Dimitar Berbatov has been in clinical form for Manchester United by scoring 21 Premier League goals – however some people still have the audacity to criticise him. Now I have always held the opinion that strikers should be judged on the goals they score. Much like defenders and goalkeepers should be judged by the amount of goals they concede. But it seems some people are never satisfied!
As football fans we often like to see a player working hard for our team. This may be by chasing down balls or closing down defenders. Certainly the Football League is full of these sorts of players. However, I have seen a few strikers over the years that have worked very hard – but have never looked like being regular goal scorers. Although, strikers are judged on goals, some fans aren’t satisfied unless they also see blood, sweat and tears from their star marksman. At times Berbatov can appear overly laid back and only really interested when the ball is in and around the box, and that causes some people to have a negative reaction towards him.
Alan Hansen has laid down the suggestion that Sir Alex Ferguson doesn’t fully trust his man. This is based on the fact that he rarely starts in big Premier League games and prefers to use Berbatov from the bench. However, Hansen should bear in mind that it is a squad game and Manchester United have three quality forwards in Wayne Rooney, Berbatov and Javier Hernandez. They all deserve a certain amount of game time and different players are better suited to certain games. I always think it’s important to have players who play in different ways and offer something different.
Hansen goes on to explain that Berbatov fails to make the impact when games are tight and is criticised for his style of play. However, this isn’t really fair, because this is his style of play and always has been. I think in many ways he has proved himself by the goals he has scored and there is really no cause to criticise. Hansen’s argument may be stronger if he wasn’t scoring. Hansen closes his article in The Telegraph by saying that Berbatov hasn’t been a bad signing – but has underachieved. As I said at the beginning of the piece, strikers should be judged on the goals they score and if they do that job how have they underachieved? It seems that Hansen has no argument and wants to criticise for the sake of it.
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