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Has Tevez proved Ferguson wrong?

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Phil McNulty | 00:29 UK time, Wednesday, 20 January 2010

At Eastlands

Carlos Tevez's English may not be fluent, but you could not fail to understand the message he sent Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson on Tuesday.

As Tevez inflicted the blows that gave Manchester City a slight advantage amid the domestic warfare of this Carling Cup semi-final, he went through his tick-list of targets as he remembered those who dared to doubt him.

Tevez reacted to equalising from the spot by gesturing in the general direction of Gary Neville, who backed Ferguson's assertion that financial demands made the Argentine too expensive to keep at Old Trafford.

And when Tevez headed the winner, he was off again. The cupped ear gesture towards the directors' box mirrored his celebration towards the Old Trafford hierarchy after scoring against City last season as negotiations on a permanent deal started to sour. He was determined no-one should feel left out.

Whether Ferguson will make the final gesture of this little squabble will be decided after next week's second leg, but Tevez is proving an inspired arrival at City and a loss for United, at least for now.

Carlos Tevez taunts Manchester United after scoring at EastlandsCarlos Tevez taunts Manchester United after scoring at Eastlands

The final reckoning on whether Ferguson was wrong not to sign Tevez can only be made at the end of this season when the successess of the respective clubs are measured.

But there is a fact that is currently beyond dispute. Manchester United would benefit from having Tevez back in their ranks - 13 goals in his last 10 starts tells you that.

Ferguson would never admit he erred in allowing Tevez to fall into the grateful arms of Manchester City, but the striker looked driven by a personal mission to torture his former manager on an atmospheric night at Eastlands.

Barracked when he returned to Old Trafford earlier this season and clearly aware of Neville's less than flattering assessment of his value to United, Tevez could barely contain himself as he tormented United. The man who declined to celebrate when he enjoyed successes against another former club, West Ham, had no qualms about rubbing United's nose in it here.

And how City's fans revelled in it. The familiar cry of "Fergie, Fergie sign him on" (the rallying call of the Stretford End pressure group pleading for United to land Tevez) swept around Eastlands off the back of every decisive Tevez contribution.

It all added further weight to the arguments coming from those who suggest Ferguson has dropped an almighty clanger. That said, there were reasons why the Scot did not pursue the deal.

Tevez was unexceptional and not a regular goalscorer at United last season. As he basks in the glow of his achievements at City, it should also be remembered that he did not make a cast-iron case for Ferguson to regard him as indispensible.

Often, the adulation Tevez received was out of proportion with the contribution made. Yes, there were some key goals, but Ferguson perhaps thought he had a better version of the Tevez template in Wayne Rooney.

Also, Tevez's attempts to use Old Trafford adulation as a lever against Ferguson and the United board were ham-fisted and a distraction when the serious business of winning the Premier League still needed to be done.

With Cristiano Ronaldo gone, Rooney was going to be operating even more through the centre, so with Dimitar Berbatov in the ranks it was understandable that Ferguson would not regard Tevez as an essential purchase in an extravagantly rich deal.

As I stated in an earlier blog, none of these reservations that United would have justifiably expressed made him a dubious purchase for City, and he has proved to be a wonderful signing so far.

When assessing whether to sign Tevez, City will have asked two questions: Could they afford the transfer? Yes. Was he an upgrade on what they had? Emphatically so, althought I suspect the impact he has had so far this season has outstripped even their most optimistic expectations.

The danger for Ferguson was that Tevez had the quality and capacity to be a potential success elsewhere - and when that elsewhere happens to be Manchester City, then his absence is highlighted even more.

City conducted a parade of legends from their 1969/70 team before the lights were dimmed as usual at Eastlands - and the way Tevez was greeted when he was substituted late on suggests he is on course to join those illustrious names.

Tevez may have been the match-winner on Tuesday, but Rooney is still the player most would take ahead of him. This is not to decry Tevez, it is simply an acknowledgement of Rooney's brilliance, which he showed in full force as time ran out.

But as Tevez stood on the halfway line in almost mocking pose after scoring his second goal, Ferguson may just have wished for a moment he could take him back to Old Trafford - if only for a little while.

This is because the drive and urgency Tevez brought to everything he did was lacking in United's work until the last 20 minutes, when Rooney embarked on a magnificent one-man mission to take his team into next week's second leg at least on level terms.

United, with extra forces deployed in midfield, dominated the first 40 minutes and led through an early Ryan Giggs goal, but they appeared content to stroll, declining to kill off a desperately nervous City, and paid for it.

In a strange season on and off the pitch at Old Trafford, this was further confirmation that they are not the team they were. United are too average too often in games, and they are not getting away with it as often as they did.

They still possess some of the old instincts that allow them to remain in the hunt for silverware - and City's euphoria at beating the arch-enemy and moving close to a first major Wembley final in 29 years was tempered with large helpings of caution.

Goalkeeper Shay Given formed a barricade on his own in the closing stages, usually against Rooney, perhaps a taster for next Wednesday at Old Trafford.

Ferguson had paid City the compliment of fielding a strong side and ditching his plans to play a young team - and his fierce, fists-clenched reaction to his side's early strike showed how important this was to him.

Make no mistake, Carling Cup or not, Ferguson will be badly hurt if City finish the job off in his own house next week and will surely use every weapon at his disposal at Old Trafford, something that should flatter their rivals after being downtrodden for so long.

For City, to come from behind and beat United will only add to their confidence and conviction that special things are happening at Eastlands. Next Wednesday could be a seminal day for the club - or confirmation of just how far they still have to travel.

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  • Comment number 1.

    Why did Ferguson not think Tevez and Rooney could work? His partnership with Bellamy seems like two similar strikers to me, both are tenacious fight-to-the-end strikers, and the press are raving over the pair, so surely with more quality, Rooney could have been an even better strike partner for Tevez. Seems short sighted by Fergie in my eyes.

  • Comment number 2.

    Yes, with bells on. Where SAF has no leg to stand on is to lose Ronaldo and Tevez in one summer just made no sence at all.

  • Comment number 3.

    Tevez made my night son :)

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    Phil, for some some reason you neglected to mention the fact that Ferguson did in fact offer Tevez a 5 year deal on about 120 thousand a week. I really don't understad why the media insist on saying Ferguson dropped a clanger when it was tevez who decided he wanted no part of United

  • Comment number 6.

    How many times does this have to be pointed out to journalists? Utd DID NOT decide not to sign Tevez...he decided not to sign for United, as announced on United's website, and reported upon here -

    It has been written incorrectly so often that it has become the truth...because it makes a nice story that Fergie was right or wrong. Make no mistake, he wanted Carlos, and offered £25m and a juicy 5 year contract to prove it, but Carlos didn't want him.

  • Comment number 7.

    As usual the media making way, way too much of this. God forbid that they actually paid attention to the football rather than the off the pitch "drama"! Tevez had a good game, but he wasn't the difference between the two sides last night; a bad penalty decision was, gifting him one of his goals. He's also in good form, but it's not so long ago that people were talking about him replicating his stay at Old Trafford - lots of effort, little end product. City in general should have made more of a lacklustre display from their rivals, but instead played it cautious, took their foot off the gas the moment they took the lead.

