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Monday, 28 July 2008

Berbatov Or Some Average Joe From Holland ?

I've been following this issue about Berbatov and Huntelaar with
much interest and to be honest I can't believe half of what I read
from some United fans !!!!

How can anybody ever mention the name of this run of the mill Dutch
guy in the same sentence as the great Dimitar Berbatov is beyond
me !!! Forget all this nonsensical arguing about the age difference
- the gap is 27 months and means nothing !! If it was 5 or 6 years
then yes, I agree, take youth. But a couple of years ? Irrelevant !!

The so-called 'need' for an 'out-and-out' striker is rubbish !!

United don't need a striker like this and I hope we never do. We have
two short fat blokes up front and a Portugese guy who does more
tricks than Flipper the Dolphin, and we scored 261 goals in 2 years,
won the Premier League twice, reached a Cup Final, oh yes, we became
Champions of Europe too !!!!!!!!! Nobody else in the league gets even
remotely near that record and now, suddenly we need an 'out-and-out'
striker ???? Come on - please - keep it real folks.

So what do people base this 'love' for Huntelaar on ? None of us has
seen him play much in the UK because the Dutch League is just not good
enough to be shown here frankly. It must be down to the videos made
by the fans of Huntelaar,who,in my opinion,are very unlikely to show
any bad bits to his game !!

We didn't get to see much of him at Euro 2008 either, simply because
they didn't need him and didn't use him ! He got a 'run out' against
Romania that's all. I love Romania with all my heart and will never
say a bad word about them, but I know they are far from World Class.
So the fact he scored against them means little to me in this discu-
ssion. For most of the game against Romania our guys had him in their
back pocket, he couldn't do a thing. He also played our guys in one
of the qualifying games for Euro 2008 and the same story, Romania
owned him, big time !!!

Some have mentioned his 'remarkable' international goal scoring rep-
utation too. I class his record as adequate at best. What has he done,
8 goals in 13 games or something like this. Which on paper does look
good. Impressive even. Until you look at the individual games them-
selves and then it looks mediocre. Six of the 8 goals came in friend-
lies to start with. Just like 11 of the 13 caps he owns, they too
are from friendlies. He scored against Rep Ireland twice, Croatia,
Slovenia, Austria, Ukraine and Romania. Croatia apart, these are
hardly future World Cup winners !

In short, he has 2 'real' caps at the age of 24. Big deal !

Maybe at club level Huntelaar will look much better ?

Sadly, that's not true either.

From the age of 10 he played at "v.v. H. en K" (football club Hummelo
and Keppel).

De Graafschap scouted him and he signed for them in '94. He played
for the 'C' team there and PSV signed him in 2000. He lasted one season
there and made one appearance as substitute ! He was dispatched back
to De Graafschap on loan. He appeared 9 times for them and scored zero,
so they too sent him away on loan to AGOVV Apeldoorn. This was in the
'second division' where he did well with 26 goals in 35 games. Very
dubious opposition indeed !

He signed permanently for Heerenveen after this. Against teams such
as Roda, Breda, Utrecht, FC Den Bosch, Roosendaal and Willem II Tilburg
(Whoever they might be) he scored 17 in 31 apps.

He has Champions League experience. Ajax being knocked out in the 3rd
Qualifying Round on both occasions in 2006 and 2007.

So what about Berbatovs career I hear you all asking.

His first two teams were the same two his father actually played for.
Starting with Pirin Blagoevgrad where he played one season. Scoring 36
goals in 27 appearances, he soon got 'spotted'. The biggest team by far
in Bulgaria, CSKA Sofia signed him. In his first season there he managed
14 goals in 27 games. In the first half of his second season he bagged
9 in 11 games but Bayer Leverkusen stepped in and grabbed the young star.

Now he was in the big time !!

He got Champions League chances with Leverkusen and the first two games
he played at this level he scored a memorable solo goal against Lyon,
and another beauty against Liverpool. He then played the last hour of
the Champions League Final against Real Madrid.

Leverkusen came second in the league and the cup too. Berba got 16
goals in 24 apps. In the next 2 years he amassed 46 more goals, inc-
luding 6 in the Champs League.

Since 2004 I prayed someone from United would spot him and sign him.
Spurs got there first though. There are so many great talents in East-
ern Europe - like Dorin Goian (Sign him Fergie !!!!) - but they slip
through the net. On his debut for them he scored 2 goals in 2 minutes
in a pre-season match. On his full debut he scored after 2 minutes !!!
Hi ... my name's Berbatov, Dimitar Berbatov !!!! Last year he got 12
goals in 33 games in the league with 11 assists. In the UEFA Cup he
got 4 goals in 5 games !!!! Then people have the raw nerve and the
cheek to compare him with this Dutch character. The Dutch character
who no one had heard of until he was 20 years old. The same character
who was never linked to a big team as a youngster.

This guy Huntelaar has only just found his feet at the age of 24
- and that's only in the Dutch League !!! He has a long, long, long
way to go before he reaches Berbatov's level !!! Will he make it in
the Premier League ? Will he make it into our team ? Will he make it
in the Champs League ? Will he fit in ? Will he get home sick ? Will
he have the drive and determination to succeed ? Will United have the
patience to wait for him to do well ? Will the pressure of a big money
move to the worlds biggest club be too much for him ? ......the quest-
ions are endless ! Some say to pay £15m is OK. Some say £20m is OK,
and one even told me £25m is good, so we can sign him. I'm sorry but
that's ridiculous - I feel anything over £10m is a waste of time and
money. A more realistic figure would be £8m but in these days of over
inflation with the prices then yes £10m maximum !!

Dimitar Berbatov has ALL the credentials. Every move he has made has
been 'forward' and 'upward'. Unlike Huntelaar he has never back track-
ed and struggled to find a 'niche' for himself. He has 46 Inter-
nationals with 28 goals under his belt. He has Champions League exper-
ience - scoring plenty of goals on the biggest stage in the world at
club level - and appeared in the Final too !! He is established in the
EPL, he can score in the EPL, he can hold his own against the best of
them, and come out on top quite a few times. He has appeared in the FA
Cup Final. He has appeared in the Carling Cup Final !!!

So how much ? £30m is too much some say. £35m is too much others say.
£35m is what I would pay without even questioning it. One Champions
League win is £50m. He will be instrumental in getting us there again
for win number 4 !!!

So I say again :How can anybody ever mention the name of this "run of
the mill" Dutch guy in the same sentence as the great Dimitar Berbatov ?

I've waited nearly four years now for Berbatov to be in a United shirt
and it's so close now I can almost touch it !!! If we sign Huntelaar
I will be devestated !!! We haven't seen the best of Berba, nowhere near.
But when we do, you will all look at each other in dismay and say "What-
ever happened to that Dutch guy we nearly signed ?". Eric Cantona is the
best player we have ever had since 'The Babes' but Dimitar Berbatov could
even out strip The King.

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