It’s interesting that British fans still value an energetic player more than a skillful one, because in theory it doesn’t take any skill to be the hardest working player on the pitch.
It’s never a criticism when things are going well, but as soon as things start to go wrong then anyone with bad body language or a low work rate will immediately get singled out – just look at Mesut Ozil.
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Dimitar Berbatov is probably under appreciated because he didn’t run about like a headless chicken, but in a recent interview with The BBC it’s clear he felt his way was the right way, as he batted away accusations of being lazy at Man United and Spurs:
“Some people don’t understand it, but if you are clever in your head, even if you are slow in speed, you can still be quick. You can position yourself better and be even more use to your team.”
“But I was running in my head. And when I see someone in a better position than me I always give the ball. No selfishness. In the end we win and lose together.”
“It seems a bit strange, but in every team I have been in, you see my style of play and sometimes fans and players don’t understand that and they become a bit afraid of it, like I am not helping and not good for the team.”
He was always a fascinating player to watch because his style was fantastic in some games while frustrating in others. It was clear he wanted to play at his own pace, but sometimes he did slow things down too much.
He will always be remembered for his glorious touch and calm demeanor, but he could also be deadly in front of goal as he proved with 20 Premier League goals for United in the 2010/2011 season.