Berbatov – the final chapter



Love Dimitar Berbatov or hate him, but if he didn’t exist somebody would have to invent him. There have been countless debates about whether Berbatov is good enough to play for United – that he is good was never a question. In the end Berbatov didn’t become the saviour some hoped him to be; just as the Bulgarian was never was a flop. On the field, he could go missing just as he could be a genius; off it, he was always classy. The striker failed to deliver in his second season, but was the main reason we won the 19th title in his third. He was always a Berbanigma.

Now, on the verge of leaving the club, Rant takes a final look at the player’s United journey. The show may have been one season too long, but we are going to miss him. Just a little bit. Go on, admit it.

 

 2008/09 – “Looking for heaven, found the devil in me. Well, what the hell, I’m gonna let it happen”

 

18 July 2008
“We have made Tottenham an offer on Berbatov and we have good expectations that this deal will go through.”
Sir Alex Ferguson

 

22 August 2008

Still a Tottenham Hotspur player, Berba signs a United shirt for a fan.

“Dimitar Berbatov’s character has been questionable since his sulking with Spurs, but I think he may have taken it a step too far now. When a fan thrust a Manchester United shirt in his face, Berbatov happily signed it. Just seems lacking in class to me. Can you imagine if Cristiano Ronaldo had been signing Real Madrid shirts a couple of weeks back?”
Republik of Mancunia

 

1 September 2008

Berbatov signs for United on the last day of the transfer window, costing the club around £30 million. The player, who was granted a permission to talk to Manchester City on the same day, is spotted wandering along an Old Trafford corridor – news that broke a few blue hearts despite City offering more.

“Joining United is a dream come true. I look forward to playing my part in helping this club win more honours.”
Berbatov

“This is a key signing. Dimitar is one of the best and most exciting strikers in world football. His style and ability will give the team a different dimension and I’m sure he will be a popular player with the fans.”
Sir Alex Ferguson

 

2 September 2008

“If I wanted to play for the money, I would accept the Manchester City offer or Chelsea. The red shirt is the really big thing for me. I want to play for the biggest club in the world. I am 27 now, I am at the biggest club in the world and maybe this could be the last step in my career. I know I can develop here in the way I always wanted. I always believed. People used to say ‘keep the faith’. I went through some difficult times and it was a long battle, but I always thought it was going to happen and in the end it did. Now I am here and hopefully I will play my part in the team and we can win lots of trophies as well.”
Berbatov

 

12 September 2008

“I would not even have thought about Manchester City. My only goal was to come to United. I heard about the offer City made and the money they want to spend. It did not make any difference to me. I just wanted to come here. My ambitions and goals are big and I want to fulfil them at the biggest club in the world. That was my only goal – and I achieved it.”
Berbatov

 

13 September 2008

Berbatov marks his début with an assist for Carlos Tevez as United lost 2-1 to Liverpool at Anfield.

 

30 September 2008

Berbatov scores twice against Aalborg BK in the Champions League group stage.

“I knew that my first goal would come sooner or later. I’m pleased to help my team win, that’s the most important thing. But I’m happy [to score my first United goal].”

 

29 October 2008

“One of my favourite Berbatov memories is *that* turn against West Ham. Not for the turn itself, just the old-timer in front of me at OT, who turned around shouting at everyone in the vicinity ‘did you see that? DID YOU SEE THAT!?’ We did, and it was magnificent.”
Cal Gildart

 

16 November 2008

“I don’t want to be compared with anybody else – especially a legend like Cantona. If you ask some of the guys here, I am the quiet one. I don’t talk much. I prefer to listen and watch. I’ve been like that all my life.”
Berbatov on those comparisons with Eric Cantona

 

20 December 2008

Berba is hilarious.

