For United fans much of the past six days has been that rarity of ruing a lack of taken chances from our forwards.
For the game against Manchester City it was Dimitar Berbatov who received the most criticism for missing one good chance and another that even Ade Akinbiyi would have been embarrassed not to score from.
Berbatov’s profligacy was excusable but some of the ridiculous amount of vitriol aimed at him by United fans wasn’t.
Yes he should have scored and yes it was frustrating, but are we really going to treat it as though he put the nail in his Old Trafford career? I for one am not about to give up on any player who scored a hat-trick against the Scousers and more recently gave a footballing masterclass at Upton Park. The Bulgarian’s mint, face it even a broken clock is right twice a day, it was City’s time for a win against us, every United player on the pitch helped to ensure that.
Following the Wembley debacle pretty much every United fan was in agreement that Chicharito should have been given more playing time and Wayne Rooney’s absence was fundamental.
Surely with Wazza and the Little Pea back in the starting line up against Newcastle, The Reds would give the Geordies the biggest spanking since PJ and Duncan lost that paintballing game.
Some United fans were even claiming that Berbatov’s omission from the squad was proof that he was now deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford, that Sir Alex Ferguson had blamed him for the Semi Final defeat and had enough.
Yes, it was Berbatov’s fault there was a comedy of errors in defence that led to Toure’s goal it was also the Bulgarian who was to blame for United’s second half capitulation and now he’d been rightly dropped and would no doubt be shown the exit door.
Forget about the fact he’s still the Premier League’s top goalscorer and without him United would probably be battling Spurs and Manchester City for fourth place, he was now destined for Seville or Bayern Munich or wherever due to his poor performance at Wembley.
We only needed Rooney and Chicharito as Newcastle were about to find out once the deadly duo destroyed them.
Obviously the predicted goal fest failed to materialise as the Newcastle defence dug in, rode their luck at times and managed to keep United at bay. All of a sudden the absence of Berbatov wasn’t looking quite so trivial.
It’s extremely rare for this United side to go more than one game without scoring, in fact I can’t recall a single time it’s happened all season, until now of course.
United usually can score goals and the fact we’ve gone two games without finding the net isn’t time to push the panic button, but then again neither was the final whistle at Wembley. Losing against City hurt, but it doesn’t mean we should abandon Berbatov, in fact I’d argue the exact opposite and pose the question as to whether he couldn’t fit into the side once more, not at the expense of Chicharito but by playing alongside him with Rooney in a deeper role.
I know against Chelsea Rooney was very deep and Chicharito was practically a lone striker without any need for a partner, but with the final few games being so vital, is an ‘all guns blazing’ approach not a good idea?
Many United fans have lamented our strength in the central midfield area and I’ve long been an advocate of trying Rooney there. If we had say Michael Carrick- or maybe Darren Fletcher when he’s fit in front of the back four with Rooney ahead of them, two wide men and Berbatov and Chicharito upfront could that not be too much for any team to cope with?
Some may argue it’s far too cavalier, that Berbatov’s suddenly a liability, that we need two ‘proper’ midfielders in the centre of the park. Well correct me if I’m wrong but has everyone not argued practically all season and recently even more so that the central midfield doesn’t look good enough no matter who’s playing there.
In 1999 you had Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole up front but Paul Scholes often used to drive forward from midfield in a way that made him at times seem like a support striker or ‘false 10’ if you will. Obviously sometimes Scholes would revert back to a standard central midfield alongside Roy Keane but you get my point.
With over 50 goals between them the prospect of a Rooney, Berbatov, Chicharito strike force, is mouth watering the question is would it be too risky or a gamble that could prove a roaring success?
Have I gone off the deep end yet again with more unrealistic nonsense or is there a small oasis of truth in the desert of my dribble? Feel free to comment below:
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It would be interesting to see. With rooney supplying and berba holding the ball long enough for chicha to get into a scoring position. That would be an obvious solution but wouldnt it be to obvious to our opponents. United fans have been so unforgiving lately. Berba might nt be as dependable and independant as rooney, but hes a talented player to have in a team, i think the no of goals he scored this year proves it.
i swear to god i did think the same as the above description suggests…berbatov is very good,rather lets put it decent enough to hold up play and links up well.chica is as quick as a road-runner..rooney can bind the defence and offence..and can do one helluva job behind chica and berba..i may not be the mastermind tactician like SAF or mourninho but i did come to my mind to play our 3 of our hitmen together!
I think if the game is important it will not happen, as if things aren’t working out, who do you bring on to stir it up??? but possibly one for the future. I do believe if we had the quality in the center of midfield it would not be a worry. but we don’t at present.
Yeah! Berba should be in the center cause the other two are more faster.
Chicharito Berba Rooney
Nani Giggs Valencia
Evra Vidic Rio Rafael/Fabio/Oshea
Great analysis. As a Berba fan i’m never too pleased to see how he’s treated sometimes. It’s like ppl are waiting to see him fall just to drop the ax on his career. Fergie should at least try ur suggestion…it might prove to be a masterstroke.
I just want to point out one tactical observation. Berba’s job, when playing as the lone striker, is to hold the ball up, and play the pass to the supporting mids as the arrive. Similar to the system that Chelsea use with Drogba. So, unless you want to see Berba take on 4 defenders alone every time he receives the ball, stop complaining that he is holding up the attack.
Wasn’t this already done not to long ago against West Ham when Man U were down by 2? Then Evra was replaced by Hernandez in the second half, dropping Giggs to left back. And later JS Park subbed out by Berba… Remember the game that Rooney scored a hat trick before swearing into the camera. They did your suggestion, though only for a small amount of time but it was very effective.
About the chelsea cracker, let Javier start from the bench Pair Rooney and Dimitar upfront, midfield should be Carrick Anderson Nani and Antonio, Defence Evra Nemanja Rio and Fabio. We are the champions of heaven.