The top 10 Spurs players of the decade: #3.

Dimitar Berbatov.

Well well well, where to start? Berbatov went from being the darling of White Hart Lane to the villain of Tottenham in just a few, fateful weeks. His slick, at times arrogant style of play won him many fans, yet his departure to Manchester United left a bitter taste in the mouths of many a Tottenham fan, and his poor attitude saw him leave the club in a haze of disappointment and anger.

From hero to zero

When he was playing well, Berbatov epitomised Tottenham Hotspur. He played with a swagger, a “shirt not tucked into shorts” confidence. Many regarded him as one of the most talented players to grace the Lane, walking in the company of Glenn Hoddle, David Ginola and Ricky Villa. At times he scored goals for fun, finishing moves gracefully whilst Robbie Keane worked tirelessly alongside him winning him balls and playing him in. Berbatov was undoubatly one of the most popular players during Martin Jols reign, and when the Bulgarian won the Premier League player of the month award with Robbie Keane, his popularity grew. Berbatov was the darling of the Lane, yet his desire for Champions League level football drove him to Manchester United, and out of the hearts of Tottenham supporters.

It wasn’t the fact that he wanted to play football at a higher level that aggrieved Spurs fans. It was the fact that he was willing to let his Spurs form suffer in an effort to force a move to Manchester United. His effortless style suddenly became lazy, his neat touches suddenly became rash pieces of showboating. He, of course, eventually joined Manchester United and joined Sol Campbell as one of Tottenham’s arch-nemesis, but there’s no doubt that Berbatov was one of the most talented players ever to play for the club. It’s just a shame he didn’t stay longer.

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