Sunday, September 7, 2008

Berbatov - it gets stranger!

It should be safe to assume Dimitar Berbatov would be drafted into the Manchester United squad as soon as possible, shouldn't it? Given Sir Alex Ferguson's side paid Spurs £30.75million for the striker, surely they would want to use him as quickly as possible?

Surprisingly, it would seem the 27-year-old Bulgaria international will not be fast-tracked into the squad. According to today's News of the World, Berbatov hasn't even joined up with his new team-mates since leaving Spurs.

Even more surprising is the claim Sir Alex had doubts about signing the player because of his less-than-stellar work-rate. Whether it's possible to to believe that while remembering the United boss collected Berbatov from the airport in his own car on deadline day is a matter for debate.

Berbatov will now be placed on an extensive fitness program in order to get his physical condition up to "United standard" - and will certainly have to quit smoking, unless he is prepared to face the wrath of Sir Alex, who is known for being strict about such things.

But, if nothing else, the claims sum-up the impending collapse of top-flight football. Spending £30.75million on a player (an amount which would be the British record if it wasn't for Man City's silly-money move for Robinho) is not really justifiable at the best of times, least of all if a manager with the experience and track-record of Ferguson was not 100 per cent convinced it was the right thing to do.