Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Robinho walk out

I was a bit pissed off with the Kaká deal falling through, but what really got to me last night was the Robinho walk out story. I'll admit to getting over-excited by the proposed £100m transfer: like most City fans I'd spent the last week scribbling in the margin of books my team for 2009 - central in a 4-2-3-1, presumably, but would that restrict Ireland? But it was always essentially fantasy, even had it come true.

But the Robinho walk out story made me feel sick. That sense of dread that everything at City was collapsing, as it always does. I'd had it three times in 2008: the first rumours that Thaksin was unhappy with Eriksson on 13 April, particularly culminating in the 'understanding' that he would be sacked after the Fulham defeat. Then there was the Far East tour in late May and the alleged players strike. And then the implosion in early August when Corluka and Ireland were almost sold, Thaksin became an international fugitive, and it looked like it was going to go all Leeds United.

I didn't think the first such moment in 2009 would happen just three weeks in (in fact, I hoped there wouldn't be any). But reading that our best player (not just in general, but in my lifetime) had stormed out of training in disgust with the management, that his future was in doubt, was difficult to deal with. Of course, the future of the club wasn't threatened in any real way. But it would represent the failure of one of the club's boldest ever purchase, and the brilliant symbol of the ADUG era.

Today's news on Robinho has been slightly better. It was not, apparently, an angry reaction to the failure to sign Kaká but because he wanted to celebrate his 25th birthday in Brazil. Garry Cook talked to the broadsheets on Monday and so there are naturally a few stories about it today. Cook seems upset with Robinho's actions, but the whole 'Robinho's future in doubt' stuff does seem a bit overblown (from The Guardian):
"No player is bigger than the club," said Cook. "This club has a lot more history and heritage than one person, so it's disappointing. It doesn't set good standards. Robinho hasn't displayed the sense that he thinks he's bigger than the team in the past. But this is a disciplinary matter. Mark has some clear guardrails around the discipline of footballers and the roles that they play. If Robinho has broken those then we will manage it internally....

"And I would be surprised if anyone told me he is unsettled. Mark Hughes has not told me he [Robinho] is unsettled. He seems very settled when he is scoring for our team. I would be very disappointed if the happiness of players at our club was dependent on other players coming into the club. That would really disappoint me."
There's talk of Scolari wanting another go for him in the summer. The ways things are going, though, Scolari won't be Chelsea manager in the summer. And what's Abramovich going to do? Offer us £91million? Or am I playing this down because I'm scared it's true?


M9NY said...

Though this may sound like cutting off the nose to spite the face, I think it best to nip this in the bud right off the bat and get shut asap. Undoubtedly gifted, but thats why we pay the guy 160,000 quid a week. He has just pissed off to Brasil without sanction, one day into a training camp, not for a death in the family or some other form of tradgedy worthy of compassion but for his BIRTHDAY, telling us "Dont worry I'll be back for the next game". Well FUCK YOU ROBINHO. How can this guy possibly have ANY respect for our Manager, Our Club or for that matter us the fans? If Hughes allows, or is forced to let this to slide, its only a matter of time before it goes tits up back of house. Preferential treatment to any player, let alone one earning twice as much as anyone else can only end in dressing room unrest. As I have already suggested in an earlier post, a swap with the out of favour Drogbha with either cash or Alex coming our way would seem to me to be a great solution. Chelsea get the player they most covet and we get the one Center Forward tailor made for any top team in the world, with the added bonus of being prem ready (plus, who better to bring Sturridge on?). As much as the guy has broke my heart with this douche bag move, I'd still really be sick to see such a talent go, but at this point in our development I can only see Robinhos ego eroding any team spirit that this training camp was set up to engender. He has done this type of thing before and it always ends up the same, he gets what he wants like the spoilt brat his talent has allowed him to become. Why cant we get something too? Its painfull enough that the rest of the world are taking the piss out of us right now without our record signing piling on too.

BluePeter said...

Elano, Jo, Robinho, Kaka - Brazilian, therefore trouble. As M9NY suggests offload ASAP, learn the lessons and buy less problematic types.

How many more whingeing Brazilians is Hughes going to have foisted upon him?

Let him decide who comes in.

Jonathan said...

Managing big egos is a job for the manager. We need talent like Robinho to take us on. An ego comes as part of the package with the talent. We could get a load of workhorses who toe the line but personally I want us to move on and challenge for the highest honours, and with the strength of the current Prem, we need talent and a lot of it.

Don't think we should ship out at first offence. Hughes has to manage this and manage it well. If he does, it'll bring the players together and he'll get more respect from the "egos". This should be managed internally without any fuss.

Hugely talented players are special and they know it. Like Robinho, many of them are mid twenties, earning in a week much more than many people will earn in years. They need some grounding and I think this will prove to be Hughes' biggest test in the years to come - bringing talent together but still running the club. Mourinho was a master of the art - Ferguson may struggle as his kids grow old and youth is no longer the United policy.

tommytheblue said...

get real lads, big players get treated differently.

Taggert treats ronaldo differently to john O'shea. Because he knows how valuale he is to the team.

If we ever want to be a top side, we will have to have alot more big players in the squad...and witht hat brings ego's. Robinho as stated when he 1st signed always wanted to travel abck to brazil in natural season breaks so sort out issues.

A very english reaction to give..boot out the foreigners becasue they dont act the same.
There brazillian let.s buy less problamtic players bellamy perhaps?

nb said...

Though 'Blue Peter' continues to claim that Brazilians are predisposed to cause trouble, I have to disagree. It is not 'Brazilians', but rather the kind of person we are able to attract. Lets face it-until we establish ourselves in at least the UEFA Cup (if not the CL), great players joining City have to be either crazy, or financially motivated. In buying Robinho, we knew we were purchasing an emotional, difficult character. That's why he came to us at all. Otherwise he would've gone to Chelsea or remained at Real Madrid. As for Kaka-we can hardly call him 'trouble' for refusing to move to us. From everything I've read, he seems to be one of the more balanced, decent footballers around.

Not everyone who rejects us has cynical motives; indeed, I'm inclined to believe, that the opposite is true.

trinder said...

I agree with Jonathan. Bollock him, fine him and warn him. If he does it again, put him on the bench for three games. But don't sell him yet. That gets us nowhere.

BluePeter said...

Jonathan, tommytherblue, nb and trinder...

Upon reflection I may have been rather hasty in my desire to leap aboard the "all Brazilians and the spawn of Beelzebub" express.

Afterall, in the MEN interview Superman alludes to Elano's improvement since he has got fitter under Hughes, and he certainly looked a better player for it against Wigan

So maybe I should show a bit more faith in Sparky's man-management skills and in Brazilians in general.

So come on Jo, pull thee finger out lad, play with confidence and show us our £19m wasn't wasted, and as for you Robbie, the team is always bigger than any individual.

Thing is we're getting panned in the press and the particularly loathsome SRT (Smug Rag T**t) in the office is lapping it up.

But I really believe that with Hughes and the current owners we could well turn the corner in the next three seasons; it just calls for a lot of patience and belief on our part.