Between the Lines

"Of all unimportant subjects, football is the most important" – Pope John Paul II

The Berbatov File

Posted by hakanrylander on April 21, 2009

berbatov4The criticism of Dimitar Berbatov has reached new levels of intensity following his weak penalty-kick against Everton. By some, or even many, supporters he’s considered lazy, uninterested and a Veron-style transfer market mistake by Fergie. Tommy Docherty goes as far as to call Berba “an absolute disaster”. Even I have occasionally (but very briefly) doubted his contribution, even though I always love his style.

So let’s have another look at the official statistics from the Premier League. Number of assists, season 2008/09:

  1. Robin Van Persie 10
  2. Dimitar Berbatov 9
  3. Stephen Ireland 9
  4. Frank Lampard 9

For some reason I very rarely hear anyone questioning the contributions of Van Persie, Ireland or Lampard. Telegraph today helped me dig up some other interesting statistics, comparing Berbatov’s performances at Spurs and United:


Team Tottenham Manchester United
Appearances 70 27
Goal attempts    
Goals 27 8
Goals per game 0.39 0.30
Shots on target 89 21
Shots off target 76 18
Shots per game 2.4 1.4
Shooting acuracy 54% 54%
Chance conversion 16% 21%
Goal assists 18 8
Chances created per match 1.53 1.78
Pass completion % 67% 77%
Pass % opp. half 65% 75%
Cross completion % 11% 29%
Tackles won % 75% 84%


I’m not saying that these statistics prove that Berbatov has been brilliant, but it’s interesting to see that he’s improved on chance conversion, chances created, pass completion and assists. He’s even won some tackles! He should shoot more often, though.


One Response to “The Berbatov File”

  1. The Gaffer said

    Top stats. I knew Berbatov’s ability and I never thought of him as a goalscorer but more of the kind of player that creates and links up play.

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