Monday 23 October 2017

Derby fever: Red or Blue? Rooney or Aguero? United or City?

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney
and City's Sergio Aguero could be
key figures at Old Trafford tomorow
Manchester United's Wayne Rooney and City's Sergio Aguero could be key figures at Old Trafford tomorow

Ian Herbert

ALEX FERGUSON yesterday launched a staunch defence of Roberto Mancini's handling of the Carlos Tevez affair, declaring that dealing with players who are dominated by their agents was making the manager's role a difficult and complex one.

Tevez's disciplinary hearing with Manchester City yesterday was preceded by a leak of information confirming the club were unable to prove the striker had refused to take to the field in Munich last month.

Ferguson backed Mancini, declaring that the manager he will encounter in tomorrow's Manchester derby at Old Trafford had received inadequate praise. The United boss, who endured a difficult relationship both with Tevez and his adviser Kia Joorabchian before deeming the Argentinian was not worth the trouble and sanctioning the decision not to retain him in the summer of 2009, said: “Management today is a complex situation in terms of the type of player we have to deal with. “A lot of players today are dominated by their agents. You get agents who buy their groceries, do their travel, polish their boots. That is the kind of human being you are having to deal with these days with some agents.

“That situation for a manager is not easy. It is different from when I started. It is much, much more complex and more difficult to deal with.” Tevez is likely to be charged with “failing to follow manager’s instruction” following a 90-minute disciplinary hearing before the club's chief operating officer Graham Wallace, which went ahead yesterday at a solicitors' office in central Manchester. He will then appeal against that decision – both to another City director and to the Premier League.

But it was a sign of the protracted, public battle the disciplinary process is likely to be for the club when – contrary to a prior agreement between the two sides not to leak information pertaining to the case – an apparently substantial body of evidence was leaked.

Ferguson said he had “seen very little praise for (Mancini) on the subject. It all centred around what they were going to do. But he acted, he did his job. I think he has done it well.”

(© Independent News Service)

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