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Sir Alex Should Give Up Berba.
Saturday, May. 8, 2009
There are widespread, unreasonable criticisms of Dimitar Berbatov from so-called 'Manchester United FC's fans' who I think seem to be pointlessly disturbing lunatics rather than true supporters for future of MUFC. Today in this writing, I do not intend to reproach Berbatov ruthlessly but to make my observation instead about why Sir Alex Ferguson should give up the Bulgarian international striker, Dimitar Berbatov.
In 2007, when I was doing my military service (about 2-year compulsory military service in South Korea since the Korean War from 1950 to 1953), I used to watch English Premier League matches on television, including those of Tottenham Hotspur FC to which Berbatov belonged ―I am, indubitably, a enthusiastic fan of MUFC. At that time, I used to say "Please Buy Berbatov!" whenever I saw his supple body, beautiful passing faculty, gifted finishing ability, awesome ball trapping and control capability, and the like ―He scored 46 goals altogether in 98 matches during 2 years' playing for Tottenham. I thought he would be able to fill a vacuum of Ruud van Nistelrooy as a target man, and then the very hope came true in September 2008.
"Berbatov's style and ability will give the team a different dimension and I'm sure he will be a popular player with the fans," said Sir Alex at the time of Berbatov's inking the contract in Sep. 2008. ￡30.75 million was paid for bringing him to MUFC, but almost nobody including me thought, because he was valuable enough to deserve the special treatment, that it was a ludicrous deal. He debuted thereafter, scratching the surface of possibly his long journey in the team.
However, I have not felt yet his style and ability are assimilated well into the team, much more give the team a different dimension as stated above by the boss. The possible explanation for that fact is the solidity of the team's present style. In season 06/07 and especially 07/08, which were after the transfer of Ruud van Nistelrooy whose role Berbatov is expected to play, the team came to be much faster and score much more goals relatively than in prior seasons though (In EPL, 58 in 04/05, 72 in 05/06, 83 in 06/07 and 80 in 07/08). In addition, the more important change is relatively diversified scoring among the players compared with that focused on Ruud van Nistelrooy or some players previously. These factors led to the English and European Double, I think, and such qualities, which have been required and need to be encouraged continuously from now on, have solidified into the team's present style.
Such target men as Ruud van Nistelrooy and Berbatov seem to be more effective on the condition that, more or less, the attacking processes are focused on them, and the ball is concentrated in them. It was frequent, if not always, that David Beckham passing the ball to Ruud, he headed it then saved by Dudek, and after a while Ryan Giggs passing the ball to him once again, he shot and scored a goal this time. These routes are not undesirable at all times, but the team has developed in the opposite direction since Ruud's transfer. In other words, so outstanding each and organically united together are all the current team players that the team's strategy is no longer dependent upon one or some players. (The top 3 scorers' goals altogether of the team's in EPL: 46/72, or 64% in 05/06, but 39/83, or 47% in 06/07. That analysis shows widely distributed goals among the players in 06/07, but not relatively in 05/06).
Berbatov has totally impressive talent. However, I think that there will be nowhere for him in the team unless he adapts to such system. Sir Alex has to ponder whether he could be compatible with the system, and to decide as soon as possible whether to dismiss him.
"The big surprise was Liverpool paying ￡20 million for Keane," said Sir Alex in Sep. 2008, insinuating the doubt as to his value, and comparing him with Berbatov as if to say that Berbatov is superior to Keane. He was right but half. He should now consider whether he flings himself into confusion because of his own assertion above; overconfident but ignominiously misjudged.