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By ESPN Staff

Venables blames 'poisonous' Berbatov for malaise

Former Tottenham manager Terry Venables has laid the blame for the club's dire start to the season squarely at Dimitar Berbatov's door, bemoaning the Bulgarian's "poisonous presence'' at the beginning of the campaign.

Berbatov started the season at White Hart Lane but was clear in his desire to realise a 'dream' move to current club Manchester United.

Speculation over Berbatov's future dominated Spurs' early matches as manager Juande Ramos wrestled with whether or not to select the striker, who eventually signed for the Red Devils in a £30million deal.

With two points from six league matches so far Spurs lie bottom of the table and Ramos is under intense pressure.

But Venables, who last week turned down the chance to return to top-flight management with Tottenham's fellow strugglers Newcastle, believes the club's current strife stems from Berbatov.

"Berbatov kept telling us he had 'a dream'. Well, good for you Dimi. You had a dream with a few extra noughts added to your bank balance,'' he told The Sun.

"But did Spurs have a dream too? You got your way but your poisonous presence at the start of the season - the brooding and the reluctance to play - has cost the club that believed in you.''

Venables also believes the Spurs board erred in selling Berbatov's strike partner Robbie Keane to Liverpool before they had a replacement.

"They thought they were going to get Andrei Arshavin,'' said Venables.

"This was a massive managerial blunder by Spurs, especially when they had allowed Keane to leave. But letting Berbatov and Keane go without having Arshavin in the bag was a boardroom blunder.''

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