Tevez Takes His Ball & Goes Home
With Manchester United extremely lucky to salvage a point at Old Trafford against the champions league minnows Basel FC, you’d have been safe in thinking that this would be the story plastered on the back pages of the following morning’s British press. Instead it was the face of Carlos Tevez the tube commuters saw after they’d had their obligatory glance at the naked ladies & turned to the sports pages. But unlike the page 3 stunner, it was not be a particularly sweaty Tevez gracing the back page, as one tends not to perspire so much when they refuse to take the field.
Despite being summoned by his manager, Roberto Mancini, with about 30 minutes to play and his team 2 goals down in Munich, last year’s top goal scorer in the premier league was involved in a heated discussion with his manager and refused to take the pitch. With the catalyst for the tantrum being the fact he was not used as the first substitution against Bayern after having spent the entire weekend match against Everton also on the bench.
Despite being paid a whopping £150, 000 a week* for his club, it turns out that chasing the ball around for half an hour was beyond the South American star. The irony bleeds like a rare Argentinean steak given the fact Carlos grew up in Fuerte Apache, a relatively poor & tough neighborhood in Buenos Aires strewn with crime and violence. But Tevez’s protest has been brewing for some time with him stating publicly on a number of occasions over the summer that he wanted a transfer from his current club for ‘family reasons’. Apparently his estranged wife, who cares for his 2 young children, was none-to- happy with life in Manchester for a host of reasons including the fact it was boring and that the family was faced with criminality and thugery. Yet more lashings of Argentinean beef for your irony sandwich, when you consider that Carlos and his wife both grew up in Fuerte Apache.
Manchester City were happy to facilitate Carlos’ request and attempted to sell him to Corinthians, a Brazilian club based in Sao Paulo, but despite the two clubs agreeing to a fee for the want-away striker, the Brazilian transfer window shut before the deal could be finalised seemingly putting a halt to any Samba lessons. But Tevez still held hope of a move to another European club with Inter Milan interested in obtaining his services with his wife obviously willing to trade her Manc tracksuit pants for some fashionable Milano denim. But with Manchester City expecting a large return for a player who has improved with every season in the premier league, Inter scoffed at their evaluation of the player and instead signed Deigo Forlan to replace the outgoing Samuel Eto. With few clubs able to afford both the huge transfer fee and high wage demands, it appeared that Tevez was all set to spend another season in the sky blue of City. The reality a far cry from claims Tevez made back in July on an Argentinean talk show, where he stated that he would never return to Manchester, not even for a holiday, as there was nothing to do there. This apparent disinterest in playing for City, despite publicly declaring a love for the fans, drove a wedge between Tevez and his manager and he was stripped of the captaincy and fell down the pecking order of first choice strikers.
Before we crack out the violins for poor old Carlos, it must be considered that he knew plenty about the city of Manchester before he signed for City, as he’d lived there for the previous two seasons playing for United. He signed for a new team and didn’t even have to call the removalists, although City did famously plaster his face on huge billboards with the slogan “Welcome To Manchester” which had its desired effect of stirring up their cross town rivals. Tevez also decided to sign a 5 year contract when he joined City, if nothing else then to secure a long lived payday should he be struck down with a career ending injury. But it is not injury that now has the potential to holt Tevez’s career, but his manager Mancini and the Manchester City power brokers. In his post match comment Mancini made it clear he was willing to sever all ties with his star striker. In his thick Italian accent, Mancini told the press following the game “It izz a disappointing, because it iz a Carlos.” It appears the Italian manager has a healthy respect for anyone called Carlos, but he went on to say “If I have my way he will be out. Hizzaa, finished with me.”
What happens next is anyone’s guess. As the striker cannot be sold until January at the earliest, there is every chance tevez and Mancini will kiss and make up, most likely on both cheeks. But with a plethora of striking talent at his disposal and City making such a bright start to the year without their unsettled striker in the frame, there is a very likely scenario that Carlos Tevez will be placed in the footballing wilderness for so publicly disrespecting his club, the manager and the fans. There may not even be a rush to sell when the transfer window reopens, after all with their barrel loads of Emirati oil cash, Manchester City hardly need the money. With so many of today’s players turning their backs on their contracts and demanding a move elsewhere, it would be refreshing to see the club play hardball with a player who obviously thinks he is much bigger than the team. I don’t think they’d be too many worried about Tevez after his recent behaviour, except maybe his estranged wife & daughters, still confined to shopping on the same old rainy high street.
*minimum figure. His wage has been rumored to be as high as £286,000 per week, tax free.