5 goals from Berbatov isn’t enough!


Is there a more frustrating footballer than Dimitar Berbatov? Genius one minute, disinterested the next. Whilst others rush to praise him following his five goals in a stunning display against Blackburn I refuse to jump on the bandwagon, I’m yet to be won over and I shall explain why.

Roll back the clock 24 hours. Friday night and it was 68 days since Berbatov’s brilliant hat-trick against Liverpool. For any striker at any level that’s some drought, even Diego Forlan would be a bit jealous. If one were to ignore his hat-trick against Liverpool and his five goal haul today he’d have 3 goals in 11 league games or 4 goals in 15 games in all competitions. Nothing substantial, definitely not the return that any striker at a big club would be aiming for. I reckon that had I run a poll yesterday titled “should a good bid for Berbatov come in, would you accept it?” the majority of people would vote ‘yes’. Run the same poll now and there’d be a very different answer.

Before today he’d played 102 games for United, the same number he played for Spurs. Yet in 102 games for Spurs he scored 46 goals, for United only 33. Why he’s struggled at United is not for me to try to unravel in this blog for in the spirit of my recent Anderson campaign I should make the effort to be positive about Berbatov. The fact is however is that he is not consistent enough and does not score enough goals. He was fantastic today as he was against Liverpool but a performance like that seems to come round once in a blue moon. I’d rather he scored one goal today and spread out his other goals over other games rather than score them all in one game.

The remarkable thing about Berbatov is that he has ability that Old Trafford hasn’t seen since Cantona. He is so easy on the ball and at times does something that you just don’t think is possible. Unlike Cantona though he disappears. His impact on games is often pretty unnoticeable. The fans quite correctly have gotten on his back, as much as we like to be entertained, the result comes first and if he as a striker isn’t getting the goals to get the wins then he’s not doing his job.

Why write this then? Well during the game today there seemed to be a lot of praise for Berbatov – quite right as well. However there was a growing faction stating that Berbatov had now proved his doubters wrong – quite wrong. One game won’t change the fact that Berbatov’s overriding contribution to this season is confined to two games. This blog isn’t aiming to take Berbatov to the slaughterhouse though. Rather I am airing caution whilst giving praise. I wouldn’t like to wait another 2+ months for his next meaningful contribution to the team – which essentially is judged on goals. I would love to see Berbatov take this form into the next league game against Blackpool and keep his scoring run going. Importantly, he clicked with Rooney today, this partnership has to continue to flourish. Too many times after a game I’ve heard and read ‘this will be the making of Berbatov, he’ll go on from here’ – well this time it has to be. He’s thrown himself a lifeline which he has to grab.

As I started off by saying, I refuse to be fooled by one stunning showing against poor opposition. Berbatov has to prove this wasn’t a one off genius performance. Next time out he must show the same commitment and the same drive. He’s set the standard once again, rather than let it drop like he did after the Liverpool game he must strive to hit these high levels regularly.

The tally of 12 goals he has this season equals his total amount for the whole of last year and leaves him two short of the 14 he got in his first season. Ultimately 20-25 goals this season will be a success but his contribution overall will always be questioned. His five goals today has provided us with a stunning memory, it’ll be talked about for years just like Cole vs. Ipswich – the real challenge now is to provide us with a better memory than those already made. Dimitar must deliver more, today isn’t good enough if he’s going to go limp again.

I’m purposely not running a poll in this blog as I don’t want reactionary votes. I’d rather people expressed their feelings by commenting below. Berbatov is a flawed genius, only he could score a hat-trick against Liverpool and then not score or perform well enough for two months; I pray he comes through, delivers and builds upon today. I don’t want to find myself writing an obituary for him any time soon, rather let’s hope my next review of him will be praising the superstar striker that United thought they’d signed.

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46 Comments on 5 goals from Berbatov isn’t enough!

  1. Brilliant. That all i have for you. Great Great read! Couldn’t have agreed more. He does need to focus more often! i was right about losing my hopes on him. That surely needs to change!

  2. Mr Needleman (or Mr Dinkin as I imagine this is) – it’s not about recognising class…I think I’ve pointed out that he is clearly a genius but his contribution to United this year and over the past 2 and a bit years hasn’t been good enough. United is all about consistency rather than one off moments – that, he’s not delivered on!

  3. I’ve always been a Berbatov supporter, and obviously, on days like these I’m ecstatic. But I have to agree with you on most of what you said.

    If only he adds consistency to his game, we’d have a brilliant striker on our hands, and I’m hoping that with Rooney’s return, they’ll work together like they did today to become a deadly partnership.

    Well done on a good post.


  4. Jason I absolutely agree with you. Think this is a very important point. Whilst he didn’t play every game upfront on his own in Rooney’s absence he clearly plays at his best when partnered by Rooney.

