Comment: Tevez has pulled a 'Rooney'
| Submit Comments| Comments (346)| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapPerhaps one day City fans will refer to Saturday, December 11 as the day they were ?Rooneyed? by their idol Carlos Tevez. There is every chance that a ?Rooney? will become as much a part of football?s vocabulary as a Bosman or a Cruyff turn. The definition of a ?Rooney? will be the attempt by a player, or his agents, to force through a better deal by taking a dramatic stand. Carlos Tevez?s stunning decision to hand in a written transfer request smells a lot like a Rooney. It was just eight weeks ago that United fans were equally staggered by news that their top man had announced he wanted to leave Old Trafford, citing the club?s lack of ambition. Within days, a new five-year deal had been thrashed out and signed, and assurances given about the club?s intentions. All fingers were pointed in the direction of Rooney?s agent Paul Stretford, the feeling at United being that he had engineered the whole thing from day one. Rooney is too much of an elemental force, someone who thinks football rather than figures ? not unlike Tevez, which is why the two forged quite a bond when they were team-mates at Old Trafford. Tevez is liable to float on the breeze, especially when that breeze is generated by his own representative, the ultimate fingers-in-every-pie man Kia Joorabchian. We know that Tevez?s people have been agitating for a better deal for their man, despite the fact he is already the highest-paid player at City. Remember, though, the player employs the agent, not the other way round. Maybe all of this was driven by the news that Yaya Toure, if City sweep all before them this season, will earn close to £200,000 a week, a bonus deal which would take him past Tevez?s £160,000-a-week. We have also learned that Tevez wanted to add a year to his current five-year deal, which expires in the summer of 2014. That does not sound like the actions of a man who would be prepared to drop everything ? including a glamorous, highly successful and extremely lucrative football career ? to be closer to his family. City have turned down the request, and have resisted attempts to talk about a new deal, as it does not fit with their policy of not negotiating new deals during the season. Tevez and his representatives have taken a gamble, one which risks ruining Tevez?s status as a City hero. Rooney ended up with bridges to re-build, and even though he got the money he wanted his reputation will suffer for years. There are, no doubt, issues which need to be resolved with Tevez, away from whether he earns £8m a year or £10m. He is a complex character, and his reaction to being substituted last week was, on the face of it, simply down to the frustration of being taken off at an important stage of a knife-edge game. In light of what has happened since, it starts to look like an act of rebellion, regardless of last night?s statement insisting he had no personal issue with Roberto Mancini. Tevez?s actions last weekend look increasingly like a challenge to the manager?s authority which manifested itself within days with a challenge to the authority of the entire club. It could turn out to be a serious miscalculation, with the City owners already showing that they are prepared to back the manager, who has shown he is not willing to bow to player power by banishing Craig Bellamy and Stevie Ireland, and lining up more departures for the January transfer window. The timing was awful, but it could work in Mancini?s favour, as he has just guided the Blues to their strongest position at Christmas for 32 years, and is slowly but surely winning over one of football?s most sceptical and cynical fan-bases. There is a large degree of embarrassment involved, especially as the transfer request was going in just as City were splashing Tevez?s face on the cover of their magazine, and featuring a two-week old interview on their website which showed him talking of how he was at Eastlands for the long haul. It is suggested from Tevez that he felt pressured into giving the interview and the answers he thought the club wanted. But anyone who has seen him in action knows that Tevez would not do or say anything with which he disagreed. That is why the suspicion at the club is that this whole sorry affair is being driven by others, rather than the player himself. Joorabchian makes no money out of Tevez while the player stands still. He made cash from his move from Corinthians to West Ham, more from his move to United, and yet more when he departed Old Trafford for City. Nevertheless, Tevez has made clear his upset that the club are effectively blaming Joorabchian. For their part, City have been perfectly amenable, making Tevez the highest-paid player in the Premier League, and also being sympathetic and flexible over his requests to make regular trips back to Argentina to visit his family. He has even been granted leave this weekend for a short sunshine break in Spain as he is serving a suspension. Tevez won?t get such sympathy, or such wages, if he quits for Barcelona or Real Madrid. It?s an unpleasant situation for all involved, and it is to be hoped that Tevez ? when he returns to training tomorrow ? is professional enough to continue giving his all for City. He owes that to the fans, and to Mancini, who has been more tolerant than most managers would be to the player?s requests for time off. Mancini himself is in Italy for a minor operation and will link up with his players again when they fly in to Turin on Wednesday for the following night?s Europa League clash with Juventus. Tevez is not expected to travel, but as it stands he will be involved in next Monday?s important Premier League clash with Everton. He could go down in history as the man who, above all others, turned City from nearly men to glory boys. Or he could go down as the man who, through selfish motives, wrecked a promising season and ruined his own career. It?s his choice.
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