Des Kelly: Carlos Tevez a disgrace! (but let's call off the lynch mob)
There has been so much hypocrisy and sanctimonious outrage surrounding the Carlos Tevez saga all the hot air seems to have affected the country's climate. A man momentarily refuses to do his job and immediately there are cries of let him rot, ban him for life or just flog him - although when people say 'flog him' the phrase is less about making a quick sale than the judicious use of a cat-o'-nine tails. There was a proper lynch mob. He shall not be moved: Tevez sits it out on the bench during City's match against Bayern Everyone was at it, from FIFA bandwagon jumpers who should get their own house in order first to ex-players who also have a history of rebellious dissent and even ballroom dancers. But most amusing of all were the declarations that no club would touch Tevez after his show of petulance. Loading tweets...This prediction proved to be entirelyaccurate, if you exclude Newcastle United, West Ham and a queue of half-a-dozen more clubs here, in Italy and elsewhere that will emerge over the coming days. Real Madrid are probably reserving a seat for his flight to Spain during the January transfer window right now. To ensure no misunderstandings cloud this issue and some blue sky remains in place, let me state here that I believe Tevez was a disgrace on the night and I don't believe what he said about what happened in the aftermath. Whatever excuses his camp might peddle I am absolutely certain there was no 'misunderstanding' in Munich, as his entourage belatedly claim. When Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini told Tevez to warm up and prepare to go on to the pitch, his refusal was obvious. The idea Tevez 'misunderstood' what was required of him is laughable. He is a striker, sitting on the touchline in Munich, wearing boots and kit; his side are two goals down with half-an-hour to go. Suddenly, his manager points and tells him to get to his feet. Even a chimpanzee would know what was expected in that situation. What did Tevez think Mancini said? 'Can you direct me to the nearest bierkeller'? 'My hovercraft is full of eels'? Mancini: 'Hey Carlos, my hovercraft is full of eels!' He obviously wanted his player to get out there and kick a ball in the general direction of the goal - which is his job - and he declined. The killer phrase was uttered by Tevez as he emerged from the dressing room, long before panicking representatives, employment lawyers or some canny press counsel got to him. 'I didn't feel I was right to play - so I didn't,' said Tevez. That's the end of any 'misunderstanding', right there. Everything else is waffle. Refusals: Fabregas (left) and Mascherano (right) called the shots As for the contradictions, they came thick and fast, not least the contention Tevez was never going to take being the second substitute sitting down - only for him to do just that. Or the irony that he was so angry at not playing he refused to play. And how City have now punished a player who was refusing to play for them by refusing to let him play for them some more. But anyone thinking he deserves to be singled out and demonised for his behaviour has an Etch-A-Sketch brain. Own goal threat: Gallas Slating Tevez might be easy right now, but it's time to remind ourselves of some comparable incidents. At Tottenham Hotspur, Luka Modric decided 'his head was not right' to play, mainly because he wanted to join Chelsea. And what was his punishment? An extra ?60,000 a week, plus bonuses. At Manchester United Wayne Rooney held his club to ransom. There were threats about joining City and complaints about the quality of his team-mates. His punishment? Another ?120,000 a week. Cesc Fabregas was 'injured or rested', just before he finally left Arsenal for Barcelona. Javier Mascherano declared himself 'not in the right frame of mind' to play for Liverpool before he too moved to the Nou Camp. More from Des Kelly... 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But, as far as I can make out, none of the above was dragged away to 'rot forever', nor have they drawn the fire of some bandwagon-jumping dolts at FIFA. Every week throughout the game there are foot-stamping hissy fits by competitive but over-indulged sportsmen. Tevez is just the latest example, the difference being he was stupid enough to have his moment on live television. If Tevez had any brains (I know. Don't email in) by now he'd have admitted his embarrassment, apologised to the fans and promised he would work to make amends, regardless of whether the club were prepared to forgive him or not. For starters, it is the only decent response. But it has the added bonus of putting the ball back in City's court. Instead, there is endless jabbering about Tevez and Co taking legal action if his contract is terminated or he has to train away from the first team. Can I wish him the best of luck with that? Quaking in his boots: City owner Sheik Mansour (R) Coincidentally, Sheik Mansour's office just called to ask for some help with an official response to Tevez's threat of litigation. I've advised the statement should be succinct and along the lines of: 'Ooo! We're scared!' If a shirking footballer is dumb enough to try