    Man Utd are still within touching distance of top of the league, are still in the Champions League, and are still very much in the Carling Cup. Their football is not great to watch, but they're finding results. They certainly are not missing Tevez to the tune of the £30 million of extra debt it would have taken to keep him.

  • Comment number 8.

    What people must take into account is that Given and Tevez apart, who were outstanding, City were altogether a very average outfit last night. And they'll need a drastic improvement in their last performance at Old Trafford, when for all the talk about Owen's late winner, City were completely outplayed and only extremely clinical finishing of chances stopped Man Utd from running out of sight. A similar performance this time will likely see City coming up short once again.

  • Comment number 9.

    As much as I really do agree with the article, I would like to point out something that the media and specifically Gary Neville seem to have recently forgotten, and that is the fact that Fergie & United did try to sign Tevez eventually, but gave him only 10 days to make a decision. Therefore Tevez turned it down, as reported here:

    Not too sure how people have forgotten this, maybe they just want it to look like Fergie had the last word, who knows.

    I don't think Fergie is frustrated at not trying to sign Tevez, maybe just wishing he'd made a decision on the matter sooner, rather than ignoring it until the last minute.

  • Comment number 10.

    the acid test has not arrived yet for Tevez...when City have a full complement of strikers available, and his hot streak abates, how will he react to being part of a rotation policy? Last season, he appeared to be unhappy about not being picked for every game - so will he get the hump again? Will he still feel the love, and/or just be happy to count the dosh?

    The issue is not really whether Fergie wanted him - it's whether he wanted him at the (total) cost demanded. £50m or so seems well over the top, particularly bearing in mind what we now know about the financial situation.

    I don't think the passage of time will make things any clearer - after all, we will never know how this season would have gone had he stayed at United. All we do know is how well he's doing at City - for the time being.

  • Comment number 11.

    Was Tevez worth his transfer fee to a club with £600m debt? No.
    We already wasted £30m on Berbatov, and Tevez went for what, near £40m+?

    Glad we didn't sign him up, but the way he's reacted to United fans who idolised him just shows an utter lack of grace.

  • Comment number 12.

    Unfortunately not a penalty and also not a corner for both goals and with the ref happy to let numerous city fouls go un-punished I am hoping for a reverse of fortunes at OT but then should this occur I expect every non Man U fan to state how lucky United always are... cant win either way ;o) But a great game last night with DE JOng surprising me with an great display (no need for Veira if hes that consistent) and love the genuine quality in rivalry in the derby's recently, very much look forward to next weeks return fixture...

  • Comment number 13.

    Tevez has been on fire this season and if that doesn't make Fergie feel a little silly then I don't know what will. What with Tevez, Adebayor and Bellamy as a strike force I fear that Santa Cruz might not get a look in, especially after this injury.

    Tevez could see that Ferguson obviously did not appreciate him as he consistently played Berbatov instead of Tevez. It's Ferguson's own fault...Tevez was clearly looking beyond the financial situation.

  • Comment number 14.

    reply to 5 & 6: Well highlighted... couldnt agree with that frustration more.

  • Comment number 15.

    I think it's going to be too tall a task for Man City to go to Old Trafford and get the result they need.

    But still, what a fun game this was!

  • Comment number 16.

    We'll see how it goes. Round one to City, barely. Tevez hasn't suddenly become a better player! Everyone knew what he had to offer. No surprises there. So, what's the big deal?!

    To make a blog deal out of this is a bit of a wafer, I'm afraid.

    At United you have to perform consistently - Rooney does and Tevez didn't. Simple as that.

  • Comment number 17.

    4. At 11:33am on 20 Jan 2010, Thom Mills wrote:
    We'll see who gets to the final and also, don't forget that City paid around £50 million in total for Carlos Tevez, he definitely isn't worth near that - there's plenty of dogs homes with dogs that don't cost near that.


    Clever. But the evidence is against you, my blinkered buddy.

  • Comment number 18.

    What everyone seems to be forgetting is that Ferguson DID offer Tevez a contract in the end - but Tevez rejected it. He always claimed that he loved the United fans, then declined to sign for them because he didn't get on with Fergie, moved to their bitter rivals, then spent weeks insulting the manager who United fans have so much adoration for. All this was seen as an insult by the United fans, and that is why many of them choose to boo and jeer him. Scoring a penalty which he did not win doesn't exactly silence his detractors or make a compelling case that Ferguson should've signed him.

    Furthermore, if I was a City fan I would be somewhat disappointed that Tevez is more interested in telling United they should not have let him go than in celebrating with his new club. It doesn't exactly suggest he is fully committed to the club, but rather that he is motivated by his own revenge.

    I felt the same about Adebayor's antics - instead of going out of your way to taunt your former club, why not let your football do the talking and celebrate with your new fans. This shows them that you are committed to them and not obsessed with your old club, and shows your old fans that you are "over" them, that you have moved on and are better off.

    Tevez's actions and comments just seem a bit immature.

  • Comment number 19.

    "Rooney could have been an even better strike partner for Tevez. Seems short sighted by Fergie in my eyes"

    Did you miss the 2 seasons when they were a striking partnership? Did Tevez really deserve a £35 million price??? Well lets take Rafa's exapmle and talk about the facts:

    Carlos Tevez – 07/08 season
    2685 minutes
    14 goals (9th highest in the league)
    1 goal per 192 minutes (2 hours 72 minutes)
    7 assists (18th highest in the league)
    1 goal scored/created per 128 minutes (2 hours 8 minutes)

    Carlos Tevez – 08/09 season
    1856 minutes
    5 goals (53rd highest in the league)
    1 goal per 371 minutes (6 hours 11 minutes)
    3 assists (74th highest in the league)
    1 goal scored/created per 232 minutes (3 hours 52 minutes)

    Now lets be honest worth £35 million and the wages he was demanding? And lets be honest before December what had he done this season so far? To finish it off as well the same price tag would buy you david Villa. Does anyone really thing they're in the same league as each other?

  • Comment number 20.

    @Thom Mills Just because Fergie said we spent £50m on Tevez doesn't make it fact.

    The facts state that the contract with Tevez's owners said he would be sold for £25.5m as united had reduced what they wanted for him due to the 2 year loan. Add 5yrs wages @ £100,000pw to that amount and yes you get £51m.

    We would probably have to prove that financially over 5 years we can afford it, but we wouldn't have to provide it instantly.

  • Comment number 21.

    Tevez was ok, I think it was Givens night. There are a lot of players that can score a penalty and there were players lined up behind tevez for the header....
    That goal would never of happend with rio and vidic there actauly playing central defence.

  • Comment number 22.

    I think 32 million is a lot of money to pay for Tevez but so far he is paying for it himself. As for United, they say he didn't score enough gaols to justify his fee, but he was rarely started and when he did come on, he scored vital goals.
    It was sheer madness for SAF to let him go when he knew Ronaldo was gone, and presumably he was not going to get money to spend on new players.

  • Comment number 23.

    We didn't just let him go, we agreed a fee and offered Tevez a contract, but he said no. His head already turned by Joorabchian. HE SAID NO TO UNITED NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND.

    As for the result Mike Dean FC will regret not beating us by more than 1.

  • Comment number 24.

