and attack them ?

    I dont think so. The reason ultimately he’d fail…

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  5. Moh'd liman says:

    Pls don’t leave berbatov in the summer until we get another function striker.

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  6. Lee says:

    I never like trashing one of our players, but we have given him a long time to find his feet at United and everyone has praised him, but he just does not show signs of improvement. The odd flash of skill hardly jsutifies the 30m, never mind the fact that when Owen does play with Rooney, we can play one touch and look sharper and faster. I had high hopes for Berbatov – even bought his shirt, but it has to be said, it is time to move on and look elsewhere. We’re in it for trophies not nurturing him along. He is too slow for our playing style and slows us right down to a crawl. It is frustrating watching it, and I’d imagine playing alongside him, would be even more so. Benzema or similar would be an enhancement on the first team, and not just the squad.

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  7. Papilo oluwafemi nigeria says:

    He is a good player,very skillful but too slow 2 adapt with 4-3-3 formation.question too ask ourselves who will he bench?nani,giggs or rooney.faguson should buy another sharp supporting striker.up united

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  8. Spurs Fan says:

    Thanks for that 30 million)) great bit of business that was)

    COYS

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  9. […] hoped, especially considering Fergie stated recently that he doesn’t believe he can include Berbatov and Rooney in the same side when playing a 4-3-3 formation – which of course is our preferred formation in the latter stages of the Champions […]

  10. […] which was then backed up by Fergie’s admission that it is ‘difficult’ to include Dimitar Berbatov in a 4-3-3 formation. He has fantastic ability, has notched up a good few goals for us this season – but I believe […]

  11. […] Manchester United’s number nine has decided to call it a day on his International career aged just 29.  Berbatov, who found the net 12 times in 33 Premier League apperances for United this season, is Bulgaria’s all time top goalscorer with 48 goals in 77 appearances and won his first cap back in 1999 against Greece.  Some would consider his performances this season a little disappointing, despite generally scoring when he started a match and contributing a number of goals to a goals tally that surpassed last season’s total.  There are many rumours linking Dimitar Berbatov with a move away from Old Trafford, especially considering that Ferguson doesn’t believe the Bulgarian can play in a 4-3-3 formation with Wayne Rooney. […]

  12. Nick says:

    If we were to play a 4-3-3 and wanted to play both Rooney and Berbatov then we’d have to keep the ball on the deck and have a fluid front three (Nani as the other attacker?).

    The reason for this being that Berbatov would probably line up as the central player out of the three (although all three would have the freedom to interchange) and I feel he’s incredibly strong at holding up the ball when he has his back to goal and he gets it to feet. Unlike Rooney who is better at holding up the ball in the air.

    So to play both in a 4-3-3 you’d be able to do it providing the long balls aren’t over the top.

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  13. […] against and the winners he has popped up with) and with Ferguson revealing (last season) that it is ‘hard to include’ the mercurial Bulgarian in a 4-3-3, it makes sense a to why Berbatov has all of a sudden fallen down the pecking order. Below is a […]

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