Blog first published on September 19, 2008...
Moody, temperamental, enigmatic, brilliant. The comparisons between Berbatov and Cantona are easy to make. But there are just as many differences as similarities.
Cantona arrived at Old Trafford over 15 years ago, during a different era of football and it is always going to be difficult to compare players who played such a long time apart due to the ever-changing nature of the game.
And while the mercurial Frenchman arrived at an underachieving club that had not won a league title for 26 years, Berbatov signed for an outfit that has dominated the Premier League ever since Cantona provided that initial spark to win the first of 10 titles back in 1992-93.
As players too, they are different. Berbatov is more of a traditional centre forward than Cantona was and while they are both good in the air, Berbatov likes to run with the ball more.
True, both are capable of delivering moments of magic that can decide matches in the blink of an eye, but to expect Berbatov to have the same impact as Eric did 16 years ago is unfair.
That thinking will only serve to heap even more pressure on the Bulgarian who, having finally completed his dream move to Old Trafford, surely now just wants to prove himself.
I believe that being labelled as the new Eric will only hamper his progress - as it does when any player is compared to a former great.
But if he does choose to dwell on the obvious similarities for a minute, Berbatov will find he can learn a great deal from Cantona.
Like Cantona, people have pointed to the Berbatov's surly temperament as a potential stumbling block to succeeding at United. But like the Frenchman, Berbatov has the capability to turn things round at United.
Before he arrived at Old Trafford, Cantona had a reputation for being a 'difficult' character. He had had his fair share of run-ins with his previous managers but he never once got on the wrong side of Alex Ferguson.
Berbatov's surliness and regular languid displays could put him in that same 'difficult' bracket, but like Cantona, the Bulgarian can shed that image at Old Trafford.
As a club, United have the ability to instil the desire to work hard and behave well. I believe that Berbatov will succeed in doing just that under Ferguson.
He's a very good player who will only get better at United.