Errant Tevez not playing by right rules
The Argentina ace is making a mess of his career at a time when he should be at his peak, writes Daniel Taylor
Published 29/01/2012 | 05:00
At Loftus Road we had the sideshow of the 'fair-play' handshake being abandoned to keep Anton Ferdinand and John Terry apart, and now we can expect the same issues to resurface when Patrice Evra faces Luis Suarez at Old Trafford next month for the first time since the Liverpool striker's ban for calling him "negro."
Once again, there is the possibility the people involved would rather the whole thing be scrapped rather than risk a bad situation getting any worse.
It raises the question about whether these gimmicky handshakes actually do a great deal of good anyway and, remembering what also happened with Wayne Bridge and Terry, there would not be too many who miss this awkward routine with its Premier League flags and clunky anthem. When the decision-makers came up with the idea in 2008, it was part of their 'Get On With The Game' initiative. Perhaps they should take their own advice.
Maybe one day Carlos Tevez will be able to offer a semi-plausible explanation about why he has come to think of Manchester City as some kind of five-star prison. But, until that time, he will have to forgive the rest of us for wondering whether anyone has ever sat him down and told him how it works in the real world.
The answer, almost certainly, is that nobody has, judging by the latest startling remarks from Kia Joorabchian and the unshakable sense that not only do both men exist by the rules of a different universe but that there might be peace in Palestine before either one confesses to being responsible for their actions.
Joorabchian was explaining how Tevez will have to return to Manchester and his mansion on millionaire's row now that the club he abandoned 11 weeks ago have had the temerity to seek £25m from Milan for a player who was on the market for almost twice that amount last summer.
Roberto Mancini, he said, had brought us to this point where the manager and captain of last season's FA Cup winners can barely tolerate sharing the same oxygen. Tevez would not offer an apology, because one was not due -- "It would be like a fake 'I'm sorry'" -- and then Joorabchian returned to shovelling the blame in the direction of the man who has given City authentic aspirations of their first championship since the late 1960s.
"The relationship with Mancini, ever since Mancini came to the club, has not been good," he said. "You think about last Christmas, when Carlos wanted to leave, and it was all about feuds with the manager, and it went on and on."
What Joorabchian really ought to have done was check the cuttings to make sure his story had even a grain of consistency. The statement Tevez HQ released at the time did, after all, stress that nobody should question his relationship with the manager: "I wish to clarify that I have no personal issue with the manager Roberto Mancini."
The truth, it seems, is something completely different, and the plot thickens even more given that Tevez and Joorabchian have already revised their story once before, settling on the narrative of someone who needed to leave Manchester purely because he could not bear being separated from his loved ones in Buenos Aires. City were sceptical about that one, too.
Whatever happens, Tevez's behaviour has been atrocious and it is reassuring to learn that City's disciplinary system has been quietly whirring away behind the scenes and that his serial offending has cost him in the region of £9.3m in fines, unpaid wages and lost bonuses.
These are substantial amounts even for a man who, one suspects, hasn't been chewing on your average cut of steak since decamping to Buenos Aires on November 7.
But the most staggering part is not that City have found him guilty of gross misconduct or withheld that colossal salary but that Tevez has actually had the gall to appeal.
In one sense, it fits neatly into everything we know about how he works. In another, it makes you wonder whether anyone has ever actually explained to him what happens, outside the football bubble, when employees of big companies disappear for almost three months. They get sacked and their belongings usually follow in a crate.
If it is genuinely the case that Tevez intends to halt his strike, it can only be hoped City's owners keep to their word and condemn him to a gulag of indifference unless that moment arrives when all that male pride and ego subsides just far enough for a few words of contrition.
Goodness knows, Mancini has given him enough opportunity, inviting him to his house one night, pouring the coffee and presenting the opportunity for a clean slate, only for Tevez to take the olive branch and snap it in two.
Tevez scarpered to Argentina shortly afterwards and, for the Abu Dhabi-based owners, this is their opportunity to demonstrate that the modern-day City will not be pushed around or patronised by anyone.
Tevez one day may realise that this is what can happen when a skewed sense of self-importance and a blurred truth all come together but, first, there is a question he has to consider. It is whether he intends to do anything to re-establish himself at a club where most supporters, quite frankly, would rather he were airbrushed from the team photograph, or whether he continues to brood in the background, playing the victim and making up the story as he lurches from one bad decision to the next.
Almost certainly, there will be nothing positive beyond getting on the plane and this is where it is such an exasperating story. Tevez has a right to be considered the most formidable striker ever to wear City's colours.
Not as good as he thinks, perhaps, but still a player of great drive and penetrative qualities. Instead he will be returning to a club where he is held in contempt and it is a familiar sense of deja vu given that his former Manchester United team-mates remember a player who "started to toss it off in training" and the Old Trafford administrators shudder when they recall the state of his house once his lease agreement expired.
The reports make it sound as if the front room had been sublet to Vyvyan from The Young Ones. In total, there was £30,000 worth of damage to the carpets and furniture.
Tevez is now threatening to make a similar mess of his career, precisely at the point when he should be playing the best football of his professional life. But, as always, it is someone else's fault.
Sunday Indo Sport