Yet I’d argue that the most naturally gifted man, the one that can do things with a football no other United player could is the one player that often finds himself dropped in favour of more ‘reliable’ stars.
Dimitar Berbatov is one player who can leave you breathless one minute and furious the next. The Bulgarian haa the ability to win a game almost single-handedly, yet also play his part in a poor result with wateful possesion or squandered chances.
Yet this maverick, a player that often performs the sort of skills mere mortals can’t even attempt o na FIFA 12, is usually the first to find himself jettisoned from the side following a poor result.
The two all draw to Benfica will no doubt be apportioned, however slightly, to Berbatov for missing a golden chance to put the game beyond doubt, a fact that may see Sir Alex decide to give him a ‘rest’ for the visit of Newcastle.
Berbatov is highly unlikely to start against Alan Pardew’s men as he seems to be persona non grata when it comes to Premier Leagues games this season he’s featured in just five, four of them as a substitute while managing just over an hour in the other one.
Berbatov’s record of no goals or assists is hardly surprising given the amount of time he’s been on the pitch.
The worst thing any striker can contend with, other than the loss of a limb, or gential herpes, is not being given a decent run, especially when he’s a player, as Berbatov is, that can take one or two games to get going.
Last season, Berbatov stepped up to the plate and delivered when United really needed him. There’s no doubt in my mind that were it not for the former Spurs man, the Reds would now be on equal titles with the rat munchers from down the M62.
Yet despite a goal laden season, where he finished top scorer, there are still those that criticise the striker for his inconsistency and somewhat ‘languid’ style. Even on Tuesday when he returned to the side with a goal, people were quick to point out the fact he hadn’t scored in the Champions League since the bin dippers were still in it, or that he missed other decent chances.
Last season, I wrote an article claiming that as the Bulgarian had gone ten games wothout a gola following his hat-trick against the giro chasers, it was time for him to step up. Que a record equalling five goals in the next game against Blackburn. A game where Wayne Rooney and Anderson actually received most of the plaudits!
Berbatov may not be everyone’s cup of tea and the rumours he’s on his way out of United soon, still persist, but I for one think he deserves the chance to starts against Newcastle, and the game after that.
When Eric Cantona or Cristiano Ronaldo had a bad game, they were still picked for the next one, when Berbatov has an average game, he’s lucky if he sees the pitch for the rest of the month!
Whether or not Rooney’s fit or he’s deployed in a midfield role, I’d like to see Berbatov given at least a half decent run in the forthcoming fixtures, which are all very winnable, to show that last season wasn’t a flash in the pan from a player capable of flashes of genius.