Dimitar Berbatov: Rangnick was overwhelmed by Man Utd job

Cristiano Ronaldo playing for Man Utd
Ronaldo was the sole star of United's season

Betfair Ambassador Dimitar Berbatov reflects on Manchester United's miserable season, hails Antonio Conte and Son Heung-Min, and looks ahead to 2022/23...

"Son has been even better than Kane this season. Sometimes we overlook the player next to the star, but Son has produced unbelievable moments and goals."

Like many people, I expected more from Manchester United this season. They didn't qualify for the Champions League - the basic requirement for a top team - so everyone connected with the club is disappointed with the campaign.

It's been a long time since United were challenging for the Premier League title. They need to keep on building and upgrading if they want to catch Liverpool and City.

Was getting rid of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November the right thing to do? We don't know what would have happened if Solskjaer stayed at United. The reality is he was sacked and in came Ralf Rangnick, but unfortunately the goal of finishing in the top four wasn't met.

Rangnick came with a big reputation, but he hadn't managed a big club, and sometimes arriving at United can be overwhelming.

I think the players gave their best. Sometimes you make in a game when you overthink things and feel under pressure. United should always have big goals, even when they are going through a difficult period. They are still Manchester United.

Ronaldo proved his value to United

Cristiano Ronaldo brought goals and experience to Manchester United. Behind the scenes, he is also helping the club's young talent to understand how to play the game.

On the pitch, it doesn't matter about his age, he has proven that he can still do it. He has been playing at United in the best league in the world and has scored so many goals. At 37-years-old, that's unbelievable.

I'm not surprised to see how well he has done. When you take care of your body, when you have the reputation as one of the best in the world, and when you believe in yourself, like Ronaldo, then you succeed.

He's been there before, he knows the place and it has all come together for him. He made the right choice coming to United and the stats prove it.

Ten Hag needs time

I am excited for United next season under Erik ten Hag. He's a great coach, he's worked wonders with Ajax and I'm happy that he has taken charge of United.

But let's wait and see how he approaches things, which players he buys and sells. These are things that will give us signs of what United are going to do next season.

Imagine if they win the Premier League in his first season. That would be a miracle. Let's go back to reality, it's not going to happen, he needs time, but qualifying for the Champions League and winning a trophy would be a great achievement in his first season. He has to give them something to get them going again. I hope that he can achieve that.

Conte can take Spurs to next level

I was so pleased to see Spurs qualify for the Champions League. I hope they can take the next step under Antonio Conte, keep improving and ultimately win a trophy. He is instilling discipline, tactical awareness and control in the team. For the moment, he is the guy to take Spurs forward.

On paper, Spurs have a way better squad now than they had when I was there and we won the League Cup in 2008. But they are yet to win anything since then. They had a great opportunity in the Champions League final in 2019, but they didn't win it.

I hope that with Conte, a serial winner, they will get another trophy sooner rather than later.

The Champions League will not be a distraction for them next season. As a player, you think: "I am playing in the Champions League, I am going to be playing against the best players and best teams."

That gives you the lift you need to produce even more quality. It gives you more adrenalin to play football. They will be playing a lot of games but as a player you want that. You're doing what you love, it doesn't get better than that.

Hard to see Kane leaving Spurs

Of course, there are going to be questions around Harry Kane's future following last summer's saga. Haaland has gone to Manchester City, so will Kane go to Man United?

They aren't playing Champions League football, so I don't see the point of the move for Kane. He will want to play Champions League football. Where else wiould he go? Outside of England? I don't think so.

My guess is, that there will be rumours flying around, and some interest from clubs, but he will stay at Spurs.

Son has been unbelievable

Son has been even better than Kane this season. Sometimes we overlook the player next to the star, but Son has produced unbelievable moments and goals. We need to give Son credit too for what he is doing. I'm so happy that he is stepping out of Kane's shadow. He has to be in the team of the season.

I always go back to me and Keano when we were at Spurs - that was a great partnership - and now I'm so happy that they have Kane and Son. You can see there is no selfishness there, they both play for the team and spur each other on to greater achievements.

For a great partnership to work, selfishness can't be in the equation, you have to be selfless when you play with a partner up front. You need to give him the ball when he is in a better position, there can be no jealousy and you want him to do well. He will return the favour and make you look good. This is what we are seeing now at Spurs with Kane and Son, just like was with me and Keano.

Rivals must close gap on City and Liverpool

Man City and Liverpool have been a class above everyone again, not only this season but for many years now. They are the team you want to follow, watch and learn from. All credit to them for the way they play football. Their achievements have been fully deserved this season.

It's not easy to coach good players. They know they are good and egos can be big, so coaches have to know how to control that and make everybody think they are valuable, even the ones who don't make the starting 11. Maybe it comes down to Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp being strong mentally and knowing how to speak to players, which is so important.

Ultimately, for every team next season getting close to City and Liverpool will be the goal. Both clubs will be looking to upgrade, and it will be easy for them because every player wants to play for Liverpool or City.

Haaland must learn from Sancho's mistakes

I'm excited to see Erling Haaland in the Premier League. When I watch a game I'm looking to see who the strikers are because I want to see entertainment and goals. At the moment, Haaland and Mbappe are the players to watch. Haaland is young and, under Guardiola, he can grow.

I'm curious to see how he is going to fit into the City team. He is a number nine, but it will be interesting to see if Guardiola has different ideas about him and how he approaches games. Haaland is not only about goals, he has other really strong qualities that he brings to the game.

Look at what Guardiola did with Gabriel Jesus. He put him out on the right and he's been doing really well. I really like to see this kind of thing, it's a masterclass of knowing your players and persuading them to believe in you. Maybe Guardiola will come up with a different way of playing Haaland, surprising the opposition in the process, that would be great to see.

I have one or two concerns about how he is going to adapt in the Premier League, but this is purely based on former-Dortmund player Jadon Sancho's problems this season at United.

United spend so much money spent on Sancho, with great expectations, and he can do so much more. That's why it's got me thinking. The Bundesliga is great, and a great place to start. It's where I started before I moved to Spurs.

When I came to England, it took me a while to get used to the tempo. I hope that Haaland has been speaking with Sancho and other players and has been learning a few things to avoid the mistakes that others have made.

People are expecting so much from Haaland, a hat-trick every game! He will be judged by the goals he scores, every striker is unfortunately.

Diaz's is one of players of the season

Liverpool's Luis Diaz has been one of the signings of the season. I can't think of anyone else who has had a similar impact. The way he produces and plays football has been very impressive.

When he first signed I didn't know where he would play and how he would fit into that Liverpool team with so many good players up front. But he has been unbelievable every time he has stepped on the pitch.

It's great again from the scouting department at Liverpool, they've proven again they know what they're doing.

Some players take to a new league immediately and he is one of them. He's not shy and I think he's found it easy to fit straight into the team. When some players come into a new team they can be shy and find it difficult. I was like that, I needed more time to properly get into the team.

He is clearly the opposite and he has produced his best so quickly. Credit to the coaches and everybody there.

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