After getting his hands on the golden boot this year, most people would have thought that the future of Berbatov was secure next season but Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to leave him out and choose Owen for the Champions League Final squad last Saturday has raised questionable doubt over the future of Berbatov at United. SAF cited that as he packed the midfield for the bench against Barcelona, he only had room for Owen or Berbatov and felt that Owen was more likely to nick a goal at the end of the game than Berbatov, hence his decision to leave him out. Dimitar has spoken out today to the media about his feelings towards this decision.
“The truth is that I stayed at the dressing room and watched the Champions League final there, on a TV screen. I was really disappointed. I was ashamed that I was not part of the team and did not want people to see how sad I feel.”
The media was trying to suggest that Berbatov didn’t even watch the match and had left Wembley but Berbatov has far too much class for that and has far too much class to leave United. I love the way that Dimitar presents himself not only to the media but to his team-mates as well. He is experienced and always seems to hold a cool head, even when the eyes of the world are bearing down on him like vultures.
“I will stay. I will fight for the 20th title. If I were an easy quitter, I would never have made it this far. Everything at Manchester United starts from scratch for me on July 4. There will be new finals and we will be fighting for new titles. I am moving ahead. When you go through difficult times, you should not quit.”
People will always question his lackadaisical style of football and his work ethic but that is what makes Berbatov who he is as a player. His guise and persona on the pitch ooze confidence and rightly so, he is an extremely gifted player with the ball at his feet. People have to remember that at one point this season, Berbatov had as many hat-tricks as Rooney had goals. Until Rooney found his form and Hernandez sprung to life, we relied on Berbatov and Nani in the Winter months this season for goals and he was absolutely integral to us winning our record 19th title.
Hypothetically, if Berbatov leaves, who is going to replace him? I implore anybody to tell me of a player with the ability of Berbatov that would be willing to sit on the bench for the best part of the second half of the season if he is sitting atop the goalscoring charts without kicking up a fuss. People will say that Berbatov is surplus to requirements, even though he is top goalscorer this season, but it doesn’t mean that he is replaceable. Having Paul Scholes retire, Hargreaves putting an end to a career that never began and a midfield that looked weak at the best of times this season, focus is surely on strengthening up the midfield instead of trying to replace a striker who scored over 20 goals this season.
Reports have suggested that Berbatov could be used in a make-weight after Modric cited he wanted to play Champions League football next year and have also linked the Bulgarian with an £8million move to St. James Park. Ludicrous. Selling Berbatov on would just not make any sense when we have other areas which need far more attention and changing this Summer. Forcing ourselves into the market for a striker will take away funds from the midfield and could work against ourselves. I don’t think the treatment Berbatov receives is fair but I also don’t think that it will ever be easy for the Bulgarian at Old Trafford but with his latest showing to the press, he has shown once again that he has the mental toughness to not let it bring him down. I hope that I will be seeing DB9 again next season at Old Trafford but after giving Owen an extension, maybe SAF has already made his mind up.