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The right move for Robinho?

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Tim Vickery | 06:32 UK time, Tuesday, 2 September 2008

The big question left by transfer window day is this: Does Robinho now regret working so hard to create an environment where it was not possible for him to continue at Real Madrid?

All summer he has been trying to force his way out of the Bernabeu - but he imagined that Chelsea would be there to catch him, and a compatriot coach in Luiz Felipe Scolari would be there to boost his confidence and bring out the best in him.

Instead of which, it is Mark Hughes and Manchester City - and for all their money and ambitious talk, it is a strange setting for his stated objective of being considered the best player in the world.


Robinho takes with him to the North West of England the guarantee that he will produce the odd breathtaking moment of individual skill to warm frozen Mancunian hearts over the next few months.

But will he come up with enough to be truly decisive when the silverware is handed out? Enough to really put himself in contention for the Fifa World Player Award? These questions hold no such guarantees.

During last June's 0-0 draw at home to Argentina in World Cup qualification, the local media had a camera trained on Brazil coach Dunga, and a lip-reading specialist trying to decipher what he was saying to his assistant. One of the things that Dunga is presumed to have said is "Robinho looks scared."

It is an interesting assessment. Last year Robinho was named as the outstanding player in the Copa America.

But there were few magic moments in the final against Argentina, which Brazil won 3-0, and even fewer in the semi final against Uruguay, which Brazil scraped through on penalties.

His truly great performances came in the two meetings with Chile, a 3-0 win in a group game and a 6-1 rout in the quarter final. Both times Robinho was dazzling.

But Chile were not only very poor defensively, they were also falling apart after internal discipline problems.

Indeed, the Copa America gave extra evidence for the view that, so far, Robinho is something of a rabbit killer, a slayer of the weak who can look fragile against the strong.

Real Madrid clearly don't rate him anything like as highly as Cristiano Ronaldo - Robinho's desire to leave the Bernabeu dates from the moment this became clear.

He has been roundly criticised in Brazil for his behaviour in attempting to force a move to Chelsea.

It has brought back memories of 2005 when he pulled the same trick - and even refused to play for a while - to oblige Santos to sell him to Spain.

One of Brazil's leading pundits, Paulo Vinicius Coelho, wrote that "the strike at Santos and the lack of professionalism at that the star is still a spoilt child, that he hasn't become a man." But he has now become a Man City player.

The 24-year-old loves to cultivate an image of the happy-go-lucky jokester. But it can come across as a little contrived. Certainly Arrigo Sacchi seemed to think so.

The ex-Milan boss was working at Real Madrid in Robinho's early days there, and felt that the young Brazilian's problems settling in were down to a lack of self-esteem.

From a Man City point of view, one worrying aspect of the deal is the difficulties Robinho has had in adapting to Spanish football.

In Brazil, fouls are given for the slightest physical contact. In Europe, the criteria is different. Many times with Real, Robinho went to ground looking for a free kick, and was then seen swearing in Portuguese when he didn't get the decision.

In the Premier League he can expect more physical contact and less space to work in.

But this is the space that he has now chosen for himself. It will be fascinating to see how he copes with his new challenge.

Will he light up the English winter with virtuoso displays? Or will he struggle and soon pull another sulk job in attempt to force an exit from the club he has just joined?


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  • Comment number 1.

    Yes I think Robinho will shine here, as he is at a 2nd tier club where he is garunteed football. He knows he just needs to do what he does best. With Real, its was the pressure of being the best club with the best players, and winning a lot of trophies. With City its breaking into the top 4 and maybe snatch a Carling Cup.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    30 million for a 24 yr old player who has shone on domestic and international level quite a few times is good enough, but Chelsea have done the right thing in not signing him for that huge sm of money, what is the guarantee that he will produce moments of skill and light up every game??...Manchester City has got new owners, rich owners so they can splash the cash on whoever they want just like what happened to Chelsea a few years ago, so its a good signing for them but just one player or 2 doens't make a difference to a team as much as the goals they have set fro themselves to challenge a top 4 spot. Robinho's unprofessionalism is showing clearly as he stated in a couple of press conferences that his only wish roght now is to leave Real Madrid and play for Chelsea, what happened now??..where is that dream, why did he sign for Manchester City, He also said that his utmost dream is to be the best player in the world, and he could only achieve that at Chelsea under Big Phil Scolari, did he mean any blue shirted team with a old experienced manager??...and not the real Chelsea and Scolari, bcoz i don't think the City of Manchester stadium outfit is the home of Chelsea and neither is their manager Luiz Felipe Scolari.

  • Comment number 4.

    This is quite possibly the most amazing (and unbelievable) transfer in history. So much money being paid by what is really a third rate club in EPL terms.

    He is a quality player but I'm not convinced the fast pace of football or the god-awful weather will see Robinho warm to City. But then with Jo and Elano there it might turn out okay. Everything will depend on how he acclimatises.

    From the player's point of view, he did a Ronaldo and ended up boxing himself into a corner. I believe he wanted to live in London and play for Chelsea. I'm not sure he ever imagined he'd end up at City. To leave Real for them when you're on top of your game is very strange.

    It's a massive gamble for both parties - City's in a financial sense, his in a football sense.

  • Comment number 5.

    This immediately strikes you like the first rush of Abramovich's money at Chelsea when they went out and bought anyone who was didn't work really and many of these initial impulse buys ended up elsewhere fairly quickly. You wonder if a relatively small statured Brazilian is going to manage to shine through the British winter months......has he ever heard of Joey Barton ?

  • Comment number 6.

    In a way, it really doesn't matter how well Robinho does at Man City. It's the bigger picture which is the real issue. If Abramovich buying Chelsea was one turning point for English football, then the Man City takeover is surely another. Whoever it was who predicted that the Premier League would soon be 20 billionaires fighting it out for supremacy knew what he was talking about.

    It won't stop until the league becomes more like the NFL or NBA in the US. Ridiculously high multi-million pound contracts, sponsorship up the wazoo, a team of individuals rather than individual teams. I disagree with Platini on many things, but his one man crusade against big buck ownership is starting to look less crazy.

  • Comment number 7.

    Robinho burned his bridges when he told the world he wanted to leave Real and play in London for Chelsea.Once City made their bid and Real accepted then there was no way back for him.Chelsea pulled out and Robinho had no choice other than Manchester.Will a good run in the FA Cup or perhaps the Carling be enough for him, it will take at least two years for City to challenge the current top four places.

  • Comment number 8.

    It just goes to show that money talks nowadays (Robiniho must of signed mainly for financial reasons)...I find it bizarre that Robiniho announced 24 hours earlier that his he wanted to join chelsea, then all of a sudden signs for man city.

