Carlos Tevez and the battle for Man City’s SoulBy: Rob | December 12th, 2010
So Manchester City have confirmed not only that Carlos Tevez has requested a transfer, but also that that request has been turned down. Tevez is reportedly homesick, missing his two daughters in Argentina, highlighting that City can throw as much money as they like at the players, they can’t keep them happy with just that. There are of course the whispers that his relationship with City manager Roberto Mancini has deteriorated to the point where one will have to go.
There can be no doubting Tevez’s importance to City, he’s the club captain, and top scorer, but more than that because he moved from Manchester United, he represents the new era in the eyes of the City support. He’s become an icon for City. There is a nagging feeling that as much as City could replace him with anyone, they couldn’t replace him.
This is all fascinating, obviously, for a number of reasons. On the pitch, City’s one-up-front formation is clearly reliant on Tevez. Crucially this news all comes as City sit joint-top of the Premier League (albeit temporarily) suggesting City are finally starting to fulfil their potential.
Tevez is on a three year contract (which according to the club he was previously looking to extend – this could all be a Wayne Rooney type play) which brings into debate the good old player-vs-club rows. City could, if they wanted to, say that Tevez couldn’t leave and must see out his contract. Which would be a terrible PR move considering why Tevez wants to move. If he really goes back to Argentina, they will have to sell him and a fairly low price I would imagine, not that they can’t afford to but it would probably be galling nonetheless. City are in a ridiculous position where money is irrelevant, and no price tag could be right for how much Tevez means to the club.
If he’s genuinely homesick though, its hard to imagine him staying much longer. His career trajectory is so genuinely bizarre – West Ham inexplicably, to Man United to Man City, then possibly back home to Argentina – you can’t help but be pleased for his existence in general.
Its also ironic that one of the foreign imports that really appealed to that very British attitude to the game (the hard working, tracking back, pushing and tackling type of player) is the one who isn’t happy here.
City then are at the crossroads, and Tevez might be the one in control of choosing which direction they head. They’ve been accused in the Billionaire era of being a bit soulless, best Tevez seemed to represent the club. How they handle this situation is going to be a battle for the soul of the club, and its tough to see a way out for them.