The chants of ‘Fergie sign him up’ were a regular enough occurrence towards the end of last season as United fans urged their manager to secure Carlos Tevez on a permanent basis. It is unclear what exactly happened after that, with both sides claiming a deal broke down because of the other. The upshot is that Tevez joined United’s rival Manchester City in a deal that could be worth as much as £47 million. An exorbitant sum perhaps, but when money is no object, numbers start to lose their meaning. But whilst the money is irrelevant, the expectations of Tevez were substantial and he has been something of a disappointment since his switch to Eastlands.
At City’s great rivals Tevez was a cult hero, his work rate was phenomenal and he complemented his hard wok with some fine strikes as well as a number of hugely important goals. He scored in key league games in both his years at the club to secure titles as well as important goals in the Champions League, notably against Lyon. His knack for hitting the back of the net when it really mattered earned the Argentine many fans in the red half of Manchester. Many were disappointed when Fergie deemed Tevez to not be worth the sums being asked for, but it appears that as is often the case, the wily, old Scot was bang on the money.
Tevez does not seem the same player he was at United; he was a consummate professional (until that goal celebration), but at City he seems to be more prone to distractions, his musical talents are getting more media coverage, and there was even some suggestion that he could retire after the World Cup as he feels saturated by football. On the pitch, his season has been disrupted by minor injuries and there is no semblance of a partnership between he and Adebayor as of yet. They play as two individuals, with little thought as to what the other is doing. The Argentine forward was never a prolific goalscorer at United, he managed 34 in 99 appearances; not terrible but not brilliant, and certainly justification for Fergie’s snub. For Manchester City there are far less important games than for United so the opportunities to score the important goals he is famed for are more limited.
Tevez’s game is not all about goals, he is known more for his endeavour and work-rate; but even this has not been quite up to scratch compared to his performances for United. A cynic would say that Tevez was playing for a contract but at City he has the luxury of a five-year deal and so is feeling overly comfortable with his position. City fans will be hoping that his recent performance in the Carling Cup is a sign of things to come; he has only 2 league goals for City and this is frankly an unacceptable total. More will be expected from him when Adebayor disappears for the African Cup of Nations and though he may feel he has nothing to prove; Tevez has not lived up to his billing as of yet.