"Mancini the winner in Tevez saga"

No matter how the Carlos Tevez saga eventually unfolds, Manchester City legend Dennis Tueart believes the real winner will be manager Roberto Mancini.

Carlos Tevez; Roberto Mancini

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is among those who feel Mancini has not been given enough praise for the manner in which he has guided the Blues through some sticky situations since replacing Mark Hughes almost two years ago.

And Tueart, a former City player and director, feels Mancini has followed the example of Ferguson himself in handling the dressing room egos at City while steering them to the top of the Barclays Premier League.

"Sir Alex Ferguson is the past master at handling egos," Tueart said. "(Eric) Cantona, (Cristiano) Ronaldo and (Wayne) Rooney....Handling people like that is a skill.

"Roberto Mancini spent 18 years at the top level as a player for club and country. He then spent four years at the most politically soccer sensitive club in the world, Inter Milan, and delivered them seven trophies.

"That shows he accepts responsibility and is used to dealing with egos. He has one himself, which is not a bad thing.

"This was always going to be his challenge and he has come through it."

After all the claims and counter claims of recent days, it seems minds are now concentrated on finding a resolution to the present impasse over Tevez's return to Manchester.

Talks have taken place in an attempt to broker a deal and, while it is clear there is going to be no hand of friendship extended to Tevez from City, both sides are aware how sensitive the present position is, and how beneficial it would be for the Argentinian to return to the Blues' Carrington training base.

Suggestions that Tevez is suffering from depression have been dismissed, so efforts can continue without that thought clouding the issue.

It does seem unlikely Tevez will play for City again given the damage done by his unscheduled exit to Argentina, which even PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor condemned.

However, Tueart feels Mancini was only able to stand strong in the first place thanks to the support of owner Sheikh Mansour.

"With the Tevez situation, having the full support of the owners was critical," he said. "Everyone knows football is a team game and they will not be dictated to by one player."

The whole Tevez saga has gone way beyond his importance to Mancini's team.

However, the mere fact City's boss felt he could do without last season's Golden Boot winner was based around the consistent performances of his remaining strikers.

Sergio Aguero has enjoyed an outstanding start to life in England, Edin Dzeko's sparkling form has been in stark contrast to his stuttering efforts following a January arrival from Wolfsburg and - one remarkable firework incident apart - Mario Balotelli has approached his work with a refreshing maturity.

All arrived at huge cost, merely emphasising the difference between City now and the club Tueart was a director of before his dismissal by Thaksin Shinawatra in 2007.

"Manchester City have lagged behind for the last 35 years," Tueart added. "We nearly made it with Kevin Keegan but we didn't have the investment.

"We were treading water near the end. Everything else was in place but we couldn't invest in the top end. We were buying bits-and-pieces players.

"Obviously, how long this present situation goes on for depends upon the owners sustaining their investment.

"The thing is, we have been buying young players. They will be there for three or four years, so we shouldn't have to buy an awful lot unless he wants to replace Tevez, if he goes.

"They have thrown money at it to get to a certain level, which is similar to how Roman Abramovich started at Chelsea.

"We can go further than them, but the second phase will be challenging Manchester United off the field. That will take a long time because we are not global yet. Our turnover is just over £100million, theirs is £300million.

"It will take time but that has to be the aim."



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