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Even Our Rivals Love Berbatov… Isn’t It Time We Did Too?

United fans don’t seem to be entirely bowled over by Dimitar Berbatov yet, much to my amazement. People see him as lackadaisical and want to see him bombing about the pitch in a similar fashion to Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney.

I personally am more than happy with Berbatov’s contribution at the moment. He doesn’t need to run around like a blue-arsed fly to make a worthwhile contribution to our team. He keeps possession brilliantly well, he has outstanding vision and has proven to be fairly handy when it comes to finishing as well.

Criticism has come from the press too, with people expecting Berbatov to be an instant perfect edition. Six goals in thirteen games isn’t too shabby for a player lacking in pre-season training and settling in to a new team, and he also has the highest number of assists in the league, six in nine games.

But even amongst the sections of our own fans and the media who don’t appreciate him, there are some that think he’s the dog’s bollocks!

Here’s a write-up on Berbatov taken from TheChelseaBlog.org:

Seriously, how good does Dimitar Berbatov look at United? I mean, I always rated him when he was at Spurs and he’s a player most of us would love to have at our club surely? And yet, all the while he was at an average club, you just knew he was capable of going up a level.

The fact that he made the decision to do so, hasn’t gone down well with Daniel Levy though. The Spurs chairman had a right old whinge about the move at the time, making all sorts of idle threats he couldn’t back up, but even now when he should be more concerned about the mess his own joke of a club are in, Levy won’t leave it alone. Like a dog with a bone he’s blamed Ramos for allowing Berbatov to leave in the first place and in a continued effort to divert attention away from the fact that the club haven’t achieved under his stewardship, Levy then goes on to bitch about the 27 year old striker.

Of the move, Levy says “We had a player that had refused to play two Premier League games for us (against Sunderland and Chelsea), was having a detrimental impact on the dressing room and we’d known for a year that this player wanted out of this club. We were very disappointed. Dimitar Berbatov was a player who we brought to this club at a time when Man Utd were interested in him. He made a conscious decision to come to this club, we invested a lot of money, nobody had ever heard of Dimitar Berbatov when we bought him. A year later with 10 days to go to the end of the window he tells us he wants to leave to go to Manchester United.”

So they’d known he wanted a move for a year and yet held on to him anyway? Serves them bloody right then. And what about this ‘detrimental effect’ he was having? What exactly is so detrimental about having a player who wants to leave, still going out there and scoring 23 goals for you regardless? Yes he’d signed a contract for Spurs but hadn’t he done that with the promise of Champions League football? Wasn’t he fed some line about Tottenham’s ‘ambitions’? In other words Levy, these broken promises seem to have worked both ways. So was it so surprising he wanted to move? After all, if the boot had been on the other foot and Berbatov hadn’t delivered on the pitch, wouldn’t you have sold him on without a second thought?

Anyway, the tiresome bore goes on “I don’t think he treated this club with the respect that we honestly deserved. We put him on the map, I think he’s an outstanding player, but he signed a long-term contract with this club and I think he should have stayed.”

Er, hang on a minute though, isn’t this player Levy suggests Spurs ‘put on the map’ the very same player who was scoring Champions League goals against Lyon and Liverpool for Bayer Leverkusen 6 or 7 years ago, as well as giving the club 16 goals in 24 starts in the 2003-04 season? And wasn’t it the following 2 seasons during which he scored 46 goals as well as 5 in the Champions League in 2004-05 that actually ‘put him on the map’? And as for not treating Spurs with the respect they deserved, what exactly did he do that was disrespectful? Did he come out in the papers every week for a year saying how much he wanted to leave? Did he put an autobiography together Drogba style, making a note in print of how little respect he had for the club’s shirt? No, he simply made a decision to play at a club where his quality would be rewarded with trophies as opposed to mid-table mediocrity. Shame on him!

And Berbatov clearly didn’t make that move for the money either, because if that was the case he would’ve moved to Man City who were prepared to offer as much as it took to snatch him on deadline day. Berbatov didn’t even entertain that idea though because again, he probably knew that would be no way to showcase his skills at the highest level.

