Negative rumours may work to Man City’s advantage

Carlos Tevez does little to dispel drama. With the backdrop of a crucial run-in that could see Manchester City finish fourth, the timing of Tevez’s comments is questionable at best. Mancini has himself not quelled the disquiet emanating from the City of Manchester Stadium by admitting that if any of his players are unhappy then they are free to find the exit door.

Less than a fortnight ago in an interview with the Mail Online Tevez spoke of respect in football; respect for former employers, respect for the fans, and respect for the shirt he is wearing on a weekly basis:

“[when asked about the ‘Welcome to Manchester’ poster emblazoned in the City] I’m indifferent towards it. But it is important you know I had nothing to do with the poster. I’d have preferred for it not to have been there. I have respect for all the clubs I used to play for. That was not showing respect, was it?”

Humble when speaking yet outspoken when performing – the cupped hands to his ears whilst celebrating last season, directed firmly at Sir Alex Ferguson, comes to mind. In the same interview no less Tevez goes on to speak out against Mark Hughes’ sacking (which I, and most football fans would agree, was a sad departure for the League) and neutrally discusses Mancini’s influence on him:

“[Mancini has] not improved me as a player…I have played at the same level since I overcame my injury.”

Curt. Unsurprisingly the objection to double training sessions, coupled with the above comments, has caused a petite maelstrom over at Eastlands. In fairness to Tevez he did not explicitly mention unhappiness or disillusionment at Manchester City. However the Argentine should exhibit better judgment at such a pivotal juncture in his team’s campaign. The media speculation thus prompted Mancini to reiterate his position of power:

“If a top player is not happy to stay, it’s better to go to another team…this is not just the case for Tévez but for all players. This is the same for Tévez, for Manu [Emmanuel Adebayor], for me, for all.”

It is interesting to note the inclusion of himself in the list. It is perhaps indicative of the precarious situation any manager will find themselves in if success is not achieved in the blue side of Manchester. Success, for this season at least, being a top four finish in the League. It may not be much of a surprise if Mancini finds himself unemployed come the summer when considering the ruthless dismissal of Mark Hughes after only 17 months.

To be honest, much like Andrei Arshavin’s latest comments regarding Barcelona, the media has managed to alter and imbibe Tevez’s actual words into a series of unsettling rumours until Mancini was forced to take action. Inaction would have perhaps undermined Mancini’s position so the Italian’s hand was slightly forced by the persistent rumours. The content of Tevez’s comments aside, his proclivity to attract drama may worry the Manchester City fans because he has been their best player this season by netting 28 goals in all competitions. The back end of last season saw Tevez performing at a high level for Manchester United amid the uncertainty of his future. Manchester City may perversely benefit from these rumours if it further propels Tevez into playing at a higher level because, you feel, he is a character who enjoys such moments.

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Interview with Carlos Tevez