Dimitar Berbatov

Dimitar Berbatov Exclusive: Ratcliffe deal is step in right direction for Man Utd

Betfair ambassador Dimitar Berbatov
Dimitar Berbatov thinks the latest Man Utd takeover news could be good for the club

Betfair ambassador discusses Jim Ratcliffe's proposed part-takeover of Manchester United, what it means for Erik ten Hag and his squad and looks forward to the return of the Premier League this weekend...

  • Part-purchase is positive for United

  • Ten Hag will still be in charge under Ratcliffe

  • Rooney could manage Reds one day


Ratcliffe takeover is progress for Utd

Most Manchester United fans don't want the Glazers to be there. For almost a year, we've been waiting for the club to be sold, it hasn't happened and now we've seen the news about Jim Ratcliffe buying 25 per cent and reportedly taking over the football side of operations.

We'll have to see how it works out. We need to find out who will be making the final decisions, whether it'll be Ratcliffe or the Glazers. I'm curious to hear what United fans think about it.

Everyone is waiting for the club to be run better and if Ratcliffe is the answer then we need to wait and see how it unfolds. On the pitch, everything will still come down to who Erik ten Hag likes and who he wants to bring in.

Away from the pitch, the stadium needs to be renovated. It used to be one of the best stadiums in the world back in the day. Now, with a bit of refurbishment, it can become one of the top stadiums in Europe again. It doesn't need much work, some things just need to be made more modern and in-keeping with the current times. That's all that needs to be done in my opinion.

Utd must build on win when Prem returns

The Premier League is back this week and it's been a good break for clubs and players to regroup and refocus. Last time out, the win against Brentford was vital for United. It's exactly what they needed. It was an ugly, hard-fought, emotional win.

They needed that moment to show the fans that they want to win and that they do everything they can to win.

The international break was welcome for them at that point, because they went away to their national teams in good form and they'll be coming back to Manchester feeling much better than before.

The hard part now is that they have to continue the trend of winning, starting when they go to Sheffield United on Saturday evening, then keep doing it consistently.

McTominay must be consistent

After scoring two goals for United in their last-gasp win over Brentford, Scott McTominay will be hoping to start more matches. We'll have to see what's going to happen, but watching from the outside, you'd have to say he has done enough.

His two goals were very important for Man United. Having said that, like everyone in the squad, there needs to be more consistency. When you're given an opportunity, you need to show the best of what you can do.

Scott McTominay John McGinn.jpg

I've always liked McTominay. He's a soldier. He runs everywhere and tries to do the best he can. In the last game, he was in the best position twice to score the goals. He was the unusual hero and that's what you need when things aren't going right.

Ten Hag can handle the egos at United

I heard Zlatan Ibrahimovic's comments about Ten Hag not being able to handle the egos at the club. In big teams like United, it's impossible not to have big egos. If you don't already have one, once you sign for a club like United, you're going to get an ego. The manager needs to know to handle it.

I was in a United team with plenty of egos, trust me. But then you had Sir Alex, and he knew how to control it all. He built his authority throughout the years with his success and his principles about how the team should be managed.

Ten Hag has only been at United for 18 months but he has the authority. He's shown it before with Cristiano Ronaldo and now Jadon Sancho.

Ten Hag has to get Rashford back to his best

Marcus Rashford's form is the challenge for Ten Hag. The forward scored a brilliant goal in England's win over Italy but he has struggled recently for United. The manager must make a player who has been in the team for seven years get out of his comfort zone.

You need to know, as a manager, how to get the best out of the players that have been at the club for so long. They're comfortable and know they're going to be at the club no matter what.

You need to shake these players up and remind them that they still need to prove themselves as if it's season number one.

Maguire must seize his chance

Harry Maguire was good against Brentford. The only thing he can do is stay concentrated when given the chance to perform and not make silly mistakes.

When he speaks, you can see that Harry is confident in his ability. When he was given the captain's armband a few years ago, his confidence obviously increased, but so did his ego.

Now the captain's armband has been taken away, his ego is hurt. He needs to start rebuilding his relationship with the fans. The chance is there for him to show he can handle everything again.

Maybe Harry is going through a tough time right now - similar to the one we saw David Beckham recall in the recent Netflix documentary - but hopefully Maguire can find redemption at the end of his own movie.

Maguire.jpg

You know it's time to move on when you don't play games. You have a good season, but you feel that the trust of the manager isn't there as it was before. That can be for a number of reasons, whether you're getting older, your work-rate isn't the same or maybe you're not scoring or defending the way you used to.

That's the time when you need to start asking questions. Go and talk to the manager, see where you stand.

Football can feel unfair when decisions don't go your way. It's complicated these days. Maguire could have left United in the summer but now he has a chance to make things right and prove that he can still have a future at Man United.

Wayne Rooney will manage Man Utd one day

Wayne was waiting for an opportunity like the one at Birmingham and he's taken it straight away. He was preparing for something like this whilst he was in America.

I'm pretty sure he's preparing for the top job - to manage United - because that's the ultimate goal.

When you have someone like Wayne, you can't think he'll stay at a smaller club all his life and manage them. He's building step by step and I respect that.

He's climbing the managerial ladder right now I'm sure at one stage he will go for the Man United job. I think he's preparing for the day his phone rings and he's told that Man United are waiting for him.

Rooney and O'Shea have strong connection

I'll be curious to see how Rooney does at Birmginham and I'll be watching them. It's good to have John O'Shea by your side going into battle. I've been there with both of them and I know the connection they have.

When you play in a lot of teams with a lot of players, you like some of them, you love others and sometimes you don't speak to them because you don't have a connection.

With Wayne and John, you could tell they had a good bond with the way they spoke and socialised together.

It's good that the connection has continued past their playing days too. The Birmingham job will be difficult and you want someone who will be there for you. It's great that Wayne has added John to his team.

I'm always a call away for Wazza

I have my own journey and I don't have any plans to go into coaching or management, but I'm always there to help and advise because I love football and I can bring something to the table.

You never know in football. I'm curious to see how Wazza gets forward in this line of work because America is one thing, now he's back in England and everything has changed.

Wayne is a big, big name. He knows that when you stop playing football, your name can get you places, but when it comes down to management you need to start from the beginning.

Ronaldo can keep playing at highest level

Cristiano Ronaldo will stop when he wants to stop. When you look after yourself the way he has, have the team around you that he does, the chances of playing football for longer than expected increase.

In Cristiano's case, I think he has the chance to play for another two or three years.

People will say that he's playing in a slower league, that's not as good as the Premier League, but it doesn't matter. He's still proving that he's going strong, especially recently with his performances and goals for Portugal.

He's helped Portugal qualify for Euro 2024, and one day his last tournament will come, of course, but let's not think about that yet. Let's just leave him be and I'm sure he'll surprise us with another decision soon enough.

At the moment, Cristiano is going strong so we need to enjoy watching him play until he does decide that enough is enough.


Keep up with Betfair's Berbatov exclusives and read his match predictions for this weekend's Premier League action.

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