Tévez Future Still In Doubt?

by Sam Wheatley

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011

Carlos Tévez proved his value to Manchester City last night with two superb goals in a 3-0 win over Stoke that saw them leapfrog Arsenal into third in the Premier League.  The free-kick, which left Tony Pulis grappling for superlatives, probably could have orbited the earth if it hadn’t been stopped by crashing into the Stoke net.  Certainly, last night will have affirmed what we already knew about Tévez’s ability, but the question regarding his future still looms large.

Roberto Mancini is understandably concerned.  On the face of things, the Italian claims that there is no problem and that Tévez will be part of the Champions League squad next season.  However, if there was no problem, surely there would be no need to discuss it.  Tévez rarely looks anything other than one hundred per cent committed to his team’s cause – but his dynamism and enthusiasm at Manchester United was met with acrimonious departure after just two seasons.  Whether it was Sir Alex Ferguson’s man management of the Argentine forward or Tévez’s greed, the fact remains that what happens on the pitch is rarely a reflection of what is going through Tévez’s head.

I hope that he does stay at Manchester City for a number of reasons.  Of course, he represents a former marquee signing for a club with bucket loads of cash to spend, and whether or not you can condone that is effectively insignificant.  Tévez has a style and approach that is fundamentally suited to the English game, and I don’t think that moves to either Italy or Spain would be beneficial for his career.

Italy would prove frustrating.  Juventus (who, incidentally, have no money) and Inter are the names linked with Tévez, but whether or not that is fact is slightly redundant – the tactical impositions and the defensive manner of the Italian game doesn’t seem to suit Tévez’s approach.  There is a chance, of course, that he might choose to ignore the tactical constraints imposed upon him and charge about like an incredibly graceful bull in a china shop and score roughly four goals a game, but it seems unlikely.  His skill would be a worthy asset in Italy, but all too many times players that play at pace and enjoy the physical side of the game are merely persistently fouled.

Should things not go well in Italy, we could see the kind of gargantuan strop thrown earlier this season when Tévez demanded to return to Argentina and reignite fears of homesickness and throw the future of a player that is already 27 into further jeopardy.

The homesickness debate, if it could achieve mediation may be concluded in Spain, the imperial ancestor of Argentina.  The country that speaks Tévez’s native language will certainly smack more of home than rainy Manchester, and it’s not difficult to see him in a Real Madrid shirt.  The problem for me is the standard of La Liga.  Outside of Real Madrid and Barcelona, there is effectively very little competition.  Obviously Tévez could prove himself on the Champions League stage, but the Spanish league doesn’t offer up the same competitiveness as the Premier League or even Serie A.  This is precisely why Tévez shines in the Premier League and why he may not in Spain.

Of course this brings us to the final option, which would be to stay in England.  As far as I know, the only teams that could afford him and that he might want to sign for are Liverpool and Chelsea – but surely Tévez isn’t capable of turning his back and signing for yet another rival club, is he?

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