    All so much hype, Phil! Tevez was for the first 4 months of the season what he was at Utd.....all energy and little end product. Now he's hit a purple patch and he's suddenly on a pedestal. Let's see if he is this prolific until the end of the season and we can reasses.

    Secondly, in case you haven't noticed, Utd have scored 10 more goals in the league after 22 games this season than last. Do you conclude that Fergie has a goalscoring problem to deal with? Rooney and Berbatov have 22 league goals between them (that's 1 a game from the strikers) and they've missed 11 starts between them which makes it even more impressive.

    And finally: " In a strange season on and off the pitch at Old Trafford, this was further confirmation that they are not the team they were. United are too average too often in games, and they are not getting away with it as often as they did."

    What game did you watch? City are greatly improved, no doubt about that, but in their own back yard I saw them outplayed. Utd had the better of the game, were very unlucky with the penalty and Given was by far the busier keeper. Utd certainly deserved something from the game....but will finish the job next week. 58% possession and 9 attempts on target to 4 (miserable for a home team).

    Just what part of that was average? Nonesense assessment!

    And....Tevez isn't fit to lace Rooney's boots. Different class I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 25.

    Being so driven to make a point shows where Tevez would rather be though....but any Utd defeat is a good Utd defeat :-)

  • Comment number 26.

    @Tom Wilkinson

    Bellamy & Rooney are completely and utterly different strikers. Bellamy is a pace merchant.

    As regards Tevez - it is strange that the bbc's football journalist has not done any research into the fact that Ferguson did try to sign him.

  • Comment number 27.

    Carlos was offered a great contract and his 'owners' were offered 25Mil but Carlos wanted more. When SAF said no, Carlos said UNITED didnt do enough to keep him! He went for the money plain and simple.
    Hes done well at City and if hes as happy as he says he is, why keep on the theatrics? SAF didnt make a mistake in letting Carlos go. He works within financial restraints and Carlos went outside those restraints, and to be honest, he didnt score enough goals per chances at OT.
    Carlos works his socks off and his effort cant be ignored but he isnt what UNITED need.
    Alot of fans didnt want to see him go and they gave him a standing ovation at his last appearance at OT for UNITED, yet Carlos seems to have forgotten that. The only reason they went against him was because he did nothing but slag UNITED and SAF off after he went for the big money at City. Get it straight, Carlos left UNITED, UNITED did not kick him out..

  • Comment number 28.

    All this Tevez praise from last night is just hype. The guy scored a Penalty that never was and an open goal from 2 yards because of terrible communication in the United defence. He did his usual harrying of the defenders etc but not much else. It's just too good a story for the media to turn down.

    I thought the BBC pundits and commentators were very poor last night, half time they talk of United's dominance and then full time (after life and death defending from City because United were pummeling them with attacks) United were poor and City awesome? eh?

    And for me Nigel De Jong should have had man of the match, the amount of United attacks he either stopped or slowed down was fantastic, and then I would pass it to Given. Tevez nowhere near.

    City are no doubt improving, which is great for the EPL, but they have a long way to go to get to United, Chelsea & Arsenal territory. I mean, City didn't once look like the home side last night and finished the game with around 7 defenders on the pitch. Can't see any of the other 3 or even Liverpool and Aston Villa doing that at home (or away in the case of the top 3)

  • Comment number 29.

    I don't agree with McNulty's statement that Tevez was 'unexceptional' last season while at United. I'm a United supporter and I wish as much as anybody that Fergie had signed Tevez, however Tevez is now just as loved at City as he was at Utd, if not more! The difference is that last season Tevez was playing with players that were playing at the top of their games; Ronaldo, Rooney, Vidic and maybe not as well but still impressive, Ferdinand and Giggs. When you play in a team that played as well as Utd did last year, you will be a little fish in a big pond.

    At City, Tevez is arguably the best player, along with an inspired Bellamy and an impressive Shay Given. Considering the array of talent that Man City have, a lot of their players arn't firing on all cylinders.......such as Robinho, Lescott and Toure. I'm not doubting the Man City team, I believe that when they have gelled and are all playing well together, they will be a force to be reckoned with! But at this moment in time, Tevez looks like a 'Big Fish' in an otherwise smaller pond.

    Not doubting Tevez' abilities, like I said, I wish he'd stayed at United as I see him as a lot better than a certain talented yet lathargic Dimitar Berbatov

  • Comment number 30.

    So the FA are going to investigate Gary Neville for giving Tevez the finger. Well bless my soul! I am also guilty of said offense. Will the FA be knocking on my door anytime soon? :)

  • Comment number 31.

    Tevez is a disgrace to football, the manner in which he has conducted himself over the last year has been disgusting. Fergie was right not to sign him on, he was not worth the money, man utd are more about the team than one player, especially if that player is Tevez who unlike Ronaldo could not change games for utd. What he has shown in the last year is that he is an utterly self involved person who will play only for himself (yes he'll work hard for the team, but only if he gets hugely praised for it-Park and Rooney run just as much as Tevez). Yesterdays celebration as well as the celebration he did when he last played for utd against city was hugely disrespectful to ferguson and he should have been booked for one, if not both of them last night. To add to that, how long has he been in english football? This is his 4th season, learn english.

  • Comment number 32.

    Phil, it is always possible to become caught up in the 24 hour news and sport mentality, which tends to suggest that a manager, club or player is either 'brilliant' or 'rubbish', depending upon the most recent performance or result.
    Of course, the tie has yet to be concluded, and so the dark side may yet prevail. Even if that occurs, Tevez will always enjoy the memory of last night's goals, as will thousands of City fans.
    However, regardless of the outcome of this semi, I think you make a few decent points. There can be little doubt that, on current form, Tevez has been an excellent signing for City. Over the season, I am sure that this will remain the case. Bearing in mind Tevez's vastly superior strike rate in a blue shirt, it is clear that Ferguson was not using him in the most effective way. So credit to City for that - and the reverse to Ferguson.
    Perhaps the question you pose is not quite phrased correctly. You should ask: is Tevez proving Ferguson wrong? The answer, of course, is yes. And, as a City fan - long may it continue! Fingers crossed for next week at the swamp!!

  • Comment number 33.

    Just as a slight side-note, and as fan of neither Manchester teams, I thought the season before last when SAF played Rooney and Tevez together up front and through the middle they were outstanding. The way they rotated positions between dropping deeper or not, their skill in their link-up play, the way they both naturally harassed defences and of course their finishing made them a nightmare (and Ronaldo had a great season too of course). If Fergie made any kind of blunder it was probably in adding Berbatov to the payroll. Having him on the books the next season made it more difficult to justify playing Tevez and Rooney alone up the middle. But which of the partnerships were more effective?

  • Comment number 34.

    Tevez is a great footballer but his role on the pitch, even his physical stature, is almost identical to that of Rooney. As you say, most would take Rooney ahead of Tevez.

    The person who reckoned that Rooney and Tevez would work together like Tevez does with Bellamy seems to have overlooked the fact that Bellamy is a completely different player to that over Rooney, plays in a different position, and has oddles of pace. Aside from having a stroppy attitude, they're chalk and cheese!

    Tevez wanted first team football, week in, week out. He wasn't guaranteed that at United, whereas City were desperate a player of his qualities, would give him plenty of time on the pitch, and had £50m to spend on him. It's no surprise that he left Old Trafford. I don't think Fergie can be blamed for this one!

