Posts Tagged ‘ Carlos Tevez ’

Premier League Preview: Jose’s Blues Are The Boys To Beat


With the new Premier League season fast approaching, it’s hard to look beyond an old foe of many managers and fans alike from stealing the limelight once the season gets underway.

This summer’s transfer window and indeed all of the summer’s talk has been shaped around three men, Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Arsenal’s pursuit of the Uruguayan, Wayne Rooney and his transfer request and Spur’s Gareth Bale who is being courted by Real Madrid.

One team, with the exception of a handful of Rooney rumours, has slipped under the radar as they plan to wrestle back a title that they won back to back in 2005 and 2006, and they have Jose Mourinho back to steer them there. Continue reading

Five Potential Replacements For Luis Suarez

?????????At the end of May I posted an article on Irish News Review about Luis Suarez plotting his exit from Liverpool, but who knew that ten weeks later the Uruguayan would still be in the middle of one of the longest transfer sagas to date.

At the time of writing the previous piece I was already resigned to losing Suarez as were a lot of other Liverpool fans. At this stage I’d guess that a lot of those fans wish he had of just left then to save us all from the endless Twitter rumours and all this ‘he said, they said’ that’s been going on ever since. Continue reading

Is Van Persie Made Of Manchester United ‘Stuff’?

Recent transfer speculation has placed Arsenal star Robin Van Persie in the sights of several of Europe’s top clubs; Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus being chief among his potential suitors. It’s not exactly difficult to imagine why he would want to leave. After all, he boasts only two trophies from his days at Arsenal; an FA Cup medal from 2005 and one slightly less momentous Community Shield from 2004. Arsenal, whose financial model makes sense yet is so far removed from the outrageous wages and expenditure so favoured by world football and the Premier League and thus is failing, are looking more and more like a feeder club to those at the top, rather than one looking to seriously challenge for domestic and European honours.

This speculation has favoured Manchester United to capture the Dutch forward and one of the most recent revelations declares that Van Persie is seeking wages similar to those of Wayne Rooney, if he is to join the Red Devils. While United do have the financial clout to meet his demands, the questions is not can they, but should they.

The thing is, Rooney is 26 and van Persie has three years on him. And while the Dutchman may have a similar amount of playing time, due to several bouts of injuries, the fact remains that the clock is beginning to tick. 28, going on 29 may not be exactly old, but paying such a large transfer fee for an older player can be somewhat of a risk. Take Berbatov, for example, whose £30 million transfer to United from Spurs hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses. It all hinges on whether Van Persie is only getting going, or if this is his peak. There’s no denying that he is an extremely talented footballer. But there are still a number of things that go against him. His injury record, for example, which may or may not be a worry to the manager, who would doubtfully want another Owen Hargreaves. His record too is a little short. He has had really only one great season at Arsenal, though it has to be said, what a season it was. Talisman is a word used often and certainly not sparingly by the press, yet a talisman for Arsenal he was, joining the ranks of a handful of players who managed to score 30 goals in a solitary league season. But he’s only done it the once. Can he do it again? Or has he reached the peak, the summit of his skill and is it simply downhill from here? Nobody can really predict what’s going to happen. Who could have foreseen, for example, Fernando Torres’ remarkable slump into mediocrity?

Then of course there is the wage demand. Sir Alex seems to prefer the type of footballer who comes to Old Trafford seeking to play with and for the best, whose passion lies out on the pitch rather than with a pay cheque. With his rather exorbitant wage demands, Van Persie comes across like a footballing mercenary, (Samir Nasri springs to mind) looking for money rather than a club to be passionate about. Sure, footballers should be able to demand what they feel they are worth, though that opens up yet another can of worms regarding how much the profession is paid these days. United don’t need another like Tevez. Sure, mercenaries are part and parcel of our game, just like diving and whinging is, but United are one of those clubs, like Barcelona and a handful of others, who are able to attract a certain type of player which exhibits a quality possessed by the rarest of footballers – loyalty. Really, he should stay another year and prove himself worthy of the recognition he’s getting. Then again, if Arsenal have any sense, they’ll offload him now rather than have him see out his contract then leave at the end of next season on a free transfer.

United have plenty of talent up front, in the form of Rooney, Chicharito, Macheda, Welbeck, even the much maligned Dimitar Berbatov, who may or may not be on the way out this summer. Should van Persie join then he is just another name taking away valuable playing time from those younger potential stars who need regular games not just to ensure fitness, but one of the most important things a footballer can possess – confidence. Not to mention the small prospect of the financial aspect to this transfer. For wages alone, on a three-year deal, should United offer Van Persie the same £220,000 a week Rooney is on, it would cost the club a little over £34 million. That’s not even including the £30 million transfer fee Wenger is reportedly looking for. And of course the figure rises should the contract extend any further. £64 million is quite a huge investment in a player who will turn 29 by the time the Premier League starts again, who has had quite a number of injury concerns over his career and who has had only one really great season for Arsenal.

No, midfield is where they should concentrate on; a long-term replacement for Paul Scholes, and one or two other potentials besides. Lucas Moura or Modric would be nice names to feature on the United team sheet but there are many other young players like young Nick Powell out there, because big transfer fees and solid reputations don’t always ensure value on the pitch. So on the surface, a move for one of football’s hottest talents might be the right one but under that surface it doesn’t seem quite so attractive.

United & City – A Historical Rivalry

During the 2012 January transfer window, something rather unusual happened. Frederic Cantona Veseli, a young Swiss defender playing for Manchester City defected to Manchester United on the last day of the window.

Now, going on past history, this perhaps isn’t entirely unusual. Brian Kidd, a member of the United European Cup winning team crossed the divide indirectly after a two-year period spent at Arsenal in 1976. After coming through the youth system at United, and following several loan spells Terry Cooke moved across the city in March 1999. Renowned goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, a member of the team that won the treble in 1999, spent short periods at Sporting Lisbon and Aston Villa before his last active year was in the colours of Manchester City during the 2002-2003 season. And, more recently and perhaps more infamously, despite United offering the player the terms he was seeking, Carlos Tevez’s advisors informed Manchester United that he no longer wished to play for the club, and he signed for their city rivals on 14 July 2009. Such moves are always fraught with tension, over reaction and downright hatred, and often spill out when the two sides meet in some of the most highly anticipated derbies in world football.

Fast forward to April 2012. Tonight sees the crunch match of the season for the first and second placed Manchester clubs with a three point gap currently separating the duo. Should City triumph then the pendulum will really swing in their favour. The build-up is fierce with so much at stake, both managers admitting the huge ramifications of anything other than victory. Add this to the already less than cordial relations between United and City and fireworks are sure to go off at the Etihad stadium.

The rivalry between the two clubs is nothing new, and dates back to an era when the Reds were known as Newton Heath. Manchester United fans like to focus on their rival’s lack of success and trophies while City fans goad their neighbours, alleging they and most other United supporters don’t even live in the city of Manchester. Their first Football League derby came in the 1894-1895 season, when Newton Heath beat Manchester City 5-2 at Hyde Road. Relations were far more at ease then; when several City players were banned from playing for the club after some under the table payments in 1906, four joined the newly named Manchester United and were welcomed as helping out another Manchester club. Before the Second World War, many football supporters in the city would regularly watch United play one week, City the next.

Such behaviour changed radically in the years after the war, with a strong rivalry building up between the two clubs. Both teams were experiencing successes and failures as the relationship began to sour in the 60s. In May of 1963, both were in a battle to avoid relegation. City were a few minutes from a win which would ensure survival when former player Denis Law intercepted a back pass and was subsequently fouled by City keeper, Harry Dowd, in the box. The resultant penalty was duly converted by Albert Quixall, ensuring both a point and survival for United. City got their revenge several seasons later in 1968, a 3-1 victory at Old Trafford ensuring a title win, 2 points ahead of Manchester United.

The rivalry deepened during the 1970s. Manchester derbies during this decade were frequently bad-tempered affairs. In December 1970, George Best’s tackle broke the leg of Glyn Pardoe, the severe nature of the injury nearly led to a decision to amputate. The following season, a 3-3 draw was mired in accusations of diving by Francis Lee and George Best. During the first derby of the 1973-74 season, Mike Doyle and Lou Macari both received red cards. Both players refused to leave the pitch and the referee was forced to send both teams back to the dressing room until the players accepted their dismissal.

Perhaps the defining moment of the long-standing rivalry was what became known as the Denis Law game. The second last game of the season for United, they needed a win to avoid relegation. Denis Law, who had since returned to City, standing with his back to the goal, received a pass from Francis Lee, backheeling the ball past Alex Stepney into the net. In the dying moments of the game, United supporters invaded the pitch, forcing the game to be abandoned. However, the score still stood and United were relegated.

After City domination during the 1980’s, including a 5-1 demolition of their neighbours, United shined throughout the 90s, unbeaten in all derbies that decade. United won the first derby following the creation of the Premier League in 1992 by 2 goals to 1. The decade also saw one of the finest derbies ever played. In 1993/94, United were 2-0 down at Maine Road, overturning the deficit to win 3-2, Eric Cantona scoring twice. City began tumbling down to the third division by 1998/99 as their rivals won the treble. The rivalry was quietened for a while as derby days became few and far between.

