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Fergie: Role Model Berba Is Staying

Whilst his agent hinted that he would be open to a move to Anzhi Makhachkala this week, Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed that Dimitar Berbatov is going nowhere.

“Dimitar is still in my thoughts,” said Ferguson. “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. You need a good number of strikers in the modern day. If you look back to 1999, we had four great strikers. They all played their part. That is exactly what will happen today.”

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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  1. Nasko 1 says:

    hmm rely?

  2. YS says:

    Hahaha…………..take that all you Berba haters…..

  3. LoneStarRed says:

    SAF has certainly seen Berba suffer in trying to get on the field. Has has also certainly noticed his attitude which I think is the clincher to keep him. As has been said before, players play themselves into and out of the starting XI. The fact that he wants to stick around says volumes about his intestinal fortitude and his awareness that once you leave MUFC there is nowhere to go but down. Berba knows that being on the bench for MUFC is way better than most can ever hope to achieve.

  4. LoneStarRed says:

    And to add, I really do like Dimitar. He has a great personality and temperament.

  5. RedDevi1z says:

    Great news for United from the man with 25 trophies in 25 years. “Not a single reason to let him go.” Berbz is a model athlete who oozes a class and style I haven’t seen in a United shirt since Cantona. Even if he doesn’t start every week SAF recognizes the value Berba’s quality as a person and a player has on the youngsters. Can only hope this can rub off on Ravel…

  6. JC says:

    Let’s be honest here, even if Sir Alex’s is thinking Berba is surplus right now he would have to come out and say that currently there are no plans to sell him and point out all of his good factors of being a top professional in order to generate a market and get the best price for him. Of course we’re activating his additional year, we have to whether we sell him on or keep him around. IMO this proves nothing, notice how he says “…there is absolutely no reason for me to let him go”, this is not an iron clad statement of Berba’s untouchability. It merely attempts to turn the speculation rumour mill down a few notches. Of course there’s no reason to sell him now, well, at least not until a firm signed offer is on the table for 15mill…

    Notice I didn’t slate DaBerb nor call SAF a liar in the above statements, just interpreting them in a less optimistic light…

  7. SS says:

    What? Are you a mind reader JC? Can we not just take the Great man at his word without speculation?

  8. Warwick says:

    Love Berba.
    Off topic: Wayne Rooney is on the 10-strong shortlist for Fifa’s 2011 goal of the year award.
    Rooney’s nomination was for his overhead kick against Manchester City in February’s 2-1 win. Let’s rub it in!

  9. King Eric says:


    Oh dear. This will upset some from the previous Berba thread who had already said their goodbyes. Unlucky. Anyway time to give him a fucking game then.

  10. King Eric says:

    Not being pedantic Scott but where does Fergie call him a “Role Model”. ? Or are they YOUR words mate with him being a great pro? Just wondered.

  11. aimanunited says:

    Fergie didn’t finish his sentence, it could be he’s staying until january or until end of the season or until we can find another striker but i don’t see Berba fit in Fergie’s long term plan anymore…

  12. brett1985 says:

    RedDevi1z says:

    Great news for United from the man with 25 trophies in 25 years. “Not a single reason to let him go.” Berbz is a model athlete who oozes a class and style I haven’t seen in a United shirt since Cantona. Even if he doesn’t start every week SAF recognizes the value Berba’s quality as a person and a player has on the youngsters. Can only hope this can rub off on Ravel…

    Whilst I could dispute a multitude of your points, he visibly berates the young players for misplacing passes on the pitch.

    In the end this puts the last Berbatov article where his agent is complaining into perspective.

    Interestingly in that article the author states that Berabtov is fourth choice and if thats true then there is no excuse for someone giving up 1/3 of the way through a season. It is common knowledge at quartet of strikers is needed. This made his agents comments appauling.

    Get with it in training, make an effort for once and maybe then he’ll get a few substitute appearances.

    Oh and its an insult to compare him to cantona. Absolutely disgusting.

  13. brett1985 says:

    King Eric says:

    Not really. It goes hand in hand with the point in the other thread.

    I’d be glad to get rid of someone who is talking about moves in Jan while still being part of the plans. One thing to want away at the end of a season, another to leave us high and dry in the middle of it.

    Alternatively, if he makes an effort in training and keeps focused then we need 4 strikers.

  14. Mcalex says:

    Oh yes

  15. ivanscholes says:

    keeping him is a good idea, considering how injury prone owen is. Welbeck gets injuries quite often too. Berbs is the only striker whose been fit throughout the past few years.

  16. covyder@Malaysia says:

    why is this news about Anzhi wanted Berbatov appears again is beyond me… many times need SAF repeat himself????….stupid papers (must be from Daily Mirror)….having problem selling your newspaper aye!!!

  17. CedarsDevil says:

    Brilliant bit of news…Could not have heard it from a better source

    I bet some will just skip right through this thread! hahahaha

  18. CedarsDevil says:

    I wonder if Sir Alex had said we should let him go then how many posts we would have gotten on this thread!

  19. CedarsDevil says:

    So its settled then, Berba stays for at least another year….. Down your throats you haters and doubters!

  20. fergie is the boss says:

    brett1985 – its not disgusting, it is just a bit imbarassing anyone even puts berbatov in the same league has the king, no matter if the player as good technical skills

  21. fergie is the boss says:

    damn getting my has and as’s wrong again LOL

  22. CedarsDevil says:


    Welcome to club buddy, Costas and I are the kings of typos here! lol

  23. rohan19 says:

    he’ll get his starts in the next 15 days.. ridiculous schedule really

  24. King Eric says:

    brett – Why are you talking about Berba getting his head down at training? Have you not read the piece? Clearly says he is training very well. What makes you think he isnt performing at training?

  25. King Eric says:

    Furhermore when has Berbatov stated he wants a move? He hasn’t Brett but don’t let facts get in the way eh pal?

  26. King Eric says:

    Yeah why is it “disgusting” Brett? I wouldnt go that far. Cantona was a huge favourite of mine hence my moniker and was in a different league to Berba in terms of leadership and producing in big games BUT Berbatov to watch live is superb. His technical ability is one of the best at the club. Disgusting is a bit over the top mate.

  27. xol says:

    Afternoon all. Wasn’t it Berbatov’s agent talking about January and the player being in the team one minute, then sat on the bench then next? The Mirror, maybe. Pinch of salt.

  28. robbo says:


    The only “disgusting” thing is your posts!

    You must be on the wrong forum again, go back to wherever it is you come from. You are certainly not a United supporter, otherwise you would ‘support’ every player that wears THE Badge

  29. GoatinaUnitedShirt says:

    Told ya you nooobs.
    Berbatov not working out at United my arse. Should be the first man on the team sheet and then and only then decide depending on the opposition if Rooney needs to play.
    Barcelona with their ball control and sweet passing and you gutless hairless wonders want to get rid of by far the best passer of the ball at this club.
    Well done Fergie, extend the contract for another 2 years afterwards. Berba can play his style of football into his late 30′s.

  30. GoatinaUnitedShirt says:

    I can understand the comparison of Berbatov to Cantona but I would lose any credability I have left by saying he is as good. I would say Berbatov is a poor mans Cantona as Xavi is a poor mans Scholes.

  31. Costas says:

    Funny how no one complained when Rooney was yelling at his team mates in one of our recent games. Galati at home I believe. Berbatov is held to a different standard due to his price tag, but no need for that to happen over the most ridiculous of reasons. They are football players, not choir boys.

    As for the Berba/Cantona comparison, I get the logic behind it, but the game has changed and there’s no way to know how they measure up. Who says Cantona in his prime would adapt to today’s English game like he did 20 years ago?

  32. MyCowIsTheBest says:

    Only class recognizes class.

  33. peposhi says:


    Very well said! Pele would never be as successful as he’s been if he’s to play nowadays…

    I remember Cantona and his magical presence. Even though Berba has not reached his legendary status and may never reach it, I get the same feeling every time I see Berba on the pitch or waiting by the touch line…

  34. NBI Red Onion says:

    Remember “I will not sell a virus to that lot” – then we sold Ronaldo. This is inconclusive also I doubt the Club would stop him leaving if he wanted to go.