  5. it’s not that he’s not taking his chances. you’ve to wonder how many chances United midfield has created for strikers this season. many times a workman like structure with no creativity in it, you can’t expect him to score each and every week. agree he was shit vs Villa and Bursaspor. i don’t think none had a good game at Villa park. except Vida and Nani (frustrating at times) none shows enough consistency what we expect from them. you can argue they’re already proven players, but that doesn’t matter. does it? i think he was exceptional against Stoke and Everton, Hernandez and defensive lapses stole the limelight respectively. he worked more than any other player on the pitch vs Rangers, couldn’t get his name on the board. as much as i hate to say this, his absence made impact on wolves game when we looked worse than shit. 4-5-1 with Kiko upfront (4-4-2 with Kiko and Park upfront) and we couldn’t keep the ball effectively for a good amount of time. Wolves are worse than Blackburn, they blocked short through passes and denied the space, and all of a sudden 4-5-1 looked a massive joke. agree Scholes was missing the game till 75 mins. still a worry though. my point was that i can’t buy “he was shit since scousers visited Manchester”. he was very good in some games with zero chances provided for him. i wouldn’t say he’s having a massive season but as far as his consistency goes he’s only behind Vida and Nani this season (Scholes missed some and looked out of touch vs Stoke and sunderland). like you said, hope he can chip in when team needs. complemented Rooney well, though it was against spineless B’burn defense.

  6. I would agree that he lead the line very well against some teams – City away would be a prime example. As it happens I have asked Opta to provide me with the number of efforts he had on goal in between the hat-trick and today. The thing about being a Man United player though is being clinical and consistent, let alone perceived work rate. For every good thing Berbatov has done there is something to counteract it. Often I find myself wondering whether United actually need a player in the style of Berbatov or whether a second striker more in the mould of a Rooney or a Ruud would be more effective.

  7. Also seems to be at his best when playing further forward, he’s played deeper recently with Chicha playing further forward, he’s still got into goalscoring positions though when he’s played deeper, which is the worry. Very odd man, I doubt any player has bookended such a long goal drought with 2 hat tricks.

  8. Our best football of the season. Such great passing and movement, everyone playing with confidence.Some of Rooney and Berbatov’s link ups have been sublime. However Dimi is a great player when he’s ‘on song’, sadly though he can’t produce the goods week in – week out. Rooney still to hit his form, but getting there. Rafael has made that position his…confirmation. Ando has been sure and efficient and what a relief to see a well-functioning midfield without Scholes for a change.

  9. think earlier in the season he was actually playing further up the pitch. Also we united fans have to realise the importance of Anderson today. He brought similar drive you get from Fletcher but also could connect defence and attack with his passes. That said, I think most of the stuff raised in the article are right. I thing to note is the games right after the Liverpool game, even though he wasn’t scoring he played well but he the later games the whole thing got to him and he only complain on the pitch.

  10. I’m TOTALLY in sync with the writer of this blog. Perfectly articulated my very thots. Brilliant. Come on Berba! Come on United!

  11. Whether he’s proved his doubters wrong depends entirely on what was in doubt. Is he a seriously talented player? Yes. Does he remind us of that consistently enough or often enough? No.

    The problem is application, not ability.

  12. He s pure class and his ball cntrl s scnd to none.. May be zidane wil equal him.. He may not score goals for a regular basis is bcs he played like deep lying mid fldr when ever rooney is missed…

  13. Agree with most of what you said in the above blog. He looks a totally different player with Rooney. Needs to play with Rooney upfront on a consistent basis(more like Drogba-Anelka week in week out) and I’m sure he’ll making impact even if he doesn’t score.

  14. went on sat and i do agree that berba needs to have some consistency to his game and deliver reguarly,he played a very woeful side on sat and needs to carry it on against blackpool,chelsea,arsenal.there were times yesterday when he stood there walking around.he actually clicked with rooney on sat and they need to play reguarly like drogba/anelka,for us to get some class up front take heed FERGIE not rotation,lets see what happens reguarly.

  15. And there’s another important matter – Berba has to score more in the big PL an CL fixtures. The only goals vs big teams I remember are hat-trick vs scousers and one goal vs FSB London (2008-2009).



  16. Nice piece , for one main reason that u wer being true that ONE single performance wont be able to win u over. I agree with Arun when he said that Berba has been good without scoring in few games like stoke but look at this , he scores 3 in one then 10 games he scores none ans come back with a bang ! He might as well score another hat trick or two but what do we really want ? Hat-tricks or a goal or two consistently ? One thing is for sure about Berbahaters is he seems so not active sometimes ! HATE TO SAY it but someguy on twitter said if only Berba wodhv got one goal against Blackburn last year we wodhv won the trophy ! People who are praising him might wanna show stick when he again goes into a drought phase . Rightly so he is a striker and people expect goal

  17. He has brilliant talent, he has oportunity to be legendary striker for MUFC. But he need a lot things to do and tons of more hard work.

