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Berbatov to blame for Spurs plight, Venables says

Tottenham's abysmal start to the season is largely due to the selfishness of striker Dimitar Berbatov, former manager Terry Venables has said.

Venables said that the Bulgarian star had been a “poisonous presence” at White Hart Lane as he tried to clinch a transfer deal to Manchester United.

Speculation over Berbatov's future dominated Spurs' early matches as manager Juande Ramos wrestled with whether or not to select the striker, who eventually signed for Alex Ferguson's outfit for 30million pounds..

With two points from six league matches so far Spurs lie bottom of the table and Ramos is under intense pressure.

But Venables, who last week turned down an opportunity to take over as manager at Tottenham's fellow strugglers Newcastle, believes the club's current problems stem from Berbatov.

“Berbatov kept telling us he had 'a dream'. Well, good for you Dimi. You had a dream with a few extra noughts added to your bank balance,” he told The Sun.

“But did Spurs have a dream too? You got your way but your poisonous presence at the start of the season – the brooding and the reluctance to play – has cost the club that believed in you.”

Venables also said that Spurs were wrong to sell Berbatov's strike partner Robbie Keane to Liverpool before they had a replacement.

“They thought they were going to get Andrei Arshavin,” said Venables.

“This was a massive managerial blunder by Spurs, especially when they had allowed Keane to leave. But letting Berbatov and Keane go without having Arshavin in the bag was a boardroom blunder.”

Tue 30 September, 2008
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