The first meeting of the new millennium reignited and strengthened the passionate rivalry however. Prior to the game, Roy Keane and Alf-Inge Haaland  had a long-standing feud, dating back to the days when the latter was playing for Leeds United, another team with a long-standing rivalry with United. The dispute had begun in 1998, when Keane lay on the ground with cruciate ligament injury after being through on goal, Haaland accusing him of feigning injury. Late in the game of April 2001, Keane was sent off for a high tackle on the player. In his autobiography the next year, Keane admitted the challenge had been premeditated, and received a £150,000 fine and a five match ban. The rivalry continued over the decade; in November 2002 City won their first derby over United for thirteen years and the last in Maine Road, also winning the first in the City of Manchester Stadium. City went from strength to strength, winning both games in the 2007-08 season including a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford four days after the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster.

The seasons following City’s injection of funds, in 2008/09, have seen several well contested games as the Citizens have been trying desperately to move out of their neighbour’s shadow. Alex Ferguson has suggested the 4-3 victory over rivals City as one of the best in their history. City had equalised three times before Michael Owen stuck in a 95th minute winner. The two met again later that season in the Cup semi-finals, former United player Carlos Tevez scoring three goals over the two legs, United eventually prevailing thanks to a stoppage time Wayne Rooney header. Last season, the second derby will always be remembered for United’s comeback win of 2-1, and in particular, a spectacular overhead kick, again scored by Rooney. With regards to this season, perhaps the bragging rights are still in City’s court, having beaten United 6-1 in the first League derby of the season, despite United prevailing over their noisy neighbours in both the Community Shield and the third round of the FA Cup.

Perhaps new signing Veseli knows the history of the two clubs he has played for, and what he is letting himself in for, joining United from City. The rivalry between the Manchester two has gone from strength to strength and, with City’s cash injection propelling them forward once more a win on Monday night may be enough to fire them towards that first Premier League title. One thing is for sure – this story is far from over.

The Curious Case of Carlos Tevez

So the Carlos Tevez affair continues to rumble along nicely. Despite angling fiercely for a move away from his current club, such a development has not been forthcoming. Instead, and perhaps rather surprisingly, the past few weeks have seen a return to Manchester City for the wayward Argentinian striker. Manchester City have been relying on set pieces and luck over past weeks, for grabbing goals, winning by relatively small margins and perhaps Mancini’s reversal is, at least partly, a result of that. But first, a quick recap.

August 2006 – Sky Sports reports that Tevez is refusing to play for his club, Corinthians. At the end of August, it is confirmed that both he and Javier Mascherano have been signed for English club West Ham United. In November, he leaves the ground early after being substituted. Shortly after, he throws a tantrum during a league match with Sheffield United. He helps West Ham avoid relegation, scoring the only goal in the last game against Manchester United. Despite being under contract until 2010, Tevez seals a £20 million move to the Manchester club.

2007-2009 – Tevez becomes an important player for the Red Devils, scoring in each of their campaigns, including the first goal during the Champions League Final penalty shoot-out. In May 2009, Tevez voices his dissatisfaction at having not been offered a permanent contract, saying his Manchester career will finish that summer. Despite United agreeing to meet the fee of over £25 million, and a five-year contract which would have made him one of United’s highest paid players, his advisors inform Manchester United that he no longer wishes to play for the club.

July 2009 – Reports rule out a move to Liverpool for the wantaway striker, because of the implications for a Manchester United player moving to their bitter rivals. Despite this, Tevez signs a five-year contract with close rivals, Manchester City, becoming the first player to move between the two clubs since Terry Cooke in 1999. Once again, he becomes an important club player, breaking his own goal scoring records and receiving two club awards.

December 2010 – Four months after being made club captain, he hands in a transfer request, citing both family reasons and a breakdown in relations with certain club officials. A senior City official described his reasons as ‘ludicrous and nonsensical.’ Tevez swiftly withdraws the request following talks, this time reaffirming ‘absolute commitment to the club.’

September 2011 – Tevez refuses to come off the bench in a Champions League game against Bayern Munich. Tevez offers a weak excuse, calling it a misunderstanding while receiving widespread condemnation from commentators and pundits worldwide. Mancini suspends the player for two weeks while an investigation is carried out. Following discussions with the clubs owner, Sheikh Mansour, Tevez is placed on gardening leave, instructed to stay away from the training ground, despite retaining his salary.

Fast forward to February 2012, and the end of a month-long transfer saga amid reports claiming meetings between AC Milan and Joorabchian, seeking a loan move for Tevez during the January transfer window, with the possibility of a full-time deal, interest from French side, Paris St. Germain, and Inter Milan, followed this month by a return to the City fold. The question here is, why do Manchester City want to retake on the burden of such a player?

