Date: 27th October 2010 at 10:00am
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Why on earth does Roque Santa Cruz consider it to be his business to comment on Carlos Tevez being homesick?

Is it a deliberate attempt to continue to unsettle the goal machine in a futile attempt to try and get some match time, or in the absence of Euro-Football this week have the scribes, hacks and broadcasting media got nothing else to talk about?

Footballers playing their trade outside their own country have notoriously become homesick, going back to the daya of Denis Law’s ill-fated short stay in Turin. John Charles may have lasted a bit longer, but one after the other whether it was UK-based players seeking to play in Europe or South Americans seeking the same, it’s just what happens.

The fact that they might be earning £150k per week during what is a relatively short career does not compensation for this. They are young men, generally, leaving home for the first time and they discover that the big wide world is a long way from what they have seen of life so far.

When I was 18 I was moved to London with my job. Living initially in a hostel in Bayswater, then in a spare room in Barnet was a long way from my mum, and indeed Maine Road. I stuck it for a year then took a reduction in salary to get back home. Similarly when another job took me to Hull and the North East, much more friendly places but still not Manchester.

So why is it different for a footballer. The answer is that it isn’t. We have seen it with Robinho and as soon as he gets injured in Milan, he will have another soujourn in Brazil and the boat will rock again.

Santa Cruz is 29 and has been about in Europe for a while, 10 years in fact so he has managed to settle in some shape of form, but it doesn’t suit everyone.

We have heard Tevez murmurings and we probably expect him to leave at some point but it is not really for Santa Cruz to put his oar in.

Clubs have hardly been beating the door down to take Santa Cruz off our hands, and if he seriously makes an effort to get noticed by Mancini, then I’m sure notice would have been taken. Those of us who go to Eastlands every week have seen no commitment form Santa Cruz since the day he doubled his money and signed for City. He has spent far too much time on the treatment table and one wonders if he has the same injury as Saha – i.e. none, but it is in his head.

He tells us he wants away to play in Spain. Well Roque if anyone in Spain wants you then off you go, but believe me it won’t be Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia. You are looking at Malaga, Mallorca, Hercules and a winter of toil. Are you cut out for it, Roque? I don’t think so. You may be on the way to re-join Mark at Fulham. You will have to show much more than you have shown us at Eastlands.

 

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