We all know that it has been non-stop controversy since Carlos Tevez arrived on our shores in August 2006, whether it is third party ownership, contract disputes or just refusing to take part, Monday night’s possible title deciding Manchester derby could well be added to that list.
It may well have been overhyped by the media, especially Sky Sports, but it does appear that whoever wins at the Etihad Stadium will be in the driving seat for this year’s Premier League title as it is weirdly in both clubs’ hands with just a few games remaining.
But one outcome that I can see or dream about is the last minute Carlos Tevez winner. Off the field, the Argentinean has been nothing but trouble, but on it, there are few better at what he does. In tandem with Sergio Aguero, the South American strike-force has impressed since Tevez’s return from his golfing holiday, clawing back their nearest and dearest from down the road to set up Monday’s game as a winner takes it all, something that didn’t look possible a few weeks back.
I was at Old Trafford when Tevez scored against Manchester United for West Ham to keep them in the Premier League on the final day of the season many moons ago, so he certainly has a taste for this occasion and I can genuinely see the outcome being along those lines.
With Mario Balotelli’s desperately disappointing season perhaps over and Edin Dzeko leaving his shooting boots back in 2011, the all-Argentine forward line could run rings around Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand given the opportunity, something that I am sure Sir Alex is worried about.
Tevez scored 34 goals in 99 appearances for Manchester United during a two year spell at Old Trafford, but despite cries of ‘Fergie, Fergie, sign him up’ coming from the Stretford End, Sir Alex wasn’t convinced. Tevez was reportedly offered a contract by United, only opting to pull out of negotiations and move to Man City instead with plenty happening behind the scenes that I am sure we don’t know about.
The ‘cupped eared’ celebration (above) was clearly aimed at Sir Alex repeatedly and there was clearly some bad feeling between the two parties which I am sure has not yet fully passed. While Sir Alex has more important things to worry about than his personal feelings towards Tevez, I wouldn’t be surprised if it topped the Argentine’s list going into the game with a goal being his main importance rather than a team victory.
I am desperately hoping that Roberto Mancini does start with Aguero and Tevez up front to really have a go at United, with a win being a must for the hosts. There won’t be another massively high scoring game like at Old Trafford this season; in my opinion; and one goal either way could be the decider. That one goal, a Manchester City winner from their number 32’s right boot is my bet!
I am also going to be interested in Gary Neville’s thoughts on a player that called him a ‘boot licker’ just a few years ago after being team mates at United, while the former Red Devils skipper is working on the Monday Night Football on Sky – you may have seen it advertised? Whether he is just analysing the game or if he is in his co-commentary position, that in fairness he has adapted to well after his orgasmic shouts in the Nou Camp on Tuesday night.
Either way, it is going to be a great game of football, one for the neutrals, with everyone at home siding with one half of Manchester or the other to perhaps put an end to this season’s title race.
Any thoughts on Carlos Tevez’s impact on Monday night’s game? Let me know on Twitter: @Brad_Pinard