Originally Posted by fatboy
I think he's a confidence player, and the pressure of playing for United has sapped it out of him. Sure his actual stats are better, but that's only because he has a better supply line here, from playing with better players.
But the manner in which he's chalked up these stats is not with the swagger that we're used to seeing when he played with Spurs. And that swagger is what we paid for 30mil, because it adds an edge to his creativity and overall game. That swagger is now gone, and what we have left now is an above-average striker, when we know he is much much more than that. "Above-average" pales in comparison to Rooney, and that's why people are getting on Berbatov's back.
I harbour some hope that he can turn it around somehow, but confidence is a fragile thing. The pressure and expectations at OT is not going to get any lesser next season.
Great post that. I'm a big fan of Berbatov and I think the level of abuse he gets is excessive, but at this point I wouldn't even try to deny that it hasn't happened for him in the big games and that his confidence looks shot. His other big problem is his lack of versatility. The withdrawn striker role increasingly seems like a luxury for the big teams, and if he's not consistently earning his place it'll very often go to a third midfielder instead. He can't put in a shift out wide and he doesn't have the attitude or physical assets (speed, movement) to replace Rooney as a lone striker particularly effectively. He's yet to show that he can be an effective substitute either. Basically, unless he can turn his form around in his favoured position to the extent that Fergie is compelled to go with 4-4-2 almost all the time, he doesn't have many options in terms of carving out another niche for himself in the squad and restoring his confidence from there.
Fantastic thread by Twisted Woody as well. I thought the topic had been done to death, but that was a genuinely thought provoking slant on it.