Amazingly, Manchester United are still in touching distance with Manchester City at the top of the table, despite our crippling injuries.
Carlos Tevez, who was City’s top scorer last season, finally had enough and refused to play for the blues again, having a strop in Munich then fleeing to Argentina. After spending the past two years talking about his depression at City, considering early retirement, and reiterating his desperation to move closer to home, Tevez entered in to talks with Italian clubs, a further few hours away from Argentina.
During this time, Roberto Mancini repeatedly claimed that Tevez didn’t have a future at City. When asked whether he was finished with the club back in September, Mancini said: “I don’t decide this, but if I did, then yes. I cannot accept this behaviour.”
Mancini indicated that if Tevez had been prepared to apologise there might have been a way back for him, but given an apology wasn’t forthcoming, they no longer wanted him.
“I don’t know when I expect to see Carlos again,” he said the following month. “I know he’s in Argentina but I don’t know other things. I don’t think there is any way back for Carlos. One must always act in a fair way, especially if you are the captain of Manchester City, a prestigious club. Anyone can make a mistake and no error is irreparable. It would have been enough to apologise for dropping the case. So he’s not wanted.”
Whilst Mancini would have been prepared to forgive and forget, the City manager revealed that Tevez didn’t feel as though he needed to apologise.
“After Munich, I called him to my house and told him if he apologised he could come back,” he said in December. “For me, it is no problem. He has always said that he wants to leave Manchester, that he wants to be close to his family. I would have forgiven him. But he replied that he didn’t have to apologise to anyone.”
Three weeks ago, Tevez talked of his desire to sign for AC Milan, after offers from PSG and Inter Milan came in for him.
“My destination is Milan,” he said. “I only see myself in the Rossoneri colours. Now I’m waiting for Milan.”
Tevez kept waiting and Mancini yet again confirmed it would be “impossible” for the Argentinian to play for City if a deal wasn’t agreed with another club.
However, no club met City’s asking price, meaning the striker had no choice but to stay. He has since claimed he would be open to playing for City again and shockingly, Mancini has backtracked and suggested he would be happy to see Tevez wear their shirt again.
To throw a spanner in the works, today, speaking to Fox Sports Latin America, Tevez has made it that bit more difficult to return to City. Firstly, he criticises the fans and claims he didn’t deserve the treatment he got following the incident in Munich.
“I want to go back to Manchester and win over the City fans,” he said. “People turned their back on me. I didn’t understand City fans burning my shirt. It hurt. It’s normal they react like that because they read all sorts of things. To be insulted by fans after what happened in Munich was something I didn’t deserve.”
Tevez then went on to explain what happened in Munich from his perspective.
“I warmed up during the first half,” he said. “Then went to dressing room and I was ready for the second half. In the second half Mancini decided to replace Dzeko with De Jong. It was a defensive substitution and I didn’t understand. Dzeko argued with Mancini so I decided to sit. Dzeko was arguing in Bosnian and Mancini was yelling back at him in Italian. I decided to keep out of it but then Mancini noticed I’d sat down. He started yelling at me, telling me to get up again. He was treating me like a dog. Mancini told me all sorts of things there. I don’t know why. I was relaxed. I was talking to Zabaleta. I had no problems. I never refused to play. I refused to keep warming up. The club investigated and then they fined me.”
Tevez then focussed specifically on Mancini’s role, claiming that the manager only was so hard on him because City had signed Aguero.
“If it’s true that Mancini said he will welcome me back if I’m fit, then I like those quotes,” he said. “But if he only said it for the media… But he also said I was never going to be playing for him again. So I don’t know. Mancini’s position got stronger when Kun Aguero arrived. I don’t know if he would have done the things he did if this was last season. Last season we almost exchanged punches! But he never said anything. He got a better team this season and felt like making the decision. I was very upset by everything and maybe I wasn’t seeing things clearly. That Bayern episode could have been avoided. They could have kicked me out of the club without saying all the things they said, they could have dealt with the situation in a different way. I think that’s where Mancini got things wrong. If we had a problem, we could have sorted it out in a different way.”
Then to add insult to injury, Tevez claimed that Ferguson, not Mancini, was the greatest club manager he had played for, along with former Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa. It was also his former Manchester United team mates he sung the praises of, not his current team mates at City.
“I think Ferguson and Bielsa are the best managers,” he said. “I know Ferguson didn’t have the best relationship with me but together with Bielsa, those two are the best managers I had. Paul Scholes is the best professional. Him, Rooney and Giggs, I have no words. They were excellent to me.”
Now it goes without saying that this situation would never be permitted at United, but at City, who knows whether they will be willing to forgive him yet again. He constantly spoke of his desperation to leave yet they rewarded him with the captain’s armband, so who knows whether they will let him play for them again? It would obviously suit our title challenge a lot better if they let him rot with the Reserves (or Elite Development Training Squad) but you can’t rule out City bending over backwards to accommodate this disloyal mercenary yet again.
Translated by Mundo Albiceleste