    No disrespect to man city but they ain't ever gonna break into the top 4 no matter how much money is thrown at the club.

    I have watched spanish football for many years and i honestly don't see what all the fuss is of robiniho. he is a good player but is he worth 30 million...i think city paid well over the odds for a player who has hardly been a regular in the madrid team in recent years.

    These new owners have come in and deluded themselves that man city are a massive global brand and will be in the champions league within 2 years hahaha.

  • Comment number 9.

    The only thing that can shine near Man City is the sun.

    Like Mark Hughes, I think Robinho has taken a dozen of steps' backwards.

    I think Robinho will realise near the end of the season the players around him are not the same caliber as him and won't take too much time for him to figure that will be the reason for the rest of the City player's under-performing whilst a one man show (from Robinho himself) will not be enough in the long run.

    just my 2 cents.

  • Comment number 10.

    When he was told "Manchester" had come in for him I presume he thought it was City and not United !?

  • Comment number 11.

    As a Chelsea fan its somewhat hard to take that we lost him, however having read your article i feel much better! However we still need Drogba back.

  • Comment number 12.

    I find it a very strange deal indeed. The lads press conference on Sunday was all about Chelsea yet 24 hours later hes at City.

    I know Abu Dhabi have been making extravagant claims, top 4 this year, champions next, CL winners in 3 years but surely Robinho and his advisors know this is pie in the sky?

    Look at Chelsea, when Roman took over they were in a far better position in football terms and with very little spending they finished runners-up and gotto the CL semis.

    Now with all Romans investment ( 5 seasons at the club) they still havent won the CL and have won the PL twice in 5 years. Will City be able to better that? I cant see it.

    Plus why didnt Chelsea follow up their interest? 32 mill is well within their range.
    Perhaps on speaking to the player they realised he was more about money and personal glory than playing for the team.

    City wont make the top 4 this season and the big players will still be attracted to Chelsea because of their location. Even United struggle to compete for players when Chelsea show an interest ecause London to an overseas player is far more attractive than Manchester.

    I dont see how Robinho ( 1 goal in 4, check his stats) is going to make that much difference to City on a freezing cold night at a rain lashed Reebok with Kevin Davies marking him!

  • Comment number 13.

    Good riddance. Madrid fans rejoice. Shame we won't have Ronaldo until January, but it'll be worth the wait.

  • Comment number 14.

    great article Vickery, your bile was almost tangible.

    seems like it is ok for other clubs to spend big money, but when it comes to City, you just cannot wait to put them down.

    sadly, your bias is shing through like a bright red light.


  • Comment number 15.

    Maybe he went to City to later recall in other club. Wouldn't be weird in if you think in the Tevez and Mascherano move.
    Maybe Real put pressure on him to don't go to Chelsea and he just choose the other option available.

  • Comment number 16.

    I'm no Man City fan, or indeed a fan of any premiership club, but Bighead28's comment of "No disrespect to man city but they ain't ever gonna break into the top 4 no matter how much money is thrown at the club" doesn't make sense.

    Prior to Abramovich's billions, were Chelsea any bigger than Man City? And they've broken into the top 4. I don't know the stats, but I imagine that Man City's attendances over the years have been higher than Chelsea's. As Chelsea have shown, all it takes is money......

  • Comment number 17.

    I was rather hoping Chelsea would sign him as he is pretty much a nailed on failure - I see the same problems with him as I saw with Veron when Man U signed him - he's brilliant if he's given time on the ball, but he won't get that in the premier league, and he is too lightweight.

    Man City had a lucky escape when they didn't sign Ronaldinho, but they've just blown £30m+ here.

  • Comment number 18.

    I cant beleive Robinho has gone to Man City! I thought it was a joke at first but when it happened i was gobsmacked. However for Man City what a day, a new owner 10 times richer than abramovich followed by one of the finest players in world football. The only criticism is maybe it was a bit overpriced at £32.5 million, but still they have laid down a statement and now in my opinion there will be a big 5 and the gulf between the big four has been briged.

  • Comment number 19.

    tim vickery - what are you on ?

    " A glorious history, a rich culture, a production line of exciting players... South American football is endlessy fascinating. I cover the continent from my base in Rio. "

    you are based in rio and this signing is brazilian and he has signed for a club who already has at least 3 brazilians in it

    what is wrong with him going to man city ?

    get used to the fact that city will now compete at a higher level -

  • Comment number 20.


    Hi Tim. I've been reflecting on this deal this morning, and the take-over of Man City by the money men from the middle east. The two deals are linked by huge amounts of money. The investment group have money and want to spend it, and Robinho is moving to Man City because of the pay cheque (or else he would have moved to a dozen other champions league club if it was football reasons).

    I'm a follower of Forest, and my dad is aFulham fan. From my perspective, I now see that it is totally clear that a super league is now the only valid way of mantaining any competitiveness in the English football league. These clubs now are so powerful they can sign ANYONE they want, almost regardless of their footballing stature. It is artificial strength. In the same way a monopoly is overpowerful in any other market - its an oligopoly or cartel to use the economic terms. These clubs are now only ever going to get stronger and richer, and therefore it is completely uncompetitive. It is ludicrous to think that anything but money is what will make a club competitive, not the players, management or structure of the club. (Certainly nothing to do with the support of the club!)

    I look at Everton - a club with good, but not outstanding resources - who are acheiving great things with great team and football club management. In the past, these credentials would probably win you the top league, but not any more.

    Are yesterday's events the final evidence in the case for a superleague?

    If these top 5 teams are not serparated into their own league, perhaps with Real Madrid and friends, then I don't see how we can call the league competitive.

    I'd be happy for Forest to stay in the Championship - perhaps we can extend the Johnson's Paint Pot to include championship clubs so that we have a cup to play for as well?

    These superclubs are also going to make a nonsense of European football soon. Very soon the no.1 club in a European league (e.g. Holland) won't even be able to get a draw against the Premiership's 5th club.

  • Comment number 21.

    I think they see the rivalry with utd as the kicker for helping them become a global brand, and i think it will work

    Look at the statement of intent....immediately attempt to steal the 2 biggest epl clubs' top targets from right under their noses, and damn well succeed

    The only thing they didnt bargain on is Fergie always gets his man.

    I think it will be a good move for robinho, a chance to be the centre of attention and definitely better than most of the players at the club, if he has low self esteem like tim said, he will flourish in that kind of environment

  • Comment number 22.

    How much room is there in world football for Billionaires? With Abramovich Chelsea fans can see that they still cannot just buy anyone. Players like Kaka are simply not willing to move. There is a finite limit to the numbers of truely "great" players and once they are gone all you are doing is to pay over the odds for the next tier down (enter Robinho).