  • Comment number 35.

    11. At 11:40am on 20 Jan 2010, ajt__1989 wrote:

    Was Tevez worth his transfer fee to a club with £600m debt? No.
    We already wasted £30m on Berbatov, and Tevez went for what, near £40m+?

    Glad we didn't sign him up, but the way he's reacted to United fans who idolised him just shows an utter lack of grace.


    You mean the same fans that boo'ed him at Old Trafford? Get a grib sunshine the fans deserved a bit of stick back.

    Tevez made it clear he wanted to stay at Old Trafford, but United too SO SO long in making a decision he felt utterly unwanted, and decided that by the time Utd finally made an offer (past the eleventh hour, and only after other parties had become interested and already offered him a deal) he rejected it, and rightly so.

    Massive, massive mistake by Ferguson. Words cannot comprehend the magnitude of his mistake in not signing Carlos Tevez.

  • Comment number 36.

    Tevez should grow up really. His “Fergie didn’t do enough to keep me“- whining is only topped by his juvenile taunts against his old club as signs of bitterness of not being a part of the ManU team and the fact that he had to settle for going to City. If he was happy with being a City player he would not feel an urge to rub his “success” in people’s faces. 25m for two goals in a carling cup tie, City can keep him, I’m glad we didn’t waste that money.

  • Comment number 37.

    While Tevez may have turned down united it was not purely for the money, he was always used as a substitute, and was third in the pecking order behind berbatov and rooney, as well as ronaldo when he was played as a striker.
    Whereas at city he has always been a definite on the team sheet, probably along with given and barry. Some of the stats show his lack of goals, but his appearances were sporadic and often only 30 minutes or less at then end of games. Now he is being given regualar starts he is showing what he is really capable of when backed by a manager.

  • Comment number 38.

    I hope Fergie steers clear of Argies in the future as we have no luck with them, but good luck to Tevez as he's currently playing above himself at a very rich but still small club.

  • Comment number 39.

    Tevez is a nailed on fan favourite because he works so hard. I thought he behaved with grace at Old Trafford while City were robbed of a point and I don't fault him for his antics last night considering the previous provocation.

    Having said that, I don't think Ferguson was wrong to let him go. Would he get in the United team now? I'm not convinced. I think he would have sat on the bench a lot. Considering the money needed - and the Man U financial restrictions - letting him go was a no-brainer.

  • Comment number 40.

    I've been waiting for this. I just knew you wouldn't be able to resist posting a blog about this topic Phil.

    On the Tevez situation I am a United fan, and I have been pleased for Tevez so far this season, I have no problem at all with him, I firmly believe he wasn't given a fair crack at the whip at United, - que the response he actually played more than Berbatov and Rooney last season. True, but if you look at the callibre of the games he played in, i.e. he played in the majority of the Carling Cup games, you can understand his frustration/s. Even more so as he wasn't being kept out by two strikers in top form, Berbatov was distinctly average last season, but got the nod ahead of Tevez in about 3/4 of PL games.

    I have to admit last night Tevez did get my back up, with his second goal celebration, but you have to put yourself into his position, - how would you react? Phil? The match was clearly personal for him, and ultimately he had the last laugh, - IN THE FIRST LEG.

    Answering your question where we wrong to let him go? Very tricky question. If Tevez hadn't hit form of late (well started scoring) everyone would be saying Sir Alex was right, he works hard but doesn't get enough goals. Now he's scoring for fun, and United are hardly firing on all cylinders, it easy the easiest thing in the world to link this with Tevez's departure, as is (using another example albeit not related, Alonso's departure).

    Personally to me it is clear United need do need another striker, or winger to offer them a bit more threat up front. A perfect example was last night, no cutting edge whatsover, - even though I felt sure we would force an equaliser, it was only an inspired Rooney who looked like scoring for United towards the end, no one else looked dangerious, which is worrying.

    Another thing, this has been a contionios pattern in United games this season. We are not playing until we have to (I know I've mentioned this before). Wevstart off great, get the goal and have City on the rack. So surely push on go for the jugular, no we decide to sitback invite pressure, City get a debatable penalty and we are level!

    I don't know whether it's something to do with the mentailty of the team, but we seem content to easy this season. Admittedly I would have been happy with a draw last night, why do we sit back, soak up pressure, and give City encouragement, when we've had so much joy going at them in the early minutes.

    This is what I don't understand. As Phil mentioned United don't seem to want to kill off the opponent. We seem to use this as an opportunity to
    take our foot off the pedal, which I can't understand, - and on this occasion it cost us. We seem to play in spells this season, i.e. 20 mins here, 20 there, now as a United fan I expect 90 minutes, obviously in periods of the game, the game may go flat, but I feel a lot of the time, this is as a result of our almost defensive mentality.

    Perfect example of this, Wolfsburg home game:

    H.T. 0-0 no penetration whatsoever, or seemingly desire to win the game. We fall behing on 50 minutes, an suddenly for the last 40 minutes we come to light turn the game around and win 2-1. It seems this season we need to either concede a goal, fall behind, to get any sort of reaction.

    I personally feel if United went at City, at the very least we would not be behind in the tie. Having said that I would expect United to beat City at Old Trafford, - hopefully the home crowd can spur is in into life, and hopefully in 8 days we will be in the Cup Final at Wembley.

    But if we play in that relaxed nature again, for any time at all (whether it be 10 minutes) that could be wishful thinking!

  • Comment number 41.

    Tevez is a good player but what he did last year for Man Utd wasn't enough. We loved his effort but like Forlan, who has scored goals elsewhere, he didn't provide or score as many as he should have. He has upped his performances for City. If he had played this well last season maybe SAF and the Man Utd fans would still be cheering him.

    Last night he was his usual energetic self but wasn't exceptional. It took a diabolical penalty and a wrongly given corner to provide him his goals. Even if the decisions had been correct 2 goals from set pieces are hardly signs of a fantastic performance. I wish Tevez well, I appreciated his effort for Man Utd but we aren't missing him.

  • Comment number 42.

    Re Gary Neville's alleged "finger" to Tevez - It's won't be the first time his oafish behaviour may land him in trouble.
    Neville Snr could learn a thing or two about dignified behaviour from Neville Jnr, who although a similar inspirational leader to his team, mangages to do it without behaving like a yob.
    Gary & Phil, the Liam & Noel of footie! :)

  • Comment number 43.

    Tevez is not anywhere near a good a player as most Man City fans think, he does work hard but this is the first time he has consistently scored goals and will probably be the last. Bellamy was by far the best player on the pitch last night but he hasn't had a mention. As usual pundits and bloggers alike are getting overhyped about an average player

  • Comment number 44.

    Quick note about Tevez, surely his gestures indicate that he would of much rather stayed at Utd than sign for City, the message seems to be "you should of signed me up". Obviously he's quite content at City but that's how I'm interpreting his language.

    The game itself was a good one, Given once again saving City from a deserved defeat, I can't actually believe Utd lost that game but fully expect them to turn it around at Old Trafford and progress to the final. I for one would much rather see a Utd vs Villa final.

  • Comment number 45.

