Roy Keane’s Sunderland have travelled down to London today to take on Tottenham Hostpur at White Hart Lane. United target, Dimitar Berbatov, is missing from the starting line-up, just like he was on Spurs’ opening day defeat to Middlesbrough. However, today he is missing from the 18-man squad all together.
This probably bodes well for Manchester United, with the player clearly pissing off the club on a whole new level after being photographed signing a United shirt, but the situation is just turning nasty now.
After the petty verbal sparring between Daniel Levy and Sir Alex Ferguson, things have taken a turn for the worse turn now, with possibly only a dodgy donation like Liverpool offered up being enough to smooth things out.
Juande Ramos has left Berbatov out, despite claiming the player was an “excellent pro” just a couple of days ago, explaining the reasons why on the club’s website.
“I have not selected him as I do not think that he is focused enough and I do not feel that he will be good for the dressing room and the team effort,” said Ramos. “It doesn’t matter how good a player is, if he is not in the right frame of mind, then he will not perform well. The only thing I concern myself with is picking the best team to try and win the game. I shall talk to the player tomorrow, he is our player and we shall work with him at training.”
Now whilst I am keen to see us sign a new striker, this situation does not sit right with me at all, and I suppose that is because of what we endured with Cristiano Ronaldo over the summer. Whilst we haven’t bombared the press with statements about Berbatov, like Real Madrid did with Ronaldo, clearly Berbatov is intent on joining United as Ronaldo was on going to Spain.
When Ronaldo was told his move to Madrid wouldn’t be approved, he responded positively.
“Sir Alex listened to me, I listened to him and we established that the best for both sides would be for me to continue at Old Trafford,” he said. “So, I can confirm that I’ll be playing for Manchester United next season. And before there are any rumours and speculation about me staying against my will, I want to make one thing clear: whoever says or writes anything to that effect is lying. I’ll be playing at Manchester United with my heart and soul. I will fight and honour the shirt with the same desire and dedication as I always have.”
The same cannot be said of Berbatov though, who is obviously throwing a tantrum that his desired move is being granted. Whilst I can totally understand a player who wants to test himself in the Champions League when at his peak, his behaviour is totally undesirable, and despite what Ramos wants to say to the press, unprofessional.
However, Spurs’ nerve will really be tested here. Will they hold out for their evaluation of the player, even if it meants it won’t be met and they’re stuck with a player the manager currently believes he can’t even include? Or will they sell him on for a fee closer to United’s estimation, which will still see them make a massive profit on the money they forked out two years ago?
Only time will tell, but the sooner this messy situation is resolved, the better.