Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Codes of Conduct

When Robinho and Baptista returned several hours late to Madrid following Brazil's 5-0 thumping of Ecuador, they missed training and were excluded from the squad that lost the first league match of the season to Espanyol. Following reports that Robinho particularly had been involved in some "wild partying" on the night following the game, the club launched an enquiry and the two face some heavy fines. But is this because they were late, or because of the alleged late-night antics?

Following the players' return, Baptista explained that the delay was due to problems with air traffic, and apologised for not informing the club of their status. Assuming that this is true (why wouldn't you phone in if you know you're going to be late for work?), then surely the players should not face a particularly heavy rebuke for circumstances outside their control, even if informing the club should have been the first thing they did.

However, it seems the club is keen to be seen to be cracking down on incidents of misconduct precisely because they recently issued guidelines on proper conduct to the whole squad. There is a whole argument to be had here about whether this is something that employers can enforce when employees are not representing the organisation. Personally, I don't care what players do in their leisure time as long as it's not illegal and it does not affect their performance on the pitch. I don't buy the whole 'role model for youngsters' argument. They don't have to be likeable, just do their job.

But the curious thing here is that, after huffing and puffing on the weekend about leaving the Brazilians out of the squad, Bernd Schuster has been at pains to make Robinho feel all warm and fuzzy at Real Madrid, with statements like "he arrived at the club at a very difficult time, when the team wasn't playing well and to be viewed as some kind of saviour put too much pressure on him. He's a player that needs to feel happy; we need to take pressure and responsibility off him. He can make something happen in a second and that is what we want him to show. We still haven't seen the true Robinho".

How long does he need? He's been playing for his country since 2003, was in the World Cup squad last year and finished as top scorer in the Copa América earlier this year. If he's not performing as Bernd Schuster wants him to, maybe he should be allowed to go to as many parties as he wants and who cares about codes of conduct?


CALIGULA said...

Excelente blog madridista.
Si te parece podemos hacer intercambio de links.


Rajab Bader said...

It's not a problem to party as long as it doesn't have an impact on player performance and discipline.
Robinho just like Ronaldo needs to be happy to play good.

ruben said...

Te comento en castellano, porque lo que voy a decir no estoy seguro de que sepa decirlo en inglés.

Robinho, es y será un vividor. Es de esos jugadores que pertenecen al club de 'Ronaldinho y cía' que viven de fiesta en fiesta y que los domingos se dejan caer por los campos de fútbol para divertirse.

Tiene que hacer muy buenos partidos para que le vuelva a apreciar como futbolista. Se espera, o esperaba mucho de él y todavía no ha hecho nada pese al gran partido de ayer, que insisto, no me vale para nada.

Un abrazo Gonzalo!

Gonzalo said...

Interesting contrast of views between Rajab and Rubén. For those who can't read Rubén's comment in Spanish, the gist of it is that Robinho has talent but has consistently underperformed and one great game does not make a great player. I agree with Rubén on that, but my point about what players get up to in their leisure time stands. I don't care as long as it does not affect their performance. It's just that sometimes there is a correlation between the two.

Linda said...

I completely agree with you, Gonzalo. It's only a problem for the clubs when the player's personal life affects their performance.

As for Robinho, I think he can be a great player, but only if he can change his mentality.

estoverao said...

Robinho is definitely a great player and the big difference this year is that Schuster supported him and he has responded accordingly. Gonzalo knows my theory, and its best illustrated by Arsenal - First Viera and then Henry left and look at how the young gunners have responded, they don't have to play under the shadow of anyone. Raul casts that same type of shadow at Madrid. Raul wants the younger players to cater to him, the press backs him up and it stunts young talent consistently. Look at whats happened to Sneijder.

Ruben, de que hablas macho? Ni Pele o Maradona puede dominar partidos desde el banquillo. Este es el primer ano desde que llego que es titular fijo. La gente no tiene memoria, Robinho fue clave en la remontada Campeonato de Liga el Ano pasado. El fue nobrado el mejor jugador en el primer partido contra BARCA el ano pasado(que Madrid gano 2-0) y fue ese mismo partido que rompio el empate y nos dio el titulo. El gano la COPA AMERICA sin Ronaldinho y Kaka. No creas todo lo que leas en AS o Marca tio!