Besides, Berbatov clearly isn’t some shallow mercenary. In fact, in spite of what Levy would have people believe, Berbatov isn’t one of football’s bad guys. The Bulgarian’s upbringing, which saw the young Berbatov often queue for up to eight hours for bread, has resulted in a pretty grounded bloke for a Premier League star. The £30million striker says “My personality has been shaped by my upbringing. I know what a crisis is. I appreciate life and I never take anything for granted.” Whilst his mother adds “Dimitar has no interest in a fancy lifestyle. His life is football, family and friends. He can travel anywhere in the world, but he tells me he prefers Bulgaria to Barbados.”

And whilst he’s been working his way so ‘selfishly’ up the footballing ladder, he’s managed to support five care homes, paid out for 500 pairs of trainers so that deprived children didn’t have to walk around barefoot, and even as far back as 2001 – when according to Levy, he was a nobody – Berbatov paid for a young girl to have life-saving liver transplant surgery. Oh, and he’s also investing in a football academy in his hometown. I wonder if we’ll ever read stories like that about Daniel Levy in the press?

No, of course we won’t because you see, Dimitar Berbatov isn’t just class on the pitch, he’s clearly class off it as well and that’s a word Daniel Levy will never be associated with.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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27 Comments

  1. n667 says:

    what an article, high time our fans realised wht berba is! shame we had to read this from a chelsea community…

  2. Zae says:

    Brilliant, thank you. Though it’s easy to convince me a I liked him since day one.

  3. Andy says:

    I couldn’t have put it better myself

  4. King Eric says:

    Spot on sounds like a hint of fear of berbatov and united from ch£lski community there!

    The man is absolute class

  5. Anant says:

    and still they berate him! why ? …come on , at least one of you guys who was slating him a week ago , read this .

  6. OTRed says:

    The fact is that until Berbatov keeps running around the field like a headless chicken and tracking back to his own pen box a la Rooney or Tevez, he’ll never be appreciated by some fans.

  7. N0bber says:

    Berba has a football brain, he doesnt need to chase the ball around the pitch. Think, does Scholesy dart about anymore…no he uses his head.

    I applaud Rooney and Tevez every time they gallop 50 yards and more times than most come out best or at the very least make life hard for our opposition but not all players are gonna do that and neither should they.

    Berbatov is making his own way in our club and long may it continue…Fergie has to get the right balance tho…God forbid Carlito leaving…oh sorry thats another blog!

    Here’s hoping the lads come home in one piece from another round of pointless internationals.

    Nobb’s

  8. bruce thomas says:

    I’m afraid its a throw back to the old Protestant work ethic that people mistake huffing and puffing for efficiency. Berbatove has the best first touch in the world, including Messi and can do more to open up a team with one feathered, weighted pass than 20 minutes of Tevez charging around like a cross between a clockwork mouse and Kevin Keegan (the plyer) on speed.

    Berbatov is the best player we’ve got. He’s more like Sheringham than Cantona (neither of whom needed to charge around) and has a footbal brain that is apparently too sophisticated for many of his own supporters.

  9. Darryl malta says:

    absolutely SPOT ON!

  10. Tom F says:

    I have been very lazy / too busy to reply to this blog for a while… still been reading daiy. However, I have to point out that in my opinion Berbatov is the most naturally gifted player we’ve had at this club in years. That includes the superstars such as Wayne and Ronny. This man has the best touch I have seen in football and is a great addition to our squad. Anybody calling him lazy, obviously do not understand that his mind is so far ahead in the game that he can afford to look as though he isn’t getting in to correct positions. There’s that and the fact that he can have the ball played to his feet with 5 players on him and still outsmart them and score from anywhere.

    Superb United style player.

  11. liveD says:

    Berbatov is the complete opposite of Alan Smith

  12. paddy says:

    live d-so is chubby brown.

  13. micheal says:

    The big problem I have with berbetov is he seems to be in positions that he should not be in, at times he plays so deep he is closer to carrick or even ferdinand then rooney and ronaldo, I want to see berbetov in the box more often and giving defences problems.