 

10 January 2009

“People talk about the north and the south but I don’t make comparisons like that, I am just interested in my football. People says it is not sunny here and it rains all the time but that doesn’t bother me. I like it the way it is. In fact, I like it better here. I am not a guy who looks for places with a lot of people and traffic. London was crazy anyway, so I used to live out of town. Here it is more peaceful. But the city is secondary to the team I play for. Now I play for the biggest team in the world, so it doesn’t matter where I live.”
Berbatov on life in Manchester

 

2 February 2009

“I think I can say I’m pleased so far. But even when things are going great, I keep on telling myself I need to do more. I’m a perfectionist, I set high standards. I know it can’t be perfect every time, but that’s my aim. If it’s near perfection, I suppose I’m happy. I hope people appreciate [all the assists] because sometimes I take more pleasure making an assist than scoring myself. Some days you read the newspapers, some days you’re better off not reading them! Everyone has the right to an opinion. Half the people might like me, the other half might not. But throughout my life I’ve had high expectations for myself, so I just try to make the non-believers into believers.”
Berbatov speaking to United Review

 

18 February 2009

“The players here who have already won it, need it again and again and again. I have none of that. When I am here, it is like I need it – I want it. With the help of everybody, with the right amount of effort on the pitch and with the team we have, I am pretty sure we can win it again.”
Berbatov on the title race

 

26 March 2009

While some fans may not be impressed, Italian porn star ‘Simba’ uses her breasts to paint a picture of him.

 

19 April 2009

Berbatov fails to score in the FA Cup semi-final shoot-out against Everton. United lose 2-4 on penalties.

“He will get criticism because when you pay £30million for a player everyone thinks he should be able to score with a penalty kick. He was upset and disappointed, as we all were. But I don’t see any evidence of Berbatov’s season tailing off. He has missed a few games and overall yesterday, I thought he did really well.”
Ferguson

“You remember how I scored my penalty for Tottenham [in the 2-1 win over Chelsea in the 2008 Carling Cup final] at Wembley? I did it exactly the same way.”
Berbatov

 

26 May 2009

“I am part of this team but I don’t feel fully part of it because I didn’t win the Champions League [in 2008]. That’s a little bit painful. If we can do that again, with me in the team, it will mean so much.”
Berbatov prior to the 2009 Champions League final

“I can [play] a lot better, but in the end it’s only important what the boss is going to say to me. If he says he is not [happy], then I need to work to improve so I can be better next season. I need to score more.”

“When someone has great qualities sometimes they don’t have to put much effort into things. Sometimes the things I do look effortless but it’s not like that. It’s very difficult but because of my style I make it look easy. When I get the ball the players need to start running and then I just feed them with the ball.”

“People, even before they know you, say, ‘He’s not good.’ It’s always painful to listen to that. Maybe it motivates you to show them that they are not right. I have tried to do that all my life. I keep on fighting and training. I hope when I finish with football I’ll be happy with what I’ve achieved.”
Berbatov

 

2 June 2009

“It is very difficult to accept defeat in the most important final. This is my second defeat on such an occasion, and I just hope I will get a third chance and win it. Barcelona were the better team in Rome and won. I think the season has been successful for me. Next season we will be favourites in all competitions again: after all, Manchester United is the biggest team in the world.”
Berbatov on the Champions League final

 

Season stats: 36 (7) appearances, 14 goals
Season high: most assists in the team, including *that* one against West Ham
Season low: penalty kick in the FA Cup semi-final

 

2009/10 – 2009/10 – “Regrets collect like old friends. Here to relive your darkest moments”

 

3 June 2009

“He is an outstanding player. Sometimes it takes people longer to fit in at a club in terms of the lifestyle and the football, which is probably what’s happened to him. But I’ve watched him and I’ve every confidence he will be even better next season. I’ve seen him be outstanding for Tottenham and I’m sure he will be again. I was very similar to Berbatov in terms of the way I looked as a player. I didn’t look like I was running around either. But just because he is not like a Wayne Rooney or Carlos Tevez doesn’t mean he doesn’t work.”
Teddy Sheringham

 

