Nigel's article missed the last deadline - here's his thoughts on Robinho's departure : So Robinho’s gone. Back to Brazil, only this time with City’s permission, for once. I certainly won’t miss him.
There’s absolutely no doubt the lad has an enormous talent. On a few occasions he even let us catch glimpses of it. The trouble was all the baggage that came with it. It started with the small matter of forgetting who it was he had just signed for. Easy mistake to make I suppose, but ask yourself this. If someone offered you a job on £160k a week and you only had to work once, or maybe twice a week, for about an hour and a half at a time, with a fifteen minute break do you think you might just remember the name of the company you now worked for?
Next, it was the little statement of defiance in the way he dressed. The rest of the squad was expected to wear a tie with their club suit, but our man decided he was such a big star he didn’t have to bother. Well, OK, probably not so much of a deal, but would it really have hurt him to show a little bit of respect? I don’t think Colin Bell had too much problem looking like an ambassador for the club rather than a silly juvenile.
Still, he did start to score goals for us. For a while. Of course that fact gave him licence to be in a Leeds night-club in the early hours getting up to whatever it was that led to accusations of sexual assault. It was nice to have that one associated with our great club, wasn’t it? City immediately threw enough money at legal talents to make it go away. How well we all remember Robinho’s proclamations of gratitude for the way the club had supported him through his nightmare. Don’t you? Well, he probably thought it anyway.
It was about this time that he decided he didn’t really do away games. Especially in winter. Well, for just £160k a week, you can’t expect much.
How we thrilled to his skill and trickery as he shimmied back to Brazil every so often to “sort out family business”. His deftness of touch was surpassed only by Mark Hughes’s creativity in explaining to the press how, actually, he had in fact given permission. It was all just a misunderstanding. A breakdown in translation. Either that, or we were treated to the “We’ve had a word and the matter is now sorted” routine. Keep the peace.
Serious sulks broke out when we shipped out his equally piss-poor mate, Jo. What a serious waste of money he was. Whoever decided he was a footballer must have had a passionate interest in cricket. You could see a mile off he was a total duffer. On the odd occasion he turned out for us he drifted well away from the action. Frequently to be seen wandering about near the wing, well away from anyone who might kick him. Shipped off to Everton, where he immediately began telling anyone who would listen how much he hated it at City and life was much better at Everton, where they really understood him. Well, eventually of course, he was right, they did understand him. That’s why he’s not there any more.
Anyway, back to Robinho. His toys went well out of the pram as soon as Jo had been moved out on loan, and when City had the temerity to ship out Elano, well, that was it. Down tools.
Of course, he did thrill us once more with his exquisite goal at Scunthorpe, but other than that, his only contribution was that of a bit of dressing room unrest.
Now he’s at Santos, having arrived in a helicopter and then scored a winning goal. What does he do? He starts bleating about how he is so happy to have escaped his nightmare at CIty. So exactly what nightmare was that Robbie? Did we keep forgetting to pay you all the money you were entitled to under your contract? Did we expect you to train in some crap facility? Did we do anything that it would be unreasonable for an employer to do?
The nightmare, actually is ours in that having willingly entered into a deal to apply his skills, week in, week out in return for a ludicrous amount of money, it was Robinho who decided not to keep his end of the bargain.
No doubt he will also expect City to go on paying all or part of his wages for the remainder of the contract or at least until a compromise deal is agreed. I bet he won’t say that since he didn’t deliver his end of the deal, he doesn’t expect to be paid. He won’t care either that our chances of recouping £32.5m for him are about as good as Michael Johnson’s are of winning the “Slimmer of the Year” award.
Can you imagine any other walk of life where you could be employed on an extremely good salary, even compared to your peers in the same line of business, but you could routinely fail to deliver and still expect to be paid? Can you imagine being in a job where you could sulk with your employers because they asked you to do things you didn’t particularly want to do? He’s going on now about how he wasn’t always happy and didn’t like being asked to run and run during a game.
Pass the sick bag, mother.
Will he come back in the summer? I really hope not, and I hope City will have learnt their lesson. A £32.5m error. Sure, he gave us some publicity and it was good, initially to be able to think we had actually signed a genuine world superstar. On the other hand, to be a superstar at anything, you actually have to achieve something, and he hasn’t, and with that attitude, he won’t. He couldn’t hack it in Spain and he couldn’t hack it in England. Now he’s gone back to Santos, a club he originally left in acrimonious circumstances. How long will it be before he is explaining to the media what he doesn’t like about being there? Eventually no doubt he’ll end up playing in the K-League or similar. Grumbling and warming a bench.