Not for the first time this season, a world-class striker plying his trade in Manchester has thrown his long-term future into serious doubt.
There are distinct similarities between the Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez episodes. Firstly, underlying and protracted issues have filtered through and affected their on-field conduct. Secondly, just as United couldn’t afford to lose Rooney, City could do without being forced to sell their talismanic front man. Not only are both are over-relied upon on the pitch, but both are figureheads for their respective clubs off it too.
Had Rooney left Old Trafford, it would have shifted the balance of power in Manchester, make no mistake. Similarly, Tevez is the marquee player at Eastlands. His arrival was designed to inspire other world-class players to join their revolution.
No player is bigger than a club, but the prospect of Tevez departing merely 18 months into his five-year contract wasn't part of City's plan, certainly not when erecting a certain ‘Welcome To Manchester’ poster last summer, that's for sure.
But lastly, and most importantly, both disputes appeared, at one stage, largely irretrievable. Rooney returned from the brink to sign a new deal at United, so it'd be hasty to suggest there is no way back for Tevez either. Quite simply, he’s too good a player to let go without a fight.
Tevez says he's discontented because of a breakdown in relations with chief executive, Garry Cook and football administrator, Brian Marwood. In his statement, he maintained his respect for City fans, and more surprisingly, claimed he has no problem with Mancini. If this is true, there should be scope to persuade him to stay, at least until the end of the season.
Rather fittingly considering the circumstances, following their weekend win at West Ham, Manchester City assistant manager Bryan Kidd compared Roberto Mancini to his former and most famous employer, Sir Alex Ferguson. While he was actually referring to their similar meticulous coaching methods, it was Ferguson’s most significant attribute, his unrivalled man-management skills, that ultimately convinced Rooney to perform a U-turn.
Rumours of Tevez suffering from homesickness and being disillusioned with football make his situation more complex than Rooney’s, but if ever there was an opportunity for Mancini to assert his authority and prove he is the man to lead the Blue Moon Rising, convincing Tevez to stay is it.
Over to you, Roberto.
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