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Most Hated Man In Manchester
September 28, 2011 8:22 PM   Subscribe

What happens when a multi-millionaire footballer playing for one of England's top club teams refuses to go out and play as a substitute? Possibly, he gets shipped off to prestigious second division northern Irish club squad Limavady United.
posted by bardic (41 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nice to see that there's still room for humour in pro football.
posted by brokkr at 8:32 PM on September 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why anyone would want this guy on their team is beyond me at this point. I thinking he may have some type of mental disorder that has gone undiagnosed for way too long. Which is sad, because he is a very skilled player.
posted by Brocktoon at 9:00 PM on September 28, 2011


Twitter's #tevezexcuses is probably the best thing to come out of this whole debacle.
posted by misha at 9:02 PM on September 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Tevez was suspended by Man City rightfully. Two quick things: (1) while loan offers can come from other clubs, the player has to agree to the deal before the deal can be sealed and (2) Man City brought this upon themselves. Anyone who watched Tevez at Man United knew he had an ego problem when he was not getting first team football. Man City really should have off loaded him in the summer time when he asked to leave. Anyway, as a Gooner, I'm happy that both Manchester teams came up short on Tuesday.
posted by RedShrek at 9:05 PM on September 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


@Brocktoon,

Tevez is a fantastic player. There won't be a shortage of teams lining up to sing him. Antonio Cassano is a great case study showing how really talented but difficult players never lack attention from big clubs. At least Cassano seems to have finally settled at AC Milan.
posted by RedShrek at 9:07 PM on September 28, 2011


Also, Man City in my mind will always be pretenders to Man United's throne because there is one thing that Man City won't be able to buy with all their oil money. That once thing is character. To me, Man City are nothing but highly paid mercenaries who won't have a problem moving on to the next big thing.
posted by RedShrek at 9:10 PM on September 28, 2011


As of 5 minutes ago, in the Metafilter fantasy league I had three injured players, two doubtful players and one asshat (Tevez).

So I just learned how to make transfers!

Let me just say a fervent, heartfelt THANK YOU for whoever decided a wildcard = free transfers for one week.

Whew.
posted by misha at 9:45 PM on September 28, 2011


Agreed that Tevez is a great player, but since Man City has all the talent a LOT of money can buy, Tevez can be replaced. So, yes, I think if his attitude is bad enough, he might be done in the league.

Fans don't like it when a highly-paid player doesn't seem willing to work hard to prove he's worth that salary. All the stories I have seen about Tevez make a point of showing all his cars, and his huge house, and they say he is lazy and unfit. They are also quick to point out that his behavior sure doesn't seem like that of someone who is sorry about what happened and upset for how it affected the team. That's another thing fans like, to see even the appearance of humility.

And maybe the biggest issue against Tevez is he clearly doesn't want to be there. He's already asked twice to be transferred, and even fans who quietly agree amongst themselves that Man City players are mercenaries don't want to be hit over the head with confirmation of their suspicions.
posted by misha at 10:06 PM on September 28, 2011


misha: Lazy and unfit? Have you ever actually watched him play? His workrate is astounding; he runs more than any player I can think of who doesn't play for Barça (or is named Rooney).

I'm not going to say that Tevez did the right thing, but Mancini doesn't strike me as entirely sympathetic here either. Particularly not after his fights with Dzeko and Balotelli.
posted by asterix at 11:34 PM on September 28, 2011


And maybe the biggest issue against Tevez is he clearly doesn't want to be there.

How's that an issue again Tevez? He explained he wanted to play nearer to where his daughter lives, got some eye-watering offers, and the club said "fuck off". That's piss-poor management by the club.
posted by rodgerd at 12:38 AM on September 29, 2011


misha: Lazy and unfit? Have you ever actually watched him play? His workrate is astounding; he runs more than any player I can think of who doesn't play for Barça (or is named Rooney).

It's off the pitch that his workrate has generally been questioned - i.e. in training and match preperation. On the field, he does indeed generally give 100% at all times.

That's a bad situation for a manager - if one of your key players is spending more time on the massage table than on the training pitch, it doesn't exactly help you project your authority over the rest of the team, because not every player can just turn up and give their best on matchday with no preperation, even if they think they can. Given Man City's somewhat mercenary cast at the moment, that's the last thing they need.

