Monday, October 13, 2008

Is Manchester just a stepping stone for Brazilian stars?

Following another weekend with no Premier league action to feast upon, we had to make do with the best that International football could offer; obviously I'm not referring to England. The Wembley first-half was a snoozefest but Kazakhstan weren't that bad and were making a fist of it. The second-half improved with United's, Rooney and Rio getting among the goals. By way of an added bonus, it was nice to hear Ashley Cole getting grief; even it was from the Ingerlund Neanderthals. It was alslo nice to hear the same fans applauding Beckham.

At one time, it seemed to be just United players who got stick from the Wembley crowd, the last Red to suffer the Wembley fan wrath was Phil Neville, but more recently it's been 'Fat Frank' Lampard and now it's Ashley Cole's turn to be on the receiving end.

You do wonder how long it will be before the morons start booing Steven Gerrard, reason being he seems to pick and choose when he puts in a decent shift these days for England - when was his last decent game for the Three Lions?

On Saturday evening I took in the Argentina vs. Uruguay game from Buenos Aires, it finished up 2-1 to Carlos Tevez and Co. It was a hard fought contest and that's putting it mildly as both teams were putting the boot-in. The pace of the game was frantic which didn't come as any surprise given Argentina were desperate for a win. Overall it was a good contest and one that gave the punters a fair degree of value for money.

On Sunday night I was busily flicking between three different TV channels, early on each time I tuned into the Venezuela vs. Brazil match it coincided with the Brazilians scoring another goal. The match ended in a marvellous four-nil thumping win for Dunga's team. Watching this game got me thinking how fortunate rival's Manchester City are right now, given they had two players on view. Elano was signed by Sven and Robinho only came to City largely because Chelsea badly screwed things up with their heavy handed pursuit of the Brazilian winger. Will Robinho stay with City, given that he's gone on record stating that wanted to join Chelsea and Big Phil Scolari?

From a tactical point of view, watching Robinho is interesting, I was listening to a radio commentary on City recently and the summariser commented that Robinho drifts in and out of the game too much - the inference was clear, when City are defending he's a passenger.

I'm also wondering if Robinho is all right foot, this struck me last night when instead of using his left he switched onto his right foot for what was an extremely well taken goal, but nonetheless it's something to look out for as I do not watch Robinho that often. Over time, you might well see fullbacks pushing the winger down left the flank, because he's deadly once he comes inside onto what looks like his favoured right foot.

City also have another brilliant Brazilian in Jo, the striker, who like team-mate Elano was signed from Russia. Until recently we didn't see that many South Americans playing in England and of course United currently have Anderson, Possebon and the two Da Silva brothers on the club's books, with talk that more are on their way...

It remains to be seen where all these Brazilian players will end up playing in a few seasons; Spain must be a likely destination, given the climate. For now though, United and City fans can only dream about what may lie ahead with such talented players playing for both clubs.

Hopefully, some of these fabulous players will lay down some roots and hang around for a long time so that Manchester public see them blossom and reach their full potential in the rainy city.

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