    My type of forward to benifit rooney is a torres drogba eto’o or saha type player in terms of the style of playing on the defenders shoulder. Who can get the ball and run at defenders which they hate, if berbetov turns out to be an outstanding goalscorer I will be happy to eat my words but I want to see berbetov’s name on the score sheet week in week out. and be in the penalty box more often not wide left or doing rooney’s job going deep and getting the ball.

  14. Ben Dover says:

    I enjoyed this article… many interesting facts!

    I like Berbatov as I like all other United players, and think he deserves his place in the team :-)

  15. miele says:

    I love Berbatov and his sexy football. He brings sheer class to the team, cant wait for virtuosos performances especially on European nights.

  16. wiuru... says:

    Reading the blog has given me an admiration of him as a person,although i was aware of History. I have also enjoyed some of his skills on the pitch, i feel the real skills of Berba and players reading each other are taking time to develop. Just hoping it proves to be what it promises.

  17. Bob Koh says:

    Berbatov will get even better next season. But I can’t wait to see his exquisite touch next Sat at Villa Park though! and the next, & the next..

  18. Hasan says:

    Some of his touches left me in absolute awe…would’ve liked to see his name on the score sheet more often…or atleast have him make more attempts at it… No complains though..fantastic player.. Waiting for the right foot volley into the roof of the net!!

  19. phillyb says:

    Am i the only one thats happy with the amount of goals berbas found so far??

  20. PossePossebon says:

    Berba is a genius. His touch on the ball is absolutely exquisite. And the goals he’s scored has been spectacular. I’m not surprised that even Chelsea’s wowed.

  21. moeb says:

    Credit to the poster from the chelsea site. You don’t see fans of our rivals having something good to say about our players, absolutely spot on. I hope we get something out of this, i know i have!

  22. suhayl says:

    Spot on n0bber, anant, bruce thomas and otred absolute bob on guys…..where are those slating berba now?????

    those same idiots that come on here slating every single utd player each and every week.

    You fuckin idiots…steve, peejay, azza89 and others…

    Fuck sake….not all players run around and graft…every player is different, have different qua;ities, different traits, different styles. And why run around ifyou have such poise balance vision and touch.

    Fuck sake did you see zidane and cryuff running around like mad men…infact did you see the king do it???

    These knobs that have a go at berbs for not tracking 80 yards etc etc and running around like a maniac SIMPLY DO NOT KNOW FUCK ALL ABOUT FOOTBALL….NEVER WATCHED OR UNDERSTOOD THE GAME AND NEVER PLAYED IT.

    Football is different and special because you have the grafters, the workers, the runners, the visionaries, the power guys, the balletic guys, the hard men, the thinking men. Scholes keane, giggs sheringham…

    Each different adding their style to make us the most varied diverse different entertaining team.

    Fucking melons who spout shit know f all about the game…and bloody piss me off coming on here and talking crap

  23. warwick says:

    I too was a little disappointed in Berb’s work ethic to begin with. Now I can really appreciate the eye he has for the game and his sublime passes – just need the rest of the team to read the flow of the game the same way so that they can connect with his passes.

  24. the HEAD says:

    Well I’m bulgarian and i can tell you that he’ll proove himself and i have no doubts about that. He is very gifted person he writes poems and draws also. He has founded a fodation about gifted children(not only footballers) in Bulgaria and is very humble man. He hasn’t sad a bad word about the spurs aldo he has the right to do it. There is no other striker with his physique and technical skills. And if he was a british or italian he would have the golden ball by now. For the moment the most tehnique player for Utd. I’m sure than in a year or two he’ll be the captain of the team.

  25. Buz says:

    Isn’t he amazing? I’m proud to be Bulgarian, because of him. Greetings to all fans of B’batov.

  26. Sam says:

    like the article. Remeber reading something similar that scott wrote a few weeks back which got slated by spurs fans. Goes to show the general feeling around football that levy had fucked up at spurs and not selling berbatov. Levy holding onto berba has cost him about £20m with sacking and replacing staff as well as disrupting berbatov’s start with a new club. He’s played well so far but him and the team should really click going into christmas

  27. sree man fan says:

    absolutely spot on

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