    To BlueHaggis and other who suggest Ferguson did not decline the chance to sign Tevez, this is a quote from Sir Alex in July: "I didn't think Carlos was worth £25m. Maybe I'm wrong.

    "The fans quite rightly have their heroes and I respect the fans so I was happy to go along with a deal as long as it was the right deal.

    "Our success is down to the fans and their support. We need them when we're away from home, but simply he was not worth £25m."

    It was not just the "transfer fee" that made up a key component in the transation. It has been widely reported that with personal terms added on the whole deal came to around £47m. On last season's evidence, and with Wayne Rooney already at Old Trafford, I can see the reasoning behind Ferguson's decision not to pursue this deal.

  • Comment number 46.

    Usual BBC reporting - You just do not seem to understand reality or money - Is this all we can expect for our licence fee !! Hacks.

  • Comment number 47.

    3 quite points:
    1) Tevez is not worth 35-40 million + the estimated 8million a year wages. He's the Argentinian version of Paul Dickov with better technique.

    2) As has already been stated, United tried to keep him, HE TURNED DOWN UNITED.

    3) The guy has a serious attitude problem. He's been in the UK for 2.5 years and still can't speak English and shows no real signs of trying to. He was with West Ham for a year (only played half of it) and wouldn't celebrate a goal against them, while he was at United for 2 years and sticks it firmly to them. He's determined to blame United for him not staying, when it was him who chose to take another offer for more money.

    I can't wait until journalists actually pick up on any of the above...

  • Comment number 48.

    36. At 12:01pm on 20 Jan 2010, Pere wrote:
    Tevez should grow up really. His “Fergie didn’t do enough to keep me“- whining is only topped by his juvenile taunts against his old club as signs of bitterness of not being a part of the ManU team and the fact that he had to settle for going to City. If he was happy with being a City player he would not feel an urge to rub his “success” in people’s faces. 25m for two goals in a carling cup tie, City can keep him, I’m glad we didn’t waste that money.


    Sorry Pere but if we're going to talk about footballers acting like children we couldn't possibly leave out Gary Neville and his sly little middle finger gesture. What a prize idiot he is. It's up there with the gestures Barry Ferguson made whilst on Scotland duty. I'm not saying Tevez didn't act a bit brattish but Neville was just as bad, only difference is Neville's a more experienced member of his team, seen as a bit of a leader and should really act like one. Shame he never has though.

  • Comment number 49.

    As a neutral, I'd like to say how much I enjoyed the game. Bellamy and Tevez were, for me, a joy to watch.

    Bellamy's pace combined with Tevez's bewildering ability to find space and complete superb passes really was top notch.

  • Comment number 50.

    Another classic Knee jerk Phil McNulty article. Players prove managers wrong over seasons, not single games.

    1 penalty, and a two yard header the result of some poor defending - yep, that's a £35m player

  • Comment number 51.

    re. 45. Phil, thank god you put an end to those stupid comments about how it was Tevez who rejected Utd, i think the offer was made just 10 days before the end of his contract and was clearly to appease the fans rather than a genuine 'we really want you' offer. im neither a city or utd fan but was felt tevez was justified in his celebrations last night

  • Comment number 52.

    I can see why Ferguson let Tevez go. I do feel that he is a top class player, but was not what man utd needed, especially for his pricetag. I don't think Ferguson letting him go was disrespectful to Tevez at all, and Ferguson was probably worried about the threat Tevez would pose playing for another premiership team - although this is not justification to sign him.

    I am pleased for Tevez and hope Gary Neville feels stupid. I don't know why he would make comments like he did. Although a senior player at United, financial decisions aren't really his business and he has caused needless grief to Tevez with them.

  • Comment number 53.

    I'm a neutral, but I'm delighted at what Tevez did for City yesterday. The suggestion that United didn't need Tevez because Rooney could do the same job, and do it better, overlooks the issue of squad strength - what happens to United's forward line if Rooney is injured (or, as seems possible given the financial situation, sold)?

    It could be argued that United were put off by the cost of signing Tevez, but this won't wash because they found the money to buy the largely ornamental Berbatov. If the choice was 'Berbatov or Tevez?', then Ferguson clearly got it wrong.

  • Comment number 54.

    Tevez played hard to get with his contract demands then behaves like a lover scorned when his suitor decided he wasn't worth the aggro.

    There's a little melodrama playing out in his head.

  • Comment number 55.

    Hi Phil,

    Good blog and an excellent game. I enjoyed Man City's win against United last night, but as a Liverpool fan, I didn't enjoy it as thoroughly as perhaps I would have done any other season, as City look the most likely to snatch that fourth spot.

    Back to Tevez. When Manchester United had the chance to sign him, they dragged their feet. So much so that Joorbachian made a number of public announcements that the striker wanted to stay at United and that if United wanted to deal with him, he was ready to sign. Why United did not sign him will remain a mystery to me.
    Tevez can operate in a variety of positions, so the argument of Rooney up front and therefore we dont need Tevez, is pointless. If we talk about finances, then that argument is pointless too, because United had £30m+ to spend on Berbatov, surely they could spare £25m on Tevez especially since it was known that Ronaldo was leaving. I know which I'd take.

    The only time that United decided to sign him up was when they realised that City had made an excellent offer for him. There were two clubs in the world that would have made Ferguson try to prevent him from leaving, Man City and Liverpool. Liverpool didn't and don't have the financial power to compete for a top player of Tevez' calibre so there was only going to be one winner: CITY.

    All the attention that was given to Tevez overshadowed the man that I believe was head and shoulders above everybody else last night, a certain Craig BELLAMY. He is SENSATIONAL. He made mince meat out of Rafael who simply could not contain him. How I would love to have him back at Liverpool, cutting in from the left and leaving full-backs for dead.

    The tie is beautifully balanced and I can see an almighty battle at Old Trafford for a Cup that we all thought had lost its importance and magic.

  • Comment number 56.

    If you consider the financial position of Man Utd it reveals that they simply did not have the finances to make the Tevez deal permanent. It made more economic sense to sign Owen for nothing to do a job off the bench.

    Tevez has turned out to be a brilliant signing for City and once Robinho and Micah Richards get the confidence back that Mark Hughes worked so hard to destroy, City will be a formidable force.

  • Comment number 57.

    Typical over-the-top predictions of demise and what Utd have done wrong by Phil! At around £50 million for a player that is far short of a proven goal scorer I am glad we didn't sign Tevez! I wonder If you will write another blog next week titled "Ferguson having the last laugh" when city are dumped out of the league cup?!!

  • Comment number 58.

    I think the thing we're forgetting is the £700mm debt United have. There's got to be more to this story than Fergie not keeping Tevez simply because he didn't think he needed him. It's a squad game now, and having just rooney, berbatov and owen in the ranks is lightweight when compared to last seasons list of ronaldo, rooney, berba and tevez. I think personally Ferguson would have kept him if he'd been able to, but at the price he came at, couldn't justify it.

  • Comment number 59.

    it just backs up the fact that Fergie has never really been any good when it comes to recognising talent in the transfer market, in comparison to the likes of Wenger.

    hes meant to be this stupidly good manager (he's even been knighted?) and he cant notice talent in recent ronaldo. and if people come back with rooney - he cost £30m.

