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He May Have Made a Mistake, But I Still Respect Carlos Tevez

Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez has been relentlessly slated in the press for his apparent refusal to come off the bench to aid his struggling teammates in what transpired to be a rather frightened display from City against a superior Bayern Munich in September. Managers, coaches, players and pundits have come out and had their say, but I believe Tevez deserves a good opportunity to express himself before the guillotine falls on his playing career in the Premier League.

Football fans should look upon the Argentine’s recent saga objectively. Yes, he may be on one of the highest salaries in the sporting world, but for two years he’s been nothing less than a hero for Manchester City, earning respect from his adversaries for his breath-taking goals and dogged attitude. He was certainly City’s finest player in the 2010-11 season, scoring 23 goals in 39 appearances for the club, performing at a phenomenal level of skill in each, and earning the captain’s armband as a reward for his endeavour in a team of global superstars. He was a talisman for West Ham and Manchester United, and when he pulled on the sky blue number 32 shirt, nothing about his attitude changed.

So why, in-form and adored by his fans, did he snub his manager and decline the opportunity to play a European game for his club? For me, the answer lies with the kind of atmosphere that is brewing in the Manchester City camp. It is all too obvious that money is the governing factor in our beautiful game, but at City, it seems that the team revolves purely around price. Since their takeover, signings have been conducted willy-nilly, outstanding players mashed together in a Frankenstein of beauty. The team plays superbly, but underneath the force of Aguero, vision of Silva and strength of Kompany lies a deeper, troubling aspect that is new in today’s game. Greed. Did the players come to City on the promise of medals, or the colossal salary on offer? For many, I believe it’s the latter, but with Tevez, I believe there are things more important.

Indeed, we saw Tevez’s disillusionment at City brew in the summer. With his young family apparently his main priority, he seemed ready to leave the Etihad for closer-to-home Brazilian outfit Corinthians, his shadowy agent Kia Joorabchian ensuring the press that his player was willing to take a huge wage cut to move his family back to South America. Clearly Tevez had his family’s best interests at heart, and I held him in high esteem for risking his career and cutting his salary for the good of his children.

Unfortunately, though Corinthians placed a number of bids, his wishes were not fulfilled and Tevez would remain in Manchester for at least the beginning of the 2011-12 season. In interview, he was adamant that he was happy again and that he was ready for another season at City, but it is unlikely this was the case after a summer of yearning for a transfer. I think, like so many other players at City, that Tevez has the ego to think he was more powerful than the club. Refusing to come off the bench was as much a warning as it was a plea – to respect him as a player but also a family man – and although it was undoubtedly the wrong decision in hindsight, I think it was the actions of a desperate man expressing himself in one of the only ways he had left.

Paul Scholes admitted after the Bayern game that he had once also refused to play under Sir Alex Ferguson, in the middle of his career. He was reprimanded and has regretted it since, but as a player of similar stead to Tevez, he alone can understand the City player’s actions. It is a sad day when passionate incidents such as the Tevez saga leave football, and an even sadder one when money dictates everything a player says and does. I say to City: Let Tevez leave, remember him as the great player he was, and not the rare, bad mistake he made.

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  1. Dani

    November 3, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    @ Stevie. Well in Mancini’s defense, he said he wanted to take control of the midfield as he felt they had lost that battle, before bringing Tevez on. Either way, there are far worser subs that have happened before….anyone remember Mancini bringing on Robinho as a sub and then substituting him a few minutes later? And NO, not coz he was injured or anything…just coz he played badly. Hell some managers bring players on with like a minute to the end of the game just to wind down time…In a way I find that disrespectful to the player but at the same time as a player you have to be professional and do your job for the good of the team.

    • Stevie

      November 3, 2011 at 7:05 pm

      Yes, I do remember Mancini bringing on Robinho and subbing him off like 30 or 45 minutes later. That was against Everton and Robinho was playing like crap, afraid to tackle anyone, and should have been subbed off. He went straight down the tunnel, but Mancini was correct that day in taking him off. Yes, Mancini did say that he was doing it to take control of the midfield, but it made absolutely NO sense to say that then tell Tevez to warm up 5 minutes later. Try to control the midfield for FIVE minutes. PLEASE. Mancini should try the real and only explanation that makes any sense. He wanted to embarrass Tevez. There have been hard feelings between the two for awhile and Mancini was just sticking it to him. What he did was DISRESPECTFUL to Tevez. He needed goals. Plain and simple. He needed Tevez in the game. The reason Mancini gave for bringing on De Jong first is pure Bulls**t.

  2. Stevie

    November 3, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    Tevez was fully prepared to play at Bayern at the beginning of the game. If Mancini would have subbed him for Dzeko at 56 minutes, Tevez would have gladly come on. Only when Mancini tried to embarrass Tevez by first subbing De Jong for Dzeko did Tevez get pissed. Then five minutes later when Tevez was told to warm up (to replace Nasri) he was so angry he didn’t want to understand. Dzeko was pissed for 30 minutes when he saw De Jong being subbed for him. He was slamming he cleats and yelling at Mancini. He could not understand what Mancini was doing. City needed 2 goals to get back in the match. Tevez was the only striker on the bench. No one could understand that first substitution. Not even the announcers who were completely mystified. The explanation is simple, but something Mancini can never admit. He was at odds with Tevez and just wanted to embarrass him by not going to him right away to try to save the match.

  3. Christian

    November 3, 2011 at 8:44 am

    No offense but this article is pure speculation on your part. When you bring on a mercenary player like Tevez there will come a point where his petulance shows and he chose the largest stage to do so since he didn’t get his way out this summer. His constant need to see his family certainly showed when he was caught in Italy with his girlfriend at the time when he was supposedly going home to see his children.

    As the meme said, ‘Welcome to Tevez, City’. He hasn’t been and won’t be missed once he’s given the boot this coming transfer season. City has done quite well without him and has handled the situation perfectly as far as I’m concerned. The club management standing behind Mancini, for me, only makes the squad stronger. No one player is bigger than the team.

  4. trickybrkn

    November 3, 2011 at 6:42 am

    I can’t speak to the squad harmony at City, as I honestly don’t read or follow then enough. But, What I car say about Tevez is that his representation will be his downfall. Kia Joorabchian is a cancer on football. Pulling Tevez’ heart strings with move after move. From the high controversial move to Brazil to the shocking transfer to West Ham to Man U to City. Now Kia says Tevez would be happy to stay in England. That his family is settled and living in England and they love the country. I read that and thought, wait a minute, you said in the summer the exact opposite.In other words, why the hell would anything he say be believed. Its clear that he is just expanding the targets to pimp out Tevez’ talents.
    Carlos give 110% when on the pitch, and to see him no vilified throughout football circles pains me. But, its totally understandable. Tevez will forever be just a mercenary until he dumps his agent / owner. Sadly, that will most likely never happen.

  5. Mississauga

    November 3, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Tevez deserves respect at Man city. He has done a lot for this club.

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