    One underlying issue here is that if all of the cash money for transfers ends up in one country (england) what will happen to Real, Barca etc? Will we have a special queue at Heathrow for arriving players while Spain join Italy in taking Bolton players on loan? That cannot be healthy for the competitions which make European football great - too many years of English dominance will put the audiences off, revenue will drop and the reason for investing in it will go away. The sugar daddys and loaning banks will want out and we will be left with an empy shell.

    We need to control our greed and build a sustainable system which gives us proper competitive football, not competitive wallets.


  • Comment number 23.

    I don't think that I'd swap Madrid for Manchester (with great respect to Manchester - I was born there), the weather will be a significant culture shock, the night life will be another and the league that he has to play in will provide him with interesting lessons on how midfielders and defense in the EPL go about their business - no holds barred.

    I think that it's coming close to a time when a club's balance sheet and the amount of debt in it will come up for serious debate at UEFA/FIFA. Football clubs are, after all, businesses and most have to abide by the legal requirements in the UK. If all these billionaires actually had to come up with the hard cash, rather than simply provide a guarantee, and put that cash into the club via a capital injection (purchase of shares - difficult to get the money back other than to sell the shares or go through reams of the Companies Act to allow a company share buy-back) then I'm sure that we'd see far fewer £20 - £30M deals. Millionaires and Billionaires have huge assets but hard cash is an entirely different thing, most don't carry cash at that scale.

    The club I support is also owned by a Billionaire and yes he owns a top 10 team in the NFL but he's been a good influence, is intent on providing better facilities and a team built around the ideas of a great manager. Teams win football matches not individuals so thank you Mr. Lerner.

  • Comment number 24.

    Robinho to Man City has the same ring as Tevez to West Ham. What price another move come January?

  • Comment number 25.

    This move for Robinho is purely financial, and maybe he's see's it as a stepping stone into the Prem (for Chelsea to take him once he starts crying again). He will soon see that City have not got any where near the experience needed to be top of the PL or challenging for CL. 5th is the best they will achieve for atleast the next 3 years.

    When Chelski did it (Abram) they already had alot of quality players in their side and were always around the top 4/5 so it was easier for them to add more quality and push into the top 4.

    I am a United fan and cannot wait to see City fail!

  • Comment number 26.

    .Good article My Vickery. Firstly fair play to Man City for their audacity!b Whoever said they won't be able to get in the top is a brave man I see this club going far! The only down point I feel is hopefully Mark Hughes had some say in the transfer and not that it was just puit on him. I think everyone knows the dangers of the boards not the managers making the signings and if this is the case I can't see someone of Mark Hughes stature hanging around to long. In regards to Robiniho himself I understand the articles worries but if you think about the Brazillian presence there already in Jo and Elano at least you know that he will have friends within the squad who I'm sure he's played with and met already. I think the only thing missing now for City is 2 quality holding midfielders to play behind either, Jo,Elano,Robiniho,SWP,Sturridge and Petrov-now that is some attcking options!! Game on fellas,game on!!

  • Comment number 27.

    Robinnho will live to regret this move and s we have all seen with moves for players such as Veron, Petit, Henry etc sometimes a move can kill the rest of your career.

    Man City will be fine in the long run but this deal has nothing to do with football reasons, but everything to do with sensationalism.

    The new owners have bought the club and if what has been claimed (in a radio interview by the owner) they have bid for Berbatov, Villa, Gomez and Robinho. Does this sound like structured planning in the transfer market?

    NO. Robinho is nothing more than a 'trophy wife' you need to take to the Oscars to be recognised as a box office actor, or that piece of 'bling' you need to be a platinum selling rapper star.

    What would have happened if Villa, Berbatov and Gomez had agreed to go to Eastlands? Unless Mark Hughes was planning of going all Ozzie Ardilles and laying 9 upfront then it wouldn't fit.

    The player i feel sorry for the most is Shaun Wright Philips. He has just left the rich boys play thing that is Chelsea and walked into a situation at City that looks even worse.

    Robinho talked himself into a position that was untenable. However like Man Utd, Real do not want to sell there better players to a rival. No offence to City but they are not going to be a threat in the champions league for a few years if ever at all.

    I think some credit has to go to Real for getting an superb deal for a player who is not yet proven to be world class or of any class in the way he conduts himself on and off the pitch.

  • Comment number 28.

    I'd like to see Man City spend big and challenge for the PL ... been getting a bit bored with the dominance of the same old clubs.

  • Comment number 29.

    At the end of the day, City havent really bought him as a player- they want to attract star names, and with players like Robinho they are much more likely too.

  • Comment number 30.

    "Will he light up the English winter with virtuoso displays? Or will he struggle and soon pull another sulk job in attempt to force an exit from the club he has just joined?"

    I would say clearly the later. As you suggest, Robinho is a good player but, like many recent Brazilian superstars, his attitude is all wrong and for this reason he is widely reviled by the average Brazilian punter. My relations groan whenever he touches the ball in an international and were not at all disappointed when he departed the Olympic squad.

    The name will look good on Man City's team sheet and I expect him to punish defences as porous as those of Hull and Stoke but this is a stepping stone move as far as I am concerned; one step closer to Stamford Bridge.

  • Comment number 31.

    Oh dear, oh dear oh dear !!!!!!!!

    This deal is both incredibly sad, and extremely funny, on so many levels.

    Welcome to the world of 'High class prostitution' - no wonder he was crying when he left Real Madrid.

    Next match up: City v Chelsea

    great stuff. Probably 0-0

    worth every penny - not

  • Comment number 32.

    comment by

    nite_89 wrote:

    I am a United fan and cannot wait to see City fail!


    to nite_89 what a comment to make !!!

    your letting the united fan base down


  • Comment number 33.

    I really think its unfair to tell a player his future is at a club and then turn around and offer him in exchange for another few weeks down the line. I feel Robinho had decided to leave Real Madrid and would have gone to Barnsley (No offense) if they had put up the money. I will be really surprised if he's still a city player by next season. I am still not sure what Calderon means by his statement accusing the player of moving for non-footballing reasons as opposed to the club selling for human reasons. If thats the case, why didnt they sell him to Chelsea in the first place?

  • Comment number 34.

    another absolute joke of a blog criticising City!

    I think a lot of people are gonna be out to get us the same way they did with chelsea but to be honest i really dont care, we've had nothing but negative press of the media and fans alike for the last year, this time its mainly gonna be jealousy from rival fans and obviously the press are gonna be attempting to get some dirt on the new owners and if that fails try and get everyones backs up about how money is ruining football!! lol

    Its all about progression, these are businesses after all! CTID!! :-)

  • Comment number 35.

    give it 3 years, it city aren't challenging united, arsenal, chelsea and to a lesser extent, liverpool, he'll want away again. he's done it before and he'll do it again.

    of course another theory is he heard the word 'manchester' and thought it was united. big shock when he saw the blue shirt!

