Despite a spirited comeback, Berbatov unjustifiably finds himself in the firing line

Aston Villa 2-2 Manchester Utd: Match Observations

Federico Macheda

They often say Manchester United are the kings of comebacks, and they’re right, although this one had the air of something anticlimactic. It was undeserved first of all, as Aston Villa had torn United apart on the break and, in fairness, 2-0 was a fair result. But with a quarter of an hour to go, it felt like United were going to claw it back anyway and so when Kiko Macheda and Nemanja Vidic found the net, it was the least, as United fans, that we expected. That said, much credit should go to United for showing resolve and much character but the huge concern for United is that they must show this sort of verve in the first minute as opposed to the 81st minute.

Last time Villa beat United, a certain pundit said “you’ll never win anything with kids.” That rang true in this scenario, as the home side’s youthful team had the game snatched away from them in the brink. But say it again, Villa were excellent and deserved all three points. Mark Albrighton and Stuart Downing had the games of their life, the latter absolutely destroying Wes Brown down that left hand side while Albrighton’s dribbling and positioning was fantastic throughout, not only did he get the upper hand over Patrice Evra, but he scored the second with consummate ease after, not surprisingly, a weighted pass by Downing in the box.

Brown, as you might have guessed, had a shocker. He also conceded the penalty to add to his woes which Ashley Young duly dispatched. But, as football is a team sport, you can always criticise an individual but never, ever can you make them scapegoat. The same goes for Dimitar Berbatov and Javier Hernandez, both of whom were below-par. The former was then the ‘victim’ of some OTT criticism on Twitter, some indeed making him out as a scapegoat.

Simply put, Dimitar Berbatov did not receive any service. It’s very easy to make him scapegoat, but in truth, this was a lacklustre team performance in which the finger could not be pointed at any one individual. Yes, he was guilty of missing that one chance where he had the goal at his mercy, but you couldn’t make judgements on that opportunity alone. What forwards need in football is service and Berbatov got as much as a Ryanair customer.

Moving on, the travelling fans witnessed a bizarre, yet somewhat clever, substitution. Chris Smalling was brought on and played as a forward and, although, it had little impact on the game, the thinking behind it was to bring an extra dimension to that front line and add a bit of height. Smalling, funnily enough, received an England call-up the same day, best of luck to him. United must improve though, and try to maintain a bit of consistency. Once again, they got lucky. You feel, on another day, things wouldn’t be as straightforward.


13 responses to “Despite a spirited comeback, Berbatov unjustifiably finds himself in the firing line”

  1. Stu says :

    I’m sorry but my view on Berbatov’s performance is over the time he has been at united, not one game. He is not up to the pace of the game these days, and although a very skillfull player will not cut it at Man Utd. Should be sold in summer, but until then only used at sub… Macheda & Hernandez up front – Rooney on bench!

    • Mark says :

      Sorry mate but your deluded if you think we can finish up in the top 2/3/4 with Macheda and Hernandez, then you’ll be moaning at that. We do need Rooney, Berbatov hasn’t been good enough since he came, plain and simple. But one thing is for sure he won’t be sold because no one will have him.

  2. aaramz says :

    Am afraid Berbatov woud always be made a scapegoat cos of that 30m price tag. When he signed for United, the expectation is that he would make a difference, and if your 30mil player coud’nt make that difference what do you expect? Turn a blind eye?? In truth the whole team were terrible yesterday, below par. We’re lucky we came out with a point. United all the way.

  3. MUFC says :

    I’v never liked Berbatov never will

  4. G2 says :

    I appreciate your patient and tolerable way of seeing things and I normally do the same, but I disagree with you about Berbatov. I was lucky enough to be in England and at OT when he killed Liverpool and that will never be forgotten, but I had it with him. If we are to maintain our title winning ambitions, we just can’t afford playing a striker who decides to show up for one or two month a season. In the beginning of this season he was fantastic, more than that. 6 goals in 5 – and that’s it pretty much, he went back to his standard previous two seasons.
    You say that he can’t be judged on that single miss and that he’s had bad service. To me, if he couldn’t put that single ball AT LEAST on target (getting past Friedel is a different story), playing him is just a waste of time and money. (Look at Macheda’s first strike in the game…). It is Berba himself who often says that a striker is more than his goalscoring record. Well he didn’t do yesterday too much else.. besides the annoying body language and the hand gestures towards his teammates.
    As long as I remember, we always had an attacking player you could rely on and know what you’re gonna get from him every match, except for one out of ten. You just don’t know what you’ll get from the man on a given day.

