Brilliant Berbatov finally arrives for United

September 19, 2010

SOCCER-ENGLAND/Dimitar Berbatov chose the perfect moment to finally endear himself to the Old Trafford crowd on Sunday with a superb hat-trick that earned Manchester United a much-needed 3-2 victory over fierce rivals Liverpool.

The mercurial Bulgarian, whose Premier League career has been peppered with sporadic moments of brilliance at both United and former club Tottenham Hotspur, began the new season under pressure to find consistency and, most importantly, the back of the net.

Seven goals in six games suggest the United number nine is intent on ticking both boxes this time around.

Ever since swapping Spurs for United back in September 2008 for a reported 23.4 million pounds, Berbatov has split opinion among British media and Premier League fans.

A total of 26 goals in his first two seasons with United would normally be seen as a steady start but too often Berbatov attracted criticism for a poor contribution in matches where he was not finding the net.

Questions were asked about the 29-year-old’s languid playing style, which can be interpreted as genius when he is at his best but quickly morphs into disinterest and laziness when he fails to make any impact. His ability to create a useful partnership with United and England talisman Wayne Rooney has also been under scrutiny.

This season though has begun very differently. Berbatov, fresher after deciding to retire from international soccer and sporting a new trim and tidy haircut, seems intent on being the all-round striker Alex Ferguson’s side need if they are to successfully topple champions Chelsea.

He has also provided the all-important goals lacking from an out-of-sorts Rooney distracted by problems in his personal life.

“There was a lot of criticism of him (Berbatov) last season from the media – it happens when we buy someone for a lot of money, that’s the way of the world,” Ferguson told reporters after Sunday’s win at Old Trafford.

“But this season he has started off in the right fashion. He was good in pre-season and on tour and has carried it on. There has never been any doubt about the quality of the man.”

His second on Sunday – a brilliantly crafted overhead kick worthy of an Eric Cantona flick-up of the collar – shows just what is on offer from the Bulgarian, equally clever in his link-up play with fellow team mates.

United fans will be hoping they can savour many more ‘Berba’ moments as the season unfolds.

PHOTO: Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov (R) scores past Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina during their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford, September 19, 2010. REUTERS/Phil Noble.


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I still think United are a striker short so the Berb will have to repeat these performances consisently if they are to win anything

Posted by mark-meadows | Report as abusive

I don’t understand this article – they are simply news and offer no incite or points for discussion at all – isn’t Reuters supposed to be a leading media outlet?

Where is all the discussion and analysis taking place?

Posted by worldfootball | Report as abusive

if michael owen can keep fit and get more time on the pitch we have that striker.and with hernandez and macheda we have 2 of the most promising strikers in the country

Posted by podthered | Report as abusive

Bulgarian is becoming a leading man for Manchester United

Posted by Tessa Louderback | Report as abusive

Brilliant Berbatov finally arrives for United | Analysis & Opinion |…

Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

Posted by World Spinner | Report as abusive