Date: 13th August 2010 at 8:56am
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There are a couple of articles around today suggesting that Carlos Tevez is disillusioned with football after Argentina’s unsuccessful attempt to win the World Cup and that it is his intention to retire from the game within 3 years.

There is also the suggestion of homesickness.

This is an interesting situation because I also think that it is the fundamental reason for Robinho’s behaviour not only in terms of his time with City, but generally.

I recall my younger days when my employer told me I had been promoted…and that I start in London on Monday. Off I went to find the gold-paved streets. I had nowhere to live, so shared a flat with people I didn’t know. My income wasn’t enough to afford a place of my own. I was 18 and had never been away from home before.

I also recall a conversation I had with Elano a couple of years ago about his time at Donetsk. He told me that in winter it was so cold there that his body started seizing up the moment he left his house, so that it was impractical to go out and he was almost a prisoner in his house.

Becuase of the money these players earn we often forget that many of them are relatively young men living half a world away from their homeland and it doesn’t surprise me that when they get the chance to visit their often extended families for instance when on International Duty, they get the feel for home and want to stay there. Maybe money isn’t everything.

I’m convinced that applies in Robinho’s case and clearly now Tevez has similar considerations.

Elano is playing his football in Turkey which has a much more gentle climate than the Ukraine, but has not Balotelli already suggested that he would miss his home, despite the fact that he appears to have fallen out with his folks?

So tomorrow we head for White Hart Lane and there really is a ghost to be laid there. Our recent record with Spurs has been dismal and we really need our big hitters to get the season off to a momentous start before the watching nation at lunch time tomorrow.

I suspect that with Yaya Toure on board, the midfield will look less static and we will have the option of the ball in the channels, which was missing much of last season.

The back line looks much more robust with Kolarov and Boateng in tow, we have more class wide out with Silva and Johnson and if Tevez has only half his appetite – well we saw him chasing lost causes in a friendly last Saturday. But who plays up top with him? Who provides the additional goal threat? Has Adebayor really recovered from what he experienced in the African Cup of Nations? Can he be as effective as he was at the start of last season?

If he can, then we should be able to deliver tomorrow and look forward to both our trip to Romania and our home match against Liverpool.

I still don’t want to see Bellamy leave City. He would probably be happy to be used as an ‘impact’ player, scaring tired defenders over the last 20 minutes or so and then chasing down to limit opportunities against.

Tending the nets – for me it has to be Joe Hart. This young man has grown up immensely over the last 12 months, played well for his nation this week, and probably won’t fall into the confort zone that affected Given last season. We have 2 excellent keepers and one won’t be happy at 1100hrs tomorrow. Who’d be a football manager?

 

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