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Time for Berbatov to make is mark

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Even Dimitar Berbatov himself would likely concede that he has failed to live up to expectations in a Manchester United Shirt. While there have been flashes of brilliance from the mercurial Bulgarian, for £30m the United fans are entitled to expect a fair amount more from a man who shone at both Bayer Leverkusen and Tottenham.

Frequently left on the bench during the 2009-10 season as Sir Alex Ferguson preferred to go with the prolific Wayne Rooney as a lone striker, many speculated that Berbatov could be on his way out of Old Trafford this summer with Bayern Munich and Ac Milan mooted as possible destinations.

Sir Alex has stuck by his man, however, and the early season signs suggest Berbatov is ready to prove his worth after an impressive start to the season. His goal in the Community Shield - a delightful lobbed finish after some great interplay with Luis Nani - was met with a warm reception from his United teammates and may well be looked back on as the moment when his Manchester Utd career properly began.

His followed up that strike with an impressive performance against Newcastle United on monday night, scoring once but contributing with his all round performance and coming close to adding further to his tally. Most notably, his swagger has returned as he lit up Old Trafford with some breathtaking skills.

That United take some of the burden off Rooney is paramount if they are to wrestle back the Barclays Premier League trophy from Chelsea this season. As talented as the young striker is, at times it felt like United's quest for trophies lay solely on his shoulders and as Rooney's body broke down towards the end of the campaign, so did United's challenge.

When asked to step up the mark in his absence, Berbatov's performences were average and disjointed and crucial points were lost which ultimitely cost United dear.

Sir Alex has also added the hugely promising and highly enerjetic Mexican striker Javier Hernandez to his squad and already, he is looking to be a shrewd purchase, having already opened his United account with a goal in the Community Shield.

It is the role of Dimitat Berbatov that most intruiges the watching critics and it remains to be seen whether the Bulgarian will indeed step up to the mark in 2010-11.

Written by Danny Watson, a sports journalist who writes blogs about football shirts.


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