Tevez is enormously talented, but as RedShrek said above - he has some major character flaws that tend to emerge when he's not the centre of attention and guaranteed to be part of the starting line irregardless of his form or off-field attitude. Whilst he was the brightest star in the Man City attacking line, those were surpressed and his occasional lapses were ignored by the club and fans. Now that there are other highly paid, big name stars competing - successfully in the case of Sergio Aguero - for that attention those flaws are beginning to emerge again, just as they did at Man Utd.

Basically, the Cassano comparison is spot on - Tevez showed some serious cassanata like behavior on Tuesday, and I really don't think he thought it through. He's very much a player who needs to be "loved," and I suspect some portion of his mind thought that the City fans would rally to his cause and vocally back his quest for first team football.

They didn't, because it was disgraceful behavior and - frankly - because they have other, better, heroes now in the likes of Silva and Aguero. Tevez has realised that now, which is why he's desperately trying to backpeddle and deny everything even though it's too late for that.

How's that an issue again Tevez? He explained he wanted to play nearer to where his daughter lives, got some eye-watering offers, and the club said "fuck off". That's piss-poor management by the club.

Yes and no. Tevez hasn't exactly been mister consistent in his demands to leave. Whilst I've no doubt that his feelings over his family are sincere, he's flipped between that and a desire to return home to South America as his main reason for wanting out. During the summer, his cries of anguish over both seemed to wax and wane in direct relation to any interest expressed by bigger European clubs than City - when AC Milan appeared to be considering a bid, for example, he got very quiet about his homesickness all of a sudden, despite the fact that Milan is even further away from "home" than Manchester.

There were also some serious questions over whether Corinthians' £40m bid for Tevez was actually realistic - City went through some serious negotiations with them, and ultimately claimed Corinthians were unable to provide sufficient guarantees that they did actually have the money, so I don't think you can fault City for not blindly accepting that offer.

Given all the above (and much as I hate saying it) I actually have some sympathy for City here - because if he's genuinely just going to end up going home, then maybe you cut him some slack and sell him at a slightly knocked down price, but if you agree to sell him on the cheap only to see him have his head turned by another European club, then that's going to leave you looking like a right bunch of mugs.

Frankly, in transfer terms its probably worth comparing the Fabregas' departure to Tevez's non-departure. As an Arsenal fan, it was distressing seeing Fabregas go but overall both Arsenal and Fabregas himself handled the situation as well as it could be handled - particularly in the face of the constant, disgraceful tapping up and price-lowering efforts of Barcelona.

Ultimately, Fabregas - who was equally desperate to "return home" - handled his departure with a great deal of grace and there are few Arsenal fans that begrudge him the move. Indeed, in order to make that move happen he actually agreed to pay Arsenal about £1m a year for each year left on his contract.

Tevez could easily have done the same, but he didn't. He wants out, but he also still wants to be loved, and doesn't want to be financially affected by any move (which is simply unrealistic given that City are probably over-paying him). Basically he wants his cake and he damn well wants to eat it. And maybe some more cake. If there is any going spare.

I think right now he's suddenly realising that the above is very much not an option.
posted by garius at 2:22 AM on September 29, 2011 [12 favorites]


He's got a good workrate on the field, but he does have a habit of slagging off his manager or going on strike - I think he refused to play for Corinthians back in the day when he was trying to force a move through to West Ham United, and around the time he joined Manchester City he was often heard in the press moaning about how unfairly Manchester United and Alex Ferguson treated him.

This excerpt from the Guardian's sports blog is illuminating:

A few weeks ago the Guardian highlighted Gary Neville's comments, from his autobiography, about Tevez from two years together at Manchester United. Neville remembers someone who, in his final year, "started to toss it off a bit in training … was constantly saying his back was sore … He'd become very fond of a massage."

His conclusion from two years together at Old Trafford is that Tevez's ego never recovered from the signing of Dimitar Berbatov. "He's a brilliant striker, as he has proved at City. But I can judge only on what he did in that second season and, to all of us at United, it seemed his heart wasn't in it. He was in and out of the team and he became insecure. He'd been upset by the signing of Berba, and Carlos needs to feel the love. He's not someone who can play one game in three and be happy."


You might want to take that with a pinch of salt since Neville and Tevez have no love lost between them, but since the UK's the libel capital of the world and I haven't heard anything about Tevez suing Neville...

