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Terrier Tevez worth weight in goals
Published : 28 Sep 2010 09:32:00
| Submit Comments| Comments (13)| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapFULL BLOODED: Carlos Tevez clatters into John Obi MikelHow does Carlos Tevez do it? Only Didier Drogba has scored more Premier League goals in 2010 than the little Argentine, and when the two men went head to head on Saturday, it was the Chelsea man who was found wanting. As well as bagging goals at a rate not seen at Manchester City since the days of Francis Lee, Tevez has also developed a healthy knack of scoring when it matters. Tevez has never been seen as a natural goalscorer. Indeed, the 29 goals he bagged last season was his biggest tally, four more than he managed for Brazilian outfit Corinthians in 2005. One reason United did not exactly bust a gut to secure his services, apart from the prohibitive price, was that he never looked like the prolific goal-getter they wanted. He has the barrel-chested, short-legged physique of a Sunday morning footballer. He doesn?t have the effortless grace of a Thierry Henry, the power of a Drogba, the aerial prowess of an Alan Shearer, the predatory instinct of a Robbie Fowler, the explosive pace of a young Michael Owen, nor the exquisite touch of a Dennis Bergkamp. And yet, at his current rate, Tevez is well on his way to joining those great names in the Premier League galaxy of shooting stars. He has built his reputation on a seemingly inexhaustible work rate. Fans always love a trier, and Tevez takes that to the ultimate degree ? his lung-bursting attempts to block goalkeeper clearances or chase footballs that are accelerating over the goal-line would, on their own, make him an idol. In that regard, he plays like any City fan would, with extreme commitment and undying passion. And in some ways, it is that hunger for work which helps to bring him so many goals. He doesn?t score one in every two or three chances, like true goalscorers. But he gets into so many positions, drops deep so often, pulls wide and works defenders so much, that he tends to see more of the ball than other strikers. The contrast with Drogba on Saturday was noticeable. The Chelsea man was almost imperious, waiting for his normally slick midfield machine to slip him a pass or work an overlap and cross. With City?s midfield trio hammering lumps out of them at every turn, Drogba did not get a sniff of goal. Tevez was up against it at the other end, a squat little figure beavering and buzzing about in a land of giants, taking on John Terry, Alex and often Jon Obi Mikel in his own inimitable style. Tevez work But Tevez is not shy of coming to get the ball if it doesn?t come to him, and that led directly to his goal. He worked back over halfway, giving himself the space to turn and run at Ashley Cole and Terry, ably assisted by David Silva?s cute diversionary run. For a man not blessed with great pace, he had enough to worry the usually jet-heeled Cole. And for a man whose shooting can be erratic at times, he found a cracker, arrowing his effort through Cole?s legs to take keeper Petr Cech by surprise. That element of surprise also serves Tevez well. He is not afraid to shoot, when some players would be inhibited by the sight of the odd attempt flying off towards the corner flag. But to portray Tevez as simply a willing workhorse who scores goals on the basis of probability is to miss his main trick. While he can?t match any of the luminaries named above for their particular strengths, he has enough of each to make him a formidable foe, and when you factor in his relentless optimism whenever there is a cause to be chased, he lifts above the ordinary. He is not graceful, but he can produce sublime moments, such as the scurry across the face of the box and curling shot into the top corner which set the Blues on the way to victory in the Carling Cup tie with Arsenal last season. He is not a powerhouse, but he fought his way past John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho to score the equaliser at Stamford Bridge last season. He stands 5ft 6ins, but his first City goal was a header from a corner at Crystal Palace, and he nodded home the winner against United in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg. And while he is not a goal-hanger, he still pops up in the thick of a goalmouth melee to shin in the odd bonus goal. He was quick enough to trouble Cole on Saturday, and his touch varies from awkward to sublime ? which again can perplex opponents, not sure whether the ball will bounce off him or be taken in and turned in one silky movement. It is a potent mix, and when Mario Balotelli is fit and well, Tevez will have a partner who can relieve some of the pressure and allow him to blossom. City fans alive to see that happen may yet, if Balotelli fulfils his potential, witness some of the greatest moments in the club?s history. What do you think? Have your say.