    Berbatov isn’t a scapegoat and is rightfully criticised. The days of patient wait are over for me. Macheda should get more playing time.

  5. isnoor says :

    we should end up blaming nobody and win nothing. If berba didn’t get service then let him create it lyk rooney,chicharito do. The gaffer ur berbatov will do nothing for united and keep on depending him for the rest of his career. 3years we see nothing from him may b the 7th season he will make the diffrence.

  6. The Gaffer says :

    Cheers for the comment MUFC…

    Okay chaps. Now imagine this: If Berbatov was signed for £8m, I’m guessing people would be all over him saying how great a signing he was. Correct? Okay.

    You can then dismiss my point by saying he hasn’t fulfilled his £30m price tag. And I think we’ve found our problem as to why people criticise the Bulgarian. In my opinion, I still rate him as high as some of the game’s top forwards and here’s why: His positioning is fantastic, he can score goals, he can create goals and actually he covers vast distances yet pundits write him off as ‘lazy’.

    People also point out that Berbatov is expressionless, thus meaning ‘he doesn’t care’. Anelka over at Chelsea is the same, often described as ‘miserable’ because he unable to ‘smile’, but it’s another story. He does care, as does Berbatov. Body language can only go so far to telling a story, but should never be used as reasoning. Does he not track back? Not often, no, but then again many forwards are the same. Some also say it doesn’t matter what you do off the ball, but it what you do off it that changes everything. Some of the great forwards score many goals as they have fantastic positioning, because they are excellent off the ball, and that what decides how and what you do on the ball.

    Worth £30m? Who is really? And football is a team game. Scapegoats are a no-no. Criticise him all you like but if you’re a United fan, you wouldn’t make him scapegoat.

  7. koketso says :

    gaffer it wasn’t too long ago tht im sure u were saying the team is good enuff? Any changes?

    • The Gaffer says :

      I think on our day we can beat anyone, which is translated as ‘with everyone fit, we play our best’. United will definitely prosper with the return of both Rooney and Giggs. We miss Valencia, too.

      United play well one week and the next we see a lacklustre performance. I’m sitting on the fence right about now. Come back to me Koketso with that comment a few weeks later and see if I think differently!

  8. kingsley Ekechukwu says :

    well if we had known we wouldn’t hav wasted such huge ammount of money on such a lazy player.D key to man u’s form is wayne Rooney.i knw he has messed up big time,but he’s only human and is bound to make mistakes,pls u pple shud understand me am not trying to protect rooney here am only been realistic.BERBATOV WIL PLAY WELL IN AC MILAN AND NOT MAN U.HE SHUD BE SOLD OR USED AS A THIRD u needs some1 that can feed hernandez.thnxs

  9. The Gaffer says :

    Just to be clear again: There is nothing wrong with pointing out the flaws of Dimitar Berbatov. However, the main aim of the article was to urge those not to make him out as scapegoat. having said that, I’m fully Team Berba!

  10. Zee Germans says :

    I’m not a Berbatov fan and I dislike his attitude on the pitch with other players when he doesn’t receive the ball. But he can’t be in any way a scapegoat. I’m concern about our performance in the last games. I feel like we have some kind of lucky in our victories/ties. Anyway, I gess we should worry about our Scholes dependency and our lack of players in the left. Park is a good player but he cannot fulfill the left wing because of his irregularity (just like Berba…). I love Ryan Giggs, but he cannot play every game, and the younger players as Obertan or even Bebe are too youngs to do it…
    If we want to win the premier league we need to buy 1 or 2 key players. If not, I’m afraid we will must be content to be in the top four.
    Hey Gaffer, I’m soory, but this time I have to say: I’m fully Team Vidic! 🙂

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