Russian international striker Roman Pavlyuchenko joined Tottenham Hotspur from Spartak Moscow to replace Dimitar Berbatov. And, although he has not found it that tough to settle in the Premier League, he has spoken of the differences he has encountered in his first few weeks in England.
“Everything was unusual for me. It’s a different kind of football, with a different speed… I immediately realised that English football is much faster than in Russia. Our opponents didn’t give me enough time to get to the ball properly.”
Is that why he has been unable to get a proper sniff of the goal so far for Spurs? Well, let’s hear what he has to say:
“That’s why I had practically no chance to score. So I’ll have to keep it up and work on it. And about 20 minutes before the end, the strength started running out of me. My leg muscles felt unusually cramped up.”
Nevertheless, Pavlyuchenko is fascinated by the passionate and fanatic atmosphere in the Premiership and expresses his awe:
“But what I also felt was the amazing atmosphere of the Premier League. It’s hard to describe. After each good pass or corner, people applaud, they even stand up from their seats to do it. It’s really pleasant to play in such surroundings.”
What about the pressure on him that comes along with the honour of playing for a club like Tottenham Hotspur:
“I’m aware that Tottenham fans want me to be a replacement for Berbatov. I failed to score, so I’m not a proper replacement for him – yet. He was a key player and that means that if the Spurs people want me to replace him, they must believe in me so I hope that I’ll manage to help the team.
“But I have mixed emotions now. We lost and that means the result was bad for us. As for my own performance… It was probably OK for the very first game. In London I’m happy about everything – except for Tottenham’s position at the bottom of the table.”
So, is this the start of a Spurs fairytale for Pavlyuchenko?