Dimitar Berbatov

Dimitar Berbatov Exclusive: Executive appointment from City is a step in the right direction for United

Betfair Ambassador Dimitar Berbatov
Dimitar discusses all things United

In this week's exclusive Dimitar Berbatov discusses Manchester United's new CEO appointment, looks ahead to United's clash against Newport in the FA Cup, and has his say on Michael Olise, Antony and Mo Salah's injury...

  • Barrada appointment exciting news for Man United

  • Concentration vital for Newport FA Cup clash

  • Berba has his say on Olise, Antony and Salah

Let's hope new CEO can replicate City success

I heard some former Man United players say they were pleasantly shocked at the news. Obviously, Omar Berrada has been part of a lot of Man City's recent success, so he has the knowledge to try and help Man United close the gap between themselves and Man City. It's like if a player completed a transfer. You never know how it will go or if it will be successful.

Based on his previous experience and what I've read regarding his reputation, Man United must've made him an offer he can't refuse because he's left Man City, who are at the top of the game, to move to Man United, who have no recent success. He must have been offered much better money and more influence around the football club.

Let's hope he gets the backing from everyone at Man United and he can replicate what he did with Man City.

Did he see something positive happening at Man United? Maybe. Or I can assume that when the negotiations were happening, he had visions of his own that maybe impressed whoever needed to be impressed. He's making a step up by joining Man United and I think the appointment is a step in the right direction for the club.

He is United's best signing of the January transfer window so far.

Mini break success depends on mentality

The mini winter break can go either way for teams. Man United for example, haven't had a game for 10 days so they will have had two, maybe three days off. Maybe they haven't had any days off - it all depends on the manager and how he works.

Whether you're ready or not after this 10-day break depends on what you've done during your time off. There isn't a right or wrong answer here because I've witnessed it in the past; Sir Alex used to give us a few days off before a game and we'd go out to play and f****** destroy everyone.

Sometimes though, you'll have no days off, train hard and then you lose. It all depends on how you see football.

Clearly a must-win game for United

Man United have a great draw against Newport County on Sunday. It's a great chance to progress in the FA Cup. With all due respect to Newport, this is Man United. They must win.

Preparation should always be the same, nothing will be different in that respect. The only thing with playing against smaller opposition is, concentration levels must be just as high because Newport will have nothing to lose. It'll be a celebration for the whole community, being able to welcome a team like Man United to Rodney Parade and try to beat them, as impossible as that sounds.

There have been cup upsets over the years, so it doesn't matter who is playing for Man United, whether it's first-team players or some of the younger players, they must concentrate and not underestimate the opposition.

Newport's changing room looks like a school's changing room

The facilities at Newport bring back memories for me when I used to play and we went to similar places. Back in the day, Everton's and Burnley's changing rooms were very small.

When you needed to change for the game, the 11 players got into the dressing room so they could change more freely and then the substitutes came in to change afterwards. That's why I say there's a magic to this cup. But at the end of the day, United should and will win the game.

Don't be surprised if United go to Newport and they're surprised by some of Newport's pre-match tactics. A small team will try to do everything against the big team to get a win. They could make the dressing room cold or hot, maybe making the pitch smaller or bigger or maybe the grass will be longer so the ball cannot move as freely.

Now, will Newport do that? Probably not but you never know. United' players shouldn't be surprised if there's no hot water in the showers!


I cannot see anything but a win for United. My mind won't understand the result if United lose this game. I'll go for a comfortable United win.

Olise has shown great quality, but United must be careful

Man United have to be careful with transfers, and seeing the link to Michael Olise made me think about when they signed Wilf Zaha.

Zaha came from Crystal Palace too and his spell at Man United was short-lived and unsuccessful.

They need to make sure that Olise is what's needed at the club. Is he going to help? Is he going to elevate the team in any way? It's a sensitive situation for Man United so they need to be careful.

Olise has a lot to improve on, but he has shown great quality on the pitch in his career so far. He needs the right environment and the right manager around him because if it's not right for him then performances on the pitch will suffer.

Antony must start listening to others

In a way, I sympathise with Antony because he obviously has talent, and I can see he does try sometimes. He looks angry and frustrated when he plays and because of this, he tries to do stuff and overcomplicates things, loses the ball and then becomes even angrier.

Antony needs someone on the pitch to show him where to run, how to run and when to release the ball. If he can't find the answers on his own, he needs a coach, a friend, an agent, his dad, to give him advice. He should even start to watch videos on clips of some right wingers who have been there and done it. After that, if he can't perform then it's clearly not going to work out.

For me, watching as a fan, I get angry when I watch him because it's frustrating. I don't want to compare him to anyone because every player has difficult spells. If Antony can't get out of his, then he needs to go.

If a season is too short to judge someone then Antony deserves a little more time because it's not fair. If he corrects his errors, then he will be good for the team.

He needs to be mentally clever first and foremost and you need to know how to take criticism. If Antony's performances aren't up to the standards by the end of the season, I imagine he will look for somewhere else to go.

The coaches at Man United need to give Antony advice. Then it will be up to him to understand it. That's it.

Mohamed Salah is a Liverpool legend

What can I say about Salah's injury? It's a big blow for Liverpool. He does not get injured often.

He'll be back sooner than we think because when you have great team doctors, they'll get you back to fitness as soon as possible. Liverpool will be okay getting results without Salah, like they did against Fulham, but they will suffer going forward without him because Salah is a f***ing legend.

He'll be back. Let's hope when he's back he stays fit because Liverpool will suffer without him long-term.

Read more from Dimitar Berbatov every week here.


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