Is it simply ‘now or never’ for United ace?

BerbatovFootball FanCast columnist Tom Jones feels that Dimitar Berbatov still has much to prove at Manchester United.

Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov ran Blackburn ragged on Saturday and showed fans why Sir Alex Ferguson shelled out over £30 million for him last season. But those types of performances have been few and far between and in many fans eyes he has not quite lived up to their expectations. Now Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has heaped even more pressure on the Bulgarian, but is this really a make or break season for the United striker?

Dimitar Berbatov has yet to hit top form consistently for Man Utd and continues to struggle to really make his mark at Old Trafford. The Bulgarian has only scored 13 Premier League goals for United, and even though this is only one aspect of his game, strikers will always be judged on their scoring record. He netted his fourth of the season against Blackburn on Saturday and has received praise from the opposition’s manager. But Allardyce believes that despite the Bulgarian’s ability, Berbatov still has a lot to prove this season.

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce told The Mirror after the match that “there’s no hiding place at United, there are no easy games, and you can’t do anything other than produce your best and win games of football.” Allardyce himself feels that Berbatov needs to step up this season and play to his potential. When talking about the Bulgarian he further stated “I think he’s found it a little difficult to produce his very, very best. So this one is a big season for him.” But does Berbatov have the mental toughness to overcome a less than impressive first season and show fans what he is really made of?

Berbatov would admit himself that he had an indifferent first season for United and will be looking to step up a level this campaign. The Bulgarian is an incredibly talented player and arguably has the best first touch in the Premiership, but he will struggle to net 20 league goals a season. Also, the problem with his style of play is that when he plays poorly he looks uninterested and offers nothing to the team. Further speculation that United are interested in strikers David Villa and Luis Suarez just confirms that Berbatov is yet to fully hit it off.

Dimitar Berbatov still has much to prove at United and Allardyce has certainly put some pressure on the striker. But Berbatov himself should know that he has more to offer and should be striving to give a better account of himself this season. So the jury is still out on Berbatov’s United career, but how much time will the Bulgarian be given to prove himself at the club?