to take on a member of the richest Royal family in the world, with a fortune of one trillion pounds, then he truly is dafter than any of us thought. Far better to take the slap and move on, figuratively and indeed literally when the opportunity arises. But football is a hothouse of conflicting emotions, veering from adulation to tribal hatred - usually settling somewhere near begrudging envy. We judge the participants by standards we do not necessarily apply to ourselves. There are people across Britain who briefly refuse to do their jobs all the time. A report by PricewaterhouseCoopers earlier this year said UK workers take twice as many sick days as their American and Asian counterparts. Happier times: Mancini and Tevez lift the FA Cup This week, I know of someone who has taken a week off 'ill' to coincide with the unseasonable weather and another who failed to make an appointment because of a roaring hangover. I can tell tales of journalists who went 'missing' for days, one who dialled his copy in from a hotel bedroom rather than bother with the stadium and a twit who refused my request to go to Wolves because it was 'inconvenient'. They all moved on, either of their own volition, or with a boot up the backside. But nobody demanded they never work again. It doesn't make what Tevez did right, it certainly does not exonerate a player on a fortune from ducking his duties, but let's put it in perspective. City lured Tevez to the club by paying him an extraordinary amount of money, promising him he would be the star turn and gloating about his presence with posters across the neighbourhood. In return, Tevez continued to act like a mercenary rather than become some loyal foot-soldier and he is wondering why the promised star treatment is being denied to him. Why is anyone surprised? He is the footballer the modern game has created. I've always liked Scholes - now I like him moreWe often underestimate the effect the trials and tribulations of home life can have on an individual's work. I recall the fuss when Paul Scholes announced he would not play for England any more. When he stood down from international duty some questioned his patriotism. Family man: Scholes' commitment to the England shirt not in question Others pointed an accusing finger at then England coach Sven Goran Eriksson for asking the Manchester United star to operate out of position. But the decision was based on something far more important. Scholes revealed this week he quit England because he has an autistic son and felt it was unfair his wife spent so much time looking after the boy on her own. He talked about a 'sense of foreboding' when summer tournaments loomed because he was away for so long. In the end, the decision was easy - his family came first. I've always liked and admired Scholes. I like and admire him a good deal more now. Pressure: Bruce let down With friends like these...Steve Bruce has spent millions on 10 new players this season. His team have struggled to gel and his job is under intense scrutiny. But he has nothing to fear. One leading light spoke out after the defeat at Norwich on Monday night. 'To talk about the manager being under pressure this early in the season is ridiculous,' said the player. 'In the dressing room we are 100 per cent behind him.' What a comfort. Unfortunately, on Tuesday the same player went to a local nightclub, got intoxicated on vodka and allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in the back of a taxi. The driver was so concerned he headed straight to the nearest police station. The player was arrested for the suspected assault and for possession of a Class A drug, and released on bail. If Bruce has to rely on '100 per cent support' from the likes of Titus Bramble, you fear the worst. Common sense a casualtyThe Bahrain Grand Prix was cancelled earlier this year. It was a terrible inconvenience for promoter Bernie Ecclestone and the Gulf State's royal family. What with the streets being filled with thousands of pro-democracy protesters, 30 dead bodies, hundreds injured and 1,000 troops from Saudi Arabia drafted in to crush the rebellion. Bahrain brain: Commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone (centre) Now Ecclestone has scheduled another race for April. But this week Bahrain jailed 20 doctors for daring to treat protesters injured in those riots. They have been incarcerated on trumped-up charges that include 'forcibly occupying a hospital'. Any team or driver who joins the motoring circus in a state that shows such scandalous contempt for the medical profession should be ashamed. Formula One relies on the excellence of medics across the world. Toure was poor, eh?Thanks to Carlos Tevez, Roberto Mancini has avoided other questions such as why on earth did he rush Kolo Toure back from a six-month ban? The player had only just finished a suspension for a failed drugs test and it was always going to be a tough night in Germany. Sitting target: Toure's pills were not performance enhancing Toure insists he took diet pills - not a performance enhancing substance - and anyone seeing his performance against Bayern Munich would be unlikely to contradict that claim.
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