    ...just think of the all the Eric Djemba-Djemba's he has signed over the years :)

  • Comment number 60.

    tevez is now world class because he scored a penalty and a tap in header????? please.... if the ref had done his job right, there would have been no penalty and no corner resulting in no goals for tevez. Working hard and running down teams does not justify a bigger contract of 120grand a week. If tevez gets that what does rooney get 250. He is currently on a good run of form every player gets this. there most be several managers kicking themselves for the sale of bobby zamora. It is so easy to name 15 to 20 better strikers than Teves in the premiership. And id like to thank lovejot and his rafa facts for pointing that out loud and clear. So we'll see in the return leg weather his hands will be up to his big ears without the assistance of a referee........... and please dont ever even think that tevez would justify a price tag of over 10 million a average squad player. it said it all when rafa was interested in him.

  • Comment number 61.

    yes at list for 1 week Tevez will be hero for man city´s fan due to controvercial penalty goal but lets see how many goals they will concede in old trafford. Then all will know who is the better in english football...........

  • Comment number 62.

    I think it's funny watching both sides of Manchester irrationally bicker over the Tevez argument.
    It's extremely irrational to say MU offered him a contract which he declined, because even if that was the case, the shocking treatment of the player would have been enough to dissuade any man. Anyway, Phil has rightly pointed out that SAF didn't offer him it, or at the very least openly said he wasn't worth it.
    Tevez is quality through and through. It shows what effort can do. He deserves to be paid a lot cos he gives his all unlike a huge percentage of premiership players.
    Anyone who says he isn't worth it just shows.. He was worth 20 million in one game for West Ham. One game!

    I don't like Man City for "doing a Chelski" just as much as everyone else, but after the constant success of MU and their unfair tactics in winning games, getting added time on and abusing officials, it's a refreshing change to see them struggle.

  • Comment number 63.

    Re Phil @ comment 45. Well, having been snubbed, he would say that, wouldn't he? He agreed to pay the money and personal terms, as evidenced on, whatever positive spin he puts on it afterwards.

  • Comment number 64.

    One goal a VERY debateable penalty - other OK. Sudenly Tevez is another Kaka - give us a break PLEASE. A hard worker who will run and run thats all. If he had wanted to stay at OT he would have - end of. Anyone care to be Man U do not reach Final??????

  • Comment number 65.

    As a United fan; there was only one player in each team playing last night, Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney. Wayne Rooney was sublime and has continually highlighted that throughout this current season, whether he is "great" or "outstanding is for Phil to decide, and the same for Tevez. If it wasn't for Shay Given's individual brilliance, then the tie would be a completely different story.
    What last night did show was that for the millions and the millions which City have spent, it must be said that a measure of success has come about as a result. But whether the club can sustain that level of "success" that United have enjoyed is another story.
    I can't wait for the tie next week, United will play with tempo from the off, and maybe Mancini will see another side of Manchester which might take the shine off the result which he gained last night...

  • Comment number 66.

    To Jamie Riley...glad I didn't disappoint you then! As I have said, I attended many Man Utd matches last season and felt Tevez's performances were hyped out of proportion. I genuinely didn't think he deserved such adulation.

    This means I understand why Ferguson did not want to pay so much to sign him, but I also appreciate the other side of the argument in that City had the money and he was a serious improvement on what they already had, so why not sign him? The fact that he came from Old Trafford was just another bit of icing on the cake for them.

    You make a good point about United's "relaxed" attitude. They had a perfect opportunity to kill this tie in the first 40 minutes last night, but showed little urgency.

    Much of City's urgency came from their own fans, who got very frustrated at one point at their timid approach and let the team know in no uncertain terms. It got City going.

    United picked up when they went behind, but it was too late, a bit of a pattern this season. In those last 20 minutes though, Wayne Rooney was stunning - sadly for him so was Shay Given. A top keeper.

  • Comment number 67.

    The best player on the pitch by far and away was Rooney, everytime he was near the ball the vast majority of the City team just seemed mistified with him, fortunately De Jong and Given kept City in the game.

    Lets judge players/decisions over a season or two before we start slating Ferguson. If you look in the Summer with Rooney, Berbatov,the development of Macheda and Wellbeck and the knowledge that we possibly have Owen, effectively meaning we would of had 6 forwards looking for game time week in week out if we include Tevez. Unfortunately Macheda and Wellback haven't developed as much as they could possibly off, with Owen's and Bervatov's niggles have left us relying on Rooney too much.

  • Comment number 68.

    Tevez for me is one of the best players in the world. People says he's not worth this and that but if Ronaldo's worth 80m, so is Tevez. Ronaldo got his success out of the fact he was partnered with two extremely hard working partners in Rooney and Tevez and had the luxury of referees blowing up every time the wind blew him over. Add to this FIFA's introduction of what might as well be a plastic ball making it near impossible for keepers to predict the flight of the ball - and you have Ronaldo. Now stick Ronaldo in the West Ham team that Tevez single-handledly kept up a few years back, the result would be relegation and a mardy forward moaning at a lack of quality around him. Players like Rooney and Tevez make things happen. You can't simply measure their contribution in terms of goals - how about their defensive contributions? Again people will no doubt say goals win games or a striker should be judged on putting the ball in the back of the net - not so. In regard to the first, clean sheets guarantee a point, goals guarantee nothing, a defensive contribution can be much more valuable (although this is something which seems to go amiss as governing bodies try to turn our game into an exciting goal-filled program which will eventually attract the American audience and bring in further revenue) and as for the second, football is a team game, you should not judge individual performances but collective performances and ultimately results. It's my strong belief you could get a team of so-called wizards with the ball ie Ronaldo and Messi and put them up against a hard-working team with the likes of Rooney and Tevez - I know who my money would be on. For the person who quoted statistics above re: Tevez's goal return - I'd be interested in knowing team's ratio of games won when Tevez plays as opposed to when he doesn't - the Utd v Wigan game last season springs to mind. Finally, regarding Fergie - I'm not his greatest fan, believe me I can't stand the guy, but ultimately he's right when he concedes he couldn't have both Tevez and Rooney at United simultaneously. Both are the best in the roles they play and thus one team boasting both is unlikely due to the need for both to play regular football.

  • Comment number 69.

    48. At 12:15pm on 20 Jan 2010, lee fett wrote:
    Sorry Pere but if we're going to talk about footballers acting like children we couldn't possibly leave out Gary Neville and his sly little middle finger gesture. What a prize idiot he is. It's jvup there with the gestures Barry Ferguson made whilst on Scotland duty. I'm not saying Tevez didn't act a bit brattish but Neville was just as bad, only difference is Neville's a more experienced member of his team, seen as a bit of a leader and should really act like one. Shame he never has though.

    Good point, completely juvenile and disrespectful of neville hew should know better, but what do you expect when every wekk he sees his manager SIR Alex Ferguson treat officials with disdain and coinstantly bleat on about them, eg. petulent comment after leeds game about added time, and other comments about referees fitness. Fergie should be an exampole to his players of how to treat opponents and officials, and he is but not a good one, he also oftne gets away with it.

  • Comment number 70.

    lovejot74 wrote:

    Did Tevez really deserve a £35 million price??? Now lets be honest worth £35 million and the wages he was demanding? And lets be honest before December what had he done this season so far?
    - - - - - - - -

    £25-£35m for a 24/25 year old Tevez or £30m for a 29 yo Berbatov?

