Friday, 3 April 2009

More on dropping Robinho

Another day, another Daniel Taylor piece on the possible dropping of Robinho for Arsenal on Saturday. Friday's article, though, is even more sure-footed than Thursday's, accompanied as it is with more from Hughes:
Initially, he was reluctant to reveal his plans but, later, he privately acknowledged that he was unlikely to start with either of his Brazilians.

"We don't know for certain yet because we don't know who's going to be fit and well," he added. "We can make a decision on Friday when everyone is back [from international duty]. But Robinho has had a lot of travelling. Every time he goes away on international duty, it's not just a little hop into Europe. It's a trip across continents and that can have an impact as well."

Friday's piece also goes into more detail of the probable line-up for Saturday:

Injuries permitting, Hughes now seems certain to abandon his usual 4-2-3-1 formation for a more conservative 4-3-2-1 system that will see Stephen Ireland take Robinho's usual position, with Shaun Wright-Phillips on the right and Felipe Caicedo the most likely replacement for the injured Craig Bellamy. Vincent Kompany, Nigel De Jong and Pablo Zabaleta will pack City's midfield...

This would look like this:

It's good, although I'm not sure Hughes can use the 'he'll be tired after flying back from South America' excuse for dropping Robinho if he then starts Felipe Caicedo, who started for Ecuador last Saturday and this Wednesday. If possible I'd naturally rather have Bozhinov or Sturridge up front but it sounds like neither of them are fit.


Gary Nolan said...

I don't think he will use an excuse if he drops Robinho, I think if he says he is tired that it will be the truth, I don't think Hughes is the type of man to lie about such things.

I don't think Hughes has lied since he got to the club, he has said he isn't scared of dropping Robinho if he needs to, so if he does I think he will tell us the real reason why.

Philip said...

Well, a key difference is that Caicedo has not played anywhere near the number of games as Robinho this season. Also you might add, if you're feeling charitable, that he's had an extra half season in England (not sure that makes any difference myself, but whatever).

I'm not sure I agree with 3 defensive midfielders. If Kompany plays I would give him a roving brief and tell him to support the attacks as much as possible. At Liverpool he played quite far up the pitch, and helped us win a few key knock downs.

If we can keep it tight for 60-70 minutes, bringing Robinho off the bench could be a nice option.

Jonathan said...

I like the idea of Hughes dropping Robinho for a game, he might be tired, it might be a smoke screen, but he will be key in more important games to come. I'd really like to see Kompany get a rest though. Without De Jong, we need him on top form in the UEFA and he's been playing with an injury.

Perhaps have Weiss play left, Ireland through the middle with De Jong and Zab either side of him and Robinho on the bench. Bit of pace to keep Sagna in check and bit of experience behind him in Bridge.

Useful to blood a player whilst "resting" a couple for UEFA. Arsenal aren't so physical either, so might be a good game for a youngster showing promise. We also get to keep Ireland through the middle, where he is more effective

433 said...

Get ready for a beat down.

JPB said...