Sunday, April 17, 2011

Calamity Carrick and sulking Berbatov cost United dearly in FA cup defeat...

Any of United's strikers barring Berbatov would have taken one of the two gilt edged chances that the Bulgarian spurned at Wembley yesterday. Berbatov might well be the Premier League's top goal scorer, but he's also one of the biggest sulkers in the division and his half hearted lunge at that second golden opportunity to score in the first-half would definitely have been gobbled up by either Hernandez or Michael Owen.

When Fergie has everyone available, Berbatov is now very much second choice especially when the manager starts with a 4-4-2 formation. The fact is Hernandez has usurped the former Spurs striker and this is most probably why the Bulgarian has started some recent games with his socks half rolled down his leg. By rolling down his socks, Berbatov is sending out a clear visual message about his apparent unhappiness because of the position he now finds himself in; this is symptomatic of someone who isn't 100% focused on the task at hand and this is precisely why Berbatov didn't score against City yesterday. Berbatov cost United potential victory and City went on to win and deservedly so.

While Berbatov definitely needs lashing with the cat o' nine tails, the same punishment should be dished out to Van der Sar, Rio Ferdinand, O'Shea and especially Michael Carrick. At the end of the game Ferdinand went for the clown that is Balotelli, but it was an act of frustration because the United defender knows full well that he played a part in City's winning goal. Ferdinand's initial pass back to Van der sar wasn't the best, the Dutchman's kick was pathetic and the ball eventually came back to O'Shea who then played another poor ball to Carrick and in turn he set up Yaya Toure to score.

When you first start learning to play the game at schoolboy level, one of the first lessons you learn is not to lose the ball in dangerous areas of the pitch but Carrick suffers from delusions about his own ability - he isn't good enough to play tippy-tappy around the United penalty area and even though O'Shea's pass was the wrong option, it should have been booted down field, but that didn't happen and United paid the price.

United had four opportunities to clear that ball before it ended up in the net and that in itself is damning.

United got what they deserved in the end, precisely nothing. Ferguson made mistakes with his substitutes too. Park should have been taken off.

The Scholes sending off was unfortunate, but personally, I'm not 100% convinced that he deliberately went to injure the player, it looked like a case of Scholes being too slow, but it didn't look good and if the boot was on the other foot United would have expected the perpetrator to be sent off.

Scholes didn't cost United the game though because even with 11 players on the pitch we weren't good enough on the day, but it would have been oh so different if sulking Berbatov had shown more desire when it really mattered.

United desperately need to strengthen midfield with the signing of someone like Wesley Sneijder, but will it happen? As we saw against City, United were very poor in central midfield once they had gone behind, there was no response.

Next up, United face Newcastle and the league leaders must get back to winning ways as quickly and as convincingly as possible.


  1. In times like these the comments that should be coming from real fans are those of encouragement. Berbatov is our leading scorer and has won his share of games for us this season. Yes, Carrick made an error after an error from Vandersaar,but he otherwise played well and has been on a roll here of late. Encouragement my friend--encouragement!!

  2. I think it was Rooney who cost us dear.

  3. And for the pr*ck who said playing with your socks rolled down doesn't signify anything, you don't know what you're talking about. Berbatov has been sulking and end of.

  4. Carrick isn't good enough and neither is Fletcher or Anderson. Personally, I'd rather see the two young Brazilians in midfield every week.

  5. We need a playmaker like Wesley Sneijder or someone with more pace like Arjen Robben in midfield. Also we need someone like Dani Alves in defence. As far as a striker is concerned, we need someone like Edinson Cavani

  6. Chill out with the sack this man and that man, buy this man and that man rubbish. We weren't good enough yesterday but it was a below par performance. We've started to hit form of late and if yesterday serves as a kick up the arse to some of the squad and it benefits us in the league and champs league then we can't complain. That said, Berbatov is a pain in the arse whose work rate is appaling and those two sitters he missed were awful. John O'Shea isn't good enough- if Fergie was resting Rafael, he should've played Fabio. Other than that, those players on the pitch should've been good enough to beat that blue shower of sh*te. On a positive note, we have some cracking youngsters who are ready to break through Cleverley and Pogba to name a couple. A couple of additions this summer would be nice though

  7. Four reasons why we lost to city:

    -Berbatov. Not a big-game player
    -Scholes. He was world class 10 years ago. Now a walking disaster. He should retire like Neville.
    -Carrick. Back to his worst.
    -Ferguson. Tinkerman should have changed Berbatov and Scholes at half-time. They were slow and useless.

  8. Is that how he sulked at Tottenham? By rolling his socks down?

    I thought he did it by wearing long sleeves.

  9. Berbatov was the flop of the game? Yeah, I remember now, he was the one who handed the ball on a plate for City to score!

    The flop of the game was Fergie, for taking the EPL's form striker and treating him like shit over the last couple of months by constantly dropping him in favour of the season's number one flop, Rooney, doing everything possible to bring the guy back to some semblance of form even when he went game after game without producing any results. The guy couldn't even get the ball anywhere near the goal for a match deciding penalty!

    Only Fergie could take the premiership's leading scorer (and still candidate for the golden boot despite how little he's been played of late) and essentially ruin his form and confidence by the appalling way he's treated the Bulgarian. It should have been Rooney dumped to the bench, with the Berbatov/Hernandez axis given its head.

