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What Happens When You Don’t Like TWO Players In Your Own Team?

Disliking players from your own team, the team you love and adore, is an odd feeling. Kieran Richardson probably brought about the strongest feelings of dislike I’d had from one of our own, probably worked up by all the other reds I spoke to, but still a rational enough feeling. He saw himself as Jonny Big Balls and didn’t have the attitude we expect from players who have come through the ranks. I was glad to see the back of him.

Before him, I had grown tired of the likes of David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy, but I wouldn’t even say I’d gone as far as disliking them at the time of their departure. Their career with us had run its course, they had been by and large totally dedicated, and had been very important players for us.

Cristiano Ronaldo has brought about a difficult situation for me, and plenty of other reds, by splitting us with his incredible ability but his dreadful behaviour. I don’t need to go in to detail over how the events of last summer, his lack of effort for the team this season and his refusal to commit to next season have bothered me, because I’ve made that known. Whilst I can acknowledge that we probably are better having him than not (the effect his attitude and lack of effort might have an effect on his team-mates weighs the other side of the scales against his brilliant talent), I can’t say I’d be too disappointed if we sold him for a load of money this season if we see a repeat performance of last summer.

To have one player in your team that you’re not fond of is difficult enough, but when it becomes two, you’re in trouble.

Carlos Tevez has won all of us over in his two year stint with the club, thanks to his brilliant effort and good ability. He works hard for the team and seems to have a real connection with the fans. Throughout his first season we just assumed that at the end of the two-year loan we would definitely make the agreement permanent. What could possibly stand in the way?

Then we signed Dimitar Berbatov and suddenly Tevez’s future wasn’t as clear as it had been. Sir Alex Ferguson sensibly started Berbatov in pretty much every game. Berbatov hadn’t gone through a pre-season and had never played with our team before, so it was essential that he got as much game time under his belt as possible.

Rooney, Tevez and Berbatov all started in the Bulgarian’s first game for United and the first three minutes were fantastic. We ripped Liverpool apart at Anfield and it looked as though they were in for a thrashing. The first goal came when Berbatov perfectly pulled the ball back for Tevez to strike. This was just what we had been looking for! However, things quickly turned sour, United just seemed to give up, Berbatov picked up a knock, Vidic got sent off, and United lost 2-1.

United’s next league game was away to Chelsea and Berbatov started up front alongside Rooney. Tevez was on the bench and didn’t get to come on, something which, he later confirmed, annoyed him.

Our next big(ish) game came away to Everton, where again Rooney and Berbatov started up front, with Tevez coming on as a sub in the 78th minute. Then our trip to the Emirates, Rooney and Berbatov to start, Tevez coming on in the 77th minute. Then derby day at Wastelands with Rooney and Berbatov starting, Tevez on the bench, and Giggs being preferred to replace Berbatov in the 83rd minute. This game came three days after Tevez bagged a hat-trick for United in the League Cup. Our next big game was Chelsea at home, with Rooney and Berbatov starting (and scoring) whilst Tevez was an unused sub. Then Everton at home where Tevez started in place of an injured Rooney.

Then as the season turned and got to the important phase, Tevez was used more often. Berbatov had been given plenty of opportunities to gel with the team by now and it was time for Tevez to get more matches. As well as helping Berbatov fit in, had Sir Alex also been conserving Carlos for what he regarded the most important stage in the season?

Tevez started and played the full game in our League Cup final against Spurs. He started and played 90 minutes of our next home game against Liverpool in March, with Berbatov coming off the bench for Park in the 74th minute. He started and played 87 minutes in our following home against Aston Villa. He played for the length of our FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. He started in the European Cup semi-final against Arsenal. He started on derby day, at the expense of Rooney. He started our crucial last home game against Arsenal.

Had Tevez not started any of the important games then I would understand his frustrations better. As it is, he has spent over half the season primarily on the sidelines to accomodate for a new player who had to adjust to being in the team. Since then, he has played in and started plenty of our crucial games. After all, Tevez was our first substitute in Rome, whilst Berbatov didn’t come on until midway through the second half.

So Tevez’s attitude and the reaction of the fans towards him has started to grate on me. I hated that during Sir Alex Ferguson’s end of season speech after the Arsenal game, the Stretford End, then several other parts of the ground, shouted the manager down. “Fergie, sign him up!” they bellowed, to the point where Ferguson could no longer be heard, but, clearly embarrassed, struggled to make his voice heard. It was awkward and disrespectful.

I’ve hated hearing Tevez speaking to the press time and again about his unhappiness with the ‘way he has been treated’. You can understand why he would be unhappy with the amount of time he’s played this season in comparison to last, but there’s no understanding for him to repeatedly go to the press with it. Is that the way you treat a club you want to stay with, slagging them off constantly?

