Keano’s Column: United’s Agony Aunt

Dear Keano,

Berba here. I am writing to you because I am fed up with carrying the team on my own. All season long I have created exquisite flicks and sublime control and it is proving to be a total waste of my time. Why, because those water carriers around me are simply not good enough to wear the same shirt as me.

How frustrated do you think I feel when none of my team mates is on my wavelength? They get in my way when I’m out of position and fail to read my elaborate passes when the whole point is to confuse the opposition!

Keano, You are the only one who understands what it feels like to be surrounded by inferior players. How do I deal with these frustrations without sinking to their level?

Dimitar Berbatov

Dear Berba,

Thank you for sharing your frustrations – some might say delusions – with the rest of us, on this most sensitive post-defeat Sunday of the season. Now, allow me to reply and share some of my opinions, which I suspect are similar to the rest footballing world’s.

I admit that there are those out there who see you as the re-incarnation of Eric Cantona; pure  football that lights up games and leaves connoisseurs of beauty purring.

Then there are the people outside your direct family who think you’re a footballing twat.

Given every chance, given a chant, given the ultimate stage on which to perform and you’ve blown it like a cheap street walker on New Year’s Eve.

You need to understand that you are the single biggest frustration that most Manchester United fans feel. Including me. Greater than Owen Hargreaves’ comebacks, than the Glazer debt and, hell, even greater than Nani’s decision making process.

Berba, you are more frustrating than a beautiful Cork city nun.

You are a striker, and yet you rarely strike. You are a centre forward, yet you rarely play in the box. You are a tall man with a big head, yet you rarely score headers. Hell you rarely score, and with that you rarely run, tackle or throw yourself at diving headers.
Granted you can pluck a ball out of the sky like a ballerina and flick the ball backwards like a circus seal but so feckin’ what?

If that’s your thing, then piss off back to ‘as long as we play beautiful football, it doesn’t matter that we win nuffin’ unless the year ends in one’ Tottenham Hotspur.

At United, it’s about winning, and you my sensitive European type are not going to win Bulgarian Substitute of the Year if things continue thise way.

Bayern awaits. So do we. The pressure is most definitely on. Fail us again and Triggs and I will be passing by yours very very soon.

Remember Berba, in Alderley Edge, no one can hear you scream.

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Comments

  1. Col says

    Berbatov has had more than enough opportunities to make a convincing case for himself. It is time others were given their chance. A forward playing for United would struggle to contribute less to the side in terms of goals and assists, than Berba has managed during his 2 seasons at the club. Sure they wouldn’t have his silky touch and they’d probably miss more chances than Dimitar, given his reluctance to get into goal scoring positions. But they’d get on the end of crosses, when put through on goal they’d get their shot in before a defender got back to tackle them.

  2. Isaidso says

    Hey mate, Nani’s decision making and final balls into the box have improved – the same can’t be said about Berbatov – he hasn’t improved since he came to OT. Having to win EVERY game for someone like Berba – its too much for him. His problem is in his head – responsibility of the striker is too much for him – end of! Alright in the lesser games, but cannot cut it in the BIG games.

  3. vlad says

    Berba. I think I may help you avoid, er, Alderley Edge. Here’s what you should do.

    1. Turn up at Carrington in the morning, I mean early, about 8 o’clock.
    2. Ask smbdy who is 20Legend.
    3. You will be told that he is the Reserves’ coach. Don’t go away! It’s OK, better talk to a Reserves’ coach than Triggs. The guy (Ole) is humble but please for once don’t show who is the Superstar here.
    4. Now, most importantly, you should ask the Reserves’ coach to give a lesson in shooting AND in choosing position. AND in hocking tricks too! Keep your pride in the butt.
    5. The medicine is bitter but you are surely getting it from one who deserves wearing the Red Shirt.

    P.S. If you don’t follow my advice The Baby-Faced Assassin is going to come to you himself.

