Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Taylor : Robinho could be sold

One of the most trustworthy journalists on City, Danny Taylor of the Guardian, reports that Hughes plans to drop Robinho soon and then sell him in the summer.
City have not won on their travels in the Premier League since their second away game of the season at Sunderland and, according to informed sources, ­Robinho's poor form is regarded as a ­significant ­factor. Hughes is so disappointed, it has emerged, he is now giving consideration to dropping Robinho when Martin Petrov is fit again after five months out with a knee injury. Petrov has been cleared to step up his training after seeing a specialist, with a view to being available to challenge for Robinho's place on the left side of attack in the next two or three weeks.
For all the 'We've got Robinho' stuff, we have missed Martin Petrov this season. He's more of an old fashioned winger than Robinho, and as such could well have provided another tactical option when needed. For all his talents, Robinho doesn't often sprint down to the byline before whipping in a cross with his left - a skill not many Premier League right-backs are used to facing. Just look at the success of Stewart Downing.

But this isn't just about giving us another option: it's a clear warning from Hughes to Robinho that no player is bigger than the club. And if the threat of sitting next to his mate Gláuber Berti on the bench doesn't improve Robinho's attitude, he could well be on his way out of the club:
City have reluctantly taken the decision to listen to offers for Robinho at the end of the season, although Hughes is still open-minded and hopes the player will show a greater desire. Failing that, one plan is to offer him as bait to Chelsea in a possible player-plus-money exchange for John Terry despite the England captain's insistence that he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge for the remainder of his career.
This fits with something Taylor wrote last month - that City were willing to sell Robinho because of his poor attitude and inconsistency. This, if true, would be a fantastic story, for the sheer audacity of it. On one level it would be a statement from ADUG of the complete primacy of Hughes on football matters - that, despite what Garry Cook used to say - the club does not need a superstar to succeed. And for those of us that want Hughes to be given time to build the club as he sees fit, such a vote of confidence would be welcome.

But from Hughes it would be a fascinating move. One of Sir Alex Ferguson's greatest talents is his ability to get rid of star names when he believes the team would function best without them: David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Jaap Stam, even leaders like Paul Ince or Roy Keane. One of my main hopes when we appointed Hughes was that he had learned a lot from the greatest. To get rid of Robinho - the £32.5million man, our top scorer, and the most talented footballer at the club in my lifetime - would be a move of such daring and single-mindedness I could only really applaud it. How would it turn out? Who knows? Over the last two years I've given up trying to predict anything far into the future at City. But it does seem likely that only one of Hughes and Robinho will be at City in 2009/10.


peterbryan.callum said...

Well I hope it wont be Hughes anyway

trinder said...

There's no need to sell Robinho; just put him on the bench until he understands how to earn his money. It worked for Elano. He'll make a fuss but he'll soon learn, and not playing will drive him crazy.

Jack said...

I don't think Brazilians understand the 'English football mentality' - from a fans perspective anyway. They probably think that if you have no chance of winning something (in this case the league), then don't bother really putting in a shift. See how different the attitude is in Europe, where they think we can win it?
They don't understand that City take thousands of fans to away games and demand, quite rightly, that they do the business.
Contrast the Elano/Robinho attitude in away matches to say Zab's. Elano is too selfish and will never change and probably Robinho too.
So What's the answer? Buy say Argentine players rather than Brazilian? Is it a ersonal trait, or a National trait? Perhaps we need a Svengali of a sports psychologist to get it into Brazilian mindsets. Questions, questions, questions. Glad I'm not a football manager lol.

Wigan Blue said...

Maybe flying a kite to give him an incentive. Doesn't strike me as the way to go about things, but I'll await the outcome with interest. Another strategic masterpiece?

charlie333 said...

I love Robinho. However would take petrov anyday to replace him. Fancy brazillian players are not suited to the premier league. We should go the argentinian way. They have more grit about them.

I do think that he is extremely talented. But we do not have he team yet to afford his luxury. He needs support and we do not have that yet.