  • Comment number 36.

    spot the jealous chelsea and united fans.

    because they are no longer the richest clubs in the EPL.. they are infact 2nd rate to 'little citeh'

    Robinho is class, and chelsea haven't got the pulling power anymore.

    the time has come for you to move over and let the real big boys have their time.

    will the Real Man CIty please stand up?

    thank you and god bless the Arabs

  • Comment number 37.

    I'm a Rover's fan so not a big fan of City at the moment, however I don't see where all of this "they'll never break into the top 4" comes from.

    Looking at it realistically. Fourth place is vulnerable to a host of clubs that can put a good run together. The big four is only a big four in their, and the media's eyes. The two that are vulnerable are Arsenal, still rebuilding, and Liverpool, still flattering to deceive.

    So, City for forth place this year? As long as they stay within striking distance by January I can see them strengthening their squad then and making a big push. It'll be quite a battle to see how good Hughes is as a manager and whether Benitez can hold it together at Liverpool. I can't wait.

  • Comment number 38.

    Well, as a lifelong city fan I must first say how disappointed I am at all the bitterness and negativity about this move. The so called pundits and journo's just like to be fractious, I can understand this, who wants to read a positive article right?

    I've been reading all day about how city will never be a top 4 side etc etc. These same people (bitter rags for the most part) espousing the same nonsense that only really serves to make it all the more sweeter in Jan when city bolster the squad further with 6 or 7 more world class signings, and subsequently finish in top 4.

    A blue moon is rising ! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!!!

  • Comment number 39.

    Why is it a strange setting?

    You and the rest of the media need to get out of this game killing mindset that the top players can only go to Man Utd/Chelsea/Arsenal/Liverpool and that any top players at other English clubs need to be incessantly illegally tapped up (as we have seen in the cases of Rooney, Carrick, Berbatov, Tevez, Ferdinand, Lampard, Barry etc)

  • Comment number 40.

    Its going to be funny when Robinho realises there are two clubs in Madchester and he has joined the duff one who are not even in the champions league! :))

  • Comment number 41.

    With the amazing 'breaking' stories all throughout yesterday, I had to take a step back and think through what was actually happening.
    New Owners - with the difficulties surrounding Shinawatra both at home in Thailand and the mounting pressure on him over here, it was inevitable that he would have to sell. The fact that he has sold City to one of the richest groups int he world is an amazing coup. No doubt about it City are not a Global Brand, but with the local rivalry they have obviously seen a potential to develop City as one.
    Berbatov - My Spurs friends had been drooling over him his first season, but have grown colder and colder towards him since then. He will probably prove me wrong now, but I don't see him lighting up the pitch as everyone thinks he will. As for the City bid for him... I don't see how he would have fitted in really and I only see it as a bid so that United didn't get the player they'd been chasing and stalling over for so long.
    Robinho - Brazilian number 4 signs for City! Alright, one of them is a defender, who is probably a traditional leaky South American, but hopefully with Elano, Jo and Berti there Robinho has as good a chance as anywhere in the UK to settle. Whether he's worth £32.5m or not, doesn't even come in to question. Of course not... no player is worth that really and the fact that even Chelsea wouldn't stretch to that proves its too much. Will he dazzle the Premiership grounds? Not every game, but who does... even Ronaldo last year was quiet in some games. Yes he'll shine against the lower teams, as he should, but all we can hope for is that he'll put in 100% effort every game.
    Wild Statements of Successes - Every new owner wants to big up their investments to endear themselves to the regular Fans, whether that be survival with lower teams or top 10 finishes with mid table ones. Having only scraped through the EUFA Cup qualification, I can only hope for a long run in Europe this season that Robinho can shine in. Domestic Cup success is achievable - just look at Portsmouth with their 'limited' funds. As for Top 4 this season - as great as it sounds, it ain't gonna happen! 5th maybe, 6th at the very least. A season of building and moulding, followed up by concerted pressure on the Big 4 next season is more likely. Can City break the Top 4... I hope so.

    The only thing for certain is that there were a lot of exciting times at the Blue Camp yesterday. I can only hope those times continue on the pitch this season and the ones to come!!!

  • Comment number 42.

    While it's great news for City, it's also a little depressing - if you want to win things you need BIG money. The days of Forest winnig the League/European Cup, Southampton/Watford finishing 2nd in League has gone. Sad, Sky/big money has been the ruination of the game, no longer a sport, just big business like most sport now. As a LFC fan, we're being left behind, not helped by Statler and Waldorf. Anyway good luck to City, at least with the Arabs you know thet'll do things right and proper. And City are due some good luck, I don't begrudge them any success.

    Agree with Platini for once though, if you're not solvent you can't play in Europe or your League. That might cause some problems, about time Football was run properly.

  • Comment number 43.

    As more and more money transcends the game, the implications of each large transfer inevitably have knock on effects. I don't doubt that Robinho will be a success at Manchester City assuming of course that he receives the service from their midfield and wings to which he is more usually accustomed. However, with the wealth at City now seemingly beyond question, Robinho will prove to be a pivotal buy at some stage in the next couple of seasons anyway. Looking beyond Robinho going to City it is instructive to consider the comments of the Real Madrid President who claimed that they had let Robinho go for human and family reasons. The reality paints a somewhat different picture. While City's neighbours have relentlessly pursued Berbatov in full public glare all summer, so too have Real Madrid pursued Ronaldo. I suspect that this is the key to the Robinho transfer. The best way for the Madrid President to save face now is to capture Ronaldo in either of the next two transfer windows. The fact that Ronaldo has stated his intention to play for Madrid is only half of the equation. The price must also be right - as Manchester United found out yesterday in their capture of Berbatov. Just as Manchester United will be seeking to recoup the fee paid out for Berbatov, so too will Real Madrid be seeking to make the most use of the money generated from the sale of Robinho. I am certain this will happen. With regard to Manchester City, I think they will be top four this season and a step further by next season. Finally, the ante has been upped as far as Liverpool are concerned. With the Americans seemingly short of funds at present, they face a very real danger of being left behind. Last season was dominated by the success of Torres. At present he is out injured for the next couple of matches. Any more injuries to Torres on his return would be a disaster for Liverpool unless DIC are now going to make their much publicised move....

  • Comment number 44.

    Certainly put Chelsky's nose out of joint...will the Russian now go into a sulk and sell up?

  • Comment number 45.

    He wants to be the world's best player?

    He is going to be another Geovanni.

    I remember Tim Vickery expressing concern about Robinho's fitness for Europe before he left Brazil.