It seems to me as though Tevez has ideas above his station. Ruud van Nistelrooy behaved in the same way towards the end of his United career, not prepared to let the in form Louis Saha start ahead of him, but even that was more understandable than Tevez’s behaviour. No disrespect to our favourite Argie but van Nistelrooy was a fucking brilliant player so it made more sense that he was disgruntled at being dropped. He scored 150 goals in 219 games, so whilst I don’t condone his sulking, it does make more sense. For all Tevez’s hard work, his brilliant finishing, and important goals, he’s hardly the best there is, if we’re being honest. I love his attitude to the game and he’s been an important player for us but he isn’t in any position to throw his dummy out for not playing every game. Cristiano Ronaldo is about the only player Ferguson plays for every game, with Rooney and Berbatov both missing out on big games this season. And let’s get real, Carlos Tevez is no Cristiano Ronaldo.

So, where does this leave us then? Do we want Tevez to go to City or Liverpool or anywhere else? Or do we want him to stay?

If his problem is lack of playing time, then that problem will be solved to some extent next season. Whilst Berbatov is likely to be favoured more often than not, Tevez should get more matches now that the Bulgarian is better settled. But if Tevez’s problem is he wants to start more often than not, then that problem will not be solved and he would be better off leaving. It is no good to hear him whinging every time he misses out on a game against Chelsea or a final.

When I feel wound up by the situation, like immiediately after he has just bad-mouthed the club, I want him to go to City. I want him to trade in his medals at United for the money and playing time of City. See how much he has to whinge about then, when he’s playing for a team whose fans don’t sell out the ground every week and whose trophy cabinet has been empty for 33 years and counting.

But in reality, the best situation from here, unless we can talk Kia down to a more reasonable price, is to let him go, and hope that a club abroad present a more appealing offer for him than any Premiership team. I would like him our squad next season but I won’t be heartbroken if he leaves. The only frustration about him joining City or Liverpool would be the mocking that would come with it. It wouldn’t take long for the chants about us not being able to afford him or him choosing their club over ours, both of which aren’t true, to start. That would be irritating. And to see a player who has had such a strong connection with our fans wearing the shirt of our biggest rivals would be gutting. The chants of “Fergie, sign him up!” would become an embarrassment to us.

Regardless, it’s a strange and totally foreign feeling to me, not liking our own players. But I suppose it’s something we’re going to become more used to. I know Chelsea fans who hate Drogba, Liverpool fans who hate Lucas, and Arsenal fans who hate Bendtner. It’s the changing face of the game.

This mess should all be sorted out sooner or later. It would be nice if we could agree a reasonable deal for Tevez, but equally, I’m not going to be too arsed if we don’t. He hasn’t impressed me at all recently and his attitude would have to change if he was going to fit in to the squad in the long-term. Listen to Park or clear off gracefully and quietly, please.

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. costas says:

    Best player in the last 40 years?Giggs?Cantona?Van Nistelrooy?Rooney?Keane?Robson?

  2. Isaidso says:

    Wakey – more commital mate than when straight after the CL game, he is interviewed by the press, asking if he is staying with Man UNited, and everyone heard him say, I will see about, or decide my future after my holidays! A simple acknowledgement of yes I am staying at United would have sufficed. We had all this double tongued misleading bollox last summer. Only last week Ronnie was lauding his happiness at UNited to the media, and saying he didn’t care about Real Madrid. Yeah, well why say he’ll decide his future AFTER his hols, then?

  3. Fabio says:

    Costas : Apart from RVN and Rooney those you listed are certainly bigger legends, but when it comes to who is the best footballer Ronaldo is the best since the Best.

  4. Quinton_Fortune says:

    Cantona > Giggs > Robson > Keane > Ronaldo > Rooney > Van Nistelrooy

    (just my opinion)

  5. King Eric says:

    corea – Harsh image but funny! When it comes to legends and better players it is very hard to say. In my opinion MY biggest LEGENDS since I have been a United fan since 81 are Robbo, Cantona, Keano, Scholes, Giggs and Neville. Best, Law and Charlton obviously but all before my time so not gonna include those three

    When it comes to outright TALENT other than the King its got to be Ronnie. But then there is Scholes. Told you it was difficult to determine. Really hope that Rooney will go down as one of our best TALENTS (already is) and LEGENDS.

  6. costas says:

    Oh Fabio,you mean talent wise.Hmm.Tough to say.Giggsy on his day was pretty awesome as well.You could be right though.Ronaldo does seem to be strong in every department.But even the best player can become a liability at times.Not saying that Ronaldo is one at the moment,but i would like him to realise what’s best for him.

  7. costas says:

    And of course i forgot Scholes as one of the best players in the last 20 years.

