Just when things were starting to look really rather promising, this happens.
It's a disappointment, certainly. The timing is a surprise. It's not exactly the behaviour you'd want from a club captain; I don't think it's what Scott of the Antarctic would have done.
That said, if you didn't think that Tévez was a disagreeable individual, bolshy, abrasive, volatile, and under the thumb of Kia Joorabchian then, well, you hadn't really been paying attention. I don't think we can have too many complaints, either. If Tévez was more like, say, James Milner then he'd still be a squad player at United. Those very qualities that propelled him out of United and towards City are the very same ones we're being stung by now. Those that live by the sword, etc.
I'm not entirely sure how this will play out. It's not obvious to me that this isn't just a Rooney-style play for more money. Note City's suggestions that he'd been asking for a new contract. If it is then he's not the first player to hold City to ransom (I think the man that opened the scoring on Saturday earns a bit), and I'm sure that we'll do the decent thing and pay up. That's not to say that I don't think he's homesick, and that he doesn't want to go back to Buenos Aires, I'm sure he does, but just that selling him to Boca Juniors looks very unlikely from here.
Option 3 is that he finds playing under Roberto Mancini so anathema that he wants to go to Real Madrid or Inter. Maybe, maybe not. Madrid is a plausible destination, given Gonzalo Higuaín's injury, but if he doesn't like Mancini I can't see him getting on under Rafa Benítez. Moreover, I'm just not sure his relationship with Mancini is quite that bad. His record under him has been exceptional, and clearly plays hard for the manager. His two best mates, Pablo Zabaleta and David Silva, have been playing very good football for the last month or two, and have demonstrably good relations with the boss. There's no question of an anti-managerial clique, led by Tévez, as there was with the Robinho/Hughes relationship.
I'm not going to go so far as to predict that he'll stay at City, but that's not obviously a much less likely outcome than any other scenario right now. I'm sure there will be another statement from the player this week, and then an answer, one way or the other, before Christmas. I do think, though, that this has shown Mancini's decision to make him captain to have failed. The logic was sound enough but clearly the armband itself is insufficient in inducing Carlos to conduct himself like an adult. So, like Danny, I would not be surprised to see it change - either reverting to Kolo, which would be fair enough, or switching to Vincent Kompany, who would be perfect in the role.
However it turns out, though, it's a shame and a disappointment when things were otherwise looking up. More later in the week, I'm sure.