Carlos Tevez Refuses To Play, Manchester City Starting To Crack

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In 15 years of obsession with nearly every code of sport in the world, I have never seen a player act so disgracefully, disrespectfully and arrogantly during a game than Carlos Tevez did in Munich against Bayern last night.

Harry Redknapp described it as “It’s not fair, not right for Man City, not right for football”.

There have been some shocking moments in sport over the duration of my lifetime and many before it, but for a former captain, a truly world class player and an individual that is earning 250,000 pounds per week to play for one of football’s best clubs to refuse to play in football’s greatest and most prestigious club competition is just unfathomable.

Tevez was praised to the heavens by everyone, including me, for his will to win and carry Manchester City last season. He scored something like 58% of the entire team’s goals, captained the club to their first Champions League appearance and successfully infiltrated the top 4 after years of hopeful spending.

Shockingly he announced over the summer that he was unhappy in Manchester, a city he had lived in for several years given his successful stint at City’s rivals, United, and that he was requesting a trade. Brazilian club Corinthians made a successful bid for the City captain, but ran out of time in negotiating the deal and pulled out, much to the dismay of Tevez.

He started the season below players such as Dzeko and record signing Aguero. This clearly upset Tevez as he has been seen sulking on the substitutes bench many times, caressing this ego that is a requirement for superstardom in sports nowadays.

Manchester City headed to Germany to take on the formidable Bayern Munich and were purely outclassed. Mario Gomez’s first half brace was all that was needed for the mighty Germans to topple England’s newest threat to world domination and do it comfortably.

The one question mark that remains over Manchester City is their ability to defend and to defend for prolonged periods of time. Whilst Vincent Kompany truly has evolved into one of the finest defenders in Europe it takes a lot more than one man to defend a goal and the supporting cast of defenders around him is severely below par for a contending team.

Joleon Lescott is rubbish. City paid I believe somewhere close to 25 million pounds to Everton to secure his services, a fee that equals the Andy Carroll transfer in my mind. He is error prone, mentally weak, lazy and really does not understand the concept of defending. Other than those two City have very little depth in the centre half position. They have loaned out promising youngster Boyata to Bolton, Kolo Toure is still suspended for drugs and all that is left are a bunch of unknown young players Mancini is looking to groom into starters. Add to that the mess at left back with Gael Clichy, who is the most overrated fullback in the game, and Kolarov who is more famous for knocking out a referee with a volley than actually being a good footballer.

Their defending may lead to their downfall.

Carlos Tevez reacted to the incredible criticism of him today provided by some of the game’s most respected former players and managers in the only way you would expect from a person like him. Deny, deny, deny.

"“There was some confusion on the bench and I believe my position may have been misunderstood.I would like to apologise to all Manchester City fans, with whom I have always had a strong relationship, for any misunderstanding that occurred in Munich.They understand that when I am on the pitch I have always given my best for the club. In Munich on Tuesday I had warmed up and was ready to play.This is not the right time to get into specific details as to why this did not happen. But I wish to state that I never refused to play.Going forward I am ready to play when required and to fulfil my obligations.”"

Not only does no one believe a word he says and haven’t for months (people at West Ham, Manchester United have been onto him for years), there is clear video footage of Tevez refusing to obey orders and Mancini reacting angrily as a result. In Mancini’s post match interview he was clearly incensed, to the point when asked if he would like Tevez to remain at the club he quickly replied “No. no, no”.

Whatever leverage Tevez had at the club is well and truly gone and I would be very surprised if he was even featured on the Manchester City bench again. I would be even more surprised if he ever stepped out onto the pitch again. He will at the least be loaned out in January and City will look to rid themselves of any association with their former captain.

The loss away to Bayern Munich, partnered with the incredible disgrace that was the Tevez situation, may prove to be deadly to Manchester City’s early title aspirations. Up until now it has been a two team race and a two team race only. Sure Chelsea are there a bouts, but have been anything but convincing.

Manchester City wanted to become a part of England’s Top 4 and become a true footballing superpower. They would not have anticipated it being like this. Team’s like Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool have spent decades attempting to grapple the strains and responsibilities of being such a big club and applying their trade sometimes 2 times a week for months on end at the very highest level. Not only do they fight their opposition, there are always internal wars that are ongoing and test the true resolve of a club. Manchester City are now beginning to understand what it is like to be at the top.

There have not been many instances of this level of indecency and no club, manager or fan base deserves it. There is no one man bigger than a club like Manchester City, but they will have to show they are made of more than money and overcome this the only way possible, winning.