The infamous poster spearheaded by Carlos Tévez that prompted a vitriolic attack on Manchester City by Sir Alex Ferguson may well now come back to haunt City’s marketing gurus. With the talismanic Tévez maintaining his confused stance over whether he wishes to remain at the club, he added fresh doubt as to whether he’d be wearing the blue of Manchester City next season when he gave an interview on an Argentinian television show last week. Speaking about the city of Manchester Tévez claimed that he would ‘never go back’ seeming to confirm the fears that most City fans have over the whereabouts of their club captain next season. The nomadic Tévez, who still has three years left on his current contract, handed in a transfer request in December before promptly withdrawing it, finishing the season as City’s top scorer and the joint golden boot winner with Dimitar Berbatov. Venting his spleen about the notorious Manchester weather and his lack of friends and family in the area it seems to point Tévez in one direction only. Towards the door.
Tévez has proved over the years that he has the uncanny knack of speaking before engaging his brain. In an interview given to the News of the World journalist Neil Ashton, Tévez stated how he had been offered a new contract at Manchester City by owner Sheikh Mansour but City insiders have refuted Tévez’s claims. Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, the source stated that Tévez had spoken to chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak but may have “mistakenly believed he was actually meeting with Sheikh Mansour.” The insider went on to say that there had not been an offer to renew his contract and that they were “surprised to hear him [Tévez] say that he speaks regularly with Sheikh Mansour.” It is another in a long line of humiliating public gaffes by Carlos Tévez which may well prompt the club in granting him his wish and moving him on this summer. It was just over six months ago when an in depth interview with Tévez featured on the club’s official website where he stated how happy he was at the club, subsequently followed by his shock transfer request. The City hierarchy are fully aware of impending Financial Fair Play regulations and may decide to cash in on the £50 million rated striker while they still have the option to spend big to replace him – that is if they can find a buyer. Tévez is a player renowned for his lack of loyalty and his desire to quit European football within three years in order to return to Argentina may put potential suitors off.
|Carlos Tévez (lifting the FA Cup) is reportedly unhappy with life in the City of Manchester
Tévez is still currently in Argentina and it remains to be seen what his return to Manchester will bring when the players report for pre-season – providing of course he is still at the club. There have been reports suggesting that the players want Tévez, if he does stay, removed as captain and replaced by the well-respected Vincent Kompany. It was Kompany who led Manchester City towards their first FA Cup final appearance since 1981 when the Blues defeated Manchester United in the semi-final at Wembley Stadium in April, and he would prove to be a popular choice amongst players and fans alike. It is not so much Tévez’s comments which have caused anger and disappointment amongst the fans; rather it is his lack of loyalty to a club and fan-base which has shown him great respect. Tévez is idolised by the City faithful, not just for his goal-scoring qualities but also his determination and work rate on the pitch. It appears however, that the Carlos Tévez on the field is much different to the one off the field. Perhaps if he had put the same effort into learning English as he does on the field he would not feel the need to stay inside his palatial mansion in Cheshire? It is difficult to settle anywhere if you cannot speak or understand the language and, after living in England for five years, it is fair to assume that his linguistic talents would stretch further than ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘thank you’. Apparently not.
In some ways it is easy to appreciate his position; he is clearly a man to whom family is important and when they are almost 7,000 miles away it is bound to be upsetting. But make no bones about it, Tévez has not fully immersed himself into the English culture and that lack of effort draws little sympathy from football fans. It’d be interesting to see how an English footballer would be perceived if he spent five years in a foreign country and still could not speak the language. Pablo Zabaleta and Javier Hernandez are prime examples of what you can do if you absorb yourself into the English culture; both speak fantastic English given the length of time they have lived in the country and their happiness in Manchester speaks volumes.
It’s difficult to know when this protracted transfer saga will end; with two months to go until the start of the new campaign it seems likely that it’s to be an intriguing summer at Eastlands that’s for sure.