What do you do with a problem like Carlos?
The first in what may extend into a series of player profiles highlighting the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of a footballer's game. Today it's Carlos Tevez's turn in the spotlight.
In terms of sheer talent, there are few better strikers in the worldthan Carlos Tevez. His goalscoring record speaks volumes. Since joining Man City in 2009, Tevez has notched an impressive 43 goals in 65 games in the Premiership as well as claiming 13 assists along the way. Last season he ended up joint winner of the Golden Boot with 20 goals, equalling former team mate, Dimitar Berbatov's tally.
Tevez has been often praised throughout his career for his dogged, hard working approach to games, chasing down every ball and getting stuck in at all opportunities. His spell at Man City has been no exception where he has led the line either alone or partnered with Edin Dzeko since his arrival last January. The Bosnian struggled to adapt to English football, scoring just twice after his £27million move from the Bundesliga whilst Tevez powered his way to 9 goals in the same time period.
Loyalty. Tevez has played for 5 sides in the space of 5 years including current employers Man City and previous employers, their fierce rivals, Man Utd. Few players have plyed their trade for both the blue and red halves of Manchester. An intensely hostile reception surely awaits anybody who dares to cross the divide. Rather than go quietly, the Argentine publicly announced his unhappiness at not being offered a permanent deal as he was under third party ownership at the time the saga was rumbling on. Contradictory reports suggest Man Utd had in fact offered the player a long term contract and met his valuation only for Tevez to turn his back on Fergie and sign on at Eastlands. The notorious "Welcome to Manchester" billboard used by City was the defining image of the controversy, Tevez grinning, arms spread wide, all covered in the colour of sky blue.
In 2011 however, a new twist in his career developed. Tevez wanted out of City to be closer to his family in his native Argentina. South American side Corinthians tabled a huge bid assumed to be around the £40million mark for the disgruntled striker. Man City believed they had reached an agreement before the Brazilians pulled out of the deal, citing not enough time left in the window to conclude negotiations. They have however hinted that they could return with another offer in January. We will wait and see.
Hot off the press. 27/09/11. Bayern Munich v Manchester City in the Champions League group stages. After the summer confusion as to his future, Tevez begins to work his way back into the Man City first team leading up until the aforementioned game. The now in-form Dzeko and multi million pound summer buy Sergio Aguero are preferred to start up front leaving Tevez to assume his role on the substitute bench. Two goals from Mario Gomez ensure that Bayern take a comfortable 2-0 lead into the half time interval.
The second half begins in much the same way. Bayern looking composed and oozing class against a City side who went into the game on par with their opposition. Mancini realises he needs extra firepower to stand a chance of getting back into the game. Imagine you are in his shoes. You are desperate for a goal so you turn to your bench and see former captain Carlos Tevez poised, raring to go out and inspire his team to victory. Well instead you have to feel sorry for Mancini as in reality his super sub sulked and refused to enter the fray. What Mancini must really have been thinking is most likely far too strong for use in any article or TV interview. Here is a player, one of the world's current greatest players, earning around £200,000 every single week, bluntly refusing to play for his team. Unbelievable. One of the most petulant displays of how far some modern footballers are from the pre-dominantly working class, decent fans that pay their wages. I can't comment from a Man City perspective but I wouldn't want him anywhere near the training ground let alone play for the club again.
Publicly critisicing the city, the manager or even his own team mates can be resolved within the club but refusing to do the one job you are paid to do is inexcusable. It would get you fired from any workplace in the world, why should football be different? There's no doubt lots will be made over the issue in the coming days and weeks, hopefully involving City refusing to pay his wages. Things are about to get interesting.
Man City fans what do you think? Fans of any team what do you think? Is there anybody on his side?