4 thoughts on “Players like Berbatov epitomise why United>England

  1. I must say this is one of the best critiques of the “England Problem” i’ve ever read…..Bravo…
    I still say as fans though we are as culpable in the demands we place on “entertainment” over “substance”…. At the Rangers game all around me were calls for “get the ball forward”, and “boot it” and as soon as we played keep ball and probing there was unrest and despair….. the problem with that game for me was that players like O’SHea, Park, Fletcher, Gibson or Valencia don’t have the creativity to find that specuial pass like a Rooney (in top form), scholes or many european players in the other “inferior” leagues. Another excelent comment i’ve read recently is that football players in this country are not coached on how to recieve and pass a ball under pressure / often because such aggressive tackles are allowed in our game (in the name of passion and effort)… so alot of square balls for the “free” man are seen….. a whole new approach to coaching in this country is needed….. The stupidity of the only being able to sign youth players that are “one hour from the club” rule needs to be scraped and the best players can then be coached at the best clubs……..

  2. Thanks for that.

    Yeah I see what you mean about the Rangers game. Although I couldn’t make it to that one I’ve known similar situations where people root for mindless, direct football out of desperation at a United match. However, the prime example of this is England at home to Croatia in the infamous “wally-with-the-brolly” Euro 2008 qualifier at Wembley. Unbelievably stupid football in the last 10 minutes when we were chasing a goal.

    Jonathan Wilson also has an interesting article from a few days ago, where he asks, “Is the messiah complex the cause of England’s failings?”, stating that, “A mythological desire to find and then destroy saviours lies at the heart of the national team’s lasting malaise”


  3. Good analysis of the England situation but comparing Berbatov to Cantona and Scholes is akin to comparing a Porsche and Ferrari to a Ford Focus. He has not during his time at Utd ‘conducted a game’ nor ‘helped other players’ – ask Nani how he felt Berbatov ‘helped’ him last season? Immaculate technique agreed, but lets not rewrite history because of a hattrick at the weekend. Berbatov still has an awful lot to prove.

  4. Well first I’d like to point out that I wrote this post before the Liverpool game, although I guess you’ll have to take my word for that! Second, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree, but I think it is fair to compare Berba to Cantona and Scholes. Don’t just ask me, ask award winning football writer Henry Winter:


    “Ooh aah, Dimitar. Echoes of Eric Cantona imbued Dimitar Berbatov’s majestic display here and it was not simply the touches of magic conjuring up a glorious overhead strike as the centrepiece of a fine hat-trick. What should particularly thrill Manchester United fans is that the Bulgarian clearly now feels he belongs in the famous red shirt. He will be turning his collar up next.

    As with Cantona, there are some instants when all the heat and dust of this mad sport, all the controversy and speculation, are stripped away and a moment of pure sporting genius shines through. Some great goals have spiced this season, from Gareth Bale’s volley to Hatem Ben Arfa’s drive, but what happened a shade before the hour mark here was truly exceptional. ”

    Or ask the guru of tactics himself, Jonathan Wilson:


    “Berbatov a misunderstood genius… Berbatov’s other goal — trapping the ball on one thigh and then sending it arcing over his shoulder and in off the underside of the bar — was a classic of what Rob Smyth has taken to calling “Berbarotica”; one of those moments of skill and imagination whose brilliance elicits an instinctive warmth in the gut. And, as with all the greatest Berbatov moments, it felt as though he were operating on a different plane than everybody else on the pitch. How on earth did he find that much time in the box?”

    Remind you of any Frenchmen?

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