Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughRobinho - User or Used? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Robinho - User or Used? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Robinho – User or Used?

Robinho, the 26 year-old Brazilian misfit, finally ended his nightmare spell at Eastlands on transfer deadline day as he left for Milan for an undisclosed fee thought to be in the region of £22m. Having joined the Manchester blues for a British record transfer fee of £32.5m in 2008, he spent a largely unhappy two year spell in the club’s employ.

 It is widely considered that he was feckless during his time in Manchester, that he used the club to increase his bank balance whilst hardly putting in a shift in a City shirt. Certainly it is true that the City fans did not see the best of the Brazilian despite a brief impressive start. Managing just a 16 goal return in 53 appearances and even returning to Santos on loan from January 2010 because he was “unhappy” is cited as evidence of this. The fact that he was substituted as a sub at Everton by an unimpressed Mancini and his general demeanour and defeatist body-language would seem to support the view that he was less than motivated to succeed.

 However there is more than a grain of truth in the belief that Robinho was used by City’s Abu Dhabi based owners as much as he took full advantage of their largesse. It is extremely doubtful that much input from Mark Hughes was involved when he joined from Real Madrid.

 After the takeover, with the closure of the transfer window imminent, the new owners needed a marquee signing as a signal of intent to potential new recruits and opponents alike. The fact that it was a huge slap in the face for rival big spenders Chelsea was a further bonus as the London club were denied the services of the striker at the eleventh hour when a deal had appeared likely. It was a hasty deal, done with very little thought for the player and designed to have the maximum ‘wow-factor’ impact to both City fans and a sceptical outside world.

 It is hard to imagine without this initial high-profile signing that City would have been able to convince the likes of Adebayor, Tevez, Lescott, and Viera that they were serious in their pursuit of the very top performers in European football.

 The diminutive Brazilian appears to be more a lover of carrot than stick, but after his arrival Mancini did not try very hard to placate Robinho when informing him that he would be playing in alternative games only. It is little surprise that his form did not improve and he returned to his homeland on loan shortly afterwards. In short, he was never afforded the leeway that a British record signing might reasonably have expected.

Sean Matthias

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