Boss’ Benching Of Berbatov Is Baffling
A lot of Manchester United supporters have been complaining about Javier Hernandez usually being the odd man out, but he is not the only player that does not feature for the Reds in a big game. Against Manchester City, Sir Alex Ferguson decided to clone Roberto Mancini’s defensive tactics with by choosing a 4-5-1 formation, which ultimately meant that there was no place for Dimitar Berbatov in United’s starting line-up.
This is the second straight time that Ferguson has opted to leave the Barclays Premier League’s leading goal scorer out of a big match at Old Trafford, but to his credit, Berbatov did well not to let his disappointment show during his productive 23-minute cameo against City. The United manager stated that it was down to how many man City put in the midfield, but when does Ferguson adjust to the way the other team is playing at Old Trafford?
The answer would be rarely – maybe against Barcelona – but certainly not against City, which was why Berbatov not starting was a head scratcher. To confound the popular opinion that he sulks when he does not get his way, Berbatov showed that he has mindset to buckle down and contribute to the United cause when called upon.
Anderson, who was very inconsistent throughout, replaced Berbatov in the starting XI, but to be completely honest, the midfielder’s best moment came when he was seen celebrating Rooney’s winner from the United dugout. When Berbatov finally came on for Anderson, he brought the balance to that the United attack was in desperate need of, and provided some great passes and touches which invited his teammates forward.
The Bulgarian already has scored three hat-tricks and has improved his goal scoring total by seven goals in 11 less games from last season, but he is still getting overlooked by the manager, however, he has yet to pull a Carlos Tevez and speak out against Sir Alex’s decision. Yes, Berbatov did not play all that well against Wolverhampton last weekend, but neither did any of the other 10 starters for that matter, so it was cruel for him to only make bench for this match.
Ferguson has stated a couple of times that Rooney and Berbatov are a very good partnership, and when you couple that with the fact that he said that there would not be any tactical shocks, makes his decision all the more confusing. If that was the case, then why not play them together by having Rooney dropping off deeper to help out the midfield, and allow Berbatov play more up the pitch, which would have caused more problems for Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott.
Instead, Ryan Giggs and Nani were both pumping crosses into areas where Berbatov would have been, which allowed the center-backs to defend Rooney two-v-one, and forced the passing from the wings to be more precise. Rooney’s classy goal will ultimately justify, and divert, the attention of Sir Alex’s skeptical formation, but it was the Bulgarian’s presence that opened up that space in the box.
However, if that strike did not end up in the top corner of Joe Hart’s net, the United boss would have had to answer a lot of angry questions thrown his tactics, which is probably why he has increased his love for Rooney’s goal by stating, “in terms of execution you will never see that.”
The Gaffer said that he has been left in a “quandary” about how both of first-choice striker’s inability to replicate their dominating performances away from Old Trafford, which should be their area of focus now.
The two have only combined for five of the 18 league goals that the Reds have scored on the road, which is just one more than Chicharito has himself. At Old Trafford United have scored 39 goals, which is just four less than City’s total from all their matches, but they have scored 21 fewer goals away from home.
With four games of their next five games away from Old Trafford, which includes matches against Chelsea and Liverpool, the Reds will need to improve on their woeful away form, or they will lose the advantage they have done ever so well to create for themselves. No one should ever question Sir Alex Ferguson’s decisions, but a better explanation should be given to explain why Manchester United’s leading goal scorer, Dimitar Berbatov, continues to get overlooked when he has dramatically improved his game in terms of goal scored.
Submitted by The United Religion
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