AC Milan are not thriving, and the opportunity that the pruning of the squad during the summer offered him, to rise to the status of senior, inspiring frontman, has not been seized.
The edge of reason for Robinho's attitude
At the end of AC Milan's 1-1 draw at Parma, Robinho, the enigma from Brazil, was in a hurry to leave the field.
Too much of a hurry, thought his colleagues, the Milan captain Massimo Ambrosini and the defender Daniele Bonera, who angrily upbraided Robinho for not applauding the away fans after the whistle. He later issued a staged semi-apology. He had felt frustrated, he told the club's own TV channel, that Milan only drew.
Max Allegri, the Milan coach, put down the player's failure to observe protocol towards travelling fans to his "being on edge".
Allegri has not had Milan's most experienced international striker on the field much lately. A substitute at Parma, he has yet to play a full game in Serie A this term.
Robinho should feel on edge. Milan are not thriving, and the opportunity that the pruning of the squad during the summer offered him, to rise to the status of senior, inspiring frontman has not been seized. Robinho possesses brilliant skill, but his career is pockmarked with evidence that he easily loses his bearings, particularly in understanding that supporters are his sport's lifeblood.
When he was at Real Madrid, Robinho would climb out of a window at training ground to avoid contact with autograph hunters; when he joined Manchester City, he mistakenly called them "Chelsea" - who he had nearly signed for - at his official presentation.
Milan fans will forgive Robinho this latest snub if he galvanises the team in the next two games. But few will expect that to happen.
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