    Good enough? Of course he is.
    Comparing to Cantona? the King shadow even more brilliant than him right now.

  18. Dear ‘there’s the problem’

    There is criticism and then there is plain rudeness, to quote yourself:

    “wow, may be all these blogger should be given a Bill Maher dose about bloggers. SAF knows better, nuff said. You can fuck off now or bask in your whatever that is, and football is deeper than looking at stat plots.

    The one with sense.

    Not coming back to this blog again.”

    I do not mind at all if people do not agree with the things I write but if you don’t agree (like some of the people who have commented before you) there are constructive ways with which to get this across. My opinions are merely that. If you wish to debate what I write then that’s fine, I welcome comments both in agreement or disagreement but your comment before was not worthy of publication.

    If you do not agree with this piece then why not say why rather than to personally attack ‘the blogger’.

    I for one acknowledge in the blog that stats do not portray the full picture but take out the two games where Berbatov scored 8 goals and 4 in 15 isn’t good enough for a striker at Manchester United full stop – in my opinion.

  19. Never been any doubt about his class, one of the top strikers in the world right now and whoever thinks he doesn’t deserve to play for Man Utd does not understand football. He is in and out of the rotation system, he plays different positions on the field, with different partners. That has a lot to do with him not scoring every game. He is top goal scorer in the league right now, almost became the first player with six in one game in EPL. What more do you want? No matter what he does, some fans wil allways criticize him because of the way he plays. Does’nt run around for no reason and chase down but thats his style. genious player, makes Bulgaria proud.

  20. Dear Bulgarian

    I welcome your comments and understand what you are saying. With regards to what more I want…I’d like to see performances like yesterday more often. That is what he is truly capable of so why does it happen so rarely?

    The blog wasn’t meant to be an attack on Berbatov, rather it praises him but airs caution.

  21. well, that shows how much you understand football.
    Okay then, It is because of Berbatov we are in decline. Oh wait, he also assassinated JFK. What a lazy fuck, let’s boo him and kick him out. Such a useless player with god awful first touch and runs around the ground like a muppet. SAF should sell him for a million or two. Agreed! Good luck.

  22. Oh, and by the way, the author of this article does not have any knowledge of football. And praying for Berbatov to score more will not impact in any shape or form what happens on the field. Fact- top scorer in EPL. Why should we take away a HATTRICK against Liverpool with stunning and elegant Goals? Or take away FIVE goals and start from there. You dont know what you are talking about man.

  23. Dear ‘there’s the problem’

    It is of course your prerogative to read what you like into this blog. I don’t ask that everyone agrees and as I said before I welcome debate.

    Unfortunately I feel you have possibly read a between the lines here and come to your own conclusions about this piece. If you don’t wish to debate it rationally then I’d ask you please to stop posted on this particular article.

    Thank you

  24. Dear Bulgarian

    I (the author) do have a wide berth of knowledge on football. Like yourself I have my own opinions on Berbatov.

    I can see you feel very passionately about him and that’s admirable. Berbatov is a contentious issue that does often split Reds down the middle. Some like you back him very strongly, some want him sold immediately. There is no right or wrong answer.

    I’d like to think there is something in this blog that caters for readers at both ends of the spectrum.

    If you don’t agree or don’t like the blog then I can only apologise and hope that the next piece you read is more to your satisfaction.

  25. I have to agree with arun’s comment.

    This article fails to address the real reason behind the goal drought, which was an underperforming midfield.

    Sure berba sometimes does not attack the area as aggressively as he should, but given some of the recent gutless midfield showings, his absence of goals were secondary to the urgency of making the midfield perform at least decently again.

    Macheda sucked big time when he started. His fault? No, because in those instances he received next to little service.
    Even Chicharito, when he doesnt score, fails to have much of an impact when he starts.

    When a striker receives a good ball and fails to make anything of it, then yes, criticism is justified. How many good opportunities did berbatov receive during his drought? Hardly enough.

    One again, he’s not devoid of all criticism, but he’s hardly been the worst player during his barren spell recently, and in ten games he did not score, he was poor in about 2 of them.

    Yesterday the midfield looked the real deal. Let them play like this, or even half as good as this, and if berbatov, or any other striker for that matter does not perform, then criticism will be fully justified.

    In the light of the recent games, I thought he performed well enough despite not scoring. Rooney could also have something to say about that, given his great, goalless performance of yesterday.