Personally I'm of two minds. On the one hand, he wants to leave, and he's made it patently clear; on the other, he signed a five-year contract, and it's not as if he's being underpaid.
posted by WalterMitty at 2:23 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


How's that an issue again Tevez? He explained he wanted to play nearer to where his daughter lives, got some eye-watering offers, and the club said "fuck off". That's piss-poor management by the club.

He signed a five year contract, presumably because it gave him long term security and was more lucrative for him to do so. Perhaps he should have pushed for a homesickness release clause. Nobody's bigger than the game.
posted by doublehappy at 3:02 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, Man City in my mind will always be pretenders to Man United's throne because there is one thing that Man City won't be able to buy with all their oil money. That once (sic) thing is character.

United is a team built on money, not character, just like every other successful team in the world. They've always paid top dollar and they've always been able to out-buy everyone else. City hit the jackpot and suddenly buying good players is in some way dishonourable.

And it's interesting that a "Gooner" should choose United as the characterful opposite to City. Why not choose your own beloved Arsenal ? Arsenal have been one of the top teams in Europe for at least a decade, but no, you choose United as the honourable alternative.

I smell a rat.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 3:23 AM on September 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


And it's interesting that a "Gooner" should choose United as the characterful opposite to City. Why not choose your own beloved Arsenal ? Arsenal have been one of the top teams in Europe for at least a decade, but no, you choose United as the honourable alternative.

And yet we're basically a feeder team now to the likes of City, United and Barcelona. Talent without trophies is a recipe for disaster.

It's a massive shame, because I do think that we're arguably one of the few decently run teams in the "top rank" in Europe (Bayern are up there as well), which is frustrating.
posted by garius at 3:31 AM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


And it's interesting that a "Gooner" should choose United as the characterful opposite to City. Why not choose your own beloved Arsenal? Arsenal have been one of the top teams in Europe for at least a decade, but no, you choose United as the honourable alternative.
This is a farcical comment. Arsenal are well know for having style and ability but lacking the mental strength (among other attributes) required to actually push on an dominate leagues and/or European competitions.

If you ask a cross-section of fans to name the English team with character (which I take to mean a work ethic, self-belief and determination to push for the win right until the final whistle/end of the season) ... then Man Utd would obviously be the majority choice.

A lot of people hate them, but most football fans have a deep (if conflicted) respect for the club's ethos and management.

And pulling the conversation back on topic - I think this character mismatch is exactly why Ferguson didn't make Tevez a permanent signing. Others talented players before him have thought they were bigger than the club, like Beckham (and even as far back as Ince and Webb), and were moved on too.

Where the player tended towards the insular/self-obsessed but still played and trained for the team then Ferguson gave them a lot of leeway, such as Ronaldo and Cantona. They may have kept Tevez if the fee had been low enough but I doubt even that really.

He has always wanted to be the only big fish in the pool. Nothing wrong with that, but he should have signed a 5yr contract with a highly aspirational and well funded club.

And anyway, I can't imaging Tevez is the most hated man in Manchester. At least Half of us think he's hilarious! :)
posted by samworm at 3:53 AM on September 29, 2011


Should have stayed at West Ham. Consistent first-team play and the darling of supporters/manager/whoever.

But no money, of course...
posted by kuanes at 4:49 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Neville remembers someone who, in his final year, "started to toss it off a bit in training …

Dude! At least wait till you get home. Christ.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:06 AM on September 29, 2011


Tevez suspended, faces a fine of £500000 and, perhaps, even greater sanctions.

" I believe Fifa should have the power, as they do for drugs-related cases and other cases, to ban the player from taking an active part in football. I would have no problem with that whatsoever." - Jim Boyce, the vice-president of Fifa.
posted by Shave at 5:30 AM on September 29, 2011


@ devious truculent and unreliable,

Man United is a team built on money in terms of how much they are able to generate. If you look at the squad from the late 90's till a season ago, the anchor players were academy boys. Think about the likes of Giggs, Scholes, Bechham, the Neville brothers, these guys were all young lads who anchored United until sold or retired (except Giggs). Man United never really lavished money on players like City has so far. Look at United's squad now, the most expensive player being Berbatov. He cost united around 30 million quid and he's not even a starter. The squad is made up of young academy boys who were farmed out years ago to gain experience (e.g. Wellbeck, Cleverly).

