Class, dignity and professionalism. These are three concepts alien to Carlos Tevez. The Argentine striker is paid a fortune by Manchester City, yet since the arrival of Roberto Mancini at Eastlands, Tevez has spent 90% of his time moaning about the manager, droning on about retirement, missing his family and how bad living in Manchester is, and now he has refused to warm up and come off the bench for a Champions League match.
On Tuesday night, City were 2-0 down against Bayern Munich. Mancini decided it was time to make a change. In a surprise move, he withdrew Edin Dzeko (who wasn’t happy to be removed) and replaced him with Nigel De Jong. It was a strange move, and one that wasn’t followed by another striker being brought on. Sky’s Geoff Shreeves then reported that Carlos Tevez was refusing to come on, and cameras showed a City coach speaking to him, while players argued on the bench. Mancini looked disgusted while play continued, and in post-match interviews claimed Tevez would never play for the club again.
Tuesday night’s antics should have been shocking, but given Tevez’s behaviour in the last 10 months or so, for City fans it’s almost expected. Rumours of a poor relationship between Mancini and Tevez have been told since the day Mancini replaced Mark Hughes in 2009. Regularly substituted late in games, Tevez would often show his disgust when his number was held up, and sometimes even mouthed off at Mancini on the touchline.
Throughout last season, Tevez talked about considering retirement and missing his family (his wife and two children were in Argentina). Then in December, he handed in a transfer request. He cited family reasons and a breakdown in “relationship with certain executives and individuals at the club” for the request. It was rejected by the club, and by the 20th of December, Tevez had withdrawn it and claimed to be committed to the club.
Tevez captained City as they won the FA Cup at Wembley, their first major trophy since the 70s. He said that he would be happy to stay at City if his family situation was resolved, but in an interview on Argentine television, he slammed Manchester as a city. He bemoaned the lack of decent restaurants and the weather, then announced that he hoped to never return to Manchester.
Tevez was linked with many clubs over the summer, but with his claims that the distance from his family was the main source of his unrest, it was unclear which clubs he could join. Towards the end of the transfer window, Brazilian club Corinthians (the club Tevez left to join West Ham in 2006) attempted to sign him. After initially looking for a loan deal, they tried to sign Tevez permanently. The deal fell through however, with Corinthians claiming not to have enough time to complete the deal before the Brazilian transfer window closed (although rumours that personal terms could not be agreed persisted).
All of which lead up to Tuesday nights shenanigans. Tevez, believed to be paid £250,000 a week by City, refused to warm up and come on as a substitute. The man who had captained City last season acted like a petulant child told by his mother that he wasn’t getting an ice cream. He let his manager down, his team-mates down, but more importantly, he let the fans down. A random combination of any five City fans in Munich on Tuesday would probably earn less in a year than Tevez does in a week. A City hero following his move across the city from Manchester United, Tevez has effectively slapped the Man City in fans in the face and shown that he doesn’t care about the club or the fans, only the money. He’s a 27 year old spoilt brat, with no sense of reality. City have suspended him for two weeks, and he won’t be at the training ground until after the international break. City’s owners have such wealth that they could banish him to the reserves and hold onto his registration until his contract expires in 2014 without noticing it in their bank accounts.
After the way he’s acted, he deserves everything he gets.
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