Date: 17th October 2008 at 8:54pm
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Dimitar Berbatov played very poorly in his nation’s last two World Cup qualifiers, against Italy and Georgia. Both games ended in 0-0 draws which indeed confirms that these were not the strikers’ days.

The United striker has been under severe criticism in his homeland since these matches as they perceive him to be lazy and not committed enough.

“Berbatov was very far from his real qualities. If somebody doesn`t want to play for Bulgaria he will not be picked,” Bulgaria coach Plamen Markov said.

“Berbatov`s job is to score goals and Bulgaria to win games,” said Bulgarian FA’s vice-president Yordan Lechkov.

“Berbatov ran just 2,000 metres against Italy when normally a player runs between 9,000 and 10,000m during 90 minutes. Berbatov is the captain and must lead the team, he has to give his best on the pitch.”

Well, that’s a tasty affair we have here. Berbatov, of course, is easily the best Bulgarian player, ahead of the Petrovs. His quality speaks for itself yet he’s stuck with the image that he’s lazy and brooding and individualistic.

I was worried about these attributes when he signed but I must admit that so far I’m pleased with his workrate. It’s not in the Rooney/Tevez/Park category but certainly better than what many predicted, barely hiding their glee.

Only 2000 metres? Quite difficult to believe though I know full well that the accusation that Berbatov doesn’t like to play with footballers below his own quality is indeed true – it was all too obvious at Spurs that he craves better teammates. Not a very likeable attitude, true – but if he continues to put in performances similar to the one he gave at Ewood then I don’t care that he can’t be arsed to work in the Bulgaria team.