With Tevez, many things are clear. Firstly, there are concerns over Kia Joorabchian and Media Sports Investments, who, it would appear, have an agenda of a monetary nature and may be pulling a greay many strings behind the scenes. Joorabchian is not a licenced agent and describes himself as an advisor. Joorabchian and the funds he has variously been involved with have third-party player ownership at the heart of their business. This self-branded investment manager has left a trail of destruction as he went. Investment in South American team Corinthians involved high-profile transfers, investment and a League title then a  police investigation, frozen bank accounts and relegation only two years after their triumph. West Ham too have felt the sting of getting involved with Joorabchian and his enterprises – the transfers of Tevez and Javier Mascherano saw them eventually fined over £5 million, with a further £15 million in damages to Sheffield United. The issue with third-party ownership is the influence held over the player. While it has been outlawed in the Premier League and Ligue 1, it continues to be practiced elsewhere in Europe. Joorabchian himself has noted the possibility for player influence, the potential for bad behaviour. Secondly, Carlos Tevez is a person and player to whom loyalty is evidently a concept unknown. Tevez may kiss the club badge on his shirt, and proclaim the fans to be the best in the world, but when he gets sick of his club, no contract, fans or certainly any semblance of loyalty will hold him back from getting away. His behaviour at Corinthians and Manchester City has clearly shown this attitude. Thirdly, Tevez has a blatant disregard for rules. This has never been as clear as during his time playing for City. There is no need to go into the happenings pitch side during the game against Bayern Munich. Not to mention his repeated insistence on flying home to Argentina against his manager and his employers wishes.

So think to yourselves, any clubs who might seek to take on this troubled player. Is this player really worth the hassle, not to mention the €8 million loan cost and a further €18 million if you choose to buy him? Sure, he might score you some goals, and help you advance towards being, in AC Milan’s case for example, genuine contenders for Champions League glory. But ask yourselves this – how can you be certain he’ll be there at the end of the summer? Sure, he may sign a contract, but Carlos has wiggled his way out of more contracts than you’ve won Champions Leagues. And for City, who are seemingly welcoming him back…how can they trust a player who refused to play for them? You can’t really blame Mancini for recalling the wandering striker back into the fold. After all, he does have true talent, and any team he would play against would have a genuine reason to worry. But if he spends any time on the bench in the next few months, will he pout and moan or simply refuse to play once again? If the Argentinian makes it through the rest of this season without courting further controversy then it will surely be some form of miracle.

A rap on the knuckles for Mr. Tevez is not enough. If there was any justice in the world, Tevez would be stripped of any salary, and banned from playing football, for a minimum of five years. Perhaps then he would gain a sense of perspective. Highly unlikely, but worth a shot. Failing that, Manchester City should refuse to either loan or sell him off. Instead, they should play him the required 10% of matches, so he cannot break his contract under the Bosman ruling. Then, he should be left to rot until his contract expires in 2014.

It is getting to the stage, however, where the football world is sick to death of hearing about the ungrateful and undeserving footballer. If FIFA won’t step in, then we are begging you Tevez. Please go away. And don’t come back.

Premier League Results

Chelsea 2-0 Blackburn Rovers

Goals from Branoslav Ivanovic and Nicolas Anelka lifted Carlo Ancelotti`s side back into the Champions League places.

Man City 4-3 Wolves

Wolves battled valiantly at Eastlands but were undone by a Carlos Tevez strike. Nenad Milijas gave Wolves a shock lead early on when he prodded home from narrow range. A Kolo Toure goal and a Tevez strike either side of half time but Man City 2-1 up. Yaya Toure scored shortly after and Tevez added his second. Kevin Doyle kickstarted the fight back scoring from the penalty spot after he was brought down by former Wolves player Joleon Lescott. Mick McCarthy`s side further cranked up the pressure four minutes from time when Ronald Zubar scored but the equaliser was not forthcoming. This win was enough to lift City to the top of the table.   

Stoke 2-0 Bolton

A Danny Higginbotham goal and a penalty from Matthew Etherington ensured Bolton`s away day blues continued.

West Brom 3-2 Blackpool

An 87th minute goal by Peter Odemwingie ensured West Brom took the spoils in a pulsating match. A sublime chip from David Vaughan had given Blackpool an 11th minute lead before Odemwingie drew things level. James Morrison put the Baggies ahead in the second  half and when Gary Taylor Fletcher equalised for the Tangerines it seemed as if a draw would be the outcome. Odemwingie broke Tangerine hearts when he poked home his second strike of the day. 

West Ham 0-3 Arsenal

A double from Robin Van Persie, one of which was a penalty and a Theo Walcott strike ensured West Ham remain rooted to the foot of the table.

Wigan 1-1 Fulham

A late Andy Johnson goal secured a point for Mark Hughes` men ,cancelling out Hugo Rodallega`s goal.