Has Carlos Tevez gone on strike? Or is he suspended? I would say both. Either way, he is not going to be playing in a sky blue shirt again, and rightly so.
Tevez was selfish and spoilt on Wednesday night. He signed with a contract reportedly worth £250,000 a week, and the very least City should expect from the Argentinean is an agreement to play for the team and their supporters when requested by the manager. It is such a basic responsibility for any footballer. The fact that he refused to play is just disrespectful to all involved with the club and even disrespectful to the game itself. So, now what? Well, Mancini said to the press after the game that Carlos has no future at Manchester City. Tevez the next morning said it was all ‘a misunderstanding’. And of course, now he has said that, his team-mates that sat along side him will surely back him up. However, this ‘misunderstanding’ appears to be at odds to the interview he gave to Sky Sports immediately after the match.
Here is what he said:
“I was not feeling good mentally or physically so I told the manager.”
Of course, that interview is open to interpretation but I think it is pretty clear that Carlos did not misunderstand his manager. Now he finds himself not playing football, and he can’t be sold to another Premier League club until January.
In the view of many fans and pundits, Tevez should be dropped to the reserves, made to sit on the bench, fined two weeks wages – if not more, and sold in January. That is the most pragmatic option especially after his disgraceful actions. But whether that will happen is a different matter. There could be a temptation to simply sack the player and end all relations with him. For that to happen though, there would need to be an internal investigation followed by a proper disciplinary process. It would also probably write off the best part of £40 million that they could potentially still receive for him. Now although City can afford to do that, they want to try and run their club in the best possible way, and aren’t like that.
There are only a couple of other options:
One, he could go and play in the second tier of football. Perhaps it would teach him a few lessons. However, it is difficult to see this happening. Already, West Ham United have said they are interested in taking him back to Upton Park and Football League rules allow him to sign for a Championship club on loan, even though the transfer window has closed. Although Manchester City has rebuffed this offer, this could have worked very well, for Manchester City and Tevez. It would have allowed him to keep playing football, could have got him out of the spotlight for a couple of months, and who knows, maybe he’d realise what he’d done. Anyway, any club not in the Premier League could do this, and, at the end of his loan spell, Mancini could sell him and adiós it would be.
Two, although I doubt a top European club would gamble on buying a star who keeps on wanting to go back home. Dubai could be tricky, but Brazil and Argentina are possibilities for him.
Whatever happens, City will survive without him. They have a club brimming with fantastic players, and more will be coming in. They have a brilliant manager and an intelligent owner and accompanied with a dedicated set of fans. Don’t get me wrong, Tevez is one of the world’s best players when he is at his best. Nobody can take away from him how well he has played for City and how far he has taken the club. He has had a profound effect on them. But that is not the point. He has done something that a footballer just does not do. He’s acted in an arrogant and narrow-minded way, and he cannot play for Manchester City again. One, he doesn’t want to, and two, they just can’t let him.