22 July 2009

“I think I can do better this season. I think I can do more. That’s why I am happy to be on the pre-season tour. It is always beneficial to start well and have a good pre-season and I feel I am training well at the moment. I am here to score goals and I hope to score more and more for United this season.”
Berbatov

 

22 August 2009

“He is a very good player and I am particularly happy with him.”
Ferguson

 

31 August 2009

“I prefer to score beautiful goals than ugly goals.”
Berbatov

“I don’t think you stop learning until you quit football. With all the talents we have in Manchester United, they do stuff that sometimes I honestly cannot do – and I don’t even try to do because I would look like a fool! Sometimes you want to try new stuff, you see people doing things and you ask them about it. You learn from each other. To develop, you have to.”
Berbatov

 

6 September 2009

“There is a winning mentality and at United success is expected season after season. I am aware I came with a big price tag and I am ready to prove this season just what I can do. We have a chance to make it four titles in a row and that means making history if we succeed. I would not say my playing style is laid back, it is just a different style. I like time on the ball and I like space. If I can get that, then I know I can free up players like Nani and Wayne Rooney, who do lots of running. I am ready to sweat blood for this club. I want to create and score goals and I know I can be part of a trophy-winning team this season.”
Berbatov

 

7 September 2009

“It’s not easy coming to United in your first season. The spotlight is on you straight away and everyone expected Berbatov to get 30 goals last year. I don’t think he’s that type of player, but he brings something different to the team. He’s so elegant.”
Andy Cole

 

2 October 2009

“In my first year I was disappointed in myself. I need to say that. It was a big pressure for me and maybe I failed myself. I think I wanted to prove myself to these supporters. You must remember, they are used to Best, Charlton, Cantona. I am just Dimitar. I got a number of assists, but I must score more goals. I don’t know what I am doing wrong sometimes. Maybe it’s luck, maybe it’s me … who knows? At nights I have stayed awake thinking: ‘You could have done this instead.’”
Berbatov

“[That fans think I’m lazy] is my fault, not theirs. It is me who must change. “Manchester United are their club. They have treated me perfectly since I came.”
Berbatov

 

31 October 2009

“In the first half I had a couple of chances to score, and you need to be patient and when another chance comes along you have to score it, and I was very glad to score my chance. Every time when you score a goal you are relieved because you feel you’ve done something special and that was the case for me.”
Berbatov on his goal in a 2-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers

 

15 December 2009

“The fans have probably seen glimpses of my best goals, passes and games. I know you need to show that all the time and that’s my main goal – in every game to show my best. I think every person is different in coping with pressure, every person thinks differently. For me, sometimes it is difficult because people expect so much of me.”
Berbatov

 

6 March 2010

“I wasn’t surprised at Berba’s work-rate. To be honest if you look at the statistics you’ll see that he’s one of the hardest runners in our team and that he covers the most ground. He’s a bit languid and whatnot, but he really puts the effort in. People see a different side to him, but I don’t think that it actually reflects his importance to the team.”
Rio Ferdinand

 

14 March 2010

“I’m pleased. It’s part of my job, to assist and to score, but if we win it doesn’t matter if I score, as long as we are champions in the end. I preferred the second goal I gave to Wayne today to the one I scored.”
Berbatov, after creating a goal against Fulham

 

28 March 2010

“Dimitar’s performances in the wins against Wolves and Bolton have showed fantastic determination. He has played up front on his own in both games. He was a massive presence running the line for us against Bolton. It was really important. It has been so important to us that when Wayne has not been playing Dimitar has been outstanding.”
Gary Neville

 

11 April 2010

Career low? In Wayne Rooney’s absence, Berbatov is booed by some United fans at Blackburn – the game that probably decides the title race in Chelsea’s favour. Although Berbatov creates the best chance of the game for Antonio Valencia, the striker is blamed by many for United’s failure.

