The City Number 32’s in depth chat with Das Daily Mail will see unease, confusion, delight, despair and surprise register from Upton Park to the City boardroom today…
The arrival of Roberto Mancini at Manchester City appears to have coincided with a little less talking from senior players and when they do, they tend to be increasingly ‘on message’ and talking of the team’s prospects rather than themselves which was nearly always the case up until last Christmas.
But some of Tévez’s quotes in The Mail exclusive today are sure to lend cause for concern in City’s boardroom, not that it wasn’t the case already.
Rio Ferdinand, the increasingly lumbering 31 year rag centre half has gone on record in the Yellow and Green fans favourite Inside United club magazine as saying that Tévez was something of a lazyarse in training when playing for the AIG:
‘He didn’t really go over the top at training.’ droaned the England dfensive speedster.
Tévez, with extraordinary timing publication wise, appears to concur Ferdinand’s view by publicly bemoaning Mancio’s intensive training methods:
‘The players are not happy with this. We are at the end of a long season, we have big matches, we are tired but there are still double training sessions, morning and afternoon. Then, the next day, we train for two hours. I do not understand. But, please, he is the coach and I am the player. He is in charge. I am OK with him.’
Whether or not Mancio will be ‘ok’ with that comment is another matter. Evidence suggests that the longer the season wears on, that training is paying off. Surely though, players should keep those sentiments within the confines of the club itself??
Now depending upon which way you look at it, some might say that El Apache can say what he wants having become City’s most prolific goal scorer in decades.
But by the same token there’s a school of thought that this correspondent falls into which doesn’t like to see top flight, stratospherically paid footballers hanging out their dirty washing in public, even though it’s become part and parcel of the modern game. Some of the almost weekly nonsense Robinho came out with was toe curling.
Of course, Blues have got used to the most dispiriting sight of any whiff of negativity around SportCity being leapt upon by the Wapping hacks and the Mail interview will be poured over all week.
Alledgedly, City’s hierarchy had moved to ask Tévez to say nothing in response to Ferdinand’s dreary training comments, but they are sure to be embarrassed by Tévez already having gone to the media and in doing so revealing that the infamous ‘Welcome To Manchester’ poster ‘was not showing respect’ and that the horribly handled sacking of Mark Hughes ‘was taken with too much haste…you ask me if I thought it was the right decision and the answer is ‘no’.’
Yet there is a lot of positivity in Tévez’s words. He speaks highly of the brilliant Craig Bellamy: ‘Bellamy feels football. It gives me confidence when I see his name is on the City teamsheet. He’s a big player for this club. I like his attitude very much.’
There’s a degree of rag olive branch offering as after praising Wayne Rooney, he even goes so far as to dismiss his on field League Cup spat with Gary ‘Chuckle’ Neville as ‘a passing moment with Gary.’
Tévez also continues to speak highly of City fans: ‘City’s fans have been very good to me, very welcoming.’
It’s also clear from the interview that Tévez has strong feelings for The Blues’ last day of the season opponents, his former club West Ham United, hoping City don’t play a part in relegating The Hammers.
The Argentinian striker also speaks enthusiastically about his role within the City side:
‘I am playing now as a free striker. This is my position. When I first joined Manchester City, I was not 100 per cent fit. Now I go on to the pitch and I am physically fit and mentally strong. I say to myself, ‘you have to win the game for City’. In my head, before the game, I think, ‘goals, goals, goals’.’
Carlos Tévez has more than delivered for Manchester City and has already cemented his place as that of a Blue legend but heading into the five most important City fixtures in a decade, you can bet a Delia Smith Norwich scarf that there will be some bewilderment knocking about on both sides of the Manchester divide this morning!
VMC Link: Daily Mail – CARLOS TEVEZ EXCLUSIVE: The Manchester City striker on football, family and foes…