Goodbye from Tevez, Manchester

by Ian Ford

Monday, December 13th, 2010

For those who’ve been living under a rock for the past 48 hours: Manchester City’s star forward has handed in a transfer request, had said request rejected, and subsequently insisted he’s leaving anyway. Forgive me if I now indulge in a little schadenfreude.

I’ve put up with consistent gibes from City-supporting friends ever since the Argentinean crossed the city, not least because I dismissed him at the time of his leaving, rather foolishly, as little more than a “glorified Dirk Kalt”. He’s certainly made me look rather stupid since (well, more so than usual); his goal-scoring record and general performances have been phenomenal. And of all the players acquired through Sheikh Mansour largesse, Tevez is undoubtedly the shining light.

All of which makes the past few days rather painful if you’re a City fan, and rather smirk-inducing if you’re me. Particularly, because by far the most stinging attacks from them over the past few years came during the recent Rooney saga. I was bombarded with barbs, but the one that sticks in the memory was: “Your best player wants out, this just shows where your club is at.” Well, City folks, your best player wants out; what’s this say about where your club’s at?

On the surface, actually, very little. Although only Tevez really knows the truth, it does appear that this has little to do with City’s ambition or current status (they did just go joint-top of the league, after all). And, while the cynic in me ponders if it’s all about finance (“who’s that money-grabbing whore,” etc), I don’t think that’s by any means the main motivation. I believe he’s sincere when he talks about the pain of missing his kids and his own isolation here. And, as a man who’s lived in England for years and still has only rudimentary appreciation of the language, Tevez does smack of one who is not exactly at home in Blighty. Whether these reasons excuse his behaviour is a different question altogether, however. If he’s truly felt this way for a while, then why sign a new bumper-busting contract?

Of course, if the Rooney saga taught us anything, it’s never to say never. Just about everybody, including Wayne himself I think, thought he was a gonna. And yet he stayed. So maybe Tevez will do the same? But it seems even more unlikely this time. Not least because Tevez has gone significantly further than his former United strike-partner, through openly criticising the club’s board and stating he has played his last game for the club. I’d say it’s a matter of when, not if, Tevez leaves; regardless of what City might currently be saying.

And, make no mistake, that will be a huge loss. To the blues, naturally, but also to the league. He has scored a staggering proportion of City’s goals; 48% of them this season alone, before Saturday. In other words, he’s kept them going in their push for the Champion’s League places, and he’s also kept them remotely entertaining.

Is there a striker who can fill his boots? Not Adebayor, if his performances since leaving Arsenal are any indication. And not “Super Mario” Balotelli either; who’s temperament has always been questionable but who looks to me like a guy who’s left what little brain and heart he possessed back in Milan.

Of course, if any club can literally afford to let Tevez go and replace him, then it’s our noisy neighbours. But they’ve struggled to bring in A-listers in the past, even with their phenomenal wealth. And, no matter who they get, it’s hard to see him doing as great-a-job on the field as the bull-dog in the blue.

So, while they may have only narrowly drawn with the champions yesterday, Spurs chances of finishing in the top four were given a massive boost this weekend courtesy of one Carlos Alberto Tevez. Goodbye from me, Manchester, reads the metaphorical poster. Goodbye Champion’s League, says I.

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  • Blue Rinse

    Wow, a decent, rational article from a rag!! It should be framed. LOL.

    Seriously mate, some very fair points there. I like your style of writing.

    Don’t write us off for Champions league though. Depending on how we handle this, (and our PR machine doesn’t fill me with confidence to be honest,) it could actually work in our favour by galvanising our squad together. Especially if Tevez had been a destabilising influence off the field as some are now saying.

    Or am I clutching at straws? Well I’m good at that. I’m a City fan and I’ve had a lot of practice!

  • Ian

    Ha, thanks, I’m putting it on the fridge right after this… anyways, I see your point about galvanising the squad, but if Balotelli’s actions after getting subbed the other day are an indicator then your players are actually more inclined to imitate Tevez’s actions . I don’t think this will be the last player who kicks off this season.

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