  8. Jagsy says:

    can someone tell me something thats been troubling me about the tevez affair… utd already payed 10 mill for tevez on loan therefore if we want him we need to pay another 22 mill or thereabouts… yet if we dont buy him kia can then sell tevez for 32 mill making an extra 10 mill if he didnt sell him to united..keeping the original 10 mill we payed for the loan deal.. and tevez has been making trouble at united …. wonder who told him to do that… maybe the man who would be gaining an extra 10 mill if he didnt stay at united

  9. timbo says:

    His brilliant finishing? Exactly which Carlos Tevez were you watching this year?

    It’s a toss up which of Rooney and Tevez is the most profligate in front of goal. I wish both of them could take a lesson or two from Berbatov in terms of taking that fraction of a second to think before firing away in their typical scatter-gun approach. They can both score some beautiful goals at times, but I couldn’t count the amount of times during the last two seasons when they’ve squandered – murdered would be a better word for it – golden opportunities presented to them. Carlito was also hampered this season by his desperation at times to prove his value to Fergie by firing away at goal when prudence demanded he pass to a better positioned team mate.

  10. CKM says:

    Edin Dzeko must be signed to replace Tevez!!!

  11. bossdem says:

    scott- ur getting pissed off with people moaning about u moaning about ronaldo. fair enough but when u write a blog u got to expect everyone isnt gonna lick ur ass and say what a good post it is, even when they dont.
    are u saying u only want people to comment if they agree with u?
    if u keep slaging ronnie off people, “supporters” will moan back.
    when u keep telling utd fans who have made ur blog so popular to do one, of fuck of somewhere else, u sound like a childish jumped up little prick.

  12. NotaDip says:

    App Liverpool will be credited with League 19 in the next 3 months. Toffs registered title which Liverpool won in 1891 no 1892… is this true.

  13. Scott the Red says:

    Bossdem – I don’t want people to kiss my ass but I want them to have a bit of common sense. People know my opinion on Ronaldo and if they don’t want to hear about it, then nobody is making them come here and read it. I’m tired of defending this opinion every time I even reference it. It’s what I think, if you don’t agree, that is fine, but the same people keep coming on every post that talks about Ronaldo and telling me the exact same thing. If people were simply voicing a different opinion to me, that would be one thing, but to keep personally attacking me because of it is something else, as is telling me to stop voicing my opinion. If you don’t want to hear me voice my opinion on Ronaldo, then don’t come and read it. That is fairly simple, isn’t it?

    If I sound like a childish, jumped up prick, then I cannot imagine what kindof moron would want to keep returning to read what I say. Are you a moron?

  14. bossdem says:

    no scott, im not a moron, but u? im starting to wonder!
    peolple, myself included come on here to share and discuss our club with other supporters. dont think ur blogs are so good that people are on here because of this. in fact i think ur doing too many and are running out of ideas, hence the quality of ur articles are becoming a bit erratic, like ur silly rants.
    just one question. if u have the right to keep goin on an on about ronaldo why shouldnt evryone have the right to keep goin on and on about u, goin on and on and on about him. if ur so pissed off with peoples reaction to ur posts on ronnie, why not give it a rest for a bit and try and think of something worthwile to write about.
    if ur struggling,get some more shit of rich the penguin cos he comes up with some good points! the only good blogs iv seen on here of late!

  15. saad says:

    Relax Scott n Nick… We all love Utd and have differing views as to how it would be better. Lets learn accomodate eachothers views and be a little more tolerant here. Scott you’re running an incredible blog here but people will tend to disagree and they have every right to. Dont flare up on a disgruntled fan writing his heart out, however provocative that outburst may be…

  16. Scott the Red says:

    Bossdem – I don’t personally attack people who love Ronaldo so I don’t expect to have people personally attack me for even referencing my opinion on him. So if people want to counter-argument what I have to say, then fine, but it is not OK to have a pop at me.

    I am not going to change what I write or how I write for anybody. If you don’t like what I write or how I write then don’t come here. Feel free to respond to the points I make, but do not feel free to have a pop at me. You can get fucked if you think you can come on here calling me a jumped up prick. Think on.

  17. A.H says:

    i hate Berbatov

  18. Jake says:

    Well said Scott, I’m also sick of being shouted down by United fans who say you can’t be a proper fan if you attack Ronaldo and Tevez’s behaviour etc.. The point about Ronaldo and Tevez is that they aren’t Manchester United, we always hear about the great team spirit of the club and it does seem to exist but surely Ronaldo and Tevez’s actions must be to the detriment of that? I don’t want to drag up Barcelona because it was just one game but when you compare players like Messi, Iniesta, Xavi and Eto’s attitudes to Ronaldo’s and Tevez’s it is startling. I’d rather we sold Ronaldo and didn’t sign Tevez, retained some of our dignity, and sign some players with a better attitude. I don’t care how good Ronaldo is or that he is our most effective player because I’d rather come 2nd next year and not have to put up with another season of his childish whining on the pitch, mainly because it is bad for my health. This ‘only God knows’ stuff might be honest and realistic, but it is also disrespectful and near enough unprecedented. I can’t think of another player in world football who when asked if he wants to stay at a club he supposedly loves playing for replies with ‘only God knows’ and ‘we will see’, it speaks volumes about Ronaldo’s attitude.

