Berba Will Be the New Cantona
By IAN WRIGHT - Columnist
WITH all the controversy surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo, it is already becoming one hell of a long pre-season for Manchester United fans.
He's going. He's staying. He's injured. He's a slave. Blah, blah, blah.
But Red Devils fans fear not. Where there is hope, at least there is Dimitar Berbatov.
The moody Bulgarian is bang on Alex Ferguson's radar and I reckon he is the Eric Cantona clone the United faithful have been praying for.
The languid style. The look of not being interested пїЅ" before turning on the stunning skill. The pure class.
Cantona had bucketloads of it and so does Berba. He's just got the vibe, if you know what I mean.
There is a bit of Dennis Bergkamp about him, too but the Cantona comparison is spot on.
People look at him and think he isn't quick. But they are wrong.
He is deceptively fast and so technically gifted. He can do fantastic things with the ball and scores some cracking goals пїЅ" just like Eric used to.
Left foot, right foot, close range or far out. The guy has it all.
To be honest, I am surprised there haven't been more clubs sniffing around.
The Tottenham star is exactly the type of player who would fit into Ferguson's line-up without any fuss at all. The United chief has a knack of getting guys in who easily walk into the team.
And I can just see Berbatov strutting round Old Trafford.
Up front with Carlos Tevez? Playing just off Wayne Rooney? Any way you look it, it's one hell of a tasty proposition.
Berbatov is a great link player who will love the free-flowing football United served up last season.
At times he resembles someone who looks like he would rather be somewhere else.
But with the lure of the Champions League and fighting for the title, we may just see a smile on his face.
Certainly being teed up by the likes of Paul Scholes, Rooney and Ryan Giggs every week would make me smile.
The quality of service and the players around will make Berbatov a better player and, perhaps, he will be happier within himself.
That would see a new, maybe more determined player.
Let's remember what a brilliant couple of seasons he has had at Spurs and think that this guy, 27, can still improve and become even better.
It's an exciting prospect and Premier League defences wouldn't like it one bit.
Fergie? He would absolutely love it and perhaps take some of the pain away from the Ronaldo situation and what has been one of the worst transfer sagas in living memory.
Everywhere you look around this sorry mess it just stinks.
Let's start with our old pal Sepp Blatter. I don't want to waste too much time carping on about a bloke who isn't worth the exposure but the FIFA president needs to be told a few home truths.
What right does he have to call into question how United are treating their own player пїЅ" who they pay?
Here we have a man who is at the pinnacle of power yet continues to spout off in unbelievable ways.
Why doesn't someone from FIFA pull him to one side and let him know exactly what the organisation think of these ridiculous outbursts?
It does no one any favours. But, then again, the actions of United and Real Madrid have hardly added any gloss to this sickening situation.
Yes, Real have played a naughty game of publicly chasing a player who isn't theirs.
They have managed to turn his head 180 degrees and Fergie is furious.
But hold on. What have United been doing for the past two years with Berbatov?
It may not have been so public but Berba knows they fancy him. So then Spurs get the hump. And rightly so.
Also, take a really close look at what United did with Owen Hargreaves and Bayern Munich.
If you're in the market to do these sort of things to other clubs, you must expect it to happen to you.
The double standards in football really astonish me sometimes but that is the way it is these days.
Back when I had my boots on, I never experienced similar situations.
When I left Palace for Arsenal, I played for the Eagles on the Saturday, got a call saying George Graham wanted me and that was that.
No baloney, no bull. Let's get it straight. Ronaldo wants to go. If he wanted to stay he would have said so.
The noises coming from his camp say only one thing. This should all have been quashed ages ago.
If he really wanted to stay he would have said so by now. The silence is deafening. And very, very annoying.
Fergie is digging his heels in. Why? What's the point? If Ronaldo doesn't want to play, let him go.
People say let him rot. What's the point of that.
What does it achieve? Yeah, it will make the reserves one hell of a lot better but that's all.
We are in the business of supply and demand. The bottom line is he wants to play football.
So let him play. Either here or in Spain.
If he has a change of mind and wants to stay, great.
Whatever happens, though, it is disrupting his pre-season and taking up too much time which should be used to fine-tune his plans for what promises to be a cracking season.
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