    It will happen in three stages:

    Firstly, he will find himself a little lightweight for the league and he will lose some confidence.

    Secondly, he will find his teammates are not as good as he is used too and he will become frustrated.

    Thirdly, he will have trouble settling into Manchester, and will then want out.

    He will be gone to italy or back to spain by this this time next year folks, with City taking a £10million hit.

    And the Abu Dhabi boys will be gone in a few years after that when they get bored of their new "hobby".

  • Comment number 46.

    I've read a couple of comments pertaining to the current owners of Chelsea and Manchester City seeling up if things start to go wrong. Fine. Sell to who? Is Bill Gates interested in football?

  • Comment number 47.

    A number of things to add here we were capable of a top-six finish before season started.Since then we have added Kompany who to that Arsenal fan is a very very good holding midfielder , he without knowing any of the players he was playing with , looked great against West Ham and again against Sunderland.In defence where we struggled with injuries last year we just added Zabeleta a very good right back (which we needed) and Glauber Berti a left back ( cover for Ball or replacement we wait to see).We have bought as cover for Micah and Dunne ,Ben Tal Haim (we also have under 21 Onuoha who is improving all the time).Left wing with Petrov we needed balance on the right now we have SWP (and Etuhu who is coming on leaps and bounds),central midfield we have England under 21 Johnson who the top four have all tried buying for 12 mill so he can't be that bad lol.Elano,Ireland,Hamamn, all fighting with Johnson for the two central midfield role.Up front another problem area we now our fourth Brazilian Robinho partnering JO,Benjani,Vassel(next to leave?)Sturridge(looks like the real deal if he keeps improving),Evans.That is a team if the Brazilian Robinho can forge a partnership with Brazilian Jo and the Brazilian Elano ooo i don't see a language barrier there and they should all help each other settle which is a major part of making a player settle.
    In short Robinho is only one piece of the puzzle not the whole thing and unlike a lot of posters here he may find himself somewhere where he can express himself and be happy.

  • Comment number 48.

    Personally, I think it’s great that a side outside the top four are trying to buy at the same table as the big boys. I hope that it works for them, watch out Liverpool and Arsenal. If the Keane and Torres partnership doesn’t click then they might need to look over their shoulders.

    However, I can’t get away from the fact that this deal looks undoubtedly like a player who had absolutely nowhere else to go after kicking himself away from Madrid.

    I am sceptical as to whether he will cope with the physical game of the premier league and whether there are any get out clauses in that contract, which he will enforce later down the line.

    Whatever the opinion, it certainly is a statement of intent from city’s new owners.

  • Comment number 49.

    I think most people here are mssing the point. City were for a long time last season hovering around the top 4 . We ran out of steam two thirds of the way through the season because there was not enough depth in the squad - as there is with chelsea, man utd, arsenal.

    I think the same would have happened again this season. The new investment just enables us to strengthen the squad Robinho will be a squad player as he would have been at any of the clubs interested in him. I dont think he will play against clubs at the lower end of the league we

  • Comment number 50.

    I'm curious to see how Hughes will play Robinho.

    This season he has been playing 4-5-1 and with a full strength team his best players are SWP, Petrov and Jo (Or at least these are the players I see least likely being dropped. So that would lead you to believe Robinho would be in attacking midfield which displaces the frankly marvellous Elano. so will he do this and put Elano at Right Back? or will he switch to a 4-4-2 which would completely change the teams system but accommodate all 5 players?

    tis an interesting time....

  • Comment number 51.

    I think most people here are missing the point. The new owners obviously want to make a big statement about their seriousness and intent to do well. They have bought the club at a bad time but are setting themselves up for the new year transfer window. Robinho's signing is sending a message to other possible signings. Whether he ends up playing well is irrelevant, to a degree.

    I am an United fan but am pleased for City fans to (hopefully) finally get a competitive team. I am against all this foreign ownership but until something is done about it across the board, then I would rather it be a even for every club. The premiership needs to be about more than the usual 4 clubs.

    I get far more satisfaction when United beat the other big 3 than against other teams, and would prefer the premiership to have a big 10 at least.

  • Comment number 52.

    Im pretty sure Robinho will shine so long as Man City use him as thier playmaker and all of thier attacking play goes through him. This then could cause more problems in the squad with players who shone last season being forced to take a back seat and new signing SWP may be forced to subdue his attacking insticts.

    Only time will tell how he will take to the Premier League but once he recovers from the first tough tackles dished out by John Terry im sure he will get to grips with the pace and strength so characteristic of this league, i'm pretty sure he will perform well.

  • Comment number 53.

    To citymikeok:

    How am i putting the UTD fan base to shame?

    I wasn't aware derby teams were supposed to wish each other luck and hope the other team is successful in beating them lol.

    Rivalry is all apart of the game, no shame in that.

    Uniteds money is made through their own success, not through somebodies successful property development business or Oil company.

  • Comment number 54.

    As a chelsea season ticket holder i am slightly glad that Robinho is not going to be turning up at Cobham on the daily basis for traning. Although he does have talent - will he be able to transform his game much like Ronaldo did when he arrived and was widly scorned for his antics which have been toned down now to make him the worlds best footballer? Robinho is going to have to take a leaf out of Ronaldos book - maybe he already has after Ronaldos potracted move to Madrid fell apart.
    His behaviour is also distasteful and i am glad not to have him at the club i was like a large section of the real Chelsea fans who travel away witht the team embarrassed by what he has done at Madrid regarding his Sunday press conference. A situation which is remarkably similiar to Michael Essiens move to the Chels. A few fans i was talking to in Wigan two weeks ago think the same and were against the transfer of Robinho to Chelsea at the fear that he may well become another Malouda! At least that is Manchester Citys problem now, I wish Robinho the best tho and i hope he can transform his style.

  • Comment number 55.

    City have tried to make a statement by buying Robinho but instead have just looked desperate. They bid ridiculous amounts for players that wouldn't otherwise join them if they weren't being offered stupid sums of money. They succeed in buying one of those players and now he will have had a moment to stop and think about it, Robinho will surely be thinking "bugger". I don't believe for one second think that Mark Hughes was thinking a month ago "Who should I sign? Robinho? Villa? Berbatov?" No he was looking for players that were value for money. Then someone said "here's a shed load of money, spend it in the next 8 hours." It is a desperate move to look like a contender for a top 4 position but unlike Chelsea when they were bought, they aren't really in a decent position to build on.
    I reckon Robinho will have one season then sulk and want to move.

  • Comment number 56.

    Although it's a positive time for the club, if I was a Manchester City supporter wouldn't you have a few concerns that you've broken the British transfer record for a player 24 hours previous said he wanted to join Chelsea?

  • Comment number 57.

