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Mancini's Tevez dilemma

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15 Dec 2010 11:11:31

| Submit Comments| Comments (30)| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapCarlos TevezManchester City manager Roberto Mancini has every reason to be hurt and bewildered by the conduct of Carlos Tevez. In fact he won?t be either. The Blues boss could easily, in his handling of a nasty situation, cement his reputation as the strong, visionary manager which the Blues have craved for the past 35 years. Mancini will be unfazed by the posturing and vitriol coming out of Tevez?s camp, and will want to sit down with the player on Friday and try to work out a football solution to a non-football issue. Tevez has not really turned his fire on the manager, other than a few grumbles about his substitutions, and a half-time rant about the way he set his team up against Newcastle. On the weekend when Mancini guided the Blues to the best away record in the Premier League ? a remarkable turnaround in fortune on its own ? and pitched them back among the title-chasing pack, Mancini is in a strong position. Maybe that is why Tevez?s people have turned their fire on chief executive Garry Cook, feeling he is vulnerable due to mistakes he has made in the past. However, it appears that Tevez has made a serious miscalculation, as Cook has redeemed himself among many City fans through his backing for supporters clubs and unstinting work in developing the club and its relationship with its fans and the wider community. Tevez is expected to be invited in to Mancini?s office at the Carrington training complex on Friday, the day when the manager?s thoughts turn fully on next Monday?s important clash with bogey team Everton. We reckon the Blues manager has eight issues he is mulling over in his mind before he tackles this thorny issue. Tevez?s state of mind May be more straightforward than it seems.  Despite the shock surrounding the transfer request, and the ensuing furore, Tevez is unlikely to be fazed in the least. Like most footballers, anything that goes on away from the pitch tends to fade into the background once they cross the white line. The last thing he can afford now is to be seen as unprofessional and sulky in the way he approaches the game. He knows that his best bet is to carry on giving 100 per cent for City, and make Real Madrid really take an interest. Mancini?s job will be to look him in the eye, ask him to speak from the heart, and then judge how he shows up in training before deciding if he makes the cut for the Everton game. The armband Mancini has few options but to strip the captaincy from Tevez. A player who has made it plain he does not want to stay at the club should not be seen as a figurehead. The captain is also meant to be the manager?s ally on the field, and Tevez?s recent actions have shown that his only allies in football are his advisers. The other factor to consider is that the players are meant to look to the captain for inspiration and leadership, but there are plenty of players at City who have been sickened by the way Tevez has conducted himself, and the terrible timing of it. No-one would follow a general into battle when he has already said he intends to defect to the enemy. Dressing room morale Perhaps Mancini?s biggest concern. The potential loss of one player, albeit a very important one, can still be overcome. But if Tevez?s intended defection affects the spirits of his team-mates, just at a point where they are nicely positioned to make real inroads on the primary aim of securing a top four spot, and could even  be top of the tree for Christmas, it could be disastrous. It is unlikely to have too much of an effect. Tevez is seen as a crucial player, but the City dressing room these days is crammed with character. They are more likely to see his possible absence as a challenge, and go out to prove to people that they are not a one-man team. They did that at West Ham, but whether they can bridge the gap in sterner tests is still open to question. Dressing room reaction There are one or two feisty types in the City squad who will not be happy with Tevez on a couple of counts. There is sympathy for the undoubted difficulties the player has had living so far from his children, but to land this bombshell at the moment when City are poised for a real challenge to established Premier League hierarchy will not have gone down well. There is a feeling that this should have been sorted last summer or next, not just as the season enters a crucial phase. Mancini will have to keep his eye on the situation to make sure there is no adverse reaction from Tevez?s team-mates. Mario Balotelli The spotlight is firmly on the 20-year-old, who appears to be the only man currently on the club?s books who can fill Tevez?s goalscoring boots. He looked an awfully long way from being ready for that burden at West Ham on Saturday. Mancini and his staff have been working hard to acclimatise Balotelli to English football, and now they need to step it up and make him realise he could be an instant hero if he steps into the breach.


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