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The Camden Cad
Aug 24, 2004
North London
Robinho plays for Manchester City. Robinho. Plays for Manchester City. Go on, say it out loud. It doesn't sound right, does it? Nevertheless, thanks to piles of recently acquired Arab oil money, one of the best footballers in the world will soon be wearing the same sky blue shirt that so recently adorned Paul Dickov. Truly, the world has gone mad. I genuinely hope it works out for City, not least because Robinho is the only player ever to make me audibly gasp like a schoolgirl, but also because they're a very likeable club. Even as they crashed through the divisions in the 90s, they still had the backing of their long-suffering fans, attracting over 30,000 for third division games. I'm a little concerned though. The new owner, who claims to be a football fanatic, has apparently been asking everyone how Chelsea were able to turn themselves from a top ten team to the Champions. If he really knew his stuff, he'd know that Chelsea were Champions League regulars long before Roman Abramovich turned up. Unrealistic expectations of advancement could damn Mark Hughes to failure with or without Robinho. Who plays for Manchester City. Nope, still can't get used to it.

Dimitar Berbatov turned down a move to Manchester City in favour of their city rivals and that's probably for the best. If he'd have chosen a move to The Middle Eastlands after all that guff about living his dreams, he'd have been the most unpopular man in the UK. As it is, he will have to contend with being the most unpopular man in North London instead. Credit to Daniel Levy and his cast-iron nerve. The Tottenham chairman hung on in there and got the asking price, but how much damage was done to team morale in the meantime?

Tottenham moved quickly to snap up United's Frazier Campbell on a season-long loan and that could prove to be a very smart decision. Campbell isn't just a quick and potent striker, he's clever as well. His awareness in picking out Dean Windass for Hull's play-off winner was the act of an old head on young shoulders. Keep an eye out for this one.

Everton have splashed an enormous amount of money on a relatively unknown Belgian, but Marouane Fellaini is tipped by some as one of the brightest talents in European football. I have to confess that I've never seen him play before, but given Everton's ropey start to the season, their fans will be hoping that Fellaini is another Tim Cahill. Louis Saha has also joined from Manchester United, which is rather surprising as I thought he was dead.

Liverpool have said goodbye to one of their most under-rated players of recent years. Steve Finnan is off to Spain for an Indian summer with Espanyol and he should go with the best wishes of all the club's fans. While Steven Gerrard racked up the Player of the Year nominations for 'taking the game by the scruff of the neck', Finnan was a far more consistent performer in the background. Creative and composed, he was one of Gerard Houllier's finest signings. Still, it's not all bad news. Andreiy Voronin is off as well, back to Germany.