Dimitar Berbatov has revealed that he would have liked to have played under Jose Mourinho but also admitted that he would likely have had a difficult time under the current Tottenham Hotspur boss.
Berbatov had two outstanding seasons at Spurs after arriving from Bayern Leverkusen in 2006 and regularly showcased his sublime skill on the pitch.
The White Hart Lane faithful certainly took to him in a massive way, even after he sealed a move to Manchester United at the peak of his career.
While the Bulgarian had a lot of outstanding qualities, including his technique, gracefulness and intelligence, his work-rate was certainly not his best attribute.
Under Mourinho, Tottenham have very much become a workman-like team, with even the forwards often tracking back and helping out defensively.
Berbatov admitted that he may not have fared too well under managers like Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp.
The former Spurs striker told talkSPORT: “I would’ve like to have played under Jose Mourinho because I’m curious to see how I’d fit in.
“Of course, if I have a difficulty or a problem I’ll speak with the boss to see what the problem is and try to resolve it.
“In the end, if it isn’t working out you’re looking for another position somewhere else.
“Could I play under Jurgen Klopp or Jose Mourinho with a defensive style of football? I’d probably have a difficult time playing under these managers.
“Jurgen Klopp tries to press all the time with his forward players and I wasn’t like that.
“Jose Mourinho sides try to defend behind the ball and it’s frustrating for attackers to defend behind the ball all the time – running, chasing for the ball… in my opinion, this is not the job of the striker.
“The striker wants to express himself; the striker wants to go forward, try to attack as much as possible, save his strength for when the moment is right to attack in the space.
“But unfortunately football is sometimes not like this. Sometimes you need to swallow your ego and defend in the name of the team because in sport you need to sacrifice things from time to time.”
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It is not just under Mourinho that Berbatov would have struggled but also under the likes of Pochettino, Klopp and Guardiola, all of whose teams demand a lot of the forward players. Gone are the days when defenders were expected to defend and strikers were only expected to put the ball in the back of the net.
Modern-day number nines are expected to do so much more for the team both with and without the ball. It is certainly a positive for Berbatov that he played in an era which perhaps was the last hurrah of the 4-4-2.
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