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Is Ronaldo Right About Tevez?

Ronaldo TevezManchester United had drawn their opening two games of the season, after a summer of excitement and talk of retaining our title, before making their trip to the Council House to play City. Dr Death had allowed Sven-Goran Eriksson to splash out in the transfer market and the bitters were talking up the game for the whole week before. For the first time in years, they actually felt they could win before kick off.

City proceeded to get absolutely battered. We had 14 shots to their 7, 60% of the possession to their 40%, and essentially, played them off the park. However, we could do nothing to counteract the deflected Geovanni goal from the first half. Wayne Rooney had got injured in the first half of our opening game against Reading and Louis Saha was obviously suffering with a knee injury. That left new signing Carlos Tevez as our only striker. He had been brought in to the fold too soon, after going a month without any football due to the transfer saga which swallowed up his summer. The Copa America and had long since finished before Tevez was pulling on his United shirt to face Portsmouth, required to fit in straight away to plug the gap of the injured Rooney. He was miles off the pace.

After looking second rate, struggling to keep up with the pace of the fast moving derby game, a perfect opportunity arose for him to redeem himself. In the last minute of the game, Ryan Giggs delivered a corner which flashed across the face of goal, falling to Tevez, who surely just needed to make straight on contact and it would have left the net bulging. No direction was needed, just let it hit you, and it will go in. Somehow though, as United fans jumped for joy, Tevez missed. The jeers from the City fans came as we returned to our seats. How did he miss?

Since then, as Tevez has built up his match fitness and understanding with his new mates, he has gone from strength to strength. He bagged his first goal against Chelsea at Old Trafford, this time putting away a more difficult header, which again came from a Ryan Giggs ball. Two weeks later, he broke the deadlock against Wigan, before we went on to score another three goals. Another two weeks pass, and Tevez bags two against Middlesbrough in our 4-1 victory, one of which looking as though he had some kind of telepathic connection with strike partner Wayne Rooney. Just over a week later, Tevez got his first Champions League goal for United against Dynamo Kiev. We had to wait almost three weeks for his next goal, the equaliser against Sporting Lisbon, before Ronaldo went on to score the winner in injury time. A week later, he was on for his hatrick again, scoring two against Derby at Old Trafford. When Ronaldo won a penalty in injury time penalty, Tevez thought he was in for a shout of taking it. No chance.

Scoring a goal against Chelsea is one thing, and something that is much appreciated by the United faithful. But nothing can really be compared to scoring a goal against Liverpool. At Anfield. In front of the Kop. Step forward Carlos Tevez. Ryan Giggs played the ball in to Rooney from the corner spot, who was left completely unmarked on the edge of the area. Rooney rifled the ball in to the box, leaving Tevez, who was also unmarked, to flick the ball past Reina.

Since then, he scored our only and winning goal against Birmingham, and for the third time already this season, scored two goals in a game, this time against Newcastle. This takes his goal tally up to 12 so far this season, with his 10 league goals making him the fifth highest scorer in the league. It is not just his goals however, but his assists as well, with a total of 7 so far, making him 4th highest provider of goals in the league.

As the months have gone by, with Ronaldo scoring every week, I have noticed Tevez looking rather irritable at times. When Ronaldo rifles over the bar from a tight angle, Tevez is left planted to the spot, pointing at where the ball should have been played. When Ronaldo claimed the penalty against Derby for himself, instead of allowing his team mate the opportunity of his first United hatrick, there was talk Ronaldo being selfish. “ARGENTINA!” the crowd chanted as held the ball, and mock booing ensued when he put the ball on the spot. Was there a slight rift between the two players?

When Tevez scored against Birmingham on New Year’s Day, he was playing as a lone striker. Saha still not ready and Rooney out with illness, apparently. Tevez and Rooney have gelled so nicely, with the pair providing goals for each other on a regular basis. There has been the odd questioning over whether Tevez is as good without the support of Rooney. However, Tevez scored a blinding goal against Brum, this time, Ronaldo setting it up, providing a similar goal to the one against Middlesbrough.

Today, Ronaldo has heaped the praise on Carlos Tevez, claiming he is the complete player. “He is a great player,” said Ronaldo. “He is fast, aggressive, passes the ball well, he makes things happen and scores goals. I call him a complete player. It’s incredible the speed with which he has adapted to our team and his progress on the field can be seen by everybody. He is a key player for this Manchester United team and we hope he carries on in the same way.”And is there a rift? “He is calm, very reserved,” Ronaldo said, of Tevez’s nature off the pitch. “He is a good friend but most important is what he does on the pitch for our team.” With 34 goals between them this season, they really are showing that doing the business on the pitch is important.