    Given that choice I think i'd go with the former

  • Comment number 71.

    I always liked Tevez when we has with United; I admire players with a good work rate however he rarely delivered the end result and certainly wasn't worth the money he was asking for.
    Tevez was good last night but Shay Given kept City it in. City are still an average enough side at the end of the day.

  • Comment number 72.

    Mark P

    Bellamy by far the best player on the pitch? What game were you watching? I hardly noticed him apart from when he gave the ball away.

    People talking about Phil's knee jerk reactions and lauding of Man City but come on aren't we used to it now? The BBC love the money clubs, the ones that buy success. They've been very pro-Chelsea and now they are swinging towards Man City especially as Liverpool have faded. Let's be realistic, a team that brings players through their academies or other schemes is never going to get the coverage it deserves over teams like Chelsea and City who throw their money around and create these prima donna characters at their clubs. The media love it and Phil especially this season has been doing his best to secure an executive seat at Eastlands with his pro-City nonsense week in week out.

  • Comment number 73.

    # 48 couldn't agree more with u

    i'm not surprised tevez acted like he did as he has been provoked by various figures at utd via the media all season (he can't have read it himself but it looks like someone has told him!)

    as for neville it's hardly an isolated incident is it...the liverpool goading...the proposed strike while with this.

    he has no class whatsoever

  • Comment number 74.

    Hype! Hype! Hype! It was a very lack lustre display from City, and apart from Shay Given, and moments from Tevez they lacked any attacking flair.

    Everyone's talking about Tevez today, give or take a few weeks ago no one would have mentioned him as making all the difference at City. With the demands and wages his Agents were after, United had to let him go, it did not make financial sense. The results will show at the end of the season. United are missing key world class centre backs at the moment, you have to remember a few players are playing out of position, and Raphael is young, still learning the game and considering his overall defensive/attacking game performed quite well. Rooney was truly outstanding, you could say a whole class above Tevez.

    A very controversial penalty and a Corner that never was, was the actual difference in the game. The Ref didnt handle the game very well, Bellemy should have been off with 2 yellows.

    Roll on next Wednesday night I say

  • Comment number 75.

    Doesn't prove anything i'm afraid, Fergie did try to sign him and anyone believing he went to City for anything other than the extra £20k/week and £22miilion on the fee is either stupid or very very gullible.

  • Comment number 76.

    What is the matter with you BBC? Fergie did want to sign him up for the contracted fee of £25m to the gangsters that own him plus £120k a week wages.

    City made a bigger offer on both counts (the Times estimates £47m as the fee) and he went to City - simples!

    United made a decision that not to match that on principle (which any right-minded person would support) and on value grounds.

    So - his owners broke an agreement - which they will do again as soon as Madrid come knocking at the door (remember that Koorabchin has not gone away).

    What part of that don't you understand McNulty? You journos are always very quick to jump on the 'discusting transfer fees/obscene wages bandwagon - stop being hypocrites.

    Moral = radix malorum est cupiditas.

  • Comment number 77.

    I don't understand how Alex Ferguson didn't think Mr 110% Tevez was worth the £25 million, when he paid £30 million for Mr 40% Berbatov.
    As for Gary Neville's comments/actions, I wouldn't have expected any less

  • Comment number 78.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 79.

    Tevez scored two , one a penalty & one a header & got Man of the match ? Que ? I watched Rooney & he was outstanding & Ferguson was super calm.. Lets see if Tevez is full of lip next week if the result goes Uniteds way.

  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

    Plenty of buttons to complain about comments but where's the button to complain about the shoddy jouranlism contained in this article.

    As many people have already pointed out SAF did try and sign the player.

    C'mon Phil get your facts write you're drastically lowering the standards on the Beeb.

  • Comment number 82.

    24. At 11:48am on 20 Jan 2010, WordsofWisdom wrote:

    Spot on assessment mate!

  • Comment number 83.

    Always makes me chuckle when manu fans complain of Tevezs lack of grace.

    Funny how Tevez doesn't do the same at West Ham fans. Oh wait, West Ham fans treated him with respect and appreciation due to the important comtribution he played in keeping the club in the Premier League.

    When he returned to the AIG Megabowl, sorry Old Trafford, earlier this season and the treatment he got? Hmmm maybe then it's understandable why he took so much pleasure in his goals and contribution to the game. He's done it in the right way, i.e. on the pitch where it hurts, rather than standing on the side lines with a miserable face and a one-fingered gesture.

    Well done Man City. Hope you get to the final and knock these bitter losers out.

  • Comment number 84.

    Rooney is far over rated. No pace, fat, aggressive, extremely hairy...

  • Comment number 85.

    i've always been a fan of your blogs, these days you only seem to want to exaggerate the obvious
    Tevez' departure from united to city has already been well documented, not in the least by yourself, so why keep writing about it?
    You say yourself that it is too early to draw any conclusions, even at the end of this season it will be too early to draw any conclusions, because the added value of a transfer should always be judged on the long term
    and even then it seems that you are looking to create drama where there is none: in my opinion tevez hasn't convinced Ferguson that he is good enough to hold down a regular place at old trafford, okay he offered him a contract but was that really convincing? plus if he 'd really wanted to keep him, he would have offered the contract much sooner
    big deal, tevez is now in a different environment, where city's faced with an underdog position, perhaps this suits him better then old trafford where the pressure's always on. So far he's done a good job, but nothing extraordinary if you ask me so why create all the drama.
    Disappointing blog if you ask me, but no hard feelings.

  • Comment number 86.

    Another thing Phil - despite what you say about SAF thinking he wasn't worth it - United did try to honour the £25m/£120k per week contract with Joorabhin & co - on R5L's sportsweek programme David Gill confirmed as much in the summer.

    Soccer will eat itself and the hangers-on and agents are providing the condiments.

  • Comment number 87.

    No, he hasn't proved Fergie wrong. He was too much, wanted too much and didn't fit.

    He just isn't good enough to justify that outlay at that time. In a perfect would he would be a good option from the bench but we now can't pay that money for someone to do that.

    Lets see what happens next week.

  • Comment number 88.

    This is for all the Man United fans out there who are saying that Man U tried to keep Tevez. but it was he who wanted to leave.

    We all know that it is not true. Tevez made it abundantly clear he wanted to stay at Man U, but Man U tried to haggle hard and bring his price down. What really incesnsed him was that Man U was willing to shell out £3o million for Berbatov but not £25 million for him.

    This really made him unhappy and was the deciding factor why he left. He felt let down by Man United. By the time United came up with the offer Tevez and his agents were dragged through mud by the United Lawyers leaving him with a bitter taste in his mouth.

    So I think I it is a good thing he left and celebrated against united. It wasnt a celebration against the fans but the united heirarchy, which does include SAF.

    With regards to some people claiming this guy doesnt have class because he cant speak good english. I think that is an interesting point. what provides somebody with class? This guy is a football player and his job can take him to many a different countries where he will ply his trade. Does that mean he has to learn the language of all the countries where he plays in?

    I have seen British foreign diplomats (university educated people) who cant speak the language of the country they have been based for years. Does that mean these representatives of Britain, in foreign lands, have no class?

