Carlos Tevez, it’s fair to say, has made a name for himself in English football. Amid controversy surrounding his deadline day signing at West Ham, he went on to score some of his most important goals to date, scoring 7 times and keeping West Ham up…just. Universally loved by their fans, Tevez’s flair and all round talent was a joy to behold, and a welcome addition to the Premier League.
The transfer was shrouded in mystery and apparent deceit, which resulted in a large fine by the Premier League, but this did not deter Tevez, who after securing the Hammers top flight football for another season by scoring a last minute winner against Manchester United in the final game of the season, then decided he wanted to leave. As with the original transfer to West Ham, his agent Kia Joorabchian, and the actual ownership of Tevez was brought into question, but the result was that Tevez moved to Manchester United, the biggest team in the country. The West Ham fans, during his short stint at the club, had fallen in love with him. His game had energised the squad, his goals had kept them up, and his boisterous attitude was adorable.
Unfortunately, his transfer was once again in the midst of controversy, with West Ham contesting the amount of the fee they would receive, and the crafty Joorabchian handing West Ham a court order that forced them to allow United to discuss talks with their player. At United, whilst his goal record was not particularly outstanding, scoring approximately one in three, his goals were important, Fergie was raving about his importance, and the rest of the team appeared to believe that his partnership with Rooney was the one that was going to win them the titles. His name was sung from the stands, and during the match against West Ham, his name was actually sung by both sets of fans, but once again, behind the scenes all was not well. As Manchester United began to enter contract negotiations with Tevez, which rumours suggested would result in Tevez being one of the highest earners at the club, the press started reporting that no longer wanted to play for Manchester United, and this was followed up with a message from Tevez’s advisors, who echoed the message in the press. Without warning, Tevez had crossed the city, to sign for United’s ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City.
It was at City perhaps most, where Tevez’s impact as a goalscorer was seen most clearly at the Premier League, averaging more than one every two games at present. Spear heading the team, Tevez was one of the leaders of the new-look free spending City, and amongst a huge number of co-strikers, Tevez continued to perform to an unbelievably high standard, and the goals continued to flow. It was however at City, where perhaps the most controversial moment of his career in England occurred. Losing to Bayern Munich away in the Champions League, it appeared that Tevez refused to come on to the pitch, leading to public outcry, calls for his head, and eventually Mancini saying he no longer wanted Tevez playing for the club. Once again, his outstanding performances, his hard work and his general raport with fans, had been ruined by off-the-pitch incidents. This was the last of a number of high profile stories surrounding Tevez whilst he was at City, including suggestions that he was homesick and wanted to return to Argentina.
Now the transfer window has arrived, it seems almost certain that Tevez will move on. His career, particularly of late begs the question who is going to sign him? There is no doubt that he is a world class striker, he has proved that on many levels. But the mysterious relationship with Kia Joorabchian, the questions surrounding the ownership of the player, and more importantly his attitude off the pitch lead to the conclusion that perhaps he is not worth it. In a world where players like Mario Balotelli are making the headlines for visiting a primary school for the toilet, are the more outrageous characters becoming more accepted in the game? Is it a question of how you approach your attitude that either makes you a brat or a loveable idiot?
Wherever he ends up, you can put a fair amount of money on the fact that Tevez will perform well and score goals. But at the same time, if he arrived at my club, there would always be that niggle in the back of my mind waiting for a court hearing, a Joorabchian story, or a petulant turn from one of the best strikers in the world.
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