  4. Hasan says

    So all the milksops are out of the closet again. The whole team decided not to turn up against Chelsea but lets all blame Berbatov alone for that. Neville was star gazing for their opener and did all he could to gift them another (well thank you Dean!!), fletcher ran ran ran but never got close to anyone. Park ran and didn’t get close to anyone. Scholes had a couple of decent long balls but misplaced 30 for each one of them. Giggs could have contributed more from the infirmary. Valencia wrestled well all afternoon (even put in a cross from his left leg) but petty Zhirkov made him look as effective as the linesman by their side. But lets all blame Berbatov, why didn’t he put that header in (so what if he did well to make something out of it; Rooney would have scored there, only the cross needed to be eleven inches lower). How could Berbatov miss that volley, every united player is an expert at this- known to volley from the half way line..how could you miss. And the penalty that should have been but never was..your fault you couldn’t slow Lampard down or speed up your own time and your fault that dean didn’t award the penalty. Don’t you know you’re not Rooney (as in you can’t waste 3 chances in a champions league semi final and expect no one to breathe a word of it) so yes you should have done better after Park got confused and set you up.
    Ed i’ll tell you what I can’t continue with this agony aunt theme so i’d leave the sarcasm and rhetorics to you. But lets get a more balanced perspective here. We all support the same team and although we’re free to choose our favorite players we can’t single one out for all the criticism (and unfair at that). I’d assume you know the plight of our midfield (barring Fletcher). They don’t hold the ball well enough and thats primarily why we play an extra man in the middle against any half capable side. But what about when even the 5 struggle. As against Bayern and as against Chelsea. In such a case there is not much a lone man upfront by himself can do. Past week we got the goal via fortunate deflection and fortunate Demichelis slip. After that look what Rooney did (the lack of actually) in the remaining 88 + 3 minutes. I suggest you go over the match tapes once again before you answer the question. He had chances to score but chances get spurned in football so i’m not talking about that. I’m referring to his impact on the game..and there was none (ankle injury left aside)..now Rooney is a far better player than Berbatov and even he struggled. So neither made a notable impact on the game and Rooney missed easier (and more) chances. Yet we continue the Berba debate. Don’t miss the point here, I’d sell Berbatov 12 times over if the choice arose between him and Rooney but for fuck sake be fair to the guy. He isn’t the best player we have but he’s far from being the worse. We wanted to pay 20m for him, spurs wanted 25. Then came city and we ended up paying around 31 million pounds. Not his fault and stop judging him that way. We aren’t Real Madrid (its the Kaka debate out there). Before the weekend he had 12 league goals in 19 starts (no not 24) plus about half a dozen direct assists. Now this isn’t good enough this season but apparently 4 goals in 19 starts last season was (fergie sign him up remember!!). We can always come up with stats to make either side of the argument seem better but lets not get into number crunching and instead start supporting one of our own. We supporters are known to be an unreasonable lot (rooney at 17 I was convinced was better than stefano) yet we’re here looking for reason and logic to slack one of our own. You’ve said you love Berbatov (class act and all that hackneyed hog wash) but at very possible opportunity you’re out to castigate him..and him alone. If you’d just come out and say i hate the guy. Call him names, label him eastern European mafia..blame him for terrorism and global warming and all the girl troubles you’ve had since sixth standard I’d get the point. That you don’t like like him, fair enough. You can also get all hollywood with the annoying agony aunt. But don’t try getting logic or reason or football sense into your argument because there is none.

    • RedGem says

      Amen to that, Hasan! You took the words out of my mouth. And,I find this anti-Berba post oozing with loathing.

      This guy who was left to rot on the bench a lot of times this season and always pointedly left out in big games -now we expect him all of a sudden to be brimming with confidence and save the season? And BTW, even Rooney needs Nani’s excellent passes and crosses to score. Berba, surely, would need them more – but where was Nani for the most part of the game v Chelsea? Warming the bench…I can’t for the life of me figure that out.
      I thought the other anti-Berba posts you had were funny, but this one is just downright cruel, malicious, and hateful. The last line, in particular, is NOT funny; I’m sure it’s an empty threat, nevertheless it makes this an AWFUL, DISGUSTING POST.

      And in case you haven’t been watching the games, I mean really watching intelligently, Nani has been great these past couple of months.

      Use your creativity to good use…you don’t have to be spiteful to be funny.

    • vlad says

      Why the long letter?
      Oh, if you want to get overserious and feel sore about it, then true, the whole team underperformed, not Berbatov alone.

      Although the first goal was due to the poor Evra defending and not Neville’s.
      And Gary Neville knocked the Chelsea player when the whole defense were statically watching as if in a trance. Yes thank you Dean for not giving penalty.
      And true, the problem was that Nani was benchwarming (fingers crossed not an injury).
      Diagree about Fletcher though. Period.

      Now guess what – we’ve got a Bayern game coming and we have to score – so who do you expect will get us a goal?
      In recent years barring Ronaldo it’s been forward’s responsibity. I bet if Berbatov is on the scoresheet then his goal is not our first.

      There definitely IS a problem with the guy’s attitude, mentality or you may call it girl troubles. 5 years ago he would have been shown the door, Taibi style, fullstop. Now Keano has given him a chance.

  5. says

    @ RedGem and Hasan. To a certain extent I agree with some of your comments. When I wrote it, it was straight after the defeat, and hence it was more angry than funny, However, it was written as a humourous piece, not an indepth analysis of the performance. Anyway, we move on, and here’s to Berba making me look like a fool by scoring a hat trick against Bayern.

  6. says

    ROFL, “Granted you can pluck a ball out of the sky like a ballerina and flick the ball backwards like a circus seal but so feckin’ what?”

    So true!

    Dear Berba,
    you need to play more in the box than in the middle just gazing around like a vagabond and running like a heap hooker. you gotta wait inside the box and try to make the most outta the chances that comes falling for ya!

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