Shearer: Tevez to blame if City fail

Barclays Premier League legend Alan Shearer believes Carlos Tevez should be blamed if Manchester City lose the title to Manchester United this season.

Football News: Carlos Tevez.

City were considered strong favourites to win their first ever Premiership trophy at the start and as the season progressed, found themselves leading the table for much of the campaign.

However, more recently City's title bid has begun to falter as the goals dried up and games became harder to win.

Tevez, who led City to FA Cup glory last season, was expected to provide a steady flow of goals for Roberto Mancini's side but he hasn't played for the club since September when he angered the Italian by refusing to warm up during a Champions League game at Bayern Munich.

Mancini has since accepted an apology from Tevez and has indicated that he could feature in Wednesday's clash with Chelsea but his absence from the team has been costly. Following Manchester United's 5-0 win over Wolves on Sunday, City are now four points behind the champions ahead of a tough looking encounter with Chelsea.

"If Manchester City do in the end succumb to their nearest rivals in the race for the title I believe we can lay the blame firmly at one man's door - Carlos Tevez," Shearer wrote in his column for the Sun.

"What a disgrace he has been.

"This coming Wednesday he could well be on the bench for City against Chelsea having turned his back on the club and been on strike for most of the season.

"Should City struggle to score against a Chelsea side rejuvenated by their midweek triumph over Napoli then the ground will start to rumble.

"Those who never wanted him back might stand firm, others may start to chant his name, season-ticket holders who have sat side-by-side could argue what is right and what is wrong.

"Some will boo, some will cheer. Exactly the sort of atmosphere the club do not want at a time when everyone needs to be pulling together.

"And what will his team-mates be thinking? While they have been working away to keep City's title dream alive he has been sat on his backside in Argentina or playing golf.

"What will Edin Dzeko or Mario Balotelli or Sergio Aguero think if he comes on for one of them or even gets on the team-sheet instead of one of them?"

Shearer added that he does not believe Tevez's presence will not affect the atmosphere at City despite the public assurances several players have given.

"City wanted him there all season to help the cause - to build on that FA Cup he happily picked up last season and get the really big piece of silverware," Shearer wrote in the Sun.

"But no, for the whole campaign, and indeed before that, he has created a controversial sideshow that Roberto Mancini could really have done without.

"Despite City making their most emphatic title tilt in over 40 years the Tevez question has been literally nagging away at the manager all season.

"This is a player who was given everything when the doors of City's stadium were swung open to him after it became clear that Manchester United did not value him quite as highly as he did himself.

"The fans could easily have turned on a former Red who was struggling to even get into Sir Alex Ferguson's team at the end of his final season at Old Trafford.

"But no, they welcomed him with open arms and even put up a cheeky poster in his honour with words reading 'Welcome to Manchester'.

"Even when he tried to leave the club before and had publicly shown dissent in front of the manager, the fans stuck with him.

"Then he goes on strike after refusing to continue warming up, which to me is tantamount to refusing to come on no matter what any inquiry tells you."

City welcome Chelsea to the Etihad Stadium for their Premier League fixture this Wednesday.

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