Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The continual character assassination of Carlos Tevez is pointless: Time to move on for United fans.

Why is it that many football fans become all bitter and twisted when a star play leaves your club? For the uninitiated casual observer sitting on the sidelines, it might be a fair question to ask,  because in just about every other walk of life, we tend to remember the good times and we try not to dwell on events that we'd rather forget. Part of the problem is that accepted normal behaviour goes completely out of the window when it comes to football - the game that was famously described by Desmond Morris as 'tribal' - which it is surely is.

A case in point is Carlos Tevez, who left Manchester United to join neighbours City, in what was a very controversial transfer. It goes without saying that joining a local rival like City would upset many a die-hard Red, for every obvious reasons. When a player joins one of your biggest rivals as Tevez did when joining City - you are crossing the big city divide and in so doing, you can expect the flak that comes with it.

But, it was by no means the first time a player has left United to join City. The list of former Reds' who've pulled on the blue shirt includes: Denis Law, Brian Kidd and Sammy McIlroy; of those three only Law joined directly after leaving United and that was after he'd made 309 appearances and scored 171 goals.

As far as Tevez is concerned, it was an entirely different scenario because unlike the aforementioned legendary trio, the Argentine was still at the very top of his game when he quit to join bitter rivals City, and what's more there was an offer on the table to stay at United, which Tevez and his camp turned down.

Even though United made it clear that there was an offer stay, Fergie then went out of his way to very publicly state that Tevez was little more than a trier and that he wasn't worth his reported valuation.  In fairness, United had their collective noses well and truly rubbed in it by City who upped the ante when ill advisedly stoking the raging fire unnecessarily with that now infamous giant "Welcome to Manchester" billboard - a cheap publicity stunt that has subsequently backfired spectacularly following Tevez's refusal to play against Bayern Munich.

Nonetheless, in making those comments about Tevez, Ferguson had made himself look a bit foolish - because in essence he was admitting he was willing to pay top money to retain a player who he later deemed not worth it.. Then United manager also made the big mistake of stooping to the same sorry levels as City.

United fans need to remember that the club had broken several promises to make the Tevez transfer permanent, and when that opportunity came along again in the summer of 2008, instead the money was used to sign Berbatov. Twelve months later, Tevez left to join City - had the player's patience finally run out with United? The answer to that question is open to debate, but it's a fair question to ask.

Everyone knows that City made Tevez and his camp a better offer, that is a given and no one will question that point. We also know that Tevez knew exactly what he would be letting himself in for, after all, the rivalry and bitterness that exists between City and United is by no means unique.  In the eyes of many Reds' - Tevez was and still is FAIR GAME.

Back in the 70s Manchester United legend George Best was uniquely adored both women and men, but following his reported refusal to turn-out for City against Bayern in the Champions League, in what was a tragic and self-inflicted fall from grace, the Argentine is now seemingly uniquely despised by followers of both Manchester clubs and that takes some doing, it has to be said.

While many United fans will concur that getting rid has turned out to be good business and we can all laugh at the events at City, we should not forget that until this latest sorry episode, Tevez has been nothing but a consummate professional while on the field of play. Whether he was playing for West Ham, United or City, Tevez has always given 100% and his goals last season made Fergie's comments look foolish.

City have given us United fans plenty to laugh at down the years, their crass behaviour continues to amuse, but let's just forget about Tevez and move on.


  1. Thank you for this excellent post. I was lampooned in the comments section at a different blog after I posed the question wondering why we cared about Owen Hargreaves playing for city at all? I don't understand all this wasted energy on players that don't wear the United shirt. Granted, Tevez is a ridiculous personality, and I don't miss him, but as you rightly say, he is a fine player, and you can't argue with what he did for United while he was here. But I get even more aggravated when hearing things about Hargreaves, who essentially wanted to play for United for free, and would have been hoping to play for Leicester City had Man City not offered him a spot. After pointing out how this was a ridiculous thing to get upset and/or worry about, I was lambasted, and someone asked me if someone spoke ill of my sister would I be just as cavalier towards the situation? Of course, I love my sister more than I love United's medical team so I can still forgive Hargreaves and move on.

    I fail to see the point of constantly feeling slighted by players in the club's past when the good far outweighs the bad, and the future is looking very exciting.

  2. RV,

    Thanks for the kind words. Regarding Tevez, like I posted, it is time to move on.

    The Hargreaves situation is different. United basically gave up on the player, this after he'd offered to effectively play for free. My thinking was 'good luck to him' wherever he ends up. No one expected that club to be City, but nonetheless, we could have retained him and yet United chose not to. Good luck to him, we need to just pray that it doesn't bite us on the ass...

  3. Ref the abusive City fan who posted that Denis Law went to Torino in between playing for United and City: You are wrong. Law had two spells with City, the first in 1960. He signed for United AFTER playing in Italy for a year and then after 309 games for the Reds he signed for City again.


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