    ExiledDevonRed - You really ought to have checked your facts before your post at 8:29. To suggest that Chelsea were no better than Manchester City when Roman took over is ludicrous.

    For one Chelsea were already in the Champions League when Abramovich arrived. In fact they had finished in the top 6 in each of the previous 7 seasons, won 2 FA Cups, a league cup and the Cup Winners Cup. In that time Manchester City had been yoyo-ing between the top 3 divisions.

    Let's also remember that through all of this Robinho wanted to go to Chelsea more than Chelsea wanted Robinho, if they had have wanted him that much then they'd have matched Real's asking price rather than haggling for a lower fee. There's no doubting that Robinho is a talented player but he's more a luxury to the really top European teams. If he wasn't then they'd have been falling over each other to snap him up for €40M, as it was he has been a fringe player at Madrid and while he will light up the premier league at times he is not another Ronaldo, far far from it.

    That said it a great coup for City but be warned that they've set a dangerous precident for themselves now in showing that they have more money than sense. You only have to look at the way that they themselves put another £10M on SWP's head the moment Chelsea came knocking for him.

  • Comment number 58.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 59.

    "Prior to Abramovich's millions, were Chelsea any bigger than Man City?"
    Yes, we were, we had already reached the quarter-finals in our first Champions League outing 3 years prior, and the season before he came, we beat Liverpool to 4th spot (courtesy of Marcel Desailly). And we had won 6 trophies in the 10 years before

  • Comment number 60.

    He won't regret it, two years and they'll be as strong as Chelsea. As much as that pains a United fan to say.

  • Comment number 61.

    To see the look on Peter Kenyons face with Robihno going to the council house would have been worth the 32.5 million quid alone!

    A face like a slapped arse!

  • Comment number 62.

    Gutted Chelsea did not get him as he is what we needed but not sure why Man city have gone for him when they have wingers like SWP and Petrov and also Elano for flair.
    Robinho has his good points and bad points but disappointed we did not have a chance to speak to him but also glad in a way that we are being more careful in our spending.

  • Comment number 63.

    I think most people here are mssing the point. City were for a long time last season hovering around the top 4 . We ran out of steam two thirds of the way through the season because there was not enough depth in the squad - as there is with chelsea, man utd, arsenal. I think the same would have happened again this season.

    The new investment just enables us to strengthen the squad, Robinho will be a squad player as he would have been at any of the clubs interested in him. I dont think he will play against clubs at the lower end of the league (we managed to beat Sunderland away without him) Dont forget last season City were the only team to beat Utd both home and away.

    Sparky is a manager who knows how to get the best out of players - Blackburn were a good side that played to their strengths. he`ll do the same job at City the only difference we are now competing financially.

    Let`s also not forget that City`s academy has produced some good players SWP,Micah,Johnson etc - this can only be improved by an injection of cash- and maybe as a result this help the National Squad.

  • Comment number 64.

    interesting article.

    im incline to agree with the idea that city could well displace one of the big four with this new backing.

    This is what football is now, a business. If the new owners are prepared to throw chelsea type money at the club then i can't see any reason why they can't achieve the same sort of results.

    Its just wishful thinking from rival fans who are predicting big players won't go to them. The same is true of those who say man city are years away from competing with the top four. They weren't a bad side last year, now they have a better manager, new players, a good stadium and billionaire backing.

  • Comment number 65.

    Determining the correctness or otherwise of Robinho's judgement to join Man City as against the prefered suitor- Chelsea is extricably linked to the player's psychological state in Real Madrid. Events, both recent and ante had left the supposed unmatured Star with no option but to quit the Spanish scene. Lucky boy, cool £32.5m for a sign on fees and worthy smiles to Real Madrid who are probably looking forward to mid-market or at best next season to grab their choice Star-C. Ronaldo. The Club is now left to struggle more in all series of competitions for silverware without a clear forward. Meanwhile Robinho must brace up for the hard tackling Premiership style. If not, he might end up being another ruse of a waste. Abu Dhabi millioneers to be watchful.

  • Comment number 66.

    I think he has done right to go to Man City and I also think it's a move that ronaldhino should have took aswell

    In the past weve seen that players do seem to struggle-the likes of shevchenko etc

    I also think though that robinho wont do that brilliantly and is clearly not the best in the world as whether its because of pressure or not, if your the best player in the world you should be able to break into any team

    Finally i think 55.DarrenRichie got it wrong saying they were desperate because even though it was all very quick he is still a good player

    its like saying oh yeah he was really the space of a minute he was like goin out with someone really fit

  • Comment number 67.

    He's only going there for the money and because he wanted to leave Real.

    Up until yesterday, Robinho's own website carried a news article dated 31.08, where he was quoted as stating ' I want to play for Chelsea', 'my head is with Chelsea'.

    As of today (02.09), the news article has conveniently been changed to remove almost every reference to Chelsea - 'my head is with Chelsea' now reads 'my head is elsewhere'!

    It tells you everything about the guy, when he can doctor past news articles to suit his own ends.

    The current article is at

    The previous article is still in the Google cache - search on google for 'I want to go to chelsea'
    (I tried to post the link but it wouldn't work on here)

  • Comment number 68.

    Being a Chelsea fan i was disapointed that we did not get Robinho, but having read some of the comments about him and the way he has conducted himself at other clubs, this news is now a blessing.

    So Man City want to be in the top 4, well with enough money, like Chelsea they will get there one day.

    The big question is who will manage such a great team?? Surely the new owners are not serious about Mark Hughes taking them forward, i doubt if Robinho has ever heard of him until this morning.

  • Comment number 69.

    As a Man City fan, I know it's been said a few times already, but why so much negativity towards the club. It is a gamble on our part, admittedly, but STOP PRESS, it's a gamble we can afford to take. Robinho is a statement of intent. The club willing to bring a player of his potential and calibre shows they are prepared to fight tooth and nail to improve.

    Let us not forget we tried to sign Torres last summer too, and we were also in the running for Berbatov, who we will no doubt hear is such a great player over the coming months (amazing how many people seem to forget the fact he was also sulking a great deal over the summer).

    At the end of the day, Liverpool have often been criticised as failing to sign the players needed to push on to the next level. We had a better than average season in our terms last year, and with the signing and the addition of people like Zabaleta and Kompany, we are simply making the signings we need to do that.

    City Til I Die

  • Comment number 70.

    I wonder whether, if Robinho had signed for Manchester United, you would have mentioned him 'warming frozen Mancunian hearts'?

    Is it so much warmer on the Trafford side of the City than Eastlands, or can you not resist a Northern stereotype that somehow, Man U have escaped from?

  • Comment number 71.