Now, back to Ronaldo’s comments about Tevez as ‘the complete player’, a compliment not thrown around too often. A player who can pass, score, assist, a player who has speed, presence and passion, and essentially, one that makes all the difference to your team. I personally would say that was a better description of Rooney than Tevez, no matter how much I like our Argentinian.

Would you describe Tevez as the complete player?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Just1n says:

    I believed there was an issue between these two and am happy with Ronaldo’s comments.
    Tevez is the complete player. No doubt about that.
    I find Rooney more wastefull in front of goal. Tevez almost always works the goalie. Not taking anything away from Roo , but Tevez has been on top of his game recently.

  2. Eddie says:

    Remember Bolton, Pompey, City and Fulham Just1? Tevez is a great player and almost complete, but he should have scored more goals. Rooney is a better finisher, but Tevez is not far behind. His misses against City, Pompey and Bolton were crucial. And how he didnt score against Fulham is unbelivable. But Ronaldo, Tevez and Rooney are great players, and I wouldnt swap them for anything or anyone.

  3. Majok Deng Yuol says:

    Rooney has good finishing than any other player in United, but Tevez does not have good finishing but he don’t play selfish game.But Ronaldo is right to described Tevez in that way, He is complete player who play fair game

  4. Tom F says:

    In my opinion they are both naturally gifted, hard working players, strong, great finishers, great vision, great at getting back defensivly when needed.. The only difference I can see between them is their hairstyles.

    It’s easy to say Tevez should have done better in the opening part of the season is not really fair, starting at a new club after a very late deal was sealed along with the fact that he had just come back from the Copa America, but a full pre-season of training is always a preferred option. He has not really had any problems since, so I am not going to say anything negative about Tevez. Complete as in going forward, passing, shooting, heading and defending.

    Rooney will always be the United Hero and the player who will always stay true to his commitment to our club, also I imagine he would one day be looked back on as a genius in English and maybe world football. Saying that maybe Tevez is looked at in the same way in South America.

    One thing that still amazes me is how young they are, two of the stongest and most talented young players in the world are spear heading Manchester Uniteds attack which is only a good thing.

  5. OMelhorDoMundo says:

    It’s extremely frustrating to see Saha hold the ball back when we want him to run forward with it, or carry the ball back 15 yards when he should have released a pass on his first touch. Tevez is that intelligent player whose decision making never frustrates. The only one thing missing from the lad is a tall, quick body. He is not physically capable of powering over defenders to head the ball in or outrunning his marker like Ronaldo. He makes up for his small squat body with his intelligence and his assists are so easy to see that in. Like his pass for Ronaldo against Blackburn or just the one yesterday for Rooney. Great vision, great movement, good finishing, and a massive heart. As Tom pointed out, it’s scary to think how young the trio of Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez are. Three of the best players = treble of trophies

  6. jimmy Bob says:

    Tevez is not just a talented player but works hard and is fearless, him and rooney are a great pair

  7. ManUtd9Titles says:

    How could you not say he is a complete player? At least going by Ronaldo’s qualifications, both Rooney and Tevez fit the bill. I’m not sure it needs to be mutually exclusive Scott.

  8. davvo says:

    The best thing i can say of Tevez is that he is still giving 110% in the 89th minute of matches were United have been 2 or 3 nil up. For a south american player that says everything. Roo & Carlitos come from totally different footballing cultures and both are great at different aspects of the game but when u add them both up they make a lethal combination LONG MAY IT CONTINUE.

  9. KingOfZamunda says:

    I disagree Scott, it’s a better description of Tevez than Rooney at this moment in time, Rooney hasn’t scored enough this season and whilst I don’t doubt Rooney’s ability and his ‘complete quailities’ it is Tevez that is more closer to it Right now.

  10. denton davey says:

    Neither Rooney nor Tevez is tall enough – but, hey, neither was George Best or Pele or Maradona !

    These two youngsters are showing us something special in terms of energy, commitment, and skill; at times their understanding seems telepathic yet they have only played together in – what ? – two dozen games. Imagine what they will be able to do when they have had a solid year or two of cameraderie.

    I was absolutely, completely thrilled in the summer when SAF was wrangling for Carlitos because I just knew that he would add soooooo much to the attack.

    What Fergy has had in mind, I think, is a revolving “whirligig” attack rather than a fixed-position system whcih is why we see Ronaldo cutting inside all the time while Rooney and Tevez play all over the pitch – and back, too !.

    Ronaldo is, of course, something else since he is taller, faster and stronger than the other two.

    But, it’s kinda pointless to compare these guys; it makes much more sense to savour the fact that they are playing their game for our team. Long may it continue.

  11. KingOfZamunda says:

    Denton Davis- Ronald being taller and faster are not the reasons why he is better than Rooney and Tevez?!
    Although I agree with your last point- we’ve got Rooney, Tevez and Ronaldo in the same squad, pure fantasy league, championship manager stuff going on! And with Nani coming through, Anderson proving to be quite a player, Hargo getting over his injuries, we’ve a scary team for all-comers.

