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So, Should We Still Have This Berbatov Discussion?


I haven’t been in a habit of putting up images in my posts, lately. Although something — and some common sense — tells me that this site would look a whole lot better with a few pics here and there. So I thought I’d get the Berbatov pic in. And I hope I do manage to get a pic up, however irrelevant it may be, every now and then. However, be warned that you wouldn’t see too much of, what they call, eye-candy; more a space filling device than anything else.

It wasn’t too long ago when most of us were creaming ourselves over the Bulgarian; on how perfect he would be to link up play; or be a target man. Or simply drop back as the need arises. But of late we have seen some aspects of his character that makes it appear that he may actually be a soft bloke deep down. Or rather, a person who is so full of himself.

We’ve heard reports quoting Ramos, when he said that he wouldn’t stand in the way of Berbatov if he wanted to move. Then we’ve heard Berbatov pledging his love for Tottenham. And, of course, we’ve most recently seen reports from none other than the Sun, where his brother was quoted as saying that Berba had ‘outgrown’ Spurs and would love a move to United.

Countless websites, columns and blogs have discussed about this. So I consider this to be my moral right to follow suit and contribute to the noise of opinions that have already clouded internet space — if that was even a decent metaphor. And, of course, the person who considers me to be his favourite Man Utd blogger also wrote a piece. So I am tempted to reciprocate write one myself.

My discussions on Berbatov will draw from two articles from the Guardian written just eight months off each other. I suggest you read both of them before proceeding.

First Article (Amy Lawrence)
Second Article (Jonathan Wilson)

The first article, written way back in March, makes for a good read, which is not much of a surprise coming as it does from Amy Lawrence (despite her Arsenal tilt in general), as it gives us insights into the player — his strengths and skill. But despite being an article full of praise for the Bulgarian, it comes with some warning signs of the player, which I quote here for your convenience:

Klaus Toppmoller, the genial ex-coach of Leverkusen, who had been something of a father figure to Berbatov, said: ‘He can be one of the best strikers around, but everyone should be aware he can be a lazy bastard.’

While these words may have been laughed out seven months ago, they now sound eerily prophetic. A possible cause for his downfall, this season? We may never know.

The second article, by Jonathan Wilson, is more damning. It appears that Berbatov doesn’t only have troubles with Tottenham. He has also become an object of hate in his home country. Some excerpts from the second article look to strengthen such a belief. Like this one for example from his agent, that reeks of a false sense of self importance:

“He is worried about not scoring,” his agent, Emil Dantchev, said. “But he sees the situation clearly and knows that Tottenham are lacking the player who can make that killer pass that leads to a goal.”

And this one:

…but the complaints were given credence by Berbatov’s reaction to Bulgaria’s 2-0 defeat to Holland in a Euro 2008 qualifier in September. In the dressing room after the game, Berbatov, who is captain of his country and their highest-profile player, laid into his team-mates, blaming the goalkeeper, Dimitar Ivankov, for an error that cost a goal, attacking the defence for their supposed sloppiness, and accusing the midfield of making his job impossible by failing to supply him with passes of sufficient quality. That he himself had missed two highly presentable chances was ignored.

While there may be a fair bit of sensationalism attached to this article, in trying to pounce on his rather poor form, so far, there still is a fair bit of truth to lend credence to the fact that from his commitment (or the lack of it) Berbatov is clearly not United material. Sure, part of the reason for his poor form might be attributed to the unsettling effect of being linked to United. True, SAF might have actually done a better job at cajoling the hell out of the player had the striker chosen United over Spurs. But do we really need him now?

Despite the obvious strengths he has in his game; despite his undoubted skill and ‘languid genius’, as some would put it, he would demand a regular starting berth in the side. Or, at least, his price tag would. That would certainly destabilise the team. Even today, in the absence of Rooney, he wouldn’t be welcome in a side where the system takes precedence over the player. Our side is not built around one player. At least not this season, as we showed we were just as capable of scoring with, or without, the likes of Ronaldo.

We would surely do better to look at a decent back up who would be content to come off the bench and fill-in rather than some one who struggles to even do a warm-up, when called upon.

Seriously, Mr. Berbatov, you could really fuck off.