    As for the game and the effect it had on Berbatov's performance, Scholes, Park, and Carrick put in amongst their worst shifts so far this season - so how the hell was Berbatov supposed to get the ball? Even Valancia, so often to be relied upon to give pinpoint service from the wings, went AWOL during the game and gave Berbatov next to nothing. As for the Bulgarian's two chances, the keeper pulled off a flukey save for the first one, deflecting it from his leg to a hand that just happened to be in the right spot to prevent the ball going in. And in case anyone missed it (as everyone's seems to have done so regarding the second chance) Berbatov had to lunge forward to try and latch on to the ball as a defender was neck and neck with him to try and get it, and in fact just missed the ball and smashed his boot into the Bulgarian's leg instead. Had Berbatov waited to strike the ball in a more upright position he would surely have seen the same kick that slammed into his leg collect or parry the ball. (He should have received a penalty in actual fact for the blatant kick that caused him so much pain afterwards)

    It never ceases to amaze me how quickly everyone jumps on to the 'let's slag off Berbatov' bandwagon any instant he doesn't produce (while ignoring everything else he's accomplished) yet forgive and forget everything where Rooney is concerned, even when he puts in such a appalling season which has been, even by his grossly over-rated standards, pretty shocking both football-wise and personally.

    Nothing exemplifies for me exactly how unappreciated and victimized Berbatov is then the manner in which he handed Rooney a goal on a plate a couple of months ago that helped get the Englishman back on track. Just about any other striker, including Rooney, would have taken the shot himself under the circumstances, but Berbatov is not that kind of player - the team comes first. Yet gifting that goal to Rooney essentially helped plant the knife in the Bulgarian's that everyone gleefully keeps twisting at any opportunity.

    Berbatov is yet another example of a fine footballing talent purchased by a manager who has not a clue how to best utilize his enormous talents. Everywhere else, including his national side, Berbatov has always been a talismanic and prolific scorer. Only under Fergie has he been misused. Need I remind everyone that Rooney, Fergie's bastard child, has barely been able to score at all for United over the last 12 months and has been a laughing stock on the national stage every time England has given him an opportunity at recent major tournaments?

    Personally I hope Berbatov moves on after this season, because in 40 odd years of watching United, going all the way back to the last days of the Busby era, I have never seen a player so misunderstood, so ill-used, and so grossly under-appreciated both by his manager and the fan base - largely at the expense of the most over-hyped and over-rated player of recent generations.

  10. Anon,

    Simple question: Would Hernandez and or Owen have gobbled up one of the spurned chances?

    Berbatov wasn't trying hard enough and that's because he's seen arse. If you cannot see that then you're blind.

    Finally, I've been watching United since before 1970 - so please don't spout on about your loyalty badge.

  11. Regarding Berbatov going this summer. I'd drive him to the airport and I'm sure many other Reds would too.

    Berbatov is extremely talented, but talent without genuine desire and application is a waste and I'm afraid the Bulgarian is lacking in some of these vital areas.

  12. Anon"massiveberbafan"ymous

    I'm not one for slagging players but Berba isn't a United player. He's too lazy. If you look at the way the TEAM plays when he's up front (with Rooney or without) and then compare it to how we play when Chico is up front (on his own or with Rooney) and we are completely different. The difference being "pace and threat". With Chico, defenders are constantly on there toes, which gives the midfield more space and then we can punish teams. Where as with Berba up front, teams just squeeze us knowing berba can't run in behind. It was the same with Ruud. We won things, and they both are great players, but we are just not as good as a TEAM, when they play. Berba then has to pull out something special or take one of his few easy chances in a game. Whereas the likes of Chico, can miss one or two, but they'll bang one in in the end, and if he doesn't, he'll work his balls off to drag defenders around and create space for other TEAMMATES. Nobody is denying Berba's talent, he's just not right for us

  13. I think you've hit the nail on the head with those comments. Berbatov is lazy and also, he's not really a big game player as someone else pointed out. I'd also add that Berbatov doesn't have that invisible aura which surrounded Cantona - how many times can you remember him getting tackled throughout his time at United? Barely any at all I'd venture to suggest. In marked contrast, Berbatov gets sacked in every big game and on numerous occasions.

    Finally this is spot on "Nobody is denying Berba's talent, he's just not right for us"

  14. I agree with the blog post - if I was going to sum up the game that's pretty much what I would have said.

    Berbatov's hunger and desire has been frequently questioned and Saturday was the perfect example. His performance was flat, sulky and more to the point goal-less. He may be top scorer but if he was really playing to his best he'd have at least 10 or 15 more. He was rightfully left out last night at Newcastle. I'd show him the door in the summer. I wouldn't be surprised if he scored plenty of goals elsewhere but Utd is too much for him.

    As for the midfield; I can't believe Carrick's contract was extended. He's one the players who has most disappointed me over the last 4 or 5 years and he rarely turns in anything other than distinctly average performances.

    Anderson is not showing many signs of bedding in as a reliable midfielder and with Scholes looking increasingly off the pace and doubting his own ability to contiunue you realise that we have no real midfield at all.

    -Hargreaves will never play
    -Gibson doesn't cut it
    -Park is very useful but with limited creative ability
    - Fletch is good at breaking up the play but also lacks creation

    So who is left? Rooney is the one who has been dropping back to create more in the last few games and Giggs. That's where we are lacking - midfield creation - so we need to buy there and buy good.

  15. 'Boot the ball up the pitch'. Are you kidding me. Sure there was sloppy play around the box, Carricks pass in particular, but come on, there is enough good players in United to play the ball out of danger as evidenced against Schalke on Tuesday night, albeit against a much poorer opposition, but booting the ball up the pitch only gives the ball to the opposition. Barring a complete collapse next week, we'll be facing Barcelona in the Champions League Final, where possession is all.


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