Time running out for Robinho?

This substitution of our record signing at Goodison yesterday, himself having entered the fold from the bench, is seen by some as a pivotal moment in his time at the club. The recent comments by the player painting out that he's gloriously happy and sees his future nowhere else are completely at odds with his body language, and there's no doubt that he's generally been poor both this season, and away from home in general.

Those who claim his time here has been a complete failure, though, are a bit silly. People seem to forget that he had an extremely fruitful first season. Fourteen goals in thirty Premier League starts was quite a feat, and achieved in a side that struggled for parts of the campaign. The relationship he built up with Stevie Ireland was a particular delight, and for every occasion he went missing away from home he'd do something sublime elsewhere.

This season he's not been fit. A stress fracture of the ankle suffered whilst on international duty for Brazil resulted in him missing two months and he's yet to complete a game since returning. The side he's come back into has changed dramatically, and now he's one of a number of top players rather than our only real one. Bearing that in mind a certain amount of patience is perhaps needed to see if his form improves when fully fit and having had a good run in the side before writing him off completely.

Singling Robinho out isn't entirely fair. The season thus far has largely gone to plan, but it's generally been the same select few players excelling to drag us to results and without wanting to name them, several guilty of below-par even half-hearted performances post the initial run of wins at the very beginning of the season.

There almost definitely is some truth in the oft-said 'not suited to the Premier League' claims, likewise we're not naive enough to deny that money would have been the biggest factor in his decision to come here and in an ideal world he'd rather be at a Champions League club, but although my doubts about him grow by the week i still, perhaps naively, believe that the transfer can work out and it's not just a case of him being 'not bothered'.

Firstly, three of his compatriots have left the club over the last few months. He's paid millions of pounds to kick a ball around a field a couple of times a week, and so he should be expected to grin and bear such inconveniences, but whoever you are or whatever you do it would be natural to become a touch fed-up thousands of miles away from home and no longer in regular contact with close pals who quite possibly had some bearing on your decision to move in the first place.

More than that, though, the two players who demonstrated footballing brains on any sort of similar level to Robinho; Elano and Ireland, have moved on or also been injured, even played out of their natural role as the previous manager struggled to accommodate so many new signings. In my opinion we were right to move Elano on, but we certainly now miss a central midfielder as devastating in an attacking sense as he occasionally was.

What's certain, no matter where anyone might stand on the Robinho situation, is that are we to make any dent on the top four whatsoever, or end our embarrassing silverware shortage, then everyone, irrespective of wages, transfer fee or standing in the game will have to pull their weight. At the minute singling out Robbie's a bit hasty, but a vast improvement is certainly needed. I'll reserve ultimate judgement until the end of the season.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like he may be out on loan before the end of the season, but like you, I would like to see us keep him, and I still have an "inkling" that he may prove decisive on Wednesday v United, if he's still in the squad?!! CTID