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Robinho - Symbolism In A Signing


Dorset

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Kid imagery maybe, but it’s well worth a childlike look through the transfer window at the moment, especially when you are a Chelsea fan who, forty odd years ago, suffered major heartache the very first time a serious glance was made in that direction. Back then players were bought from and sold to anyone, anywhere, anytime and in this instance it was Jimmy Greaves, it was Milan, it was beyond my comprehension and it was painful. Since then, older and street-wiser, I’ve learnt that whilst transfer windows generally look out on to a two-way street, and there is a give and take about the whole process of moving from one club to another, once the so-called big clubs get involved the picture changes quite dramatically.

Big clubs are the big beasts in a transfer jungle that can be a helpful and playful place for little wheeler dealers going head-to-head, but, should there be a mismatch, carnage ensues. All those years ago I thought Chelsea were a big club because it was my club and I knew no better. As it turned out there were much bigger clubs in Italy and one of them lumbered across Europe to cast a shadow so large we cowered before readily handing over the finest goal scorer of that particular home grown generation for what was a mere pittance that would only buy you a Peter Crouch in today’s money. Harking back to those times is something Sepp Blatter obviously did when he tried [unsuccessfully] to convince the rest of us that Ronaldo’s predicament was, and still is, akin to slavery. There would have been an element of truth in his statement had he made it back then, but now it sounds ridiculous, except when viewed through the existing transfer window and in the context of a big beast battle. Let me explain…

The latest Ferguson mind games, directed almost exclusively at the new Scolari regime, are more than just dumb bluster, designed as they are to highlight two winning factors that United currently have and Chelsea [allegedly] do not. The first is that they have youth on their side and, following on from this, the second is that they will therefore evolve into a stronger side, whereas Chelsea, old in mind and midfield, have no platform to improve. To be fair to the majority in the Media, they were quick to ridicule this viewpoint, but several pundits have since tipped United for the title solely on grounds of them having a stronger, younger squad. This is exactly the mindset Fergie wishes to cultivate, as it is the perfect distraction from both the truth of the matter and, more importantly, the embarrassment surrounding the Winking One. Delving deeper into the reality of this situation and you find that:-

1. No matter how hard Ferguson may try to forget the young ones that got away from Old Trafford, most of us fondly remember Robben, quickly point to Mikel, and I’m sure the Gooners will be only too pleased to shout the name of Aaron Ramsey loud in his ear next time the respective teams meet. Frazier Campbell might be called back fleetingly from Hull, but there’s no disguising the Berbatov preference or the ultimate paying through the Old Red Nose that will pre-empt the youngster’s eventual return to anonymity. A £15m here for Nani and a £15m there for Anderson may be all well and good, but what about Rossi, where did Ritchie Jones go (Hartlepool on a free) and didn’t Chris Eagles fly the nest because he knew he’d still look a bit of a turkey by Christmas if he stayed?

2. On the other hand Ronaldo simply had to stay, coerced [as only Ferguson can] into serving at least one more season, in a desperate attempt to avoid a possible comparison with Robinho should he leave Real to come to us. There could be no finer example of three big beasts clashing over two players and only one [Chelsea] likely to emerge as the clear club of choice, over slightly snubbed Madrid and completely snubbed United.

Even as it stands at the moment [and as much as Ferguson might try to] you really cannot ignore the huge significance of a Robinho transfer, if it materialises, regardless of whether or not Ronaldo goes in the opposite direction. The arrival of this tricky Brazilian would not only confirm our big beast status, but also ram home the point for Real Madrid, one of the biggest beasts ever to roam the transfer jungle. Continuing the analogy and with due respect to diminutive world class talent, here is carrion in its prime being fought over and the Spanish giants may have to admit defeat, lick their wounds and turn to Hunterlaar as a replacement. Can they let this happen or, put another way, could they stop it happening if Robinho gave up prowling around and really started roaring his discontent instead. After all, that’s what Real wanted Ronaldo to do, wasn’t it?

One more point to consider - if Chelsea and Robinho get their way, doubtless other European clubs would take notice and here’s hoping AC Milan is one of them because there is bound to be another battle ahead and [as Glenn Hoddle might say] at this moment in time, on or off the field, that particular animal is in no fit state to take the Chelsea big beast on. For a long-in-the-tooth supporter like me, that 5-0 Train-Spotter’s Cup drubbing was enjoyable, but to kick the Kaka out of them and into the Bridge would be something else, the revenge sweet and the irony delicious.

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Dorset, once again an interesting take on the situation as I know the Jimmy Greaves transfer had enormous significance in its day, but I attribute Robinho's desire to come to London more to his nursing his bruised ego from both the suggestion of Manchester and the carelessness of Calderon and Madrid. They have a player on their hands who they have seriously pissed off by acting too brash in front of the cameras over a trasfer they believed to be a fait acompli. Now their prime young, creative influence is on the strop and, since they lost the war of words with Fergie, they will have to keep him and make him feel wanted again. Rather than pay out 25 million to see how Robinho does in England, id rather sit in delight to watch them solve that mess.

I think you are fundimentally right, though, about most of Ferguson's vaunted young guns falling by the wayside. Outside of Fletcher, there isnt another one in the squad under the age of 30 that they actually developed. As you say, I would guess that Campbell goes the way of Sharpe or Eagles and finds his way somewhere else in a year or two's time.

I may get battered for this, but I think until Chelsea really and truly arrive on the same plain as these other European giants in terms of prestige, not just on the pitch, we should avoid at all costs trying to acquire players from clubs that stature. The reason i say this is that, all too often, you have people looking at Chelsea as a final payday after the bright lights of Italy or Spain. In the past we have gotten veteran players who had the right mentality. However, with the kind of talent we aspire to buy, I feel like that attitude is much rarer among top footballers. Ballack was a definite exception. As was Maka. Hopefully Deco is too. But most of the other people we have had in our squad: Joey, Duffer, Carvalho, Ferreira, Cech, etc etc had something to prove because Chelsae was a big step up from their level of competition before.

Call me cynical, but I think I am wary of us going the way of the galacticos. Ballack and Maka worked out so well because they have that industrious, warrior mindset that drives them to win more. With Sheva, part of his funk me thinks lies in his fat salary and his knowledge that he is already a legend that has won everything. Not lazy, but just content with having done the bigtime.

But as always mate, great writing and great analysis. You should be sharing your sophistocated diction around places like Bawa or cfcnet, as well as here. Or look into a blog.

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Another fine post Dorset.

My dad still often remenices about Jimmy Greaves. As a kid my dad saw him play for us once and that was it, he instantly became a Chelsea fan, we were playing Arsenal at the time (his uncle supported them). He tries to describe what type of player he was, but still comes up short. I think JG's goalscoring record wherever he played speaks for itself! He scored on every debut, for every club.

My dad was absolutely gutted when he returned only around a year later a went to Spurs!!

So there you have it, Jimmy Greave is the reason I support Chelsea and the reason I hate Spurs, as I once told the great man in person when he signed programme of the last game he played for us (He was doing some after dinner speaking at an event I attended, so I dug my dad's old programmes out.

As I said, he was the original reason I hate Spurs, but I have a few of my own now :lol:

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