Nine months ago next week Manchester City and Manchester united paid out a combined £63,250,000 on two strikers. Who got the best value for crazy money?
Throughout this season, Blues have been faced with relentless copy from sports hack’s and learned pundits declaring De Souza Robinho’s time at Eastlands to be a failure. Outside of a fair number of rags supporters, you’d be hard pressed to find a similar dismissal of Dimitar Berbatov’s efforts.
That mad last day of August 2008 saw City’s new hierarchy fire in mega bids at a number of select striker targets, one of whom was Berbatov, Tottenham’s want away forward. The rags responded to City’s bid by raising their own into the Rio Ferdinand £30 million sphere they’d visited before and Sir Alex Taggart even went to the lengths of driving the Bulgarian from Ringway to Stretford himself.
28 year old Berbatov’s on/off rag career could maybe best encapsulated by his appalling penalty miss against Everton which all but sealed the rags exit from the FA Cup they claimed a divine right to amongst other silverware.
24 year old Robinho on the other hand, may well not have shone consistently away from home this season but he was written off by hacks before he set foot on English turf that he wouldn’t be able to handle the transition from Spanish Liga flair to Premier League combat. Of course, Berbatov was already well established in English football, so The Glazers would have been expecting more of a finished article where adaptability was concerned.
THE STATISTICAL HEAD TO HEAD:
No 9. Dimitar Berbatov. Fee: £30,750,000
League and Cup Appearances: 36 + 7 as sub.
Goals: 14 (9 Premier League in 29 apps)
No 10. Robinho. Fee: £32,500,000
League and Cup Appearances: 40 + 1 as sub.
Goals: 15 (14 Premier League in 30 apps)
So if Robinho is a failure, then what does that make Berbatov?
Many a rag will tell you that Robinho thought he was signing for them, but his comments last night following the rags humiliation at the hands of the brilliant Barcelona tell another story:
‘I was cheering for Barca. First, because I have friends there and also because United are our biggest rivals. I was sure Barca would prove they are Europe’s best team.’
Robinho has also issued a statement via his official website regarding City fans:
‘Robinho was very happy with the affection demonstrated by the fans in the match against Bolton.
‘The incentives shouted by the crowd, directed at team-mate Glauber Berti, in the final minutes, demonstrated how passionate Manchester City’s fans are.
‘Robinho also said that he is very happy and proud to play in a club that has such wonderful followers.’
…Carry on like this Robbie and you’ll be assured MCFC legend status…!
Which striker do you think represented the best business? Berbatov or Robinho?
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