Owen and Ber­ba­tov will prove their worth, says Rio

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FOOTBALL - By MARK OG­DEN

MICHAEL OWEN and Dim­i­tar Ber­ba­tov will star for Manch­ester United, says Rio Fer­di­nand.

Fer­di­nand has backed Ber­ba­tov and Owen to si­lence their Manch­ester United crit­ics and win over their Old Traf­ford doubters.

Club record £30.75m sign­ing Ber­ba­tov and free trans­fer ar­rival Owen net­ted their first goals of the sea­son in last Satur­day’s 5-0 victory against Wi­gan at the DW Sta­dium.

Both for­wards have strug­gled to hit their best form so far this term, but the pair are likely to face their tough­est test of the cam­paign against Arsene Wenger’s un­beaten Arse­nal to­day.

De­fender Fer­di­nand, cur­rently out of action with a thigh in­jury, is con­fi­dent that Ber­ba­tov and Owen will prove their worth once they are given the op­por­tu­nity to show their cre­den­tials.

Fer­di­nand said: “Peo­ple say cer­tain things about Dim­i­tar but he is al­ways the first into train­ing and the last to leave. He is a ded­i­cated pro­fes­sional who wants to score goals for Manch­ester United.

“Maybe he is not like Wayne (Rooney) in the sense of be­ing 100mph all the time. He is quite re­laxed and does things in his own time.

“But you do not win the league with 11 play­ers who are all the same.

“Michael has been ham­mered, yet he has not even played a full 90 min­utes.

“Peo­ple have said he was fin­ished and was not worth the risk, yet he scored with prob­a­bly his hard­est chance of the sea­son (against Wi­gan).

“I think that goal on Satur­day will cat­a­pult him to­wards scor­ing a few more.”

The per­for­mance at Wi­gan apart, United have been un­con­vinc­ing as an at­tack­ing force since the £80m sum­mer sale of Cris­tiano Ron­aldo to Real Madrid.

Man­ager Sir Alex Fer­gu­son has added just Owen, An­to­nio Va­len­cia and Bor­deaux winger Gabriel Ober­tan to his squad since Ron­aldo’s exit.

But de­spite re­ports in Spain link­ing United with a dead­line move for Real’s Ar­jen Robben, Fer­di­nand in­sists the club al­ready have enough tal­ent to prove they can be suc­cess­ful without Ron­aldo.

He said: “The man­ager has so much in­tel­li­gence and ex­pe­ri­ence and he is not looking for a like­for-like re­place­ment for Ron­aldo. He wants play­ers who can push the team fur­ther on.

“If we go into the sea­son with what we have now I would sit very com­fort­ably in our chang­ing room.

“We have been suc­cess­ful in the last few years and we are not a one-man team.” – The Tele­graph

DIF­FER­ENT STROKES: Dim­i­tar Ber­ba­tov and Wayne Rooney may be dif­fer­ent, but they’re both ex­cep­tion­ally tal­ented, says Rio Fer­di­nand.

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