    SAF has money for a world class MF or world class striker. I think he will buy in MF. If Berba is happy to be 4 /5 choice striker – good luck to him!

  35. NBI Red Onion says:

    Agree with @ Brett – there is NO comparison between Cantona and Berba, different leagues entirely in what they delivered, mentally, how they performed (whinging versus inspiring) and what they meant to the Club and the team.

    I agree with King Eric to some extent that Berba is nice to watch live but definately not always, I have been frustrated with him in more games than I have applauded him.

    Also, his agent did say that and it comes from the player who he represents if it was say Nani or Vida anyone else’s agent talking like that to pressure the Club / get a move everyone would be slating them. Poor show. This should be discussed privately with the Club.

  36. NBI Red Onion says:

    @ Costas – that is because Rooney is our star player and he delivers over a season, he looks like he cares, gives his all on the pitch and lots of united players from Keano to Neville slated players on the pitch.

    With Berba when he flaps around and shows his frustration it irritates as often he seems to be the one at fault and people see him as lacking effort (whether true or not). Also they do not rate him the same way as he is not as good as player and not key to the team.

  37. NBI Red Onion says:

    And @ Costas – remember the furore Rooney got when he considered a move away, Berba gets a pass on that it seems.

  38. Costas says:


    Don’t know how Rooney and Berbatov’s situations can ever be compared. Berbatov hasn’t slated his team mates or made his manager look like a liar once in his career at OT. Rooney did both last year. Berbatov’s agent said that he didn’t know whether Berbatov is happy with his current predicament. And he was expressing his opinion. In good faith I could see some similarities between the 2 players’ agents (since I consider most of them parasites anyway), but Berbatov never refused a contract with us because he was eyeing a move to City. We can blame a lot on the Bulgarian, but not the way in which he’s reacted ever since he was marginalized 10 months ago. We’ve seen players act like prats about it in the past and I’d really love to see how Tevez (or Rooney for that matter) would have reacted had they been dropped from the Ch.League squad after finishing the season as top scorers.

    As for the Rooney arm waving (which happened again today by the way), a) Like I said, I hate people getting held to differend standards just because they offer more over the course of a season and b) Berbatov isn’t usually wrong when he does it either. If he complains about a misplaced pass, that’s usually what’s happened. He does it more often than other players (i.e. Roon didn’t complain about Chicha’s bad pass across the goal today whereas Berbatov probably would have) and I guess you could accuse him of that. But I don’t have a problem with players expecting more from those around them. As long as they acknowledge the times when they are wrong. Which he does imo. Either way, that’s a non factor for me. If it was a big deal, Ferguson would have ordered him to stop it a long time ago.

  39. Maria says:

    I have mixed feelings about this.

    Part of me is thrilled that he’s staying. His attitude over the last six months (which has been pretty difficult time for him) has been nothing but respectful and honoring towards the club, and he deserves to be treated well in return. And of course I want him to stay at the club I love.

    But the other part of me thinks he deserves better than to be our 4th choice striker. It’s a waste of talent for him to be sitting on the bench, and for the sake of football lovers everywhere he should be playing every week and producing those breathtaking moments of football beauty!

    I think we WILL need him come the time we’re competing in the Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, etc., but I don’t think it does his confidence any good to be sat on the bench week in, week out… ah well, we’ll see. We love you Dimitar and want the best for you :)

  40. StatesideAussie says:

    JC … while I appreciate you not slagging Berba, I still find your comment bizarre. With that sort of logic, you can prove whatever you want. When Fergie stayed silent, this blog was full of Berba-sceptics saying that Fergie “obviousy doesn’t trust” Berba, or doesn’t rate him, and will almost certainly get rid of him him at the first opportunity. But if he does say something, and it’s something positive, then he’s only playing the angles, talking up the price (or being respectful to Berba in public, anyway). And of course, it would be wrong to wash his laundry in public, so therefore he couldn’t come out and say that Berba is done and is about to be unloaded, even if that was true. Therefore, that must be the truth. Wow.

  41. King Eric says:

    Costas – Top post mate and spot on.


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