    It appears the Robinho likes to be centr eof attention. Had he gone to chelsea he would have been one of the stars but at Man City he is THE star.
    His ego will be massaged constantly and he will find it relatively easy to be man of the match if he can be bothered to put in the effort.
    A legend at Man City possibly but i dont think he will ever be player of the year.

  • Comment number 72.

    People saying Robinho signed for the money are only half right. Its blindingly obvious there is absolutely no footballing reason he's signed, what it comes down to as well as money is that in the end he simply had no other options. He burned his bridges at Madrid and Chelsea wouldn't pay the money so he's now stuck at City and not in the Champions League. I just wonder how long he'll be there for, it wouldn't suprise me to see him force a move in January.

  • Comment number 73.

    The real question is, Are Man City the next Chelsea?

  • Comment number 74.

    As a Liverpool fan, I'm glad Robinho didn't go to well done City. There'll be flashes of brilliance, but I reckon there'll be lots of moaning...I hope Sparky's ready for a few headaches!

    It's a weird signing, Real Madrid just wanted to get rid of him in the end (he could've ended up at Stoke if they had £32mill to spend!)..he wanted to go to Chelsea...I'm sure he'll end up there next season.
    For now, Real must be laughing, they've got rid of a disruptive influence (and not really a big game player) for a lot of money without having to sell him to a European rival...

  • Comment number 75.

    good article tim, i love your south american knowledge! (i went to see the 'superclasico' a few years back and have been a river fan ever since... standing with them in the away section of 'the sweetbox' is a lasting memory!!)

    anyway, back to the premiership/robinho. i think we all saw last season the real robinho, and how highly he is rated in world football. would we still be asking the same questions had he signed for chelsea? all the talk from the chelsea camp (lampard/scolari/peter 'traitor' kenyon - i am a united fan!!). but let's be fair to city. chelsea and blackburn before them, have had amazingly wealthy owners who have tried to buy trophies, and why not city? why not buy the best talent available and be successful? sure, it may take time to settle, but some players settle quickly (anderson) and some not at all (kleberson!).

    but he joins a brazilian contingent in manchester now... elano, jo, the new guy city signed, along with anderson, the brazilian nevilles (rafael and fabio da silva), possebon. i think that will play a key part in it for him. yes, ronaldinho may be a better play (and for me, always will - i was at the san siro on sunday and saw him on his debut... amazing!), but lets not take it away from city and their fans that this is an exciting time to be a city fan.

    but i think we are all just missing the most important question here. how is he going to adapt to the championship next season!!!

  • Comment number 76.

    hang on a minute....chelsea sold SWP because Robinho is a similar style of player but better, and they expected to have robbi in their side.

    Now he's followed SWP to ManC. Hows that gonna work then? Two fast midget whippets in attack?

    Can't see both of them working together in the same team.

  • Comment number 77.

    I think it will be a good move for robinho, a chance to be the centre of attention and definitely better than most of the players at the club, if he has low self esteem like tim said, he will flourish in that kind of environment.

    Think Maradona ---> Napoli...

  • Comment number 78.

    Remember - Robinho will be alongside Jo - Brazilian compatriots. Both City and Brazil will benefit.

    Further - the guys who have bought him spent pocket money to buy him, and are wealthy enough to leave him languishing in the reserves if he mucks about. They won't miss the money like some! So he'll have to try hard!

  • Comment number 79.

    A couple of daft comments on this blog...

    Firstly from united fans who are convinced that he will jump ship when he realises that he's joined the team in Blue,

    and Secondly from dozy city fans who are convinced everyone is having a go because they are bitter.

    Honestly, no-one cares that much - Its just an article about football.

  • Comment number 80.

    Regardless of the player's history, Robinho is still a very talented footballer. An amazing catch for Manchester City and it is about time that Chelsea had some competition on the financial front. This is nothing new; Blackburn Rovers were once at the forefront of a buy to win philosophy as were Newcastle United and Leeds United. Chelsea were an average side until Abramovich's arrival and financial muscle. With Arab money City have managed to pull off an incredible coup and given Chelsea a serious wake up call that they can no longer dictate who they want to sign. The Robinho signing should be celebrated and makes the premier league a little less predictable. Well worked City, I am looking forward to watching his talents on the field and am not concerned about his past.

  • Comment number 81.

    54. tue5402

    If you go to Cobham you'll be disappointed - You'd need to go to Stoke D'Abergnon to see Chelsea train.

  • Comment number 82.

    I bet the news that City had bought Robhino wiped the smile of Kenyon's face.

  • Comment number 83.

    With respect to the author of the article i think that he is wrong because i believe robinho to be a terrific player. He has great pace and shows constantly that he has a superb finish. I don't think you mentioned any of the extremely important goals he scored for Madrid coming of the bench for Madrid including goals against big teams in Spain. The way Calderon talked about him leaving for no sporting reasons is stupid because R.Madrid treated him poorly and they never offered him a new contract when he asked for one because they were trying to sign ronaldo he is also good friends with Man City striker Jo.  What you didn't mention in the article was the reason he wanted to leave Real Madrid and that was because he was shown to be unwanted by R.Madrid when they were using him as bait to sign ronaldo. When talking about robinho being childish, about wanting to leave, is ridiculous because C.Ronaldo, Berbatov, Bentley, Giovanni Dos Santos, Ronaldinho etc. all used the exact same method to try to get away from their clubs they sulk so why do you complain just about him.  Also when you said that when he didn't get fouls and then stands up and curses is totally ridiculous because you would be hard pressed to find any player in the premiership who has not done the same thing. He might take a while to settle in but once he gets to showcase his talent in the PL i yhink that he could become the best player in the world.

  • Comment number 84.

    To Be Fair, Would He Really Come To City If He Didnt Want To ??
    I Mean Ok .. It Could Have Been The Money But Surely He Knew He Would Be Committing Himself To City ! ... So I Think He Knows What Hes Doing And Wants To Make City A Big Club !

  • Comment number 85.

    There seems to have been a shift in many Chelsea fans' opinions of Robinho since he signed for Man City.
    Imagine Utd signing him, or Arsenal, or Chelsea. He would've been the best thing for all fans of those clubs, instead, because he has signed for a team not in the top four he is being touted as a waste of money!
    When Chelsea were taken over by the Russians, they were no more succesful than City have been up until now.
    i fear that the knee-jerk reactions of the fans of those clubs who take for granted Champions League participation is because they are running scared.
    I am not in the camp of 'City will be in the top four this year', but I can see the foundations of something akin to the Russian revolution in West London.
    In Mark Hughes, they have a shrewd and talented manager, whose desire is to be successful. The funding is there. Players will be attracted to the club's potential, specially in January and next close season.
    Chelsea and Utd will probably not be adversly affected this year, however Arsenal and Liverpool should be watching over their shoulders.

