Is Man City the Right Place For Carlos Tevez?

Let me preface by saying that Carlos Tevez has joined Manchester City after the club reached an agreement with Kia Joorabchian. An article in Spanish can be read here: http://www.ole.clarin.com/notas/2009/07/13/futbolinternacional/01957630.html

and in English here: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/article6704125.ece

After weeks of speculation, Tevez has finally joined the club who have been considered the favorite for his signature all long. At first, I was rather critical of Tevez going there and not having Champions League football next season, but the more I read and think about it, this may be the best more for Carlitos.

Tevez was often left on the bench by Ferguson last season

Tevez was often left on the bench by Ferguson last season

For starters, he will have first team football at Eastlands, something he did not have week in week out at Manchester United. Tevez clearly thought he was treated unfairly by Sir Alex Ferguson, and playing for United’s city rivals will give him a chance to stick it to “the old man”, as Tevez called Fergie to Diego Maradona. Joorabchian, who serves as an adviser for City, was clearly motivated by proving Fergie wrong, along with the huge money going his way.

In his first season at United, Tevez scored more goals than Wayne Rooney, and scored extremely important goals against teams such as Blackburn, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, and Roma. After winning the Premier League and the Champions League, Sir Alex Ferguson bought Berbatov from Spurs, who was often preferred to Tevez early in the season. Berbatov struggled for United, and only managed 9 league goals in 2009, compared to 14 for Tevez in 2008. Tevez hustle and work rate endeared him to the United fans, while the languid Berbatov was berated for what fans thought was a lack of effort and commitment.

Later in the season, Berbatov was even left on the bench by Ferguson, but Tevez was still left out in favor of Ji Sung Park, particularly on Champions League nights, including the final. Although one can say that Tevez was immature in showing up Ferguson in the Manchester Derby, it was clear that he was always the last man out of the starting line up, and even when he started and played well (Arsenal in the first leg of the semifinals) he was substituted. One cannot blame Carlitos for leaving a situation he deemed unfair.

Tevez, the first big player from a big club to join this City summer, could help lure other stars such as John Terry or Emanuel Adebayor to the blue side of Manchester. Such signings could help Man City push for a place in Europe, and maybe even the Champions League. With Tevez, Gareth Barry, and Roque Santa Cruz already signed, City must feel that they are the most improved team in the Premier League. Liverpool have added England fullback Glenn Johnson, while Manchester United have brought in Antonio Valencia, Michael Owen, and Gabriel Obertan, hardly “galactico” signings.

With these new players, and perhaps more to come, City are on the verge of building one of the strongest teams in England. With Shay Given, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Pablo Zabaleta (former Argentina U20 Captain and Olympic Gold Medalist in 2008), Wayne Bridge, and Robinho all added last season, Tevez will join a completely rebuilt squad from Sven’s season there. The likes of Micah Richards, Steven Ireland, and a few others are the holdovers, and have City looking like they are building something special.

The way this will effect the Argentine National Team is clear: Tevez will be playing regularly unlike last year, but he will not have the rigors of the Champions League as well. Although a country like Argentina always wants their players playing at the highest level, Tevez will be fresher than he normally is without as many games. A fresh Tevez can only help Argentina in their bid to qualify.

Although I still think that Tevez has been more of a detriment than an asset during this qualifying campaign, he can still contribute to Argentina this season and down the line. Playing for City will also help Tevez assume more of a leadership position as one of the big players in the club, just as he was for West Ham and Corinthians. Few can argue that Tevez has been better when leading the line, rather than being the third option as he was at United.

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