The drama surrounding Manchester City never ceases. No sooner had City finally proved that they are capable of winning matches sans Carlos Tevez, the Argentine striker had handed in a transfer request.
Amidst the furore, a sensational personal display by Yaya Toure has been all but forgotten. Scorer of the first and unlucky not to be able to claim the second (the ball bouncing in off the helpless Robert Green’s head) Toure’s powerful, elegant surges from midfield provided City with constant attacking impetus from midfield. Adam Johnson too timed a trademark diagonal dart from the right wing perfectly to latch onto David Silva’s pass and float past Green in the West Ham goal, rendering James Tompkins’ late consolation meaningless. Thanks to a performance of devastating efficiency and no mean skill, City had moved level on points with Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.
The scriptwriters were not finished. Following the game rumours began to spread that the diminutive Argentine, suspended for the trip to the Boleyn Ground, had handed in a transfer request. By Saturday night City fans could soothe themselves to sleep with the notion that they were just rumours, nothing concrete. On Sunday their worst fears were concerned as Tevez released a personal statement confirming his desire to leave the club.
His logic for wanting to depart may come as a surprise for those who have followed Tevez’s situation with interest this season. Never has he seemed truly satisfied in Manchester, despite his wonderful performances in a blue shirt. Despite being given the captain’s armband, his relationship with manager Roberto Mancini has been strained and perhaps reached breaking point last weekend as he confronted his boss after being substituted against Bolton Wanderers. Surprisingly, he used the statement confirming his intention to leave City to reconcile with Mancini, saying he had “no personal issue” with him.
Adding to the problems are his wife and children living back in Buenos Aires, influencing his manager’s decision to grant his request to spend time recuperating from injury in Argentina in November. Furthermore, Tevez has criticised the materialism of young footballers in England, claiming he would rather punch some of his colleagues than listen to them. Tevez, quite clearly, is a disaffected man.
His resentment at life in England has been known by the club for some time. As such, Tevez is furious at certain representatives trying to manipulate his reasons for requesting a transfer to the media. Whilst the usual suspects around Europe will be linked – who else but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter could afford him? – the issue does not seem to be financial. In fact, a Boca Juniors fan since childhood, he has spoken at length about finishing his career early and in his homeland. His disquiet with life in England and football in general seems genuine. Motivated by matters of the heart rather than financial gain, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that a move back to Argentina is on the cards.