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The Next Cantona?! No Chance, Dimitar Berbatov Has Been A United Flop

The rumour mill has started as we approach January and the latest player being linked with a move away from Manchester United is Bulgarian Dimitar Berbatov who has attracted interest from clubs in France and Turkey.

The rumour mill has started as we approach January and the latest player being linked with a move away from Manchester United is Bulgarian Dimitar Berbatov who has attracted interest from clubs in France and Turkey.

The sulky Bulgarian moved to Manchester United on the 1st of September 2008, a transfer that cost the reds £30.75 million. At the time he joined United already had Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez in the strikers department and many wondered why we actually needed a player of Berbatov’s stature at the club. Ex players and pundits even made comparisons between the Bulgarian and United legend Eric Cantona.

Berbatov should have taken United to a new level like Juan Sebastian Veron should have. Both players were signed for massive amounts of money and in my opinion have failed at a club they should have excelled at on the big stage.

I think supporters were a bit harsh in judging Berbatov against the performances of Rooney and Tevez who have completely different styles of play. Rooney and Tevez are similar, they can play upfront on their own and have a tenacious work ethic chasing down defenders and lost causes for ninety minutes. Berbatov is the complete opposite and I think it was unfair that in his first season in 2008 supporters were expecting Berbatov to change his style of play to be more like Rooney and Tevez.

The reality is that Berbatov has always come across as a sulky figure on the pitch who can produce moments of breathtaking skill in a split second if he feels like he can be bothered, and it is a bit unfair as Berbatov has always played the same way and supporters would have known this from his days at Tottenham before his move to Old Trafford.

Berbatov has been a bit like the luxury food item on your weekly shopping list. You are not sure if you actually need the item, but you buy it anyway. You are happy you made the purchase but looking back you think “Did I actually need that, Could you have survived without it?” It basically flatters to deceive.

In Berbatov’s defence he had his most productive season last year when United claimed a record 20th league title ending up as both his club’s and the league’s most prolific scorer. The jury would probably are that the goals he scored we’re against the so called “bottom half” teams and that he never posed much of a threat in the big games against better opposition. Berbatov will be best remembered for his stunning hat trick against Liverpool last season in the premier league fixture at Old Trafford, you could also argue that it was against a team who did not finish in the top and have lost their way.

If you could bottle up Berbatov you would definitely stick a marmite sticker on the front of it because supporters either love him or hate him. Berbatov can be simply breathtaking, unstoppable and play football from a different planet on his rare day, but can be equally as frustrating and disappointing, his body language also gives off the wrong impression and he has never really had a connection with the supporters who have been reluctant to sing his name.

We will not know know until January where Berbatov’s future actually lies but I suspect that it will not be at the theatre of dreams. It leaves me asking the question, if the curtain does come down on his disappointing and lacklustre career with United: Will we remember him as Berbatov or Berbatov ?

On the evidence that I have witnessed and taking into consideration the money United paid Tottenham for his services I would have to say that I have found Mr Berbatov guilty of being a flop and not displaying his natural talents on a consistent basis. Supporters will all obviously remember him for his beautiful elegant hat trick against Liverpool, but we should have had so many more great memories of his time at United especially when people claimed that he could be as important a player as Cantona was.



  1. Ronald Marstall

    November 10, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Why even bother trying to be impartial when your labels Berbatov as a “FLOP”. This is way more harsh on Berbatov than the supporter’s criticizing him for his play style. The fact of the matter is each season he played he contributed important goals, assists and general performances. Cantona’s record is 64 goals in 144 matches while Berbatov’s is 41 goals in 101 matches. I am willing to concede that stats do not tell the whole story but to say that Berbatov is on the same flop level of Veron and no where near Cantona level is just cruel and very biased. Atleast don’t try to add in thinly veiled impartiality in your article because it does the reverse for your credibility. Berbatov is gonna be gone in January, atleast I hope he’ll be gone so that I wouldn’t have to endure all this craziness from fanboys and haters. He’s still got plenty more contributions for any team in the top level IMO.

  2. Deb Suth

    November 10, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    What a load of absolute TOSH.
    Just another hater. Journalism? NO.

  3. Julias C

    November 10, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    I cannot be impartial. I am British born in Bulgaria. However, if you would go as far as labelling Berbatov a flop, I really don’t think you understand him as a player..
    At Tottenham he was always the desired outlet, everyone sought him so he delivered.
    At United, as he is more of a modest player, when he was rubbing shoulders with the likes of Rooney he accepted that he may not be top dog and fulfilled his part as a team player.

    He has been a good player for Man Utd. Just because his price was some £8 mill overpriced and people expected him to be some sort of 30 goal a season monster, doesn’t make him a flop.

  4. ogi

    November 10, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    he made so many assists but you don’t mention that. He scored /contributed to more than 60 goals which is insane. whenever he started united RARELY lost.
    you also don’t realize that cantona played in a time where english football was a joke compared to today’s football. stop trying to compare players from different times you idiotic person.

  5. RedDevilette

    November 11, 2011 at 12:54 am

    The same ‘flop’ you mentioned, almost single-handedly helped us win the historical 19th (not 20th) title with all the goals he scored last year, Mister, or did you forget? He’s far from being a flop. Get a life.

  6. David

    November 11, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    This article shows the lack of footballing knowledge of whoever who wrote this article.

    Berbatov a flop? No he is not a flop but he is not a success either. There are reasons for him not being a success and the majority of the blame lies with the coaching staff.
    Why buy Berbatov if they do not know how to use him to the best?

    Time and again you would see him in acres of space and the ball would not be passed to him. It is the British mentality that you have to run 90MPH to be a good player. If United had given the ball the ball to Berbatov whenever he wants it, we would not be talking about him. He is the player with the best first touch in the EPL and has the vision and ability to do things others can only look and admire.

    The author says he sulks. I am surprised that that is the only thing he does and not go and kick some of his team mates up their back sides when they refuse to pass to him and then lose the ball while they dilly dally and try to decide what they are going to do with the ball. I hope that he goes in January to a club that enjoys the technical kind of football that he plays.

    I would also like to add that the departure of Carlos Quiroz did play a significant role in the downfall of Berbatov as the quality of technical football that United used to play has gone down considerably now.

    • Ronald Marstall

      November 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm

      David you are spot on in your post. It’s really a bit of a dice roll when you look at the teams build up play and pass selection. It’s mix of either rushing the pass or taking too long. For me Park, Valencia, Anderson, Young and Nani have all consistently been guilty of doing this and it’s absolutely infuriating. I wish people would open their eyes and objectively look at the team. I strongly believe that if Berbatov had been born in England he would probably be a legend by now given the same stats. Just my opinion..

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  8. mp

    November 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    Berbatov a flop!!! Hahaha.
    Check the number of United’s PL Cups before writing the article. They are 19 but not “the record 20” -football ignorance most likely.

    Spot on David.

  9. LOL

    November 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    …. He had the most goals for United last year.

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