There’s the Midas touch, and there’s the Robben touch, both blessed and cursed at the same time, although at this stage of his career, Robben often seems to be more of bad seed on a Bayern Munich side that is everything Robben isn’t in the way he plays football.
Before the demolition begins, it’s easy to forget Robben’s individual brilliance led Bayern to the league title in 2010 and the Champions League final with some brilliant displaying against Manchester United and Fiorentina, including some sensational goals, finishing with 23 in all competitions.
But the “loser” label tagged on him after the 2010 World Cup Final, when he missed two huge opportunities against Iker Casillas as the Netherlands lost the match 1-0 hasn’t really been taken off. And maybe it only had to do with him being injured early in the season to understand, that Bayern Munich are a better team without him.
Moving Robben to the bench changed so much, because it moved Thomas Muller back to the position he does best at – on the right, while allowed Toni Kroos to become the attacking midfielder, as Javi Martinez’ arrival helped with that as well. Franck Ribery remains the ‘special talent’ in the lineup, but there are no longer two players on the pitch with egos too big to contain, who do whatever they wish. If you have to choose between the two of them, you go with Ribery, who doesn’t act like the most selfish footballer in the world, unlike Robben in some matches.
The diving, the dribbling, the shot selection, and then when actually getting that one on one chance when it’s actually OK to shoot, Robben messes it up. He’s an incredible player, a special player that blends speed with a terrific shot with his left foot and magnificent dribbling skills, but eventually, you feel that he’s a one-trick pony that has run his course among the big teams in Europe, and it’s time for him to take his trades elsewhere, where he can be more dominant without ruining it for others, just as talented players.