Who Is Manchester United’s No.1 Striker Now – Rooney Or Berbatov?

Ollie Irish

20th, September 2010


By Ollie Irish

If you don’t mind me indulging in a spot of kneejerk-reaction action, then I have a rather predictable yet timely question for you: with Dimitar Berbatov playing so brilliantly, and not just against Liverpool (he’s been United’s best player this season), and Wayne Rooney blatantly out of sorts, in terms of his centre-forward play and also compared with last season’s feats (of course a below-par Rooney is still better than most players), are we witness to the moment when Berba assumes the role of Fergie’s No.1 striker? As a Spurs fan, I still love Berba and greatly miss his casual genius, and a part of me always wants him to do well.

Until very recently Rooney was United’s main man, their spearhead, the team’s talisman. But he’s lost his mojo, whereas Berba has regained his and then some. I prefer Berbatov as United’s lone striker because he is a classical target man, albeit one with extravagant gifts not usually found in a true No.9. And the Bulgarian’s very lack of flexibility – unlike Rooney, he couldn’t play as a left winger – can work to his advantage; it is the all-action Englishman who will tend to be moved around by his manager.

Okay, I know there’s no good answer here to what I admit is a flawed question; in the era of large squads, United don’t need to declare who their No.1 striker is, neither in public nor behind closed doors, but you know that Rooney’s ego must be fighting against his more selfless urges – Rooney is a tremendously generous team player but I wonder how he will react if Berba continues to threaten his alpha striker status? Based on his relationship with Ronaldo, I suspect he’ll cope – but Rooney has blossomed since Ronaldo’s departure for Madrid, and he’s no longer the sidekick: he’s the star turn.

Anyway, in the interests of trivial pub banter, your thoughts please (or even just a quick click in our poll below)…

Posted in Man Utd, Opinion

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  1. sean says:

    they’re both brilliant strikers. its just as rooney weakened his form, berbatov’s improved.

    class is forever, form is temporarily

  2. samhumphreys says:

    “they’re both brilliant strikers. its just as rooney weakened his form, berbatov’s improved.

    class is forever, form is temporarily”
    Form is temporary

    Good point, i don’t really know what’s gone on with Rooney’s game since the World Cup but i think he needs to sort it out soon for Man United’s sake, without Berba’s terrific form they really would be struggling

  3. Fellaini's Fro says:

    This is a bit too kneejerk for my liking, even Berbatov has been simply fantastic so far this season. I’ve always liked Berbatov as more of the striking option, and Wayne playing a more center field role, and I think this can blossom into a real nice relationship this season. But form is temporary, class is permanent, and Wayne is going to regain his. If there was to be a sole star player it would be Rooney, but that neglects how important Berbatov and even the rest of the squad is. So really there is no good answer to this question dumbass :)

  4. Fellaini's Fro says:

    Looks like i was beaten to form and class haha

  5. Outside Mid says:

    Berba, especially when he shows you his pouty lips.

  6. dojo says:

    no clue, but i’d still take Drogba and Anelka any day. also, as good as Berbatov’s hat trick was, two of the goals came from pathetic defending … the first, where Torres seemed to mistake Berbatov for a ferocious grizzly bear, and the third, where Jamie Carragher’s brain froze.

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