  12. jimo says:

    I believe Carlito and Wazza are at par with their games…complete i would say. Roni though is still not yet complete as he sometimes is selfish.Take yesterday’s game foe example,we could have scored in the first half if only he had passed the ball to either tevez or rooney who were in good positions ..but he instead took shots way off the goal.Tevez is the more intelligent though and his decision making is spot on.In two..three years, that attack together with Anderson and Nani will be red hot…

  13. Mick says:

    “A player who can pass, score, assist, a player who has speed, presence and passion, and essentially, one that makes all the difference to your team. I personally would say that was a better description of Rooney than Tevez”

    Hate to say it, but based on this season’s form, I would say the opposite!

    Poor old Wazza has struggled to get a run of games and this has affected his form. He was our worst player against Reading. Tevez, OOH, has been amazingl consistent, once he got match-fit.

    I have absolutely no doubt Rooney will be back to his barn-storming best, before the season’s out but so far this season, Tevez has been the better player of the two.

  14. Tom F says:

    Wayne has spent almost 2 months out injured and in the 21 games he has played has scored 10, not his usual best but after sitting on the sidelines on more than the odd occasion he isn’t doing too bad.

    Tevez: 26 apps (3 as sub) 12 goals
    Rooney: 21 apps 1 as sub) 10 goals

    I would have to say they are very, very close.

  15. paul michael johnson says:

    i am so grateful to ronney,tevez and ronaldo for the job done so far.but we are far way from completing it.i am so happy that their partnership has really gelled together.tevez is truely a complete player even when there is no opportunity to get a goal,he creates for his fellow team mates which make it so pleasant.

  16. smarties says:

    I don’t care who is better, I just love to have them in our team and be such a good combination.

    Maybe its a blessing in disguise that Rooney isn’t firing on all cylinders, and he starts now in the vital parts of the season as when he’s on it….

  17. Tom F says:

    only smarties have the answer.

  18. craig mc says:

    They call him the Apache and he moves like one!. He never stops running. He gets possession of the ball when others have long given up. He never knows when he’s beaten that lad. Love his never say die attitude, he’s a true red. Rooney and Tev make goals for each other, whereas Ronaldo IS SELFISH. Other strikers don’t score as many as we need them too, cos Ronnie wants to do it all himself many times. Still he’s Ronnie, so we excuse him, BUT IT COULD COST US IN THE END, hope not though!!!!!!!!!!.

  19. UnitedRay says:

    Avid fans would have realised this: Wazza love to shoot with his first touch / with minimum touches and therefore his goals are almost always spectacular. Tevez on the other hand likes to take the ball past defenders, work his angle and preferably round keepers. His goals are usually risking losing the ball or being cornered into a tight angle but he usually guarantee a shot on target as compared to Wazza. So in conclusion, these two compliment each other :)

  20. UnitedRay says:

    And I must add, I admire Tevez’s dribbling skills and footwork. He is a very difficult player to take the ball off as compared to Wazza and Ronnie. The two lose balls too often for my liking especially Ronnie. Too idealistic sometimes. Ronnie, in my opinion, should do more high-speed backheel change of directions rather than those lame step overs which more often than not result in defenders taking the ball away. Simply hate that.

  21. jamie says:

    I am sorry but once again we are been biased. We praise our players too much and we go as far as believing everything we say and we hear in the english press. Rooney is an awesome player ofcourse he is. And im a man utd fan. I think he is great. But please why?, and can someone anwser this without being influenced by the colours of our flag, is Rooney a more complete player than Tevez. What does Rooney have that Tevez doesnt. Take some time and think about it. For one Tevez certainly holds the ball up better than rooney and doesnt tend to give as many balls away. Next we have wrok rate. Rooney works hard we all recognise that, but come on Tevez has taken work rate to another level. He never gives up. Then you have temperament. Rooney is too agressive on many occasions and that can lead to him losing composure. But look at Tevez he is as calm as heck without losing that tenacity and his work rate. So if we were really honest we could say Tevez could be just as good or even a more complete player than rooney. They both are quick, good passes, good strikers, good finishers. What seperates them in my opinion are the points iv made above,oh and tevez can also head the ball better i think hehe

  22. Tom F says:

    Ronaldo is so confidenr right now that he wanted to be the hero at Reading, 8 attempts, plenty outside the area and I am sure he could’ve done a lot better with a few more passes. I agree with Craig about it costing us but we are lucky enough right now to always have another star on show to bail us out I just hope we don’t get any serious injuries.

  23. neil c says:

    rooney and tevez just cant play with each other to much the same which idoit said that

  24. jimmy Bob says:

    having watched tonights game I can only say what all untd fans are thinking why didn;t we sign kuyt? ;)


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