 

17 April 2010

“People have not seen the real Berbatov this season and I would have liked to have done more for the club. My dream is still to triumph with United and win another league title. I have scored more goals with less problems at Spurs and it has been more difficult at United. But I do not worry about the critics.”
Berbatov

 

13 May 2010

“I feel exhausted and now there are many guys who can emerge from my shadow. For them the moment has come. I haven’t discussed it with my club team. I guess it will come out in England and Sir Alex will call me.”
Berbatov on his retirement from international football

 

21 May 2010

“He’s a fantastic footballer and he’ll be with us next year.”
Ferguson

“My goal is to remain with United, the best team in the world, and to see out my contract with the club. I know I have the qualities to do so. By joining Manchester United I have achieved everything I wanted.”
Berbatov

 

Season stats: 29 (14) appearances, 12 goals
Season high: created more goalscoring opportunities per 90 minutes than any other striker in the league (2.2)
Season low: Blackburn away

 

2010/11 – “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

 

15 July 2010

“You get a positive energy from the fans. They are always cheering for the team and always cheering for the players. For example, today in training it was very nice for us to see all the people there supporting us, and it’s like that all over the world wherever we go. It shows how big Manchester United is.”
Berbatov, on fans in the USA

 

16 July 2010

“[He] is a great player. He has fantastic ability. I cannot see him going anywhere. He is an important part of the team. It is a squad game at Manchester United and he is an important part of that squad. He is a really good guy. I get on well with him. He is a great lad to have around the squad.”
Darren Fletcher

 

8 – 16 August 2010

Seals the win over Chelsea in the Community Shield (3-1) and then scores United’s first goal of the season against Newcastle United.

 

17 August 2010

“I thought about it during my time back home in Bulgaria. We all wanted to win the title and we gave our best to do that, but things ended on a disappointing note. When one season finishes though, it’s not long until another starts and everyone feels ready to go again.”
Berbatov on the previous campaign

“I want this to be our season [not just mine]. The most important thing is for the team to be successful and we’re all looking forward to the challenge. We want to win every competition we’re in and it’s important that we entertain the fans as well – for me that’s what football is all about. I just want to play well, enjoy myself and score and make goals. Football is like art and my aim is to create beautiful things on the pitch to help the team be successful.”
Berbatov on the season ahead

 

19 September 2010

One of Berbatov’s career highs as he becomes the first United player to score a hat-trick against Liverpool since 1946.

“The Old Trafford is about to rise to one of the great performances of the Premier League era. Dimitar Berbatov today has made it at Old Trafford. He’s had an up-and-down two seasons, today he’s come of age. A true United player.”
MUTV’s Stewart Gardner

“[Today] feels like magical day. It was special for me, obviously, because I scored a hat-trick and we’ve won against our rivals – Liverpool. I am happy and I am going home with a smile on my face. It was, probably, my best performance in United shirt, but I don’t want it to be my last, so I’m working on that. I also have to thank my teammates for supplying me with a ball.”
Berbatov

 

20 September 2010

“I was disappointed with myself that I could not please all the supporters. I have said before the people of Manchester United are the judges and that is the way it should be. It is their team. I am a guest. A privileged guest. Man, I don’t know but I’m just so happy. So confident. I feel like everything I imagine on the pitch will come true and that feels awesome. I have worked hard on my fitness. So hard. I’m not a weights guy, I’m sure you can see by my body, but I have been trying even to work on that. I ran 6 miles every day during the off season. I watched one World Cup match, went for a run. Then watched another and went for another run. This was my routine. The way I feel right now. I’m not tired. I feel alive. I have always said I am so lucky to play here.”
Berbatov in an interview with Bulgarian TV

 

22 September 2010

“We are all aware how good Dimitar is. His skills with the ball are incredible. This season he is scoring a lot, and important goals too. He has learned what he has to do. He has changed his game compared to last season. He is in the box more and is more of a threat. If he keeps doing that we have a good chance to win the league and for him to gain some personal reward by becoming player of the year.”
Nemanja Vidić

