Dimitar Berbatov: De Gea still one of the best but Henderson return will be good challenge

David De Gea - Manchester United
David De Gea remains one of the best in the world, insists Dimitar
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3:30 min read

Dimitar Berbatov still has faith in David De Gea but says the return of the impressive Dean Henderson could be the push the United keeper needs to stop making mistakes...

"If United decide to bring back Dean Henderson from Sheffield United, I think that will do De Gea good; players need that competition and Henderson is doing tremendously well in my opinion."

Chelsea wanted it more than United

Sunday's performance from Manchester United was a disappointment, it was not the result I expected and the performance levels weren't there in the game. In the end, Chelsea deserved to win, they wanted it more, they showed better quality in the game and they took the chances that they got, even though they were helped by some mistakes from United.

I hope United learn a lesson from the game. I really wanted them to get to the final so that they had a chance to fight for silverware, but things like this happen especially when you don't perform to the levels you are expected to perform.

I'm sure the players know that, you can tell with how disappointed they were after the match. It's finished now, and they have another goal to qualify for the Champions League that they have to focus fully on.

De Gea will benefit from competition

For the second goal on Sunday, David de Gea should have done better, and he will know that. In my opinion, he is still one of the best goalkeepers in the world, regardless of the mistakes he has made this season. Every goalkeeper, even the greats of the past have all made mistakes throughout the years.

It's David's job to evaluate his performance and I'm sure he knows that he's not doing well and he can do much, much better. I don't know what people want though sometimes, he can come out and say 'yes, I made a mistake,' but it's obvious that has happened, he can see it and I'm sure on the way home after the game he was regretting it, every footballer rewinds mistakes in their heads after a game.

If United decide to bring back Dean Henderson from Sheffield United, I think that will do De Gea good; players need that competition and Henderson is doing tremendously well in my opinion.

Henderson is 23, which for a goalkeeper is still very young, he's got a lot of football ahead of him, but you can see that he is hungry to play and I think the competition he could bring to De Gea could be the difference maker, or breaker.

Sometimes when you feel to secure in your position that is the moment when you start making mistakes. It's the same with outfield players, when you think you are untouchable you make more mistakes because you are over-confident.

When you are number one, you know you are number one. When you are number two, you know you are number two, like in the case of Sergio Romero, he's an excellent goalkeeper and I remember him well from when I played with him at Monaco, I know what he can do and when he has had the chance to play for United he has done a great job.

Two games to achieve their goal

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If United win both their remaining games, that's it done, they will have qualified for the Champions League. This is Manchester United, it's the players' jobs to win these two games, the opposition is there in front of them and they have beaten them before. And with all the respect to West Ham, we know that when they are safe, like they are now, they tend to take their foot off the gas.

Leicester have had their ups and downs this season but they can be serious opposition. But it is in United's hands, all they have to do is win two games, they can't rely on other people, they have to do things their own way. Win the two games and everything will be fine.

Trust me though, it is easier said than done. The United players will know that. I know how it was the night before stepping onto the pitch, the hours before the game, all the thoughts going through my mind, trying to visualise how I was going to score, from time to time negative thoughts would creep into my mind as well like 'what if this happens, what if that happens,' but you need to stay positive.

When it's a game that you know only a win will do, you get a bit nervous, you get a bit tense, but as soon as you step onto the pitch you need to forget everything and just concentrate on the game. It's not easy, but at the end of the day, that is the job that a footballer has chosen and they need to do it.

If you can enjoy it while you do it - and know that everything will be fine if you do your best - then you'll have nothing to regret afterwards.

My old mate Scott Parker has been excellent

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It would be a great effort if Fulham manage to achieve promotion this year; it was a big disappointment when they got relegated, now they have got themselves in a position to get back up. We all know how difficult the Championship is, it's a battlefield, it's even more difficult than the Premier League from time to time.

Everybody wants to go to the big boys in the big league and to have a chance to do that straight away again that is a great job from Scott Parker as a coach and the team for the effort they have put in.

I hope they can do it, if they do then hopefully they can learn from the mistakes that lead them to be relegated and stay there in the top league because I think they deserve to be there.

Even if they don't make the Premier League, I think it is still a great achievement the job that Scotty has done. Taking the team and transforming them, getting them to play the way they are doing now, which has given them the chance for promotion, it's credit to him and of course to the people in the club that gave him the chance to work.

He's my age, and for them to give him the chance to shine and show what he can do is the way forward. There are many young coaches and ex-footballers waiting for their chance and sometimes when you get one you need to grab it and show people what you can do, like Scott has done this season.

Ballon d'Or may have gone to Lewa or Ramos

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This week France Football decided to cancel this year's Ballon d'Or award, a decision which I'm sure will have shocked a lot of people.

The two obvious contenders would have been up there again, the two names we all know, Messi and Ronaldo and rightly so, but in my opinion Robert Lewandowski also needs to be recognised and deserves to be.

The Bayern striker has been in great shape and great form, he doesn't have that publicity that shows him in the same light as Ronaldo or Messi but, for me, he is one of the best footballers in the world right now.

It could have also been the year we see a defender win the award, for the first time since 2006 when Fabio Cannavaro won it, as Sergio Ramos has had such an impressive season.

People know that he is a great defender, but he's also scored so many this season and led by example as captain of Real Madrid. He's taken lots of responsibilities, stepped up for penalties and has scored so many crucial goals.

Dimitar Berbatov,

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