As City manager Roberto Mancini plotted his side’s attempt to reverse their fortunes in the second-half, extraordinary scenes on the City bench saw Tevez reportedly refuse to play as a substitute. While the player has since issued a statement denying this was the case, the City hierarchy would appear to be backing Mancini, with Tevez suspended from the club for two weeks pending an internal investigation. With the manager looking to his alternative options in attack in the absence of Tevez, the manager will arguably feel far more comfortable given the recent performances of his vast attacking arsenal.
With 20 Premier League goals last season – a third of City’s league total – the club’s imposed exile of Tevez would have been seemingly unthinkable a year ago. However, with January recruit Edin Dzeko and summer signing Sergio Aguero finding their goalscoring form early in the season, Tevez has found himself on the fringes of the City side. Having seemingly been set to leave the club in the summer, to move closer to his family, the signing of Aguero from Atletico Madrid appeared to show City preparing for life without Aguero’s compatriot. However, with the club failing to agree terms on a transfer, Tevez found himself competing with a selection of forwards offering a prolific eye to goal, something almost exclusive to Tevez among the City ranks in recent seasons.
Stripped of the captaincy ahead of his anticipated departure, with defender Vincent Kompany appointed City skipper, City have continued to prove that the club can cope without Tevez. A marquee signing in 2009, Tevez quickly became a senior figure in the City squad, with 29 goals in all competitions in his first season at the club. Although a player of undoubted talent and experience, with Dzeko, Aguero and Mario Balotelli all available in attack as part of a squad boasting the European experience of the likes of Yaya Toure and David Silva, the Argentine would no longer appear to be the indispensible figure of recent years.
As the City board look to find the best solution going forward, Mancini has made his stance clear, adamant that Tevez has no future at the club. While any departure would have to be carefully considered from both a sporting and business perspective, what is clear is that City have found themselves in the early running for the Premier League title race, largely in the absence of Tevez. As the club look to build on the progress made on and off the field in recent years, the wealth of talent available to Mancini could well see City move to new heights, without the presence of Carlos Tevez.