Man City Club Focus – Carlos Tevez ostracised from troops as record-breaking punishment looms

Carlos Tevez found himself training with nobody but Manchester City’s fitness coach for company as his manager Roberto Mancini completely ostracised him from first-team affairs upon returning from his club-imposed two-week suspension. Club investigations into the events on the touchline at the Allianz Arena have decreed that sufficient evidence has been presented to the club by backroom staff which proves that the Argentine forward refused to be substituted on as City slumped to a 2-0 Champions League defeat to German giants Bayern Munich. With further meetings between the player and club planned, at this juncture it seems that, let alone allow the former Manchester United man to play for the club again, the Italian cannot bear to face him again.

Within hours of flying into London, Tevez and his representatives were engaged in a meeting with the club’s hierarchy. Here, his agent Kia Joorabchian reiterated the version of events already relayed to the media: that his client is at the centre of a stream of comedic misunderstandings which make Larry David’s hapless interactions in Curb Your Enthusiasm look positively normal. They persisted with the argument that Tevez was caught up in a pitch-side row between the substituted Edin Dzeko and the team’s backroom staff. As with all good comedies of misunderstanding, further complications were added to an already fraught situation, they maintain, by the Tevez’s interpreter failing to adequately convey the meaning of both questions and responses as the player gave his now infamous post-match interview to Sky Sports. The meeting concluded with the player demanding that the accusations against him be immediately withdrawn.

Mancini, clearly infuriated, has scotched the case for defence. As too have City’s boardroom. The problem with the defence is that City’s boardroom has found no evidence from City’s backroom staff which supports Tevez’s argument. As reported in the Independent, the initial investigation concluded that: “There is a case for Carlos Tevez to answer, of alleged breaches of contract.” As such, Tevez faces a record-breaking six-week suspension with the club without pay – a fine which is estimated to potentially cost the player £1.5 million in earnings.

As his on-pitch performances for City have at least attested, Tevez is nothing if not pugnacious. In the face of record-breaking fines and suspensions – not to mention contrary to all apparent evidence – he will continue to fight to clear his name. Further discussions are scheduled early next week, to be headed either by football administrator Brian Marwood or acting chief executive John MacBeath.

On the face of it, consensus suggests that the punishment is commensurate with the crime. However, this does not factor in the aggravation the pursuit of justice may have on a season which has hitherto promised to turn into a pursuit of the Premier League title. Just as Tevez’s continued presence around the club threatens to poison the dressing room, so too the ongoing judiciary procedure between club and player threatens to cast a dark cloud over an otherwise optimistic start to the season.

Whatever the outcome, all of Mancini’s experience will be needed to ensure the maladjusted Argentine’s influence does not insidiously spread throughout the club. Whilst the punishment may be record-breaking, City are in a precarious position. The Tevez saga must not become a distraction which derails a season otherwise rich in promise.

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