KT: The curious case of Carlos Tevez

ESPNSTAR.com's Kelvin Tan looks at Carlos Tevez's track record with Corinthians, West Ham, and two Manchester clubs, and wonders- what's wrong with him?

Tevez the jester...

The genius marketers at Eastlands, who famously put up that Deansgate billboard to mock Manchester United for letting Tevez defect to Manchester City that read:" Welcome to Manchester", will certainly be regretting that ill-fated decision, especially in light of the Argentine's latest antics that has left manager Roberto Mancini screaming for the Abu Dhabi United Group to freeze the striker out.

Imagine this.

It's a cauldron of excitement and tension as your side is fighting tooth and nail against one of football's most historied clubs, Bayern Munich, at the Allianz Arena, and your manager signals for you to come on, to take your place and make a difference, possibly between crashing out of the Champions League in the group stages, or staying in the competition, as well as adding to your legend as a footballer.

You decline, mumbling: "I don't feel right to play".

Unbelievable, isn't it? After all the star striker had done to push the Citizens into the Champions League last season, blasting 20 goals in 28 games, Tevez decides to ruin all that with a moment of petulance that now has him persona non grata at the Etihad Stadium, to the extent that the City hierarchy had to plead for extra security at Manchester airport upon their return from Munich, for fear that enraged fans would look to deal swift retribution to the Argentine.

It really leads one to wonder- what is wrong with Carlos Tevez?

Looking back at his chequered history, it certainly seems no surprise on hindsight how his City spell is panning out, with his complicated ownership having cast a long shadow throughout his footballing career.

Climbing from the slums of "Fort Apache" in Buenos Aires where he honed his skills on dirt roads, Tevez's "economic rights" were picked up by Kia Joorabchian, who although is not licenced as a football agent by FIFA, wielded tremendous influence on the future of the striker's future by nature of his third-party ownership of the player.

Tevez first came to the spotlight of world football after both him and Javier Mascherano were dramatically signed by West Ham in August 2006, and the striker won the hearts of Hammers fans after scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 victory at Manchester United that ensured their club avoided relegation.

The cheers were soon muted though, after West Ham were charged by the Premier League for breaching their rules in relation to the signings of Tevez and Mascherano, and fined £5.5 million. To make matters worse, the London club was then sued by Sheffield United, who blamed their relegation on Tevez's goals for the Hammers, and paid a hefty sum in an out-of-court settlement to the Blades.

By then, the Argentine was already onto his next big move orchestrated by Joorabchian, as he showed up in Manchester United in August 2007 on a two-year-loan.

Once again, his time with the Red Devils was marked by much love in the early stages of their relationship, as Tevez scored 39 goals in 99 appearances, and also hoisted both the Premier League, Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup trophies in his two seasons at Old Trafford.

However, the striker's tenure at United concluded abruptly when his management was unable to come to an agreement with the Red Devils about a permanent deal, and in a mercenary move, Tevez then left for Manchester City for a reported £47 million transfer fee, after complaining of a "lack of respect".

While the Blue end of Manchester was crowing about their acquisition of the player, it wasn't long before Tevez got up to his usual antics again in Jan 2010, starting a feud with former United team-mate Gary Neville, describing him as a "boot-licker" and an "idiot" on Argentine radio, after the Englishman had said that the striker was "not worth" the £25 million his representatives wanted from United previously.

But it wasn't only against his former club that Tevez lashed out at, as he began complaining about the training methods of City boss Roberto Mancini as early as April 2010, which lead to their first breakdown of relations. The Italian was infuriated enough to tell then-club captain to leave if he wasn't happy, but with the summer transfer window closing and no takers for the controversial Argentine, the striker was forced to make an embarrassing U-turn in Dec 2010, claiming he was "happy at City", despite missing his children.

It looked like Tevez had finally gotten his head right after that, as the star withdrew his transfer request from Manchester City, and became the second-fastest player in the club's history to reach 50 goals in 73 games, leading the Citizens to a historic FA Cup final victory against Stoke in May 2010 and third spot in the Premier League table, which gave his club an all-important automatic Champions League spot.

However, the peace was not to last, as the 27-year-old then demanded to leave City once more in the summer, which led to a £40 million offer from Brazilian side Corinthians, the club he had left for West Ham in 2006.

Unfortunately, with the many complications surrounding his ownership, Tevez's hopes to return to South America were dashed when the deal collapsed, and he was left in limbo by the Citizens, who left him out of their two pre-season friendlies in Asia.

His place in the City squad was then rocked further by the arrival of Sergio Aguero, as well as the form of Edin Dzeko, and it all came to a head on Tuesday night when Tevez decided that a player WAS bigger than a club, and deprived the Citizens of his much-needed firepower when so much was at stake against Bayern Munich.

Tevez's decision to stay off the pitch has already led to a chorus of condemnation from his fellow professionals in the game, with ex-Liverpool legend Graeme Souness saying to Sky Sports 2: "He (Tevez) is one bad apple".

"He can undo all the good work that has been done (at City). He's a disgrace to football. He epitomises what most people think is wrong with modern football.

"It is totally unacceptable. He's a football player and he is paid to play. He is refusing to help his team-mates. It's all about him, him, him", the Anfield legend slammed.

Former United legend Dwight Yorke had to agree, saying: "I don't condone what he's done, in terms of refusing to go on the pitch. No-one likes to see that".

"We don't know the ins and outs but they need to sort that out. You don't need that around the place. The manager has got some work to do and he alone can make those decisions."

Mancini himself has clearly decided his stand on the matter, saying after the game: "In the next day I'm sure I will speak with Khaldoon [al-Mubarak] because he is the chairman and he will decide everything but let me ask a question: Do you think at Bayern Munich a player would ever behave like this. At Milan? At Manchester United? No. That is the answer. It is the same for everyone."

Tevez, on the other hand, could have plenty of free time to ponder his mistakes, as the money-laden Manchester club certainly have the financial resources to be able to punish him severely.

Don't be too surprised if Sheikh Mansour decides to loan the wayward striker out to a club in the middle of the Arabian desert during the January transfer window!



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