The Problem with Berbatov
Harvey Dent: So, Berbatov. Class player who will continue to blossom with life in the Premiership. Twenty-three goals last season, I expect more, especially in the league.
Two-Face: Yes. With another club. Did you not see him on Saturday? Sitting alone in the tunnel, on steps behind the rest of the Spurs line-up. Alone. Isolated.
Harvey Dent: He was psyching himself up for the game. Contemplating. Not for the first time.
Two-Face: Psyching? Oh is that what you call it? I'm sure he was contemplating though; 'What the fuck am I still doing here?'. Psyching didn't help him much out on the field, did it?
Harvey Dent: That's because he was surrounded by teammates who let him down.
Two-Face: He's been letting himself down since the start of pre-season. Lethargic and disinterested. It's probably dawned on him that its far easier going to a club that's the finished article. Then he wouldn't have to carry the weight of his average team mates on his shoulders.
Harvey Dent: That's perposterious. He only said a few weeks ago that team spirit at the club was good and that the new players had been made to feel welcome at the club. He's obviously happy.
Two-Face: Ha! And did he tell you that himself? Of course not. You just happen across an interview on the Spurs website. All players have a duty to say something for the benefit of the club and its news section. Bent was brought in for big dollars as the replacement for the Bulgarian. It was self-admittance that the club wont be able to keep Berbatov which proves they club don't have the belief to match Berbatov's ambition of playing in the Champions League.
Harvey Dent: All summer long, he never once suggested he wanted a move. And the one club who wanted him according to the press have now got Tevez.
Two-Face: Doesn't mean they wouldn't say no to Berbatov. Tevez is a completely different type of player. And other clubs wouldn't turn their face away from him either. And, if you want to be pedantic about it, not once all summer long did Berbatov completely dismiss leaving. Players are fickle creatures with self-preservation being their number one priority.
Harvey Dent: You're basing all this on him sitting down on some steps pre-kick off.
Two-Face: Body language. You can tell a lot from body language.
Harvey Dent: Your assumption is based on one match, 90 minutes of football.
Two-Face: Pre-season too.
Harvey Dent: Many players avoid excelling themselves in friendlies. Why would you wish to possibly injure yourself?
Two-Face: Bent excelled himself. He didn't get himself injured.
Harvey Dent: He has something to prove having just arrived.
Two-Face: So, you admit that Berbatov believes that he is more important than the club itself.
Harvey Dent: I never said that. How did I say that?
Two-Face: By suggesting that Berbatov will be selected no matter what his form is because he is some kind of talisman, a self-proclaimed/supporter-proclaimed world class player.
Harvey Dent: No, just that his quality is not in doubt. He proved that last season beyond doubt.
Two-Face: Neither is Bents quality in doubt. Look at his goal scoring record from the past 2 seasons. And as for Berbatov, he was sublime last term, but that will be forgotten if he fails to ignite this season.
Harvey Dent: Of course he will ignite. Why wouldn't he?
Two-Face: Not if he isn't happy. He didn't look happy getting substituted. That might happen often this season out of the necessity to keep four forwards happy when only two are needed at any given time. And igniting is also dependent on the rest of his team starting a fire.
Harvey Dent: That doesn't even make sense. Look, there is nothing to suggest that theres a problem with Berbatov. Nothing.
Two-Face: Have you seen him smile yet?
Harvey Dent: Have you seen any Spurs players smile yet?
Two-Face: I don't think anyone at Spurs is smiling at the moment.
Harvey Dent: There you go.
Two-Face: The more they struggle, the more detached Berbatov will feel and that will come across in his performances. That happened last year. With the Cup exits. It was almost like he saw himself as one entity and the rest of his team mates as a separate entity, laying blame on them. Suggesting they need to do the improving to be up to his high standard. Do you know what that is?
Harvey Dent: Enlighten me.
Two-Face: A crack. A crack in the glass that will soon shatter. He sees himself as being worthy of more. Like Carrick before him.
Harvey Dent: Carrick? Carrick is a midfielder.
Two-Face: Yes, but he too out grew the club and moved on.
Harvey Dent: But he never claimed publicly to be happy at Spurs and content. He was a model professional, but stayed clear of announcing loyalty because he was always destined to move on. You are basing everything on the last month or so of pre-season. Little insignificant incidents that seem to be your foundation for the argument. But think back to what Berbatov talked about prior to pre-season. He's a modest man. He isn't the a-typical footballer.
Two-Face: Being modest doesn't mean being content with mediocrity.
Harvey Dent: I beg to differ. He isn't one to turn him back away so hastily.
Two-Face: Doesn't look like we are going to see eye-to-eye on this.
Harvey Dent: Doubtful.
Two-Face: (flicks two-headed coin)
Harvey Dent: Well?
Two-Face: Scratched face up.
Harvey Dent: Looks like we'll have to revisit this then.
Two-Face: We will. I'm sure of it. If he's still wearing Lilywhite.
Second Issue released next week.