Friday, 16 March 2012


Carlos Tevez. To play or not to play?

By Daniel Robertson

Carlos Tevez was close to etching his name among City folklore, nearly up there with Manchester City legends such as Shaun Goater, Mike Summerbee and Francis Lee. The Argentine carried Manchester City to a third place finish in the 2010/2011 season, our highest finish for a very long time. He impressed the City crowd with his work rate, his pace and his spectacular goals. He had it all, but he nearly destroyed his career in one night in the German city of Munich.

Tevez arrived at City for a fee of around £25 million, a huge amount of money. He had previously left arch rivals Manchester United, after Sir Alex Ferguson decided not to sign him up after a successful loan spell at Old Trafford. Tevez had a slow start to his first season in the sky blue shirt, with fellow striker Emmanuel Adebayor grabbing the majority of the goals. Tevez started to make a name for himself when Adebayor left for the African Cup Of Nations. In the absence of the Togo powerhouse, Tevez started to win over the City crowd, scoring vital goals against the likes of Sunderland, Stoke and Chelsea. He also scored a wonderful hat-trick against Blackburn Rovers.

Adebayor returned from the African Cup of Nations, having been involved in a horrific shooting in Angola, which ended in the death of the Togo National Team coach driver. Tevez continued to score goals, ending the 2009/2010 season with 29 goals in all competitions, City’s top goal scorer. Tevez soon became a fan’s favourite, and the 2010/2011 season proved to be even better for the Argentinean.

The start of the 2010/2011 season saw the arrival of some amazing talent, such as Ivorian powerhouse Yaya Toure and FIFA World Cup Winner David Silva. The season was to be MCFC’s most successful for over thirty years. Carlos Tevez started the season the way he had finished the last by scoring two goals in the opening home match of the season against Liverpool. By the end of 2010, Tevez had scored 11 league goals.

2011 saw us lift the FA Cup, our first trophy since winning the League Cup 35 years earlier. It was a huge accomplishment, and could not have been achieved without Carlos Tevez, who was captain for the highly successful 2010/2011 season. Without Tevez, we would have finished outside the top five, and we wouldn’t have won the FA Cup. He truly was the most important player that the club have had for a long, long time.

The summer of 2011 saw Carlos Tevez hand in a transfer request, desperate to leave City so that he could be closer to his daughters, who were still living in his native Argentina. Manager Roberto Mancini planned ahead, bringing in Sergio Aguero from Athletico Madrid for a deal around £35m. This move saw Tevez drop to the bench and only played as a substitute for 20 minutes against Bolton.

On the 27th September 2011, Bayern Munich hosted Manchester City at the Allianz Arena. City went 2-0 down to a Mario Gomez double, and Mancini started to shuffle the team around, desperate to take a point from a game which City were being dominated in. This is when Carlos Tevez nearly ended his career, and made himself an enemy to the Manchester City faithful. Tevez refused to warm up, rejecting any persuasion from fellow Argentinean Pablo Zabaleta. Over the next few weeks, Tevez was news all over the world. Mancini told the media that Carlos would never wear the sky blue shirt again, and thousands of City fans agreed with him. Tevez flew to Argentina, without permission, to escape what had once been his club. Only a few months earlier, Tevez was wearing the captain’s armband, lifting the FA Cup to the cheers of the City supporters. Now, he was hated by many, adored by few.

The latest transfer window passed slowly for the many City fans who wanted to see Tevez sold to another club. Anzhi, PSG and AC Milan were all close to signing him, but Mancini slapped a big price tag around his neck. Tevez stayed, and he returned to Manchester a few days later, eager to make up with Mancini.

As I write this, Tevez is now well and truly a Manchester City player once more. He scored for the Elite development squad at Hyde, in front of 1,047 City fans who cheered his name throughout the match. Tevez is in contention for a place in the team against Chelsea, eager to help City lift their first Premier League title. Personally, I’m glad he’s back. There is no doubt about his talent, and without him we would not have reached the heights of the UEFA Champions League. After a poor run of form, we need someone who won’t stop running, who never gives up. Carlos Tevez WILL win us the league title, and he will return to be a Manchester City legend.

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