Fans are divided more than ever on the Dimitar Berbatov question. Some rave about his touch and technique, while others, frustrated, question his commitment and work-rate.
In any case, Dimitar could yet be the latest foreign import to flop in the Premier League, joining a list that includes former Manchester United employees Diego Forlan, who recently collected his Golden Ball for his performances in this year’s World Cup, and Juan Veron, who at 35 has just completed another World Cup for his country, reaching the Quarter-finals.
And there may be something in that. Granted, the Bulgarian had a highly successful two year tenure at Spurs, but, now, is it not conceivable that Berbatov has become a victim of the virtues of the Premier League?
Steering away from simply making excuses for the 29-year-old, who has been frustrating and at times humiliating for Manchester United fans to watch, there may be something in the fact that the forwards talents are under appreciated by the Premier League in general. After all, what is the Premier League known for? It’s technically gifted players? No, arguably, La Liga holds that crown. The Premier League has a reputation for being quick and intense; not necessarily good, but fast-paced and exciting for its worldwide audience.
And it’s needless to say that ‘fast-paced’ isn’t Berbatov’s style. Neither was it Juan Veron’s and neither, arguably, was it Diego Forlan’s, who prospered so well in the technically orientated La Liga.
It’s easy to dismiss those players as simply not ‘good’ enough to play in the Premier League, but therein lies an inherent fundamental ignorance, even arrogance, that fans paste liberally over anyone who fails to make the grade. When you consider how poorly England performed on the world stage and how few Premier League players managed to make it into the final four (the majority of them coming, unsurprisingly, from the Bundesliga and La Liga) of the recent tournament, it’s obvious there’s something else at work.
Yes, the Premier League is entertaining as it is, but would it not be even more so if players such as Berbatov were able to demonstrate their ability without fear of being razed and pillaged the second they come into possession?
Berbatov won’t be sold this summer according to the current outlook, and, as a result of his accumulation of years, combined with the intensity of the Premier League, his future may only continue to look increasingly bleak.
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