    I think we have to shift Tevez after his little outburst after the champs. league game because it’s just the icing on his little bitter cake, sick of him clapping us like he is Manchester United, sick of his first touch, sick of him charging around and I’m sick of being told he is a great player by morons.

    I’ve never felt so disenchanted with players at United like I have about Tevez and Ronaldo and I’m almost starting to understand how you can become disaffected with a club like the FC United lot were but I’m nowhere near that yet. Get rid of Ronaldo and Tevez, I can’t bare watching these big time charlies playing for United. Cantona was arrogant but he loved United and everyone could see it, Ronaldo just loves himself. And before the retorts come about ‘every genius has a bad side’ bollocks, just look at Messi, and nearly every player who has gone before Ronaldo at United and practically every other top world footballer and you won’t find as big a muppet as our Ronaldo.

  19. bossdem says:

    thanks again scott for reminding me that i dont have to come on here. it is this childish reaction which u keep coming out with that is so pathetic.
    people wont call u a jumped up little prick if u dont act like one.

  20. King Eric says:

    AH – “I hate Berbatov”

    Yeah thanks for that contribution. Idiot.

  21. Scott the Red says:

    It’s not childish, it’s just honest. I can’t understand the mentality of a person who would repeatedly come to a blog when they think the writer is a prick and pathetic.

    Like I said, I didn’t sign up for personal insults. I signed up for football discussion, whether you agree with my opinion or not. You clearly can’t handle that without repeatedly insulting me, so check the rules of posting here and give me a shout when you feel mature enough and reasonable enough to follow them.

  22. King Eric says:

    Good post Jake but Messi’s “penalty claim” in the final put our Ronnie to shame.

  23. corea says:

    Messi even knows how to spit at players. :)

  24. Rotegzy says:

    Scott and bossedom.Heed my plea,sheath your swords.Its not always good to have the last say in any argument.All we need is a better next season and no amount of hating and argument could effect that.

  25. Scott the Red says:

    Rotegzy – it’s not about having the last word, it’s about having respect. This lad from Telford wouldn’t call me a stupid prick if he saw me down the pub, so I dunno where he gets off thinking he’s a big man on the internet. It’s pathetic.

  26. Stephen says:

    Wouldn’t worry mate, it is your site you can post what you want, if people don’t like the article then why bother to make a comment, they need to get out more.

  27. King Eric says:

    Just one question. Just recently I have noticed people calling “user names” by their real names. Now Scott knows someone is from Telford. How ?

  28. Scott the Red says:

    King Eric – We’re all part of a secret club and you weren’t invited. Sorry.

  29. King Eric says:

    Scott the Red – How fuckin dare you! No seriously mate, how do you know? Facebook or summat?

  30. Red Yank says:

    I’ve done my best to tune out all of the rubbish that gets circulated in the press, years of this nonsense had gotten me to the point where all I can say is “who ever’s in a red shirt is who I’ll support”. Ronaldo can stay or go, I’ve honestly stopped caring where he wants to be, and while his abilities are an asset to the club consistent petulance can affect morale. I hope Ronaldo is happy and wants to continue playing, if he doesn’t then ta ra and let’s get as much money for him as we can. Apparently Madrid’s got a lot of money to throw around for players, I just hope we milk them for all we can insetad of selling him on the cheap.

    As for Tevez the positives of keeping him around started diminishing once he started going on ad nauseam about how he’s been treated, I grant him the benefit of the doubt because none of us know how he’s actually being treated. I doubt he’s been treated poorly as an individual though, I suspect he’s going on about his lack of playing time. Now it would be unfair not to sympathize with his desire to play, and he’s one who plays for his national team so even more reason to want to feature in every club match. This is why I think his staying is not going to work; he will want to play in as many matches possible but I doubt he’s going to start over Berbatov on a consistent basis. I still don’t think Berbatov’s settled in completely so that will likely mean less time for Tevez, and whether 25 million for a player to sit around being a tactical option doesn’t seem feasible. At this point I’d rather stick with Rooney and Berbatov and start grooming Welbeck and Macheda then deal with the drama of Tevez and whether he stays or goes.

  31. MUFCforever says:

    roooney>ronaldo>cantona>van nistelrooy>keane>robson

    my opinion


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