Last night in Munich, Bayern Munchen defeated Manchester City 2-0 thanks to two goals from Mario Gomez; however the result was not the most memorable part of this match. Carlos Tevez managed to steal the spotlight without ever taking the pitch Tuesday evening. The Argentine striker appeared to refuse his manager when called upon to enter the game with a half hour to go. Today, Tevez claims that it was a miscommunication, but the message Roberto Mancini sent after the match was clear enough saying that Carlos Tevez will never play again for Manchester City.
Carlos Tevez is a player who has always been regarded as supremely talented, yet consistently surrounded by controversy. Controversy seems to hang over him like a personal black cloud, whether it is in regards to his third party ownership when entering the Premier League with West Ham, or his 2007 transfer saga to Manchester United. His personal behavior in the past has been as tumultuous as his contract status, with tanturms with West Ham and his continued expression of displeasure with both Manchester clubs.
Despite all of his petulance and various contract squabbles, he undeniably remains one of the most brilliant strikers in the world. He has scored key goals in numerous campaigns including a goal that kept West Ham in the Premier League, five goals in Manchester United’s successful 2007-08 Champions League campaign, and even scored the first penalty in their Champions League final win over Chelsea. Last season, he replaced Kolo Toure as captain of Manchester City when the defender was given a lengthy suspension, and lifted the club to their first ever Champions League qualification.
Tevez’ unhappiness seems to be overwhelming at times though, refusing to return to the pitch during half time of a match last season, only returning after manager Roberto Mancini begged for his return. His relationship for Mancini has grown even more sour over the course of the summer. Tevez requested a transfer this summer, after saying his family had grown unhappy with life in Manchester and that he “would not even return there on vacation.” Tevez journeyed to Argentina to play in the Copa America, but upon his return to Manchester City was severely overweight due to depressive bouts of binge eating. Tevez was convinced to return to the club after Manchester City signed his Argentina teammate Sergio Aguero, but even that has not been enough to keep him content.
His latest refusal to enter the pitch has taken Tevez’ continued transfer requests to another level, with both sides appearing eager to end their relationship. Everybody from Robbie Savage to Graeme Souness is calling Tevez a disgrace to football. His relationship with his clubs and managers is reminiscent of American football players Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. His displays of skill, strength, and scoring leave nobody questioning his quality as a footballer, but his continued actions off the pitch have many questioning whether Tevez is done with football in the Premier League.
For me, Tevez has been one of my favorite players to watch for years now. I am constantly drawn to players that are labeled as “divas”, players that want all the playing time and always want the ball, and no footballer currently fits that label more. He left Manchester United in favor of Manchester City where he has been given ample playing time, a contract in excess of £200,000 per week, and even the captaincy. There isn’t much more that Manchester City can give him, so maybe it is time that the clubs parted ways, but a league without Carlos Tevez is not one that I would like to see. Hopefully someday Carlos can find somewhere he belongs, like Chelsea.