“He’s a player who has always had a sublime touch, which is why the United fans were a bit harsh in criticising him so strongly. Players of his quality on the ball are rare, and they should be encouraged. Persevere and with him and you get goals like that on Sunday.”
Robbie Fowler

“With the natural ability that guy has with a football we could be talking about him being the world player of the year this season. I’ve played with Kaka, Ronaldinho, Wesley Sneijder – and Berbatov is as naturally gifted as any of them.”
Lucio

 

25 September 2010

“You try not to think about it but sometimes you just can’t help it. You start thinking, ‘It’s a lot of money and what’s going to happen if you don’t prove good enough for that amount of money or you don’t score enough goals?’ It can be bad for your concentration and your skills because it distracts you. But every player has periods like this and the main thing is to stay strong because you are going to have dark moments. In the end I just say, ‘Relax, play. You’re playing for the biggest club in the world’ – nobody can say anything else.”
Berbatov on that £30 million transfer fee

 

9 October 2010

“You cannot be angry. Everybody thinks they understand football. People all around the world think they are experts. But for me a good player, a complete player, is not just about scoring goals. It’s about vision, about touch, about decision-making. I know lots of strikers who score many goals, but they don’t have the technical ability I like to see in players. I always like a player who can control the ball, who thinks two steps ahead – players like Zidane or Xavi. Or like Leo Messi, who is not a typical centre-forward. He is more of a midfield player who scores a lot of goals. For strikers, you are right, people judge on the number of goals, but for me there is more to it than that.”
Berbatov on goals

“You need to know when to slow it down, when to increase the tempo. Zidane was great at doing that. He knew what he could do with his touch and when a player is really sure in himself he can do great things. I know what I can do and I try to do it. I try on the training ground and when you see the goals a player scores in games, in some ways, he’s already scored that goal in training. You try to transfer skills from the training ground to the game.”
Berbatov on football as art

 

27 November 2010

“It was a fantastic afternoon for the team and for me personally – I still can’t quite believe I scored five goals. I’ve scored five in a match before, but it was a long time ago back home in Bulgaria. To do it in the Premier League is a great feeling especially when only a few players have done it.”
Berbatov on scoring five against Blackburn

 

20 December 2010

“I prefer to see some of the younger lads winning the award. Please, don’t vote for me anymore.”
Berbatov on being named Bulgarian Footballer of the Year yet again

“I fought to have a chance to play for United and now I can only go down if I leave. Why I should do this? It would be better to retire.”
Berbatov on his future

 

22 January 2011 – 17 March 2011

In three matches of contrasts, Berbatov scores a hat-trick against Birmingham City in a 5-0 trashing and then two to complete United’s comeback at Blackpool, before losing his place in the starting line-up during United’s Champions League game against Marseille. Sir Alex is on camera laughing at Berbatov sulking on the bench.

 

8 April 2011

“I’m confident right now. I’m a striker and if I’m scoring goals my confidence is high, but the important thing is how you react when you’re not scoring. In those times it’s essential you remain confident. You may be going through a period where you haven’t scored for a few games, but you need to believe in yourself and believe that you can still do the things that lead to goals.”
Berbatov on confidence

“I keep [my match balls] at home and now my friends and my team-mates have started to make fun of me because I’m collecting so many. But if I keep earning match balls [for scoring hat-tricks] then I’m sure nobody will complain too much. I get them signed by my team-mates and they’re very precious to me – they remind me that with hard work and belief you can do a lot of good things.”
Berbatov on hat-tricks

 

19 April 2011

Selected in the PFA Team of the Season.

 

28 April 2011

Confirms suspicions – Berbatov is The Godfather.

 

14 May 2011

United crowned Champions for the record 19th time. Rooney scores the title-winning goal, while Berbatov joins the party as a late sub.

 

22 May 2011

Berbatov fails to score in the final game of the season, but finishes the campaign as joint top goalscorer in the Premier League on 20. The achievement doesn’t earn the Bulgarian a placed in Ferguson’s Champions League final squad.

“I’m going nowhere. Now I am part of United’s 19th title and I want to be part of the 20th, that’s my plan. I am the happiest man in the team because I’m a champion and top goalscorer in the league. To win 19 titles is a fantastic achievement. I expect to win against Barcelona. Everybody thinks the Spaniards are favourites but nobody knows who will win.”
Berbatov

 

28 May 2011

“I was very disappointed but you can not do anything. You must accept it. So I stayed in the locker room, watched the match. After the loss I remained in the locker room and waited to see what Sir Alex said. It hurt a lot. Sorry that Bulgaria could not see me in the finals, sorry that Bulgaria couldn’t be happy, or cry with me. Everyone now wonders why the team didn’t do well or why Berbatov was not in the squad, but I already told you why, it is the decision of the coach. But there’s always next year.”
Berbatov on missing the final

 

Season stats: 32 (10) appearances, 21 goals
Season high: winning the title, joint league top scorer
Season low: left out of Champions League final squad

 

2011/12 – “And it’s hard to dance with a devil on your back. So shake him off.”

 

20 July 2012

“It was straightforward last season. Chicharito hit such bloody good form that you had to put him in in every game, because he added so much in terms of threatening defenders all the time. So it was just unfortunate for Berbatov. It didn’t make him a bad player, he was just an unlucky player in that this lad came in. But that’s football and it tells you everything about football. But Berbatov has been brilliant, first-class. His training has been terrific and he’s a good type of person. A nice guy.”
Ferguson on the Champions League final

 

26 July 2012

“I am a very proud person. I don’t like to show my weaknesses. I don’t want to show my emotions in public. That is why people probably sometimes misjudge me.”

“You are not going to see me puffing around the pitch. There is a saying in Bulgaria that great quality doesn’t require much effort.”
Berbatov on his character

 

15 September 2012

“Dimitar has been training terrific. His attitude is spot on. He will get his game time as the season wears on. There is no question about that.”
Ferguson

 

4 October 2012

“Berbatov won’t be remembered by all the way I would like him to, that classy Bulgarian fella who won us our 19th title, but I do hope our fans can respect him for the contribution he has made and way he behaves. When you look at how players like Carlos Tevez, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Mark Hughes left our club, or the things they went on to do and say, we should be thankful for a player who genuinely seems to get United… Top player, top bloke.”
Republik of Mancunia

 

19 November 2012

“I have read some things but there is absolutely no reason for me to let him go. He is an outstanding footballer and we will give the extra year. It is unfortunate the form of Javier Hernandez over the last year has been outstanding but he plays a great role and he trains well. He has no complaints. The boy is a great professional and we are happy for him to be here.”
Ferguson

 

21 December 2011

As a late sub, Berbatov scores with a backheel against Fulham. The goal and the celebrations sum up his genius.

 

26 December 2011

Scores his final hat-trick for the club against Wigan Athletic.

 

7 February 2012

“I’m not happy that I do not play. But I cannot blame anyone, especially in the media. When I have something to say, I go and talk face to face with the manager. He decides everything.”
Berbatov

 

18 March 2012

“He appreciates the money but that was always secondary to him, he just wants to play. Mitko has to endure this situation but it is not his style to start making scandals like Tevez. There is no punishment that left Berbatov outside of the group and it’s not his notorious Scottish stubbornness. There is hardly a manager who comes close to Ferguson. Two of my meetings with him and Gill left me with the impression that he will remain head coach until he wants. Personally, he served tea and coffee, he does not behave arrogantly.”
Emil Danchev, Berbatov’s agent

 

20 May 2012

“I rejected City’s offer to play for the best club in the world. My time in United is over and I should find another place. Right now I don’t feel complete. I’m not a bench player, so obviously my time at United ended. My goal in my life was to reach the top and Manchester United was exactly this. I wouldn’t do something like [what Tevez did]. Tevez did it out of spite. I had the opportunity to sign for City but I chose United. City are the champions but to me they just bought the title. I’m sure next year Manchester United will be on top again. Ferguson is honest. He knows how to talk to anyone. After meeting with him you go out so motivated. You want to conquer the world. I was fighting for my place and I was trying but obviously the team will rely on young players.”
Berbatov

 

23 May 2012

Third ‘farewell Berbatov’ article appears on Rant. It’s definitely a very long goodbye.

