MM asks whether or not all is forgiven with Carlos Tevez and if Manchester City fans should welcome him back with open arms.
Roberto Mancini announced on Wednesday that Carlos Tevez is in line for a return to action versus Chelsea next week.
Carlos Tevez went to great lengths to burn every bridge with Manchester City. He handed in a transfer request in January last year before a dramatic U-turn; he attacked the city in an interview in his native Argentina and spoke regularly of how he wanted to move away. And this was before his apparent refusal to play against Bayern Munich when his club needed him most.
He declared his dislike for Manchester, saying: “When I’m finished my contract, I will not return to Manchester, not even on holiday.” He branded Manchester as small, wet and boring and controversially claimed that there are only two good restaurants in the city. He hasn’t exactly earned his reported £200,000 weekly wage recently and it’s fair to say he hasn’t endeared himself to the man on the street.
Like many of football’s biggest characters, Tevez does his best talking on the pitch. He has the ability to change a game single-handedly and for much of last season Man City were heavily reliant on him producing the goods. He certainly fits in the category of footballers who should be seen and not heard.
Despite his worth on the field, his off-field behaviour has let him down and he hasn’t played since seemingly refusing to come on as a sub against Bayern Munich in September. With the title race set to go to the wire, Roberto Mancini this week signalled his intention to bring Tevez back from the brink.
However, the question remains whether City fans should forgive and forget the blatant disrespect Tevez has shown to such a proud club.
Football fans are, by nature, a fickle bunch and if Tevez helps propel the club to their first Premier League title then he will recapture the hero status placed on him since his controversial capture from neighbours Manchester United in 2009.
Several City players including Nigel De Jong, Micah Richards and Kolo Toure have publicly welcomed the mercurial Argentine back into the fold this week, realising his worth to the cause. With the Premier League being City’s only remaining chance for silverware this season following their exit of the Europa League last night, Tevez, who scored 44 goals in his first two seasons with the Blues, will certainly be a major asset to a team who boast the most daunting forward line in England.
City’s league game against a rejuvenated Chelsea on Wednesday night has been earmarked for Tevez’s return to Premier League action, but a side containing Sergio Aguero, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko shouldn’t have to bend over backwards to accommodate any player regardless of their talent. If Mancini wanted to he could take a stand against Tevez’s behaviour and leave him lingering in the reserves for another while. It wouldn’t be the cheapest option but with Sheikh Mansour’s bottomless pockets the club could make an example of Tevez to show who the real boss is in an age of increasing ‘player power’.
There’s no doubt that Tevez would be a valuable asset to a Manchester City side competing with city rivals Manchester United for the title, but what sign does it send to the rest of world football if Tevez is welcomed back with open arms?
Will more footballers think it’s fine to insult the badge on their shirt? There are arguments for and against bringing Tevez back into the fold and the issue will divide football fans across the country regardless of club allegiances.
One thing is for sure, however. Tevez’s return will give the team a major boost as the business end of the season approaches. Whether it will be enough to help City edge their neighbours to their first Premier League title is debatable, but it just may swing it Eastlands’ way.