Manchester City sit fourth in the Premiership today with four wins from five games, they have scored 11 goals, only conceded 6 and today they have narrowly lost to their fierce rivals Manchester United however they have done all this without their £32million talisman Robinho which shows just how far Mark Hughes’ men have come.
There is no doubt that last season Robinho was City’s playmaker, their inspirational player who changed games in their favour with moments of brilliance; but many are unsure what impact Robinho’s fractured ankle will have on City’s fortunes this season. Last season Robinho was the main man at Eastlands and he clearly revelled in that status scoring 14 goals in 31 games, but this season Manchester City are a different outfit. Robinho is not alone in the “star attraction stakes”; he has been joined by other big names meaning there is less of a reliance on him to make City tick. Emmanuel Adebayor has made a blistering start to his City career scoring four goals in four games; Carlos Tevez moved across Manchester to the blue side and Gareth Barry shunned Liverpool to join the City revolution. Suddenly Robinho isn’t the be all and end all; he’s not the man City must play in order to perform well.
Amazingly this isn’t that much of a surprise to the blue half of Manchester, City fans aren’t as disappointed to be losing their record signing this season compared to last. Robinho is continually accused of going missing in away games and not contributing enough to the team effort. This is something he has seen to be guilty of this season already, in the three appearances he has made he has yet to score, yet to contribute an assist and as a result yet to complete a full 90 minutes. His time on the sidelines may make Robinho realise that this season he cannot rest on his laurels because there are players breathing down his neck for a starting place. Craig Bellamy appears to be the player chosen to replace the injured Brazilian and he showed against Arsenal that he is hungry and willing to do the dirty work that perhaps Robinho will not. And Bulgarian Martin Petrov has now returned to full fitness and, having turned down a move to Tottenham, is clearly hungry to turn his Manchester City career around.
So while City will miss Robinho in the same way that any team would, they will only miss having another quality player in their starting eleven rather than their main man. In fact while City continue to maintain their 100% record despite missing Robinho it appears that rather than being disadvantaged by the loss of him they will just have a £32million Brazilian international to add to the mix when he returns from injury. A mouth-watering prospect for all concerned, unless you wear the blue of Chelsea or red of Manchester United.
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