Former Tottenham Hotspur director of football Damien Comolli has blamed Dimitar Berbatov for the club’s disappointing season.
Comolli was sacked along with manager Juande Ramos in October with Spurs bottom of the Premier League, and the Frenchman claims that the club began the season in turmoil because they were unable to find a suitable replacement for the Bulgarian striker.
Berbatov quit for Manchester United on the final day of the transfer window after spending much of the summer demanding a move.
”I think the fact that Berbatov stayed so long, until the last day, made life for the coaching staff difficult,” Comolli, now sporting director of St Etienne, told Sky Sports News.
”What can you do if a player tells you, ‘I’ll never play for you any more’? If a player has refused to play three games, like happened last summer, what can you do about it?”
He added: ”I’m not looking for excuses but when I joined Spurs I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to break into the top four.”
Harry Redknapp was brought in from Portsmouth to replace Ramos and the role occupied previously by Comolli was scrapped.
The new boss has since been critical of Comolli’s recruitment policy and claims the squad is unbalanced.
Comolli disagrees and claims that Spurs’ achievement of reaching a second successive Carling Cup final, indicates that the squad does not lack strength.
”Not many players in England outside the top four have got to two successive finals,” he said. ”So I think, personally, the quality is there, that’s what everyone is saying.
”It happens to everyone. Zokora went on trial at Portsmouth and he turned him down a few years ago, and now he’s playing all the games for Spurs. It’s a question of timing.”