Lazy, arrogant and lethargic? Or a technical genius who made it look easy without breaking a sweat? The pub argument surrounding Dimitar Berbatov is fueled by passion, loyalty and normally a few too many shandies.
The Bulgarian Man of the Year 2009 (Yes, really) has been in the Premier League for over seven years and had spells at Tottenham, Manchester United and Fulham. He’s a two-time Premier League winner, two-time League Cup winner and a record-breaking seven-time Bulgarian Footballer of the Year.
He even won Europe’s Most Popular Footballer Among Currently Active Players in 2010 which puts to bed the argument about whether or not he is the ‘banter king’.
Unfortunately, Berba is approaching his 33rd birthday and chipped in with just the one goal in his last eight Premier League matches. Fulham’s captain has recently been branded ‘gutless’, ‘typically non-existent’ and a ‘liability’, but here’s the proof that not too long ago, he was pretty deadly in front of goal.
In his four years at Old Trafford, Dimitar Berbatov managed a league goal every 153 minutes and racked up 18 assists for Manchester United. He notched four hat-tricks for the Red Devils and is the only non-Englishman to have scored five goals in one league game when United thumped Blackburn 7-1. That’s a tidy nugget of info to save for tonight’s pub quiz.
When he first arrived at Craven Cottage in August 2012 he bagged 15 league goals and had a conversion rate of 19 per cent in his first season. Not too bad considering he was relying on assists from Steve Sidwell and Damien Duff.
But it’s all gone Pete Tong for good old Dimi this season. The striker has posted some simply awful statistics that wouldn’t look out of place if the Opta lads started turning up at your local Sunday league games.
- Games played: 8
- Shots: 8
- Shots on target: 3
- Goals: 1
- Conversion rate: 13%
- Assists: 0
- Pass success rate: 76%
- Dispossessed: 17 times
Bleak reading for Bulgaria’s all-time leading goalscorer.
This weekend Fulham face Manchester United at Craven Cottage with both teams needing a win to try to silence the critics in the papers, and the angry folk who tweet incoherent, but still pretty meaningful, abuse on Twitter.
In his career – at Bayer Leverkusen, Tottenham and Fulham – Berbatov has featured in nine games against Manchester United, losing six and drawing three of them. In slightly better news for Fulham fans, Berbatov has scored twice against the Champions and even he is probably quicker in a straight line than the pension-dodging Rio Ferdinand.
Berbatov is 10/1 to open the scoring in Saturday’s match and 10/3 to find the back of the net at any time during the game. It is 11/1 that Berba gets himself on the scoresheet and Fulham win the game.
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