Sunday 19 October 2008


So much has been made of Robinho’s arrival to the Premier League and, more relevantly, to City. It has literally been a media and fan frenzy- at recent home games I have never seen the Citystore SO busy. Brazil shirts, scarves and Robinho on the back of shirts have been flying off the shelves- he has been a marketing sensation and the Pompey and Liverpool home games were both sold out. But what do we actually make of him?

Yes he is hugely skilful, there is no questioning that. We have already been treated to step-overs, dribbling, jinking, back-heels and the like...all things very worthy of featuring on showboat on Soccer AM but things that might not necessarily win City games. Don’t get me wrong, he is a huge talent, but the Wigan game just proved that the physical nature of the Premier League game sometimes just isn’t for him. Plus how long will it take for City to realise that hoofing the ball up to Robinho from defence and just hoping he will do something with it just isn’t working?! Not that I was complaining when his sublime free kick against Chelsea hit the back of the net (albeit with the help of Mr Lampard).

Another thing that really pisses me off about him is his ego. Okay, okay, so if you had just been purchased for the British transfer record fee of £32.5 million, and had the power to snub Chelsea for a team offering higher wages, perhaps you would feel a bit smug. But to have an interview in a popular red-top tabloid with the headline ‘City fans think I’m God’ and to miss the actual kick-off of a game because you are too busy milking the crowd’s applause (ahem, Wigan away)...well it’s just a bit much really. And very reminiscent of a certain Mr Anelka.

But when all is said and done, maybe Robinho is perfect for City. The Yin to City’s Yang. The extravagant, unpredictable player who is world-class one minute then misses an absolute sitter (vs. Liverpool) the next. So much has been made of his move to City, with Pele and the vast majority of critics and ‘pundits’ slating the transfer and Mark Hughes (surprisingly) praising it. I guess only time will tell whether the huge fee will pay dividends and if the samba dancing celebrations will continue.

A sneak peek of my new column featured in King of the Kippax, City's biggest fanzine. If you like what you read, the new issue featuring my full column, will be out in November.

No comments: