“Great transfer, he’s gonna score a million goals, best striker in the world, 30 million? cheap!” this would have been my answer, two years ago if I had been asked what do you think about Dimitar Berbatov signing with United?
Same question, a year later and I would have said “ok, his first year, he needed some time to get to know his teammates, to understand the manager’s style and ideas, next year we’re gonna see a whole new player, who’s Ronaldo?(or Tevez?) we got Berba! we’re the best!”.
Now almost one year later, kicked out of the Champions League in the quarter finals, four points behind Chelsea in the Premier League with four games to go and with our best (and probably the only capable) striker we have injured, does anyone dare to ask me “what do you think about Dimitar Berbatov?”.
When you take a look at his season stats without seeing him in action, you would think that 12 goals (in 29 games) is pretty good, scoring more goals than players like Chelsea’s Nicolas Anelka, Arsenal’s Andrey Arshavin or Liverpool’s Dirk Kuyt. But when you look at Fernando Torres’s stats (a player bought by Liverpool with a similar transfer fee) scoring 18 goals (in only 22 league appearances) you begin to wonder.
But let’s leave aside the numbers a bit and talk about what really matters, how he played in the key moments of the season, in the Chelsea game he didn’t play well, he didn’t score and we needed Macheda to come in late in the game and put the ball in the net. Afterwards in Bayern game, he played the in the last ten minutes of the game and didn’t make the crucial difference, we so desperately needed. The latest chance he got was the in game with Blackburn, he again played poorly and worst of all showed a bad attitude spending a lot of time complaining and not helping his teammates.
The sad part is that even now I still hope that he’s going to concentrate more and will start to play better. I still like the idea of Berbatov, a complete striker, a hard working striker with a lot of creativity and technique and with a spectacular playing style. But like I said, he needs to concentrate more, he needs to work more and he needs to become more efficient. Can he do it? Why hasn’t he done it in the past two years? Does Sir Alex Ferguson still has confidence in him? Does he have a future at Old Trafford? Two many questions and only four more games.