Robinho: A warning from history

Following the Brazilian's goalscoring debut for Manchester City, FFT.com's James Maw takes a look back on other net-bothering debutantes....

When Robinho’s delicately weighted free-kick hit the back of Petr Cech’s net on Saturday, albeit via the side of Mikel John Obi’s head, Man City’s fans must really have felt their much heralded new era was well underway.

Sadly they were subsequently brought back to earth from their Blue Moon with a bump by Frank Lampard and chums, although Robinho’s name and image was still the one featuring most heavily on newspapers' back pages, television sports news roundups and football phone-in shows for the remainder of the weekend.

Despite scoring in the first 15 minutes of his debut, Robinho has a long way to go before being value for his £32 million price tag.

"Hey, wait a second, this doesn't say Chelsea!"

After all, if a goal on your home debut was all it took to secure ‘legend’ status, then there would be another name up there with Best, Charlton and Cantona in the Hall of Fame across town.

A scorer on 103 occasions in 146 matches for his previous club, as well as on his Old Trafford debut against Birmingham, this Inverness born forward only scored a further four goals before being sold to West Ham before even seeing out his first year at United.

Any ideas?

It was, of course, Ted MacDougall, who joined United in the summer of ’72 from Bournemouth where, amongst other worthy goal scoring feats, he scored nine goals in an 11-0 FA Cup win over Margate.

SuperTed (No.8) celebrates Macari's goal in Lou of his own

The fact of the matter is Robinho wouldn’t be the first debut goalscorer to ultimately flatter to deceive. Not that we’re saying it would be at all funny if he turned out to be bobbins, obviously…

We’re just concerned that people might get a bit carried away, and that the Brazilian could prove to be more Djibril Cisse (who scored on his Liverpool debut at Spurs) than Ruud van Nistelrooy (who scored a debut goal for United against Fulham, and shedloads more thereafter), more Shevchenko (for Chelsea vs Liverpool) than Ian Wright (for Arsenal vs Leicester) or more Des Hamilton (for Newcastle vs Hull) than Robbie Fowler (Liverpool vs Fulham).

Click HERE for our debut goalscorers gallery.

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