Wednesday, 22 December 2010

'Absolute commitment to the Club'

For all the Christmas-spoiling frustration of the Everton defeat, there was another, happier, story on Monday: the withdrawal of Carlos Tévez's transfer request. News of this came via a club statement a few hours before kick-off, after meetings on Sunday between Tévez, Khaldoon al-Mubarak and Roberto Mancini:

During the meeting Carlos expressed his absolute commitment to the Club and formally withdrew his transfer request. Carlos’ contract remains unchanged and both Carlos and the Football Club are keen to focus on the opportunities that lie ahead.
Well there you go. This is clearly, by any measurement, a victory for the club. We get to keep our best player, without having to suffer the ignominy of offering a new deal and a pay rise. The fact that the club have won this is largely testament to a new willingness not to be buffeted by the whims of players and agents but also, it must be said, to some fairly poor poker played by Kia Joorabchian. When Paul Stretford played United for cash recently he obviously had City waiting with a better offer. But who did Joorabchian have? It was just incredible from start to finish.

Which is not to say that Tévez is very happy at City - I think he might well leave next summer. But his complaints were rendered incredible by their flippancy and volatility. Whether it was money, Champions League football, 'certain executives', or simple homesickness, the case got weaker as its rationale swung between the different explanations. If it all boiled down to separation from his daughters, then why not just say that? There would have been a degree of sympathy, on a personal level, had he done so. But instead we got a week of confusion and noise, ending what what looks like a fairly clumsy and embarrassed retreat from Tévez and Joorabchian.

The hope from the club, and, I imagine, from Tévez, is that we can go back to where we were one month ago. I'm not sure it's quite that simple. As a fan, I feel as if my relationship with Tévez - which was never too illusioned in the first place - has been faintly toxified by this. I didn't think he was Tony Book beforehand, and I certainly didn't think much to Joorabchian, but this has not been pretty. I still love Tévez as a player, and think that he is indispensable in our push for success. Cheering his goals and his performances is a no-brainer. But things are not quite as they were before, and that is a shame.

My guess is that he'll either get a big new contract in the summer or a move to Real Madrid. But that's for consideration in May. All I want now is for him to beat Newcastle.

1 comment:

Andrew said...

Agreed with the analysis. The "toxified" comment was spot on. I'm writing this after the Newcastle and Aston Villa victories, and Tevez played great, despite his whining.