Dimitar Berbatov has compared the ongoing feud between Manchester United’s Paul Pogba and former Liverpool star Graeme Souness to a Greek tragedy. Former United striker Berbatov says he’s found the spat funny – though believes it’s strange how often Souness has targeted the France World Cup winner.
Dimitar Berbatov said “Back in my early days, even when I was in my later playing days, social media wasn’t so big. It wasn’t like nowadays when players can easily get abused and you can see the opinion of pundits everywhere and it can affect you. We are all humans and we can all say ‘it doesn’t bother you’ but trust me, it does. It is necessary for a player to hear an outside opinion, but it must come from someone who has been there and done that, someone credible who knows what they are talking about and what it is like to be a footballer. However, some people talk for the sake of talking, so that they get noticed, and that can be irritating and disrespectful. With Souness and Pogba, I find it all a little strange, but when someone constantly criticises you, of course you are going to snap. Even if it is good criticism, if it is constantly aimed at you and it doesn’t matter what you are doing, at some point you are going to be like: ‘Wait a minute, am I the only player on the f**** planet here?’ It doesn’t matter who the other person is, you are going to say something back and defend yourself, like what Pogba is doing, it’s normal. Once again there has been another coming together with Graeme Souness and Paul Pogba. I think this is pretty personal now, you can sense it the way these two talk about each other. I find it all too funny, it’s like Greek Tragedy.”
Graeme Souness responded by challenging Pogba to ‘put his medals on the table’, with both United and Liverpool fans joining in the debate on social media. The United midfielder has regularly been the recipient of criticism from outspoken Sky Sports pundit Souness and earlier this week finally hit back, claiming he’d never heard of the Liverpool legend.
“I have also experienced being a pundit. I liked doing it and maybe I will do it again. I always try not to be too judgmental because I have been there and I know how it is, of course I can easily rip into some players and say this, this and this so that it makes for better TV viewings, but I know how difficult it is at times. It might not look like a player is putting that much effort in but people don’t see behind the scenes, so I try to be a voice of reason, even when some players probably do deserve a bit more criticism. I know that every self-respecting footballer, who wants to grow and develop, will know straight away if they don’t play well and they don’t need anyone to tell them.”
Dimitar Berbatov, who is now a pundit himself, says he avoids the kind of criticism that Souness has voiced about Pogba. He has sympathy for the United player.
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