Like Michael Carrick before him, I, like many reds, championed the cause of Dimitar Berbatov. Again, like Carrick, I hadn’t been overly enthusiastic about the prospect of signing him, but once he was ours, I was excited to see what he could do.
Sadly, a minority of reds, used to watching Rooney and Tevez breaking their necks to win every ball, weren’t too impressed with Berbatov’s work rate. “Lazy cunt!” a lad sat behind me would shout, every time our new signing lost the ball or made a wayward pass.
However, if you hadn’t been impressed beforehand, Berbatov’s delightful flick against West Ham had most of us swooning. What a fucking player.
I like that he’s laid back now, I enjoy seeing him take his time on the ball before playing the perfect pass. He’s a cut above, total class, and he has no intention of changing his style for anyone!
“Half the people might like me – the other half might not,” said Berbatov. “But throughout my life, I have had high expectations for myself – so I just try to make the non-believers into believers. But even when things are going great I keep telling myself I need to do more. I am a perfectionist and I set high standards. Everything I do, I want it to be perfect. I know it can’t be like that every time – but that is my aim. If it is near perfection, I suppose I am happy.”
Berbatov gets called lazy by some sections of our crowd, although as his class shines through more and more with every game, those criticisms have quietened down. Our Bulgarian insists he has no plans to start running around like a headless chicken though and will keep playing the game in the calm style he does.
“I am a relaxed guy,” he added. “I play that way and I can’t change my style. I watch games and see guys who panic on the ball – they look so nervous. I can be calm, because I sometimes know what I want to do before the ball comes to me. The boss tells me not to change anything – he gives me freedom to express my qualities.”