Monday, 23 April 2012

City Talk: No. 4

Is Carlos Tevez cashing in or chequeing out?

By Dave Walker

When it comes to football enigmas, where genius and sublime skill are compromised by flawed personal characteristics, George Best was in a class of his own.

The Irish wing wizard from the ‘Dark Side’ had it all before he washed away his career in a torrent of alcohol at the ridiculously early age of just 26.

Will Tevez become another George Best?
Fast forward four decades and the Blue side of Manchester is faced with a different, and yet similar dilemma, with our resident errant Argentinian striker, Carlos Tevez.

It’s not the demon drink that blights the playing days of City’s striker extraordinaire - but he does possess the same self-destruct mindset of United’s brilliant Best.

Whereas Best ultimately succumbed to his affliction - the illness that is alcoholism - Tevez isn’t going to die from his motivation – that of money - some would say greed.

Tevez’s entire career, both in South America and England, has been fuelled by an insatiable desire to make ever bigger sums of money  - and the hell with the on-field footballing consequences.

With the poisonous counsel of his agent Kia Joorabchian - Manchester City FC’s public enemy number one – Carlos has agitated for a move and caused ructions at the Etihad throughout Roberto Mancini’s successful managerial reign.

At best the relationship between Mancini and Tevez is strained. At worst it’s open warfare. The sorry episode in the Allianz Arena gave Mancini the opportunity to finally break Tevez’s stranglehold on the club.

Buoyed by the success of Sergio Aguero – to all intent and purposes the man bought to replace Tevez – Mancini was no longer reliant on the mega-talented but troublesome Tevez.

The rest is history. Tevez was dropped, disciplined and seemingly told he would never play for City again as Mancini exerted his authority.

Truculent Tevez went AWOL - a ‘fairway’ back to Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, to work on reducing his golf handicap.

And yet, here we are, six months later with Carlito restored to City’s stuttering PL title challenge, but now firing on all cylinders.

Four goals in two starts has the football world, not least the massed hordes of City fans, wondering ‘what if’ Tevez hadn’t thrown his toys out the pram. Would the Carlos and Sergio show already have secured the Premier League title and seen us hailed as Champions for the first time in 44 years?

City’s official Ambassador Mike Summerbee is convinced it would have been the case and, he broadcast as such to millions of viewers, whilst commenting on City’s 6-1 demolition of a good Norwich side on Sky Sports.

Irrespective of what happens between now and 13 May, what will the summer hold for Tevez?

It’s not long since it was barely believable he would ever play for City again, so, can there be an iota of credibility in rumours of him staying for the 2013 season?

The paradox with Tevez is amplified by what he achieves on the pitch and how he behaves off it.

His pulsating, high energy, never-say-die performances are beyond reproach. His goals to games ratio (56 strikes in 82 starts) is simply phenomenal and his uplifting effect on the whole team self evident.

On his day – and there are plenty of them – he is among the Premier League’s finest strikers and an asset to any top tier English team - even that lot from across town.

The downside is the soap opera that is the ‘Kia & Carlos’ Show - with disruption, disharmony and a self-serving mentality that undermines Mancini and damages team spirit.

A Carlos Tevez willing to conform to his manager’s wishes is a must-have at Manchester City. His tried and tested, almost peerless, Premier League pedigree virtually guarantees 20 league goals a season.

Coupled with Sergio’s stunning displays, which should improve still further with his first season under his belt, City have THE most potent and prolific front pairing - not just in England - but perhaps even Europe.

It’s a mouthwatering prospect BUT can it happen, will it happen?

Does Roberto Mancini actually mean it when he talks of forgiveness, second chances and leaving the events of Munich in the past?

Did Carlos Tevez mean it when he apologised for his actions after rendering himself £10m poorer in fines and lost wages?

Can the two of them work successfully to deliver what Sheikh Mansour will surely be expecting in 2012/13 - the Premier League crown?

If Tevez does transfer away from the Etihad to AC Milan, PSG or whoever, City should rake in a fee in the region of £35m, and not the January Sales giveaway of £25m.

It’s a fee that could see Edinson Cavani tempted away from Napoli. At four years younger than Tevez, the brilliant Uruguayan is much coveted by Europe’s elite clubs and he would work well with Aguero.

Time will tell which, if either, of the world class forwards from opposite sides of the River Plate, will partner Aguero next season.

It’s an intriguing prospect and one that could reveal whether Tevez places football achievement with City above personal avarice elsewhere.

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You can also follow Dave on Twitter: @djwskyblu

(c) The Sky Blue View 2012

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