    Besides anybody who watched the interview yesterday realised that he does understand and speak enough English to find his way about town. So why the big resentment. I think it is just sore United Fans!!!!

  • Comment number 89.

    Tevez rejected a great pay deal at Man U. Fergie didn't up it, everyone and everything has its worth. Fergie didn't think he was worth more.
    I admire Fergie for how he and the club don't succumb to the player power in any, way, shape or form.
    Its pathetic at some clubs how they just pay what the player demands, e.g Frank Lampard and what is obviously happening with Joe Cole.

    Tevez is clearly a good player, but is going through a rich vein of form. Will he play aswell when the team changes when Adebayor spits his dummy out and demands to play. Probably not.

    I beleive Man U have a great chance of beating City by one or two goals at Old Trafford next week. If the school boy defending at the corners can be tidied up and with the other goal being a penalty, I beleive Man city won't score with Man U reaching the final.

  • Comment number 90.

    "United are too average too often in games, and they are not getting away with it as often as they did."

    Getting away with it ? You people make me laugh, United haven't really been winning all their honours in recent years because they've been the no no.....they've just been getting away with it !
    Sounds like a bitter scouse journalist....oh look it is !

    Lets see where everyone is at the end of the season !!!

  • Comment number 91.

    I think Tevez needs to check his memory - Sir Alex said they would discuss his contract at the end of the season, which he tried to do only to discover that the fee had gone up but more importantly Tevez had agreed to sign for City. Tevez then made loads of press statements re United and Sir Alex which have since been proven incorrect.

    Tevez had the support of nearly every United fan until his comments before the 1st Derby re the above and about City (plus the poster). Then he expects the United fans to sing his name, time for a reality check I think.

    He might be scoring goals for City but his ratio at United was behind Berbatov last season, when you add in the £47m its cost City (fee and wages) to sign him, and the fact he is determined to retire in 2 years I think Sir Alex made the right call.

  • Comment number 92.

    Why do Utd fans add all fees, wages and bonuses up when talking about Tevez but never do for any other player?

    If Tevez 'costs' £50m then Berbatov would be a similar (probably higher) amount of cash.

    Did Ronaldo cost Real Madrid £130m?
    ...but when you add all his wages, bonuses, image rights etc. to the (reported) £80m transfer fee then it would probably add upto £130m.

    "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" and Utd fans ;)

  • Comment number 93.

    Man Utd were average for too much of the game last night. They need a bit more steel and aggression about them. They tend to slow the game down a bit but I'd rather see them get into their opponents faces a bit like Man City were doing. They gave the ball away too much - Carrick is not the player he was and Anderson had a dreadful game last night. I think Utd need to stengthen up their midfield, they are badly lacking a Roy Keane type of player.

    As for Tevez, it seems that Utd were willing to pay a lot of money for him but not over the top. And I think rightly so, you can't blame them for that. Tevez is miffed that Utd weren't willing to pay over the odds but I reckon he has acted with a lack of class and dignity in this. I don't think there was any need for the antics of his goal celebrations last night. I don't think he played particularly well overall but scoring the goals should have been enough and he should just let others reflect on that - not run to the middle of the park looking up like some sort of demented child that didn't get what he wants!

    I don't think Tevez has proved Ferguson wrong but that's what he'd like to think. I'd be prepared to wager that in a year or two once Tevez is not getting a regular start at Man C(and it will happen) that he'll take the huff again and start causing problems there as well. These types of players never change. He has obviously got an over-inflated opinion of himself and once he thinks he is not being valued enough he'll be off to the next club he feels will.

  • Comment number 94.

    United or City? No contest there.

    Any professional player that hasn't been motivated by the money would only pick one option!

    City have spent millions and still only attracted average players and are in real danger when the money men get bored not winning major trophies.

    At least United saddled with debt have a world wide brand and strong fan base.

    I'd imagine that SAF was more annoyed with his defenders than the performance by Tevez, be honest both goals came from defending not good enough for United. One of the softest PK's I've ever seen!

  • Comment number 95.

    Post 41 it is interesting you mention Forlan. Another South American striker perhaps not given time and the chance to shine at Old Trafford who went on to bigger and better things.

    I'm no fan of either club but I fear that United will come to regret letting Tevez go.

    Out of the FA Cup, an interesting game in the second leg plus the return of another prodigal sun in Beckham in Europe makes for an interesting next couple of months.

    As Chelsea see players come back from the African Nations Cup and Arsenal get more players back from injury what chance United winning nothing this season and not finishing in the top two in the league?

  • Comment number 96.

    As a Utd supporter I must say I'm very disappointed with Tevez. The way he acted after scoring the second goal wasn't how I thought he would act as I have(sorry had) a lot of respect for the guy. Hes obviously created some form of contempt for one of the most respected managers in the world for not offering a contract to him soon enough. I mean how dare SAF for having the audacity not to make him feel like the best player in the team!

    Maybe if Tevez bothered to learn English, it is his FOURTH season in England, SAF maybe could've explained his reasons better. I can't believe Tevez did an Adebyeyor, just made himself look churlish and unprofessional, two characteristics I thought I'd never in a million years see Tevez exude.

    ps If Neville gets done for flipping the bird then Tevez should be done also for inciting the bird! Mike Dean should also watch the match again and see how Bellamy spent the whole match trying to get Rafael and Valencia sent off, Tevez's tackle on Brown couldve been a red and there shouldve been more than 5 mins injury time cuz there was 2 subs during it lol!! Very suspicious refereeing must be said but because its against United no ones says a thing!

  • Comment number 97.

    I just want to explain how do you suppose to feel if you are playing regularly, you just had won a Premier League and a Champions League title, you are scoring goals and suddenly you are relegated to the bench because your coach decide to put buy another forward and give him your place... Maybe Tevez is not as good as Rooney, but he has won trophies in every team he has played, has a gold medal and was elected the best South American player three years in a row... And Manchester United came with an offer late in the season when they realise CR9 was going to Madrid...

  • Comment number 98.

    The point about Tevez' goals for United wasn't the volume of them, but the value of each. How many were scored late on, in games deadlocked at 0-0?

  • Comment number 99.

    the thing is that Carlito wanted to prove so many people wrong,guys like Evra who in a press conference had said he would score agaiinst them,much as we keep shouting and blaming the guy for immaturity thre are lots of united players who dontb value him at all,has evra ever scored a goal in competitive footbal??????

  • Comment number 100.

    Tevez hasn't proved Ferguson wrong and he has a long way to go to do so! Remember under Ferguson he won the Premier League and reached the European Cup Final! If he can reach Finals and win Trophies as a City player then he will start to prove the doubters wrong.
    His attitude towards the end of his time at United stank, and I think you can see some of that coming through with his behaviour last night, a very petty attempt to show up Sir Alex and Gary Neville.
    At the moment City aren't even in a Champions League place, and don't forget they lost at the weekend, they're not invincible and if they finish 5th or lower then they won't attract good enough players to get them into the Champions League and Tevez will remain with a squad inferior to the one he played with at Old Trafford.
    Look at the clubs fighting with City for 4th - Spurs, Villa, Liverpool - is Tevez onto as good a thing as he thinks? I doubt it!


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