I hate Manchester United with a passion but I respect the team and I admire Sir Alex Ferguson. I love Arsenal dearly but we lost the mental edge that we had back in the old days that allowed us to compete with United. Who can forget the days of Winterburn, Dixon, Keown and Adams in the back line; Ray Parlor, Pires, Vivas and Viera holding the middle of the park and Bergkamp destroying all before him. Arsenal of today is not the Arsenal of old. We're a shadow of our former selves and that's why I did not use Arsenal as a comparison.
posted by RedShrek at 5:48 AM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


"United as the characterful opposite to City" makes me splutter all over my keyboard.

United have spent a few bob over the years, let's not forget that.

I will be magnanimous and say that both teams have a great history, but surely none can deny the character of City? For me, as a life-long, suffering fan, the latest goings-on (despite the Abu Dhabi millions) are almost reassuring in that they remind us of the true nature of the club, never far from a self-induced crisis.

I personally reckon there could be a bit of Kia Joorabchian stage management about this whole episode...
posted by Myeral at 6:15 AM on September 29, 2011


@ Myeral,

I think it's unfair to pin all things Tevez on Joorabchian. Tevez is a 27 year old man, at some point in his career, he has to take responsibility for what he does. This situation is very much all Tevez to me.
posted by RedShrek at 6:21 AM on September 29, 2011


Should have stayed at West Ham. Consistent first-team play and the darling of supporters/manager/whoever.

The only club he never really treated badly, too. But he clearly couldn't stay there - they never actually signed him, remember. He was basically parked there on loan by Kia, essentially as advertising so that a big club would come and sign him (which, of course, happened).

I'm a United fan, and I'd love to be gloating at City fans at this point, just as they rubbed our noses in it when he left. But I actually feel sorry for them. Their club might be a bit of a joke sometimes but it's got a history and a loyal and suffering fan base who deserve better from these massively over-paid egos. Tevez really is loathsome, even City don't deserve him.
posted by Infinite Jest at 6:42 AM on September 29, 2011


Garius, Arsenal's current problems are precisely that : current. Next year, in two years, they'll be back challenging.

RedShrek, we are not going to agree with each other. I know good football when I see it and I refuse to deny United's great achievements (I am a bitter blue but I'm not completely unhinged). But to deny that United have spent very heavily is to leave reality behind. City have spent very heavily in a shorter period of time. That is the difference between City and Utd.

The reasons for the rapid spending are well-known. City are stuck in a "Brewster's Millions" scenario where a lot has to be spent very quickly because of the FIFA "Fair Play" regulations. I'm firmly behind the regulations as financial doping is inherently unfair. I remember a newly promoted Wolves getting a good hiding off Utd a couple of years ago. Pundits compared the two teams and laughed heartily as one was so much stronger than the other, Utd's being studded with talent while Wolves were a tribute to parsimony and wise dealing. At that time Wolves were in credit in the bank but Utd were £600m in debt. It was pointed out that if Wolves had £600m to spend, they could have a team just as good as Utd.

But thing that has really got my goater is this word "character". The word has a moral dimension. Those that have it are "good" and those who don't are "bad". Neither team is more moral than the other and if you pretend that one is superior to another in that department then you are going to find that people who should know better are going to write over-long and tendentious posts on obscure message boards.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 6:48 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Myeral, I agree. Joorabchian is a bad enemy to have. I see his fingerprints all over the "Onuaha Email" reverse ferreting too.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 6:51 AM on September 29, 2011


I don't look at character through the prism of morality. I hope that's not what my post conveyed.
What was the reason for United's debt?
posted by RedShrek at 6:52 AM on September 29, 2011


I like the logic of the suspension. How do you punish a man who refuses to play? Tell him he can't play.
posted by Segundus at 6:54 AM on September 29, 2011


RedShrek, i don't understand that. Was what the reason for Utd's debt ? Character ? Morality ? Prisms ?

As I understand it, Utd's debt is their chosen way of running their business. Despite many complaints from "True" Utd fans (they even set up their own team FC United, in an attempt to "save the soul" of Utd), the Glazier deal was done and has been proven to be a successful way to run a football team, so far at least.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 7:02 AM on September 29, 2011


It was pointed out that if Wolves had £600m to spend, they could have a team just as good as Utd
Errm. Thats a strange argument.

Man Utd's debt is entirely down to the fact they were "purchased" by someone who borrowed all the money he needed and they moved the debt into the company he'd bought. Without that they have been a highly profitable company for many years, and would remain so irrespective of transfer dealings.

So neither Man Utd nor Wolves had £600m to spