Everything about Dimitar Berbatov has been fairly casual since joining Manchester United. Whilst I’m more than happy to give him time to settle in, some people have already begun to get on his case a bit for being lazy.
I think we have to be mindful that Ruud van Nistelrooy, who scored 149 goals in 217 games for United, wasn’t known for busting a gut to get back and defend. I will get on Ronaldo’s back when he doesn’t track back, as his full-back bombs down the wing on the ball, but there isn’t the same pressure on Berbatov to do that. He’s an out and out striker (finally, we have one again!) and as far as I’m concerned, it’s not his job to be running all over the park to win the ball. We’re spoilt by Wayne Rooney in that respect.
If United were to break and Berbatov was still racing back from our box by the time we got the ball down the other end of the pitch, thanks to the pace of someone like Nani, Ronaldo or Rooney, none of us would be best pleased.
I wouldn’t mind seeing a little more effort from Berbatov, but I’m happy for us to take our time with him, and wait for him to find his place in our team.
In line with his casual approach, Berbatov has played down the two goals he scored against Aalborg, dismissing his impressive second goal as a ‘tap-in’.
“I knew that my first goal would come sooner or later,” he said. “I’m pleased to help my team win, that’s the most important thing,” he said. “But I’m happy [to score my first United goal]. It’s a goal like any other. It was a tap in and that was it, 3-0.”
I haven’t seen many ‘tap-ins’ like the goal he scored, but his modest and relaxed approach is something I like.
So, he’s got his first and second goals out of the way. Now let’s just sit back and watch the rest pour in…