Tottenham's Roman Pavlyuchenko 'dreams' of playing for Manchester United

27 February 2009 01:31
Manchester United v Tottenham HotspurKick-off: Sun Feb 28, 3.00pm; Wembley Stadium, LondonTV: Sky Sports 1 (14:30-17:30), Sky Sports HD1 (14:30-17:30)Radio: BBC Radio 5 Live

While the 27-year-old is likely to spearhead the Tottenham attack in Sunday's Carling Cup final, having scored in every round of the competition so far, he would struggle to have his United wish indulged any time soon.

His League performances have exhibited neither guile or grit – indeed, he admits to having sustained more bruises in two-thirds of an English season as during his entire career in Russia – and Sir Alex Ferguson scarcely needs Pavlyuchenko when already blessed with Dimitar Berbatov.

This did not stop Pavlyuchenko from describing his latest flight of fancy. Asked if he wanted to play for Tottenham's opponents, the team who could deny him his one chance of silverware this season, he replied: "It would be wrong not to dream about this. I have realised that the Premier League is exactly why you should start playing football in the first place, and United are the leaders of it. Once your first dream comes true you must start dreaming of another target."

It would prove difficult, though, to pair Pavlyuchenko with Berbatov, as much for diplomatic reasons as tactical ones. The mere mention of the Bulgarian's name was enough to prompt a Slavic slanging session.

Dredging up the ugly rumours that accompanied Berbatov's transfer from White Hart Lane to Old Trafford, and contrasting them with the warm reception for Robbie Keane's recent return, the striker said: "Keane returned to Spurs as if he never left the club. It's evident that he's a man of authority inside the team, which is good for us. He was always liked as far as I can judge.

"If Berbatov returned it would be taken quite differently. I heard tales that he was an arrogant snob who, after training, would just throw his dirty boots to the man who takes care of our footwear, saying, 'Clean them for me'. No one likes such people. Still, he's now playing for United."

Much responsibility rests upon Pavlyuchenko on Sunday at Wembley, where he is poised to be used by Harry Redknapp as a lone striker ahead of the out-of-favour Darren Bent. The decision could create resentment, but he said: "There are no bitter feelings between us as competitors. He threatened to leave if he's kept on the bench. But that's natural, no disrespect to me. I treat him as one of my partners. Competition is fine by me."

Source: Telegraph