Berbatov Should Not Be In The Manchester United Team Ahead of Tevez!
I know he scored two goals this week but…
As a Manchester United fan, I have never been totally comfortable with the signing of Dimitar Berbatov. The Bulgarian is undoubtedly an extremely talented player with that rare gift of having both flair and a good scoring record – but over the summer I became convinced that he was not the player that United needed to maintain or better the standards set over season 2007-2008. Although it is still early days, I remain to be convinced by him especially as it seems like it means that Carlos Tevez does not get regular football.
Last season, United’s success was built on fluid attacking football. With Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez roaming across the front line in front of a solid midfield three, United were pacey, skilful, energetic and, most importantly very unpredictable to play against. To me it was clear that we were successful not despite the fact that we had no central target-man type striker but because we had no such player in the team.
I obviously understand the fact that we needed to sign a fourth striker who could come off the bench or who could rotate with the “holy trinity”, but I envisaged a player who could effectively replace Louis Saha – someone who could make a difference with aerial ability and a physical presence but not demand a starting place. Eidur Gudjohnsen or Roman Pavlyuchenko or someone similar perhaps. What I did not think United needed was someone like Berbatov who would cost a cool £32 million and negate the fluidity and dynamism of the team. I was therefore very surprised that Ferguson saw his signing as an absolute priority
Ferguson has stated in recent press conferences that he does not feel that it is possible for him to accommodate Tevez, Rooney, Ronaldo and Berbatov in the same team and of all these players Ferguson appears to be of the view that Berbatov is the first name on the team sheet. This is disappointing for me because United with Berbatov remind me of United with Ruud van Nistelrooy. Still a great attacking team, but more predictable and one dimensional because of the existence of an attacking focal point in the form of Berbatov; and less energetic and skilful because of the omission of one of our most potent players– Tevez.
Tevez had a sensational first year with us last season. He plays every game as if his life depended on it and he has pace, power and no little skill. His link up play with team mates is special and he also has the happy knack of scoring crucial goals; witness his late goals against Spurs, Lyon and Blackburn – the latter being the most important goal of the whole of United’s season in my opinion.
Berbatov is frequently anonymous when things do not go his way –his efforts during lots of games with Spurs last season, and against Chelsea and Liverpool this campaign prove this for me. That is never an accusation you can level at Tevez – who I believe is a better player and more importantly better for the team. On top of that, by all accounts, he is top guy on a personal level.
We have still not signed Tevez on a permanent deal and it is worrying that Ferguson now says he is only "quite confident" the deal would happen. It would be a mistake in my view to under utilise Tevez this season at the expense of Berbatov and I would hate to lose Tevez in the summer.
I genuinely believe that Tevez has all the attributes to become a United legend. In short, I would take Tevez over Berbatov any day!