Why City shouldn’t be in a hurry to loan out Robinho
While many people in the media and elsewhere are busy ushering Robinho out of the country, there are legitimate questions over whether his departure is the right thing for City in this crucial season.
As a response to those wanting rid of him, here’s just a few reasons for keeping him:
- Following his injury, he’s just starting to come back into form. While he can do nothing right in the eyes of his critics, three of his last four appearances have been good ones. In those games there’s been three assists and one goal, despite him never playing a full match.
- He bombed at Everton, but so did Tevez, Petrov and Bellamy. It was Mancini’s biggest mistake so far to bring on Robinho instead of Benjani as a replacement for the target man Santa Cruz. Everton were exceptional that evening and it wasn’t the right moment to introduce the Brazilian, but plenty of other moments are.
- His wayward shooting betrays a lack of confidence rather than a lack of ability. Against Scunthorpe we saw shots reminiscent of those by Tevez at the start of the season when he was coming back from injury. With his confidence back, Carlos is now cracking them in. Robinho could do the same as his poor spell in the middle of last season was sandwiched by great goals at the beginning and end of the campaign.
- Maybe it’s the weather, maybe it’s the pitches, but as indicated above, the Brazilian played his best football last season outside of the winter months. If we’re bidding for a Champions League place and the FA Cup, then his moments of quality could be invaluable during the run-in.
- So far this season, we’ve been lucky with the fitness of dodgy knees duo, Bellamy and Petrov. There’s no guarantee that will last. Also Bellamy can’t play two games a week, yet we’re going to need to as we work through the fixture backlog from the cup runs.
- Our squad is starting to look weaker in attack. With Weiss loaned out, we now lack cover on the right flank. In attack Santa Cruz looks like he’ll never be fully fit, while Adebayor was in poor form before the tragedy in Angola – Mancini was able to organise the defence, but there’s no guarantee he can sort out Adebayor’s head. Petrov has never been consistent, so we could be placing an awful lot of faith in Tevez and Bellamy carrying us through a busy fixture list.
- Mindful of our diminishing options, The Guardian report that Mancini is against Robinho going unless he gets a replacement. It’s hard to see who of similar quality is available in the last week of the January window. The Mail link us with 36-year-old Filippo Inzaghi, Juvuntus flop Amauri and Sampdoria’s Antonio Cassano (who might be ok but it’s doubtful if a deal can be done). The chances of these being an instant hit are less than that of Robinho coming good. If we do replace Robinho with Inzaghi, don’t expect me to be running down to Eastlands to chant “We’ve got Inzaghi.” in front of the Sky Sports News cameras.
- The Guardian also add that City are conscious of how Robinho’s form could improve in the coming months as he looks to get himself into form for the upcoming World Cup. They further say that talk of his disenchantment in England is greatly exaggerated.
- The Daily Mail report that if Robinho goes, we may keep Benjani (who is wanted by West Ham) instead. If this happens, then our transfer policy is truly madness.
- Robinho’s desire to play for Barca or Santos has been considered disruptive, but is it? The rest of the squad are all professionals who get on with their jobs. I don’t see any let-up in the efforts of Bellamy or Tevez. Cristiano Ronaldo and Tevez both wanted to leave United, but it didn’t stop them winning the league.
- Similarly, it’s not necessarily the case that we’d be better off without a prima donna. Are United a better team now Ronaldo has gone? I remember people saying City would be better off without Anelka and his lack of passion. We weren’t, and we missed his quality for years.
- Even before the Robinho deal is done, the supposed first option on Santos duo Neymar and Paulo Henrique is already being dismissed by their chairman, “City want priority to buy the boys. That doesn’t bother us, since we sell to the highest bidders. If Manchester have the ability to match the offer, it is then down to the players.”
Ever since we signed him, Robinho has been continually rubbished by those want to see both him and City fail. That’s how the media works as bad news and big names make good articles in their minds. (Look at how many “demise of Liverpool” stories there were after they got knocked out of the FA Cup, and how few there were in praise of Reading).
We’re already seeing the glee with which these critics are writing Robinho’s obituary. I don’t want to give them the satisfaction and would love him to stay, see us through to a Champions League place, and pick up a trophy on the way.
One final question to ask ourselves, is how news of Robinho’s departure would be greeted by our rivals for a Champions League place. I think fans of Liverpool, Spurs and Villa would all be delighted.
- Do you see a case for keeping Robinho? If he does go would you want a replacement, and if so, who can we realistically get?