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Manchester City So Far, So Good, So…?

Mysterious de la Souza – forgotten perhaps, but not gone? 

The rate and force with which the revolving door at Eastlands turns has made it easy to forget some of the players and staff it has flung out while sucking others in. It has ejected several MCFC people, who at the time we thought very highly of and would surely miss. Players we were supposedly mad to sell, or perhaps to have bought in the first place. Players who earned enough to buy six mansions and a fleet of Bugatti Veyrons having barely earned a first team slot. Even those like Dunne, who still seems slightly – and quite rightly – bitter about the throwaway manner in which he was ejected after several seasons of loyal graft.  

And of course, Mark Hughes, who we grew to accept as an ex-red. I was pretty furious when Thaksin Shinawatra (who I’d happily forgotten until just typed his name) fired the almighty Sven. But for Hughes to go so suddenly and for no apparent reason, and clearly upset that he’d have no part in the glory that will no doubt one day materialise – I was truly taken aback. Who’d have thought I’d ever be sticking up for a pointy-faced Welsh ex-United icon? 

But this is my point. As soon as Mancini had won us three in a row, I was back in the present and looking forward to our impending meteoric rise to success (part 437). It’s the fickle and desperate nature of being a City fan. Years of underachievement, tactic and logic-defying results, dicing with relegation, Champions League places and slicing shots at silverware – often all in the same season. So forgive us for forgetting, but the carrots are getting closer and closer to our teeth, and they look so delicious! 

It seems Robinho de la Souza wants to come back, though. Or so ‘reports suggest’. But then what does ‘reports suggest’ mean? Reports tend to suggest all sorts of crap, all the time. Anyway. It has been easier, for me at least, to forget Robinho, considering his lack of meaningful contribution to the cause since about five minutes after he arrived for £32.5million. He seemed like a cat that doesn’t like being picked up. I don’t rate him, either. High profile, sure, and a statement of intent, yes. Baffling in his inconsistency on and off the pitch? Ahem, just a bit.  

He’s precisely the kind of player we don’t need. And I’d be happier if he did stay at Santos, which is what other ‘reports suggest’. Despite the odd flash of brilliance, he was muscled off the ball too many times by Premiership defenders while his legs performed a blurry little dance over the ball. He was unsettling in the dressing room, didn’t seem to know when he was talking to people who’d misconstrue his poor choice of words, and frankly became a bit of an embarrassment. I can’t deny his eye for a cheeky finish, and his unselfish placing of the right ball from time to time, but it was never enough. He may well shine for Brazil in the World Cup. Who knows, he may stick four past England in the later stages with a gymnastic, jaw-dropping flourish. But you can bet if he returned to Eastlands he’d lose form against the lesser teams in the colder months.  

So as far as I’m concerned, de la Souza, you can bugger off. You’re a likeable character, and you may well have inspired the kids, sold a few more yellow and green shirts in the Arndale Centre, even given us a little hope when you arrived (not that you seemed to know which club you’d arrived at). But you’re far from an inspiration to the players at MCFC who now believe in the dream. Or, for that matter, those who soon figured out all they had to do was wait for you to stop your Irish dancing and then nick the ball from under you.  

It was nice having you Robinho. It was a lesson we had to learn. Please don’t come back.

By George Caveney.

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Article title: Manchester City So Far, So Good, So…?

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