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Tevez Tantrum? You Were Watching A Different Match!

I was fortunate enough to be one the 68,000 at Old Trafford yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed getting to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer off. Of course, with Ole now working with the Reserves, there was no need for a tearful farewell.

For me, Carlos Tevez was easily the best player on the park. Whilst Solskjaer showed some class and came close to scoring, Tevez was hungry for the ball from start to finish. He seemingly effortlessly took on three players at a time, his fast feet and ability to run with the ball leaving the Espanyol midfielders and defenders looking entirely out of their depth.

I was shocked then to see a report in The Telegraph this morning, which paid no tribute to Tevez’s brilliant performance, but instead slagged him off good and proper. Ole himself barely got a mention. Was Mark Ogden watching a different game?

“Carlos Tevez lucky to avoid red card at Ole Gunner Soskjaer’s testimonial game” read the headline. “Carlos Tevez was fortunate to escape a red card as Manchester United toiled to a 1-0 victory against a belligerent Espanyol side” read the introduction, and it continued:

Tevez shoved Espanyol captain Daniel Jarque and then pushed the defender in the face after being felled by a crude tackle from behind a minute before half-time.

Jarque was booked by Norwegian referee Terje Hauge for his challenge on Tevez, but the United forward escaped punishment for his reaction to the foul.

Having lost both Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney to three-match suspensions following red cards in the pre-season Amsterdam Tournament two years ago, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will doubtless be relieved at Tevez’s good fortune in avoiding a similar ban.

Now, let’s get things straight. Tevez had left Jarque looking like mug, moments before beating him for the ball, despite being surrounded by Espanyol players. So the opposition’s captain, frustrated with Tevez’s skill, ran over and deliberately took our player out, kicking out at him.

Tevez lay on the deck for some time, his team mates unaware and continued the attack, with Paul Scholes almost scoring. When he got back to his feet, he confronted Jarque, with the two players putting their hands in each others faces. Had this been a regular match, then we might have reason to complain, however, had this been a regular match, Jarque wouldn’t have been on the pitch for Tevez to challenge, with a certain red card being awarded for his nasty challenge.

Tevez wasn’t throwing a tantrum or behaving in a way different to what the fans would expect of him. After seeing him felled, Old Trafford cheered when Tevez was on his face, charging down the little bastard who’d intentionally hurt him. “ARGENTINA! ARGENTINA!” bellowed around the stadium.

At worst, it was handbags, with Jaque’s violent reaction coming from the fact Tevez did him, and Tevez’s frustration coming from the fact he could have suffered a horrible injury in what was supposed to be a ‘friendly’.

So, maybe I’m just a biased United fan? Well, I wouldn’t be overly alarmed to find out that Ogdon, who was in South Africa following our pre-season, was a red, with the vast majority of his content focussing on United. So why launch such a scathing attack on Tevez, who from most accounts, not just my own, was the best player on the park?

The Times report was certainly kinder to our player. “There had been some niggle, principally involving Daniel Jarque, who seemed intent on hurting Carlos Tevez.” The Manchester Evening News didn’t even include the Tevez incident in their report, an indication of what a fuss over nothing Ogdon’s article is.

This match was about Solskjaer, a true legend who was forced out of the team because of injury. It’s unfortunate that anyone would choose to overlook this for the sake of a more eye-catching headline.

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. Craig Mc says:

    Scott, to be honest, to me the most EFFECTIVE player out on the pitch yesterday was Nani. He laid chance after chance on a plate, for Scolesy, Giggs, Fletcher etc. After Fergie took him off, we had no final ball into the box. The second half until Ole came on was flat beyond belief. As our midfield players and Tev missed the chances with WILD shooting a rugby player would have been proud of, well I am very worried for our games this coming season. Sorry to be so pessimistic, but I must be honest.

  2. Gabriel says:

    Craig, I know what u mean, we had no width after Nani left!!! With our two other wide players injured, we need extra cover in the wing department. Fletch and hargo can’t provide that and giggs doesn’t have dat pace anymore hence he usually plays thru the middle (like yesterday). We better get that winger soon or our counter-attack styled play won’t be happening this season.

  3. Tevra says:

    Tevez was the best player on the pitch yesterday in my opinion, the spat was not even worth mentioning. The telegraph has shown itself as a glorified tabloid over the last summer, especially over the ronaldo debacle.

  4. Craig Mc says:

    Gabriel, I agree. I do believe Hargo could do a good job on the right of midfield though. He may not be match fit though for more than half a match, because he missed out on pre season training. Anyone know when Park will be available again?. I hope we don’t fall behind in all the big away games early season, tough start for us.

    Tevra, you saw the game yesterday – right?. Tevez was fortunate not to be sent off. He was rolling all round on the ground feigning injury, then sprang up like a champion hurdler to confront the defender in question. I don’t like that sort of behaviour, and Tevez is not that sort of player, so I was very surprised. That one moment of lunacy, could have been a red card, and Tevez missing for us at the start of season too.

    Simpson, Evans, Gibson, were really good in Africa etc. Simpson and Gibson were very good yesterday. With Neville as he is, Gibson should stay, and so should the other two. Sod Sunderland and Blackburn.

  5. shitsonfabregas says:

    Tevez was awesome yesterday, I think he’ll have a very good season.

    But our finishing was once again woeful. That’s something that’s troubling me ahead of the season. We can’t miss chances like that when the season starts. Hopefully we’ll sign a top striker who is a proven world class finisher. Ole would have scored 4 out of 5 of the big chances we had before he came on.

  6. jimmy Bob says:

    Tevez was magic ran all day and treats every game like a cup final
    he doesn’t know what a friendly is (didn’t he get sent off playing against us in a friendly afew years back?)

    ps the previous guy has a good point re hargreaves he could do a great job on the right, he can run all day,loves a tackle and is a good crosser him or park won”t let us down if they are played there

  7. Redrose says:

    Unfortunately, although they do have some good writers, the Telegraph seem to have taken a definite anti-United stance this summer, ‘reporting’ stories about CR7 with a distinct Real bias. They seem to have ignored the fact that much of the ammunition comes from AS & Marca who are not entirely reliable as sources.
    It is, therefore, not surprising that they have come up with this line on the Tevez/Jarque incident.

  8. Tevra says:

    Nice to see someone else has noticed Redrose.


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