Dimitar Berbatov: I respect what Eric Dier did, I'd probably do the same

Eric Dier Tottenham
Eric Dier was involved in an incident with a Tottenham fan

There's a lot going on at Tottenham at the moment and in Dimitar Berbatov's latest column, he tries to make sense of Jose Mourinho's situation and also takes a look at the Manchester Derby.

"I respect what he did because if that was me, I would probably do the same, but we should avoid things like this because people can take advantage of your emotions. "

Tottenham need to learn how to kill off games

It's a strange situation with Tottenham at the moment. Against Norwich they started really well and scored but they didn't kill the game off. In games like that you need to kill it with a few more goals. One mistake can punish you, and that was exactly what happened, a mistake from the goalkeeper and Norwich reacted.

Sometimes, you just can't. There are so many factors, bad luck, bad performance or things not going in your favour. But, I don't know how many times I've said it before, Spurs need consistency and concentration - all these details are so important for them because they have the players, the manager but their consistency level is not there and It can be so bad for the team, like we saw against Norwich.

Questions are starting to be asked about Jose Mourinho, but in my opinion he still has it in him. The club wouldn't have appointed him if they didn't think he couldn't do the job. He still has the fire, maybe he's just a bit more mellow.

I remember when I was playing under Sir Alex Ferguson, in the later years he was a lot more mellow on the training pitch; we all get older and change, and I think that is where Mourinho is at currently. In the end it's all about what is happening on the pitch and getting your players to follow your instructions in the right way, sometimes that doesn't work out.

Mourinho Sidelines 1280.jpg

Players are human beings too

You can tell that there is quite a bit of tension at Spurs with how Eric Dier reacted after the game. You don't react like that if everything is calm. Yes, they lost a game, everyone loses games. If you react so impulsively from anger, it shows that something isn't going right for you and the team. I respect what he did because if that was me, I would probably do the same, but we should avoid things like this because people can take advantage of your emotions.

Unfortunately, football crowds are quite abusive and every player suffers from it, even Messi and Ronaldo. But we are all human beings and if someone brings your family into it of course you are going to protect them, but it shouldn't happen.

Of course, we are all fans of our teams but it's not easy out there, it's easy to say 'what the f***, I can do better' but trust me it's really difficult on the pitch and people should control their emotions about players and especially their families.

Viva Ighalo

The mood and the spirit of the team is really high right now at Manchester United. The way they play, the goals and the performances are all going in the right direction and you can not take that away from them. I hope that the consistency factor is there with them now, they have a tough test against Manchester City next, but they are in the perfect moment to play them.

Their confidence is high, they are playing with purpose and hopefully we will see that this weekend.

United are unbeaten in their last nine matches in all competitions, which is a great run, and they are facing their rival in a very positive moment. The whole team is playing well and seven clean sheets in those previous nine games proves it. Games like this are a bit different because even if you come off the back of three defeats, you are still facing your rivals and find that extra strength to motivate yourself.

I'm really happy to see that Odion Ighalo is settling in well and he deserves it with the way he is playing, how he links the plays and the goals he is scoring. All the team are happy when he scores which shows he is fully integrated, and I like the way he looks for the ball and bullies the defenders.

I'll be honest, I didn't know too much about him before he joined, obviously I knew about his record in the Premier League, but I questioned if he was the right man and if he would get into the team, but so far he is doing well and proving me wrong.

Odion-Ighalo-Manchester-United-1280.jpg

When you need to play more direct in a game you need a presence in the box, a guy who knows how to get onto the end of a ball, bully the defenders and win the ball.

Ighalo can do that, but he can also play, is technically good as well, he can keep the ball and give it to his teammates and get into the box, that's why I like him. He doesn't just stay in the box and try to head the ball. He is linking really well with others and that shows in the teams performances when he is involved.

Fernandes can impress in first Manchester derby

Bruno Fernandes is scoring and is full of confidence, he gives the team that extra creativity and hopefully his first derby will be a win, and why not. When you come into a new country and a new team you already know who your big rivals are going to be and now in the lead up to Sunday he is going to know what this game is all about.

These days, even if you don't watch football you know who Man City are and who plays for them. Fernandes will have done his homework and he will be prepared. These two teams know each other so well, some of them probably go for dinner together, you have these things, but when you step onto the pitch it's about my team not yours.

I am feeling positive ahead of this weekend's Manchester Derby, you can see there is a lot of spirit there at the moment, but it is true, this is a different game. City are not the same City from last season and they are suffering a bit in the shadow of Liverpool, which I'm sure has affected them as reigning champions. United can exploit this and take advantage of it because there are three points to take against them.

Both teams will want to win this game, but are City thinking more about winning the Champions League now that they know the league is won? I don't think they will want to lose against United before they host Real Madrid in a couple of weeks. For me this is a pretty even match and I think whoever makes the least mistakes will be fine.

Losing De Bruyne could be massive

City's Kevin De Bruyne.jpg

Pep Guardiola has told the press that Kevin De Bruyne has picked up a bit of an injury and if he is going to miss the game then it will be a massive boost for United. He is one of the best players in the world, with his vision he is always two or three steps ahead of the game. It will be a big blow for City if he isn't fit. They have players to replace him but not up to the standards of the Belgian. For me, he is irreplaceable.

If I had to pick a City player to play for United, it would either be De Bruyne or Sergio Aguero, both are incredible players. De Bruyne has that vision and Aguero is just a legend of the game, in the way he scores goals and his movement. I could probably pick three or four to be honest.

Haaland has potential to fill the gap of Messi and Ronaldo

This week there has been a lot of talk about clubs interested in Erling Haaland, but for me he has only just joined Dortmund and I don't see him moving to another big club just yet. I think he is in the right place now, you can see how he is improving, scoring goals, making assists.

If he did move to Manchester United or Real Madrid would he be at the same level that he is currently at with Dortmund?

The team, the place where he lives and who he has around him are so important and that is why I am please with what he is doing at the moment because he has clearly got everything going for him there.

He's so young and moving him on now would be a mistake for me, he needs to stay there and develop further. Other teams won't go anywhere and they will still be watching him, when the time comes a lot of people will be interested and it wouldn't surprise me if he breaks the transfer record and is sold for more than 200 million, but for now, let him play.

He is such an exciting prospect and for me there is a fair chance than he can be the successor to Messi and Ronaldo, not only him but I also like Mbappe as well ,he just makes fun of defenders. We need to hold our breath, hope these players stay healthy and continue to develop so that we can watch them for as long as possible at the top level.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles