Carlos Tevez needs a short, sharp shock and so does football to stop tolerating such child-like antics. He might be one of the highest paid footballers in the world, and probably rightly so on ability alone, but his conduct and professionalism is a good example to youngsters – at how NOT to act.
What’s going on at Manchester City? There was the Tevez on-off summer transfer saga, one of their key defenders serves a drugs ban, then the abusive email blunder that cost chief executive Gary Cook his job, and now the biggest example of player power gone mad. It’s like a visit to a mad, mad world while under influence.
Amidst all the madness though there is a brilliant group of individuals coming together nicely as a team, steered by an Italian manager who shows class, honesty and humility despite all the madness going on around him. Roberto Mancini is paid a ridiculous amount but he is probably earning it with the characters he is dealing with.
And characters do not come any more complex or controversial than Argentine striker and former City captain Tevez.
It is now old news that Tevez is serving a two week suspension imposed on him by City for refusing to play on Tuesday as a second half substitute at Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Tevez later claimed he did not refuse to play and was merely stating he was not warming up again as he had done that all night. Either way, when you’re paid £286,000 a week you do what your boss tells you, right? He told a Sky Sports reporter immediately after the game that he was not right physically or mentally. Reading between the lines is statement at not declining to play appears a damage limitation exercise here?
Without wanting to hound a brilliant footballer in Tevez, the various facts don’t look good for him. But more than that, we cannot help but be influenced by what has gone before, can we? And there’s no shortage of negative history with him.
He came into English football with West Ham and made a superb, immediate impression as he seems to everywhere he goes. In fact, he probably ensured West Ham’s Premier League survival. But his questionable transfer and ownership status resulted in the relegated Sheffield United suing for millions – and they won.
Then he was off to Manchester United, he excelled there too. But why did Sir Alex Ferguson not to choose to buy him after his loan was up. The movement and link up play between Tevez and Wayne Rooney was something to behold, but again it seemed as though Tevez felt there was nothing more important than his own predicament at the expense of the team and the wily Ferguson chose not to retain his services once the loan was up. Why I wonder?
He then controversially turned up at United’s bitter rivals, prior to the rather crass billboard message from City that said ‘Welcome to Manchester’ with an image of Tevez’s face on the poster. That was the first example that showed the new billionaires of English football that they do not always cover themselves in glory and might be best opting for a quieter, lower profile sometimes.
Not that Cook saw it that way, when he predicted on a microphone in an American bar that City would hunt down United and take their crown from them (in his own words anyway).
City as a club are nowhere near the blameless party in the (latest) Tevez saga. Tevez said in the summer he did not wish to be in Manchester any longer and wanted to move away after two years there, helping them into the Champions League and FA Cup success last season. Brazilian team Corinthians bid around £40 million – somehow, while Inter Milan were also keen on securing his services. City demanded £50 million and while some may argue that was the right thing to do because they themselves are always paying over the odds for players, others would have preferred to take the money and offload a troublesome, unhappy player.
Unfortunately, nowadays and for years prior, if players are forced to remain at a club against their will, there are likely to be issues at some point down the road. And City are now having to tackle them head on. This is like ‘Player-Power Bullying’ if you like, but ignore and dig your heels in and this type of Tevez episode can crop up.
Tevez appears to be a disruptive influence who likes to gossip in the team and if that is true it’s not a healthy asset for City to be lumbered with as they plot to win the Premier League.
City can cancel the player’s contract should their lawyers deem this a fair and possible act, but when that day comes and they write off £40 or £50 million worth of player, there is always another club waiting to cash in to take a great player on the cheap – despite a number of misdemeanours.
So while these clubs continue to accept this type of Prima dona and immature behaviour from players, there will always be a market for such spoiled goods.