The news that Dimitar Berbatov will slip out of Old Trafford this summer has long been on the cards but when it was all but rubberstamped it barely raised a murmur.
In some ways it’s extraordinary state of affairs: he shared the golden boot with Carlos Tevez last season, he is Manchester United’s record signing and at 31 he should be at the peak of his powers.
But for whatever reason, Sir Alex Ferguson has just decided he is a flat-track bully and not much more, only entrusting him to start matches against Premier League cannon fodder at Old Trafford.
When the big matches come calling, Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernández, Danny Welbeck, and even Michael Owen are preferred to the Bulgarian.
Such treatment to a player of such calibre would provoke an almighty reaction in others – see Tevez – but partly through Ferguson’s man-management and Berbatov’s own attitude the striker has barely kicked up a fuss.
His persona in a large part has been his undoing. Technically he has been as fine a player to have graced the Premier League since Dennis Bergkamp. His touch and vision are a cut above 99 per cent of players in the Premier League.
What he doesn’t have though is that all too English adjective ‘passion’ – you won’t see him sprinting with the frustrated fury of a Darren Bent – although he is quicker than most.
That has attracted ill-informed criticism that he is lazy, as if running around without purpose is better than being in the right place at the right time, and Ferguson feels his slower tempo style game is not what he wants for United.
Hopefully Berbatov will remain in the Premier League because he remains one of the most technically accomplished footballers in England – and we need them.
If Glenn Hoddle thinks he has a chance of managing England at this summer’s European Championships then he is very much mistaken.
Hoddle, who was sacked by the FA in 1999 after his infamous comments on disabled people, is obviously still deluded enough to think all can be forgiven and forgotten.
Equally, having not managed since leaving Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2006, the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder shouldn’t stand a chance of succeeding Fabio Capello in Poland and Ukraine.
However, Hoddle, who led England to the last 16 in the 1998 World Cup before a penalty shoot-out elimination to Argentina, did make one sensible suggestion regarding what should be done this summer.
The notion of appointing a caretaker manager for the Championships makes sense on all levels, firstly, as Hoddle points out, it reduces the pressure on the coach and allows the players the chance to impress.
Secondly, if England do terribly it allows the FA to assess the situation before making a permanent appointment ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. But when have the FA ever done something sensible?
MORE: Man United latest news
MORE: Arsenal latest news
MORE: Chelsea latest news
MORE: Liverpool latest news