Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Carlos Tevez has some making up to do with Manchester City fans

Can Carlos Tevez make it up to fans? Can Carlos Tevez make it up to fans?
Carlos Tevez has some making up to do with City fans. Like any love affair, the relationship between the enigmatic Argentine and the adoring Blue masses – and his manager Roberto Mancini – has been a stormy one.

Tevez has flounced out, flown away on secret trysts and talked openly about a divorce from the club, citing irreconcilable differences.

For their part, City fans have loved having him around. For all his indiscretions and hurtful comments, once they are alone together, the passion is intoxicating.

Right now, the City fans don’t want flowers and chocolates as Carlito talks about another reconciliation. They just want goals, and lots of them.

For the last two seasons, Tevez has been the man who, above all others, has transformed City from the nouveaux riche to the truly wealthy, given them a style and substance of their own.

It has been a Jekyll and Hyde performance.

On the pitch, no-one can doubt him. He comes closest to fulfilling the urgent message of the big banner at Eastlands, which asks the players to “play like we dream”.

Once he crosses the whitewash, Tevez looks like he might be straight out of the back streets of Rusholme rather than the barrios of Buenos Aires.

But off it, he sometimes cuts an unhappy and restless figure, someone who wants to have his cake and eat it.

The Blues have made him the highest-paid player in the Premier League on £230,000 a week, despite incorrect reports that Yaya Toure and Wayne Rooney earn more.

No-one can blame him for wanting to spend as much time as possible with his two young daughters.

But the long days inbetween should be filled more productively.

There has always been the feeling that Tevez has held himself distant from Manchester, that he has not embraced City as a club, and it was the same at United.

He could take a leaf out of his friend and countryman Pablo Zabaleta’s book. He lived, until recently, in vibrant Didsbury, enjoying the student scene and city life, learning the language quickly, and always a willing and enthusiastic helper at City in the Community events.

It is no coincidence that players who regularly attend those events are among the most popular with fans, and those who have woven themselves into the fabric of the club most effectively.


Tevez should have a quiet chat with Zabaleta, Nigel de Jong, Vincent Kompany, Joe Hart, Micah Richards or one of the other serial attenders.

They get a kick out of seeing the looks of awe and appreciation on the faces of disabled, disadvantaged or just plain devoted kids. Carlos would, for sure, if he attended more.

Like anything, you get out as much as you put in, and maybe Tevez would be happier in Manchester if he threw himself more into the life of the city, and of the club.

Let’s face it, anyone who thinks there are only two restaurants in Manchester – even if he did mean only two worth frequenting – needs to get out more.

But no-one can hold a gun to his head, either for him to stay or for him to embrace the club, and City are now big enough not to need to get down on their knees and beg him to stay.

It appears that the truth of the situation has finally hit home to Tevez and to his agent Kia Joorabchian. No-one can afford Tevez, and only City will pay him the astronomical amounts he can make, even if he stays for just a short while.

Joorabchian said at the weekend that Tevez is now trying to arrange for his family to join him in his Prestbury home, and that he is now intent on leading the Blues to more glory. If he can get his life settled, and stop making ill-judged comments whenever he has an Argentinian microphone shoved under his nose, he has the makings of legend.

Stay at City for two years, win the Premier League, make some waves in the Champions League, and then go back to Buenos Aires, a legend to City fans, and a returning hero to supporters of his beloved Boca Juniors.

For all of the circus which surrounds Tevez once he is away from Eastlands and Carrington, Mancini will have no problem with welcoming him back to training after the Copa America next month.

He knows what he will get. Passion and sweat by the bucketload, and moments of goalscoring genius.

Now Carlos needs to apply some of that passion to the club off the field and away from the training ground.

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