ROBBEN: A MADRID DISASTER

By Jez Walters
Jan 24th, 2008

They say hindsight’s a wonderful thing but foresight’s not bad either, and the Club have certainly made the right decision with Arjen Robben.  If you remember, CFCnet ran a feature on Robben back in August, and the bottom line is that we felt the sale of Robben was no big loss.  Not ideal, but no great loss all the same.

To sum up that article, in his three seasons at Stamford Bridge, Robben started less than half of all Chelsea’s league games.  Goals?  Robben averaged 5 a season.  Out of 117 goals scored by Chelsea in 2006/07, Robben contributed just THREE.

According to CFCnet sources, Arjen’s loathsome father, Hans, wanted Robben to have a weekly wage of somewhere between £80K-£100K.  The Club agreed but on condition he first used Season 2007/08 to prove his worth and to fight for his place against Malouda, SWP and the upcoming Scott Sinclair.  Club sources told us that Robben didn’t have ‘the stomach for the fight’ and rather than prove his bottle, opted for the easier option of joining Real Madrid. 

And how’s Robben fared at Real Madrid? He has yet to have one good, complete game six months in, and the way things are going, will not be doing so any time soon.  In all he’s played a part in just five games. He cost 36 million Euros and he’s currently lying in the treatment room. 

It’s an embarrassing situation for Madrid’s President Ramon Calderon who based his election on signing Cesc Fabregas, Kaka and Robben.  When Kaka and Cesc said ‘no’, Calderon mercilessly pursued Robben and in August last year got his man.   However, it appears he bought Robben more out of shame at reneging on his election promises than actually needing the player – after all, Madrid already have Saviola, Royston Drenthe and Soldado waiting patiently on the bench. 

The situation has become so bad that Real Madrid sporting director Predrag Mijatovic has recently had to publicly defend the club’s acquisition of Robben.  Mijatovic said: ‘He is only 23 and he has a lot of quality. This is not something that doesn’t have a solution – we need him to relax a little, because it has not been easy mentally for him. It is too soon to say that we have made a mistake. We need more time. Robben will be very useful.’  USEFUL?  36 million Euros?  I’d want a lot more than that.

Robben and Madrid deserve each other:  Robben for being, quite frankly, a tart who wasn’t willing to muck in and give it 100% with his team mates; and Madrid for pursuing Robben in the media when he belonged to another Club and for tapping him up.  Serves them both right.

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