Dimitar Berbatov has taken over from Cristiano Ronaldo as the ‘big’ story of the transfer window, and last week there were a flurry of news reports claiming that Berba was ‘on his way’ to Old Trafford and would line up for the Red Devils on Sunday.
All of them false – unfortunately so for Manchester United who were missing Tevez (the striker returned to Argentina for family reasons) and could have used a ‘fit’ striker to get them the winning goal. Not that Berba did a load of good sitting on Tottenham’s bench or playing for them as a sub – Spurs lost their opening day game as well – and Ramos will need to start winning games like Middlesbrough away if Spurs are to challenge for the Champions League.
And today we have reports that include a ready-made headline quote from Berbatov: “I’m now in Tottenham but no one can disagree with me wanting to follow my dream.”
Dimitar Berbatov’s dream is to win titles (believe it or not) and crucially, he doesn’t believe he can do that with Tottenham. And that leads us to a bunch of interesting questions, such as:
What was Berbatov ‘dreaming of’ when he joined Tottenham? Did he ‘buy’ the hype two years ago or was he positioning himself for a big move by putting himself in the Premier League spotlight?
What are other players at Tottenham ‘dreaming of’? Winning titles? Getting more lucrative contracts? Working hard for a move to a big club? What about Dos Santos and Modric and Bale, three young players who wouldn’t look out of place at one of Europe’s top sides but are gaining valuable time on the pitch, time that they wouldn’t get at a bigger club while they still need to develop?
What are United dreaming of? We know what Ronaldo’s dreaming of, but what about everyone else, especially after winning back-to-back titles? Are they wondering about how their ‘reign’ will end? Are they ready for another 9 months of bloody toil to win a 3rd time?
To their credit, each party has done the right thing in this affair – Tottenham have put a price on Berbatov’s head and are waiting to sign a replacement, which is fair. Berbatov has been training and playing when and as asked, although his head’s not in it. It’ll be interesting to see if Ronaldo’s ‘head’ is in it, although he’s a different type of player and possibly a harder worker than Berbatov in training and on the pitch.
United have made their offer and kept things out of the press – and they haven’t panicked into buying players they don’t need. As an aside, United’s transfer policy in the last few years has been impeccable – every player coming in has slotted in perfectly and helped improve the side.
Hopefully Tottenham can find a replacement for Keane/Berbatov (with the Arshavin move seemingly off for good) soon and by this weekend we have the whole saga resolved. Otherwise it’s another 4-5 months of endless speculation….