Dimitar Berbatov – Could He Be Tottenham’s Missing Link?


Dimitar Berbatov [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]Dimitar Berbatov returned from illness to play for Fulham against Tottenham at Craven Cottage. He demonstrated his skills as a lone striker and so nearly orchestrated a win for a revitalised Fulham under new manager Rene Meulensteen. Could the former Tottenham favourite be the missing link for the current Spurs team?

We loved him, we loathed him but Berbatov still possesses the skill to pick his way through or around a defence that served Spurs to such good effect for two seasons from 2006 until his unfortunate departure to Old Trafford at the end of the summer transfer window in 2008.

We Love Berbatov:

  • for his goals – the 4 against Reading, the calmly struck penalty at Wembley against Chelsea in the Carling Cup Final in 2008 and many more
  • for his ability to control the ball so delicately and create scoring opportunities in the tightest of penalty areas
  • for his likeness to the great Alan Gilzean with deft flicks and headers to open up a defence

We Loathe Berbatov:

  • for the way he ‘refused to play’ in order to force through his transfer
  • for the way he sloped off to Old Trafford and set the pattern for Luka Modric and Gareth Bale to follow in subsequent years
  • for the lethargic play when all around seem to be busting a gut for the team but he refuses to go for a pass if it isn’t inch perfect

Berbatov’s agent has let it be known that the player is unhappy at Fulham and wants to leave Craven Cottage in the January transfer window.

Now 32 years of age, 33 in January, Berbatov displayed his array of skills last night against Spurs having an assist with an exquisite pass for the opening goal of the game. Is there a Tottenham player who could have delivered that pass with the accuracy that Berbatov displayed? He tested Hugo Lloris on more than one occasion but one in particular stands out. In the first half, he took a cross with his back to goal, turned and shot in one movement and was only denied by an outstanding low save from Lloris. He challenged and won headers, something Spurs haven’t done all season, and distributed the ball with care opening up opportunities for others. He was the focal point for the Fulham attacking movements.

Could Dimitar Berbatov be the missing link in this Tottenham team?

Teams sit deep and defend against Spurs who for all their possession and shots are simply unable to break them down. Last night’s result against Fulham was an exception to the norm. Could Berbatov provide that missing link and be the focal point for the attack with other players able to play off him. Neither Roberto Soldado nor Jermain Defoe have looked like scoring in the Premier League this year – Defoe has one league goal in 2013. Could one of them play off Berbatov? He showed that he can still manufacture space for others in a tight defence with control and delicate touches and he still has the goalscoring touch.

Could you forgive Berbatov for his past indiscretions? Would you welcome him back to White Hart Lane in January?

When Berbatov’s whereabouts were unknown at the end of the August, 2012 transfer window, Sir Alex Ferguson mischievously suggested that he might be at Tottenham. He was in London and joined Fulham where he scored 15 goals last season.

If he were to return to Spurs, he would bring his casual almost lethargic approach to playing but he would have a team full of young players doing the running for him and he could help the team with his experience and touch around the opposing penalty area where to date all Spurs’ good work has floundered and come to nothing.

The signing of Berbatov wouldn’t be a long-term solution to the Spurs’ problems but in the short-term it could be very interesting and very productive as at present there simply isn’t a player at Tottenham who can bring what Berbatov offers to a team.

Would you have Berbatov back at Spurs?

What is your favourite Berbatov goal?  Tell us in the comments box at the end of the article. COYS