IN ALL MY years of being involved in football I’ve never seen anything that comes close to matching the stunt Carlos Tevez pulled on Tuesday night in Munich.
Disgrace is the word that springs to mind and, although he has clearly been poorly advised during various stages of his career, I have no sympathy for him whatsoever.
At a time when fans have never felt so far removed from today’s modern footballers, his actions will leave a particularly sour taste in the mouths of, not just City supporters, but followers of the game at large.
Had Tevez been asked to play the last five minutes of a Carling Cup tie against a lower league side, you would be able to understand a player of his standing displaying a certain level of frustration.
But this was a Champions League tie against Bayern Munich, at a time when his team really needed a contribution from him.
If he was disgruntled about having lost his place in the side, then what better way to stake a claim than by turning the game around?
PICKED THE WRONG OPPONENT
If Tevez thought refusing to play would advance his cause then he’s been somewhat mistaken. Indeed, he’s picked a fight with the one club who can afford to deal with him exactly as they see fit – it’s a battle he simply has no way of winning.
After suspending him, I’m sure City will now be exploring the legal avenues to see if there’s a way they can get Tevez off their books without hurting their bank balance. But this is a club who are in the fortunate position of being able to let one of their main assets rot in the reserves.
If Tevez thought he was miserable on the bench against Bayern, wait until he’s being made to train alongside the academy players.
To me, though, it looks like Tevez is fed up with football and although there are bound to be clubs interested in him, it wouldn’t shock me if this episode sees him slip into retirement.
MANCINI’s THE ONLY WINNER
If there’s anyone who has come out of this controversy so far with an enhanced reputation then it’s Roberto Mancini. Having so many high-profile players on the books was always going to equate to a difficult balancing act.
The Italian couldn’t have predicted what occurred in Munich, but he’s shown that any instances of player power will be ruthlessly dealt with and it’s good to see his employers backing him up.
With Tevez potentially out of the way, and having won a power struggle that’s been rumbling for some time, Mancini’s position may ultimately end up being strengthened by the events of a landmark evening.