Fulham boss Martin Jol brushed aside questions about his best player Dimitar Berbatov after the Cottagers’ victory at the Hawthorns.
“I don’t want to talk about him because other players will probably get annoyed,” said Jol.
“If you don’t get the results they will pick on him; if you get the results you will say he was fantastic, but I’m very happy that he’s playing for us.”
Fulham grabbed only their second victory in 13 league games at the Hawthorns this New Year’s Day.
Berbatov was the best player on the field by a distance. He strolled around the playing area, dropping deeper into his own territory in the second half, from where he dictated and controlled the play.
West Bromwich Albion hustled and hurried, but lacked class and composure, qualities that Berbatov oozes from every pore of his body.
The ex-Tottenham and Manchester United star may feel that Fulham is beneath him. He gives that impression when he castigates teammates who dare to pass the ball for him to collect.
The Bulgarian expects the ball to be delivered to his feet, not into space. Like a master expecting his copy of The Times newspaper to be ironed and delivered on a silver tray. He doesn’t want to have to stretch too far to reach it.
Berbatov’s ability to hold onto the ball under any level of pressure from snapping defenders and to pass the ball to his own player, no matter how crowded the space, is exemplary.
Very few English players in recent years have come close to the skill levels of Berbatov.
England breeds and nurtures hard working, grafting battlers. These qualities are anathema to the disdainful Dimitar.
He makes the game look oh so easy.
When Martin Jol substituted him late in the game, Berbatov sauntered casually from the field. He waved regally to the booing Albion fans who felt that he was trying to waste time.
But that is how Berbatov walks.
To give his butler ample time to get the warm bath ready.
Author's Note: Jol press conference was attended personally.