 

Season stats: 11 (10) appearances, nine goals
Season high: backheel goal v Fulham, goal v Benfica in Champions League, staying classy
Season low: being a fourth choice striker

 

8 August 2012

Berbatov plays for the last time in United shirt as a late substitute in a pre-season game against Barcelona. He is an unused sub in the opening Premier League game of the season against Everton.

 

Farewell, Berba – and thank you for the memories!

2008-2012, 149 appearances, 56 goals
Premier League Winner – 2 (2009, 2011)
FIFA Club World Cup Winner (2008)
League Cup Winner (2010)
FA Community Shield – 2 (2010, 2011)
UEFA Champions League finalist (2009)
PFA Premier League Team of the Year (2011)
Premier League Golden Boot (2011, joint)

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  • sidney

    What the fuck is going on with this thread

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Yeah, it’s doolally.

  • http://www.unitedrant.co.uk/forum/profile/admin Ed

    sidney said:
    What the fuck is going on with this thread

    Thread fixed.. forum didn’t like the video links. Incidentally, going to shift the forum to the most up to date version of this platform when I find the right designer to help. Tested the migration already and it works great….

  • Alfonso Bedoya

    Groovy.

  • DamnedUnited

    Amazing article, and I appreciate the subtle attempt at weaving a story into it with season-defining-quotes.

    Ultimately, over time, I think United failed to live up to Berbatov’s standard. The 2007-08 side had Hargreaves, Tevez, Ronaldo who left (Hargreaves might have well left, the way it was going) within a year of his arrival. That’s nearly 150 million pounds of talent going out and being replaced by Berbatov and … Antonio Valencia. Valencia does his job well, but …

    United became a side made up of one-trick ponies. Valencia, Hernandez, Scholes became less versatile with increasing age, Carrick had trouble with his form, Fletcher was never going to shake the world. Anderson and Nani, were … Anderson and Nani although Nani has atleast repaid the money spent on him. ETC, ETC ETC.

    Beckham, Stam, Forlan, Keane, van Nistelrooy, dare-I-say Tevez (I think everyone saw how badly he wanted to stay) and now Berbatov. Is Ferguson simply a, bad man?

    • Damian Garside

      You have pinned down the defining moment: when we suddenly no longer wanted to be the greatest team on paper and on the field, but one that was just good enough to win stuff with a fair rub of the green. If only we had been able to keep striving for the stratosphere. Berbetov is a luxury player: but the kind of luxury worth having.

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  • Alfonso Bedoya

    It’s gone all wonky again Ed.

  • Anantax

    I read an article in ESPN, there is one line that I think sums up Berba in MU perfectly. The article essentially says that Bebra turns it on against lesser teams, But either doesnt show up or not chosen in big games. Liverpool was the one aberration

    ” The difference at Old Trafford is that they expect to beat the lesser lights anyway. United players tend to be judged on their performances when the pressure is on.”

    I think thats a fair summation. fergie believed, rightly or wrongly, that Berba doesnt show up in big games. Hence his increasing marginalization…and thus becomes self fulfilling prophecy…

  • Rifaa Afia

    I cried when I read this. I bloody love Berbatov. I think our fans should’ve respect him, not called him lazy or whatever. I will remember him for what he did at United.

  • http://www.newhallmedialtd.com Calvino

    Finally… Let him go and flaunt and prance about where there is far less pressure.

    • Damian Garside

      Of course there are places where the pressure is greater: at City, for example.

  • han

    nice to see him getting a brace on his home debut
    shame he had to leave in the manner he did
    deserved more credit than he got
    im sure he will prance about and flaunt very nicely now and score a sackful