  • Comment number 86.

    I dont understand how people can compare this transfer to the tevez and mascherano one... West Ham had the players on loan... they ceratainly hadn't bought them.. and no-one necessarily thought at the time that they were gonna be there for years to come..

  • Comment number 87.

    10 years ago Denilson de Oliveira Araujo became the most expensive player in the world when he signed for Real Betis. He was a tricky Brazilian winger who mastered the step over before C. Ronaldo could walk but that was basically that. He was a luxury player who gave nothing to Real Betis apart from some extra ticket sales. Robinho is still young and may not go the same way as Denilson but I think he will soon be sulking when he's watching the best footballers in the world playing Champions League football while he plays in the UEFA Cup.

  • Comment number 88.

    Oh no, Chelsea missed out on their transfer target and because Manchester City have signed him lets all be negative about it. It would have been interesting to read this article if he had signed for Chelsea and see how different the spin would have been.

  • Comment number 89.

    At 10:48am on 02 Sep 2008, kevgavin wrote:

    10 years ago Denilson de Oliveira Araujo became the most expensive player in the world when he signed for Real Betis. He was a tricky Brazilian winger who mastered the step over before C. Ronaldo could walk but that was basically that. He was a luxury player who gave nothing to Real Betis apart from some extra ticket sales. Robinho is still young and may not go the same way as Denilson but I think he will soon be sulking when he's watching the best footballers in the world playing Champions League football while he plays in the UEFA Cup.


    That is a fair point, and maybe he will go the same way, only time will tell. The fact is though the ball is in his court, and he has the chance to go out and show people why he feels he should be the best player in the world, and if he does that, then the big clubs will come knocking.

    As for "I think he will soon be sulking when he's watching the best footballers in the world playing Champions League football while he plays in the UEFA Cup" that is a fair point. Isn't that the same behaviour as Berbatov!

  • Comment number 90.

    um - visciousvic Cobham is the more commonly used name for the traning facilities used by Chelsea anyway this is not an article about Chelsea it is about Manchester City apparently having 10 times the money that Chelsea have.

  • Comment number 91.

    66. sean_boro_fan2 - What on earth are rambling you on about?

  • Comment number 92.

    If Elano could shine, it'll be real sucky if Robinho mega fails.

  • Comment number 93.

    I think you will find that the EPL is rapidly becoming more and more like a foreign league, even english players are now starting to hit the floor frequently in an attempt to recieve rewards be it free kick penalty or opposition booking.

    That said with players like ronaldo and gerrard and being a chelsea fan i will admit drogba, in the premiership, what is one good reason that robinho wont do well because he will go down easily? Its fast becoming a desireable trait in attacking players!

    Im not saying its a good thing that this is how its happening but its happening lets face it. So before saying whether he will do well or not give it a couple of games before you judge whether its a good signing or not.

  • Comment number 94.

    to ExiledDevonRed who said.."Prior to Abramovich's billions, were Chelsea any bigger than Man City? And they've broken into the top 4. I don't know the stats, but I imagine that Man City's attendances over the years have been higher than Chelsea's. As Chelsea have shown, all it takes is money."

    Yes they were, prior to Abramovich Chelsea where a champions league club already. As for fans, city were having one of their best season's in may years before christmas last year and i can clearly remember many an occasion that the stadium was less than full..

    When Abramovich came to chelsea there was only really united and arsenal to get ahead of, now that United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool are so far ahead of everyone else in the league it is going to take a lot more than what chelsea spent to turn City into what they are talking about..

  • Comment number 95.

    I had Man City down to finish in the bottom half this season...then they go and buy Kompany, Zabaleta and Robinho. Feeling rather fickle now.

    Maybe Chelsea could have done with him playing off Drogba, but to be honest, look at the midfield...I don't think they're gonna be too concerned with not signing Robinho.

  • Comment number 96.


    I think you will find this is a thread about robinho's tranfer to man city?
    which is why people wont be complaining about berbatov ronaldo etc...

  • Comment number 97.

    what do these people mean city will never break into the top 4? i think we're 3rd at the moment!

    i'm interested to note city are now bookies favourite to finish in the top 5 this season (like west ham were when they bought tevez - oh) and mark hughes is now 3rd most likely manager to be sacked, after curbishley and keegan.

    i'm trying to remain optimistic but this could all end in disaster. at least i've got macclesfield town to fall back on :-)

  • Comment number 98.

    As a Man City supporter I am totally flabbergasted by the events of the last 24 hours. Thats not to say I'm not delighted to find that our club now has gargantuan investment, a pledge to clear all outstanding payments, the promised goal of Champions League football and indeed a player of the phenominal talent that Robinho possesses.

    We City supporters love to talk our club up but I must say that I think if we're all honest it's astounding that we've pulled off a signing like this. Even having huge swathes of cash to through around does not usually negate the fact that the best players in the world want to play in the highest level competitions. Surely after burning his bridges at Real, Robinho must have been presented a stark choice yesterday evening between joining City or nothing. That said, he has two international team mates in Elano and Jo to keep him company, who I am sure will have encouraged him with there impression of Mark Hughes and the new set up and ambitions of the club. We've got a team that's brimming with burgeoning talents such as Micah Richards, Michael Johnson and Daniel Sturridge. Along with that and our other Brazilians we now have two of the best wingers in the country in Petrov and Wright-Phillips.

    The key factor for me in all this and the thing that Robinho's success at the club will ride on is Mark Hughes' ability to get the very best out of him. I cannot over-estimate what a breath of fresh air Hughes and his backroom staff have been at City. His direct, no nonsense approach and straight talking are self-eveident, but there also seems to be an innovativeness and desire to push boundaries in what can be achieved. Look at what Hughes got out players like Gamst Pedersen, Bentley and Santa Cruz - all talented players but not of the callibre that Robinho possesses. If anyone knows about playing with confidence then it has to Mark Hughes.

    I do not necessarily expect Robinho to settle imedeately and become an instant success at City. I'm sure his head is also swimming a little right now. But given a little time and a few metaphorical massacres against weaker defences his confidence and happiness will grow. Hughes' knows how to keep it there.

  • Comment number 99.

    Robinho / Jo \ Wright-Phillips

    That is a tasty front three! If only it was Berbatov replacing Jo!

  • Comment number 100.

    I don't think the 451 formation will change at all.

    Sparky could end up playing a system similar to Russia @ Euro 2008, with Jo playing up front and Robinho just playing behind.

    That would leave SWP and Petrov on the wings with Elano to play a central role. Kompany could slot in behind him for that DM that City need and then you've got the standard back 4 of Ball, Ben Haim, Dunne and Richards (from left to right - Dunne is less likely to give Richards another concussion).


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