Thursday, 30 July 2009

Elano leaves

Big, sudden news this morning: Elano has left City, and joined Galatasaray on a permanent deal.

I said that there would be tougher goodbyes than Valeri Bozhinov and this is one of them. While his departure this summer was almost inevitable after he demanded a new contract and Hughes demurred, it's still a surprise to see it happen so quickly.

Unlike many City fans, though, I cannot honestly say that I am disappointed to see Elano leave. He was unquestionably a great talent, and had it within him to be a Kinkladze or Benarbia of our times. After his magical first few months, it appeared as if he might: his vision, his passes, his set-pieces were of the highest quality. It must also be remembered how much of a relief it was, after the dire and depressing Stuart Pearce era, to see some genuine quality in a City player.

We thought Elano would herald a new era of football at City, and, while the season as a whole was no failure, Elano dramatically tailed off after November and he took the rest of the team with him. He started 2008/09 well with a few early goals but the arrival of Robinho and emergence of Stephen Ireland limited his first team opportunities. Out of the side he failed to impress with his attitude and was dropped from the match day squad for the trip to West Brom in December.

An injury to Shaun Wright-Phillips did see him make a return to the side in the spring, where he replicated his form of autumn 2007. Two freekicks were inches away from putting us into the UEFA Cup semi-final, a miraculous pass set up Robinho at Goodison Park, and he continued his immaculate record from the spot: ten out of ten in two years.

There can be no avoiding the fact that he had more bad games for us than good ones. His was a talent that revealed himself not even in spells but in sparks. Certainly a talent unfulfilled at City, but one that we were privileged to enjoy nonetheless. And he now joins a side managed by Frank Rijkaard, a man who has achieved great things with lazy Brazilians. We may meet them next season.

8 comments:

marty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy said...

I for one am disappointed he has gone as he is a quality player. His perceived drop in form in 2007/8 coincided with the absence of Johnson and then we did not have Ireland playing like last season or Company, de Jong to cover and leave Elano with space to exploit. Clearly he had a personal issue with Hughes but I am still sorry to lose him. Lets hope Hughes doesn't live to regret this one.....

marty said...

Very disappointed he has gone, but he leaves behind some wonderful memories. Interesting to see how Robinho gets on now his big buddy has left

Patrick said...

I really do doubt any of us will live to regret this decision.

If a player disrespects a manager then I'm sorry no matter who the manager is or no matter who the player is their exit should is some form be forthcoming.

The can try and win back the manager on side but I doubt Elano has done anything at all to win MH back on his side rather what he has done is put in a display to try and attract any would be interested parties to take him away.

Sorry to say we have left him behind now and it's time to move on!

The Citizen said...

Oh crumbs. I like Elano.

jackblue said...

Have to agree with you Jack. His great games could be counted on one finger. He certainly played well in patches and the talent is lurking somewhere beneath a petulent surface. Shaktar Donetz couldn't wait to offload him and there has to be a reason for that.

trinder said...

It's a shame to see Ralph leave but mercurial and casual players, however talented, do little for Hughes.

Where does this leave us for creativity in central midfield? Ireland can pass the ball beautifully but who else? Could there be one last big signing?

phil said...

Very well written. My thoughts exactly. Don't see why some City fans talk as if this is some sort of travesty. Hopefully he can shine in Turkey where he'll surely be given the opportunity to run things on the field.