Carlos Tevez crossed a line, Roberto Mancini is right to say never again: Martin Samuel

28 September 2011 12:40
Never say never, the wise old men of the football bootrooms insist. In the case of Carlos Tevez, however, Roberto Mancini is right to make an exception.

Tevez should never play for Manchester City again if, as manager Mancini insists, he refused to come off the substitutes bench with 35 minutes remaining of the Champions League tie with Bayern Munich.

He should never be considered for the squad, never train with the first team. If he can be sold, profitably, then let him go. If not, let him rot beyond the reserves.

Meltdown: Roberto Mancini reads the riot act to Carlos Tevez, who refuses to play and spends the rest of thematch watching from the bench

Some actions go beyond the pale and this was an insult too far; an insult to his club, his manager and his colleagues. Tevez has forfeited the right to sympathy, understanding or further indulgence.

Justice would have seen him making his own way home from Munich. If he wants no part of this team, why let him travel with it? Better still, drop him at the airport and let him explain his thought processes to the supporters who gave up holiday and wages to be here. Just don't expect to go unchallenged.

In the heat of battle, with City fighting for survival in the toughest club competition on any continent , Mancini required Tevez to come on as replacement for the uninspired Edin Dzeko.

There was just over half-an-hour left and his team trailed by two goals. Time enough to get back in the game, though.

Jaw-dropping: Tevez's actions stunned team-mates, fans and opponents alike

Given this opportunity, however, Tevez rejected it. Mancini had words with Edin Dzeko and Tevez on the touchline and sent on a holding midfieldplayer, Nigel de Jong, in place of the Bosnian. Soon after this he turned to Tevez, but it seems the player refused to take the field.

Mancini looked almost haunted as he explained the circumstances. Here was a player, the highest-paid at the club, turning his back on his team-mates.

The Italian sounded as if it was unprecedented in his experience. Already angry with Dzeko 'he can sit next to me on the bench at the weekend'he said his reaction to Tevez was pure, cold fury.

Mancini does not mind high maintenance performers he bought Mario Balotelli, for heaven's sake but draws the line at professional deserters.

No apology is good enough, no matter Tevez's words. If City are to be treated with respect, they won't get fooled again. Tevez's behaviour towards a club that treated him nothing less than honourably has been despicable.

All smiles: Tevez relaxes with Patrick Vieira and Joleon Lescott after the match

From the disruption he caused midway through last season, to the announcement that he still wanted to leave which coincided with the pre-season return to training, he has behaved with pure selfishness.

He could have been great for Manchester City, he could have been part of a special time at the club, instead he has poisoned the well. The club has worked so hard to shed its talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, yet Tevez allowed the world a snigger at City's expense again.

Did they really think they belonged on this stage? Did they really think their new money was a match for Europe's elite? When the draw was made, this was the tie that was supposed to signify their grand arrival. Bayern Munich away, in the Champions League. The world would have to take them seriously now, instead it is pointing and laughing again.

If there is one consolation it is that when the initial hullabaloo subsides, there will be no public relations war for the club to win. In the past, Manchester City have had to battle Tevez's team of advisors and spin doctors.

Bizarre exit: Tevez leaves the Allianz Arena before being allowed to board City's bus

This time the fight is over before it has begun. Spin that, if you dare. Spin the player that turns his back on his team-mates in the toughest match of the season; spin the man earning ?250,000 a week who cares so little for those who fritter their silly little salaries away to follow him around the world.

Mancini is right that there can be no way back from here. Even if his disgust subsides and pragmatism takes over, the supporters will not let him forget what Tevez did here.

They are a loyal bunch and they will forgive much, but not this. Nor will fans of rival clubs welcome him so readily, certainly not those in the Premier League. Would they want him at Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur?

Maybe he will be welcomed abroad, but City would look even weaker if they now let him go on the cheap. More than ever, they should hold firm in demanding a major transfer fee. If this puts off suitors in the January transfer window, so be it.

The Carling Cup, September 21: Was this 2-0 win over Birmingham Tevez's last game for City?

Tevez deserves some time alone to consider the mess he has made of his career. Gary Neville, a team-mate at Manchester United, says Tevez wants to be loved; there is little chance of that now. Any club that buys him takes a chance because his self-indulgence has been laid so horribly bare.

If Tevez was as committed and brave as his camp would have the public believe, he would have used those 35 minutes in the Allianz Arena to change the game and the narrative of his season.

Instead, he committed an unforgivable sin by putting his personal contempt for those around him ahead of what was best for his team.

By not crossing the line, he crossed a line, quite rightly never to return.

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Source: Daily_Mail