  26. never mind Doron, I’m a fan of Berbatov (as an individual player of truly exceptional quality) myself. And I do understand the voice of your article.
    You should also understand that, trolls are part of the internet. 🙂

  27. Dear NicoQB

    I think that’s fair enough. I believe that having Rooney out the side probably also affected him. Whilst he may not have got much praise for it, Berbatov certainly led the line well on his own away at City and worked hard.

    I should add that I wasn’t seeking to address why Berba’s form had dropped – more it was praising whilst airing caution – rather than getting on the bandwagon and falling over giddy with praise after the phenomenal five goals yesterday, I’d prefer to quietly praise him and suggest that actually it’ll be the next few games that we should focus on. It’s no good putting in a performance like that once in a blue moon – just want a bit more consistency. But you are right that there are other factors that affect his form and goalscoring.

  28. Dear ‘there’s the problem’

    Just as a further thought RE your comment from earlier where you say “SAF knows better, nuff said. You can fuck off now” – didn’t SAF drop Berbatov for the Wigan game because of his form??

  29. I think Fergie was resting him and just manipulated the press. Whatever you really think Fergie was thinking, you’re wrong and he’d have been saying the opposite to Berbatov in private.

    Enjoy reading the site, though.

  30. Ok, i want to make it clear. Before , critics of Berbatov were saying look at the statistics, he doesnt score enough. Now he is THE TOP GOALSCORER IN THE EPL, but he doesnt do it regularly. Are you people serious? How is he “Frustrating footballer”? He is #1 in the League in goals and destroyed Liverpool. Plus his touch makes him amazing to watch. Im a huge fan of Man Utd and i might be a little bias because im Bulgarian but i simply dont exactly understand how a talented player that is #1 in goals among ALL forwards and scored 5, yes 5 last game, can be criticized. Simply dont get it.

  31. Dear Bulgarian

    Before yesterday he hadn’t scored in over two months. Whilst some of the blame lies with his striking partners and the midfield surely he has to shoulder some of the blame…hence he can be criticized. If you re-read the blog, you’ll see that not once have I criticized him for scoring five goals or being the league’s top scorer. Merely I’ve criticized him for his inconsistency…or questioned it

  32. To the author,

    thank you for your input and thoughts. I love to read constructive blogs.

    You definately have an important point. Even though Berbatov is the top goal scorer of the league, he needs to prove a point and score more in the future.

    To bulgarian,

    A team doesnt win the premiership by blasting 7 goals in 1 match and then 4 goals all together in the next 4 games. A true top player fights extra hard when the team really needs that one extra goal to win. Berbatov is a good player and I hope he can get a boost from all this and be more consistent with the scoring … or his days will be numbered I’m afraid.

  33. I fully agree with the premise behind the article as I was thinking the same thing. I’d much rather his 5 goals had been spread out in the Aston Villa, City or
    I also think that to say the last 2 months where he went without a goal we’re not entirely his fault. It’s no coincidence his best game in a United shirt came in a game were Rooney, Anderson, Carrick and Nani were playing out of their skins also. They link up play between them all was something to behold. He spent the last 2 months with no creative passing strike partner or any real service from the midfield. Having said that his attitude was poor and he looked disinterested.

    I’m not going to be singing his praises too much after this (I went fucking mental on the weekend whilst watching it though) as he’s got to put 2 or 3 of these games together for that. With Rooney back and looking good, Anderson the same and Berba firing, we can win the league. Kick on Berba and United

  34. Shut up u piece of shit Berbatov is the best go back and play with the under 6’s if you think this is frustrating. Berbatov nails in all of his goals pure class.They are not fluke they are all skills. Get a life u piece of crap

  35. your ignorance towards the importance of berbatov is just baffling. Your choice of words and description has no parity with reality. You’re obviously one of those pretenders that projects wit but evidently illogical. A shame or a problem?

  36. Dear Gary

    One has to question whether you have properly read and understood the point of this blog.

    The blog is about wanting Berbatov to be more consistent rather than questioning his ability.

    It does baffle me why you have appeared to take this personally and choose to insult the author rather than leave a constructively polite comment about why you don’t agree with the blog (which of course would be fine, everyone has their own opinion)

  37. Dear ‘god’

    Is suggesting that Berbatov is not consistent enough is ignorant?

    I think not personally – he’s important but his performances don’t always exude that. SAF clearly felt that too when he chose to drop Berbatov from the match day squad against Wigan no?

  38. One has to understand that the article is not questioning Berba’s ability nor his Brilliance. It is just saying that Berba is not consistent based on the stats we can see and they speak for themselves. Like a person before said WE DONT WIN LEAG WITH 7 goals in one match , we win the leag with scoring goals regularly if not each and every match

  39. stop comment that ,you are stupid idiot.don”t ever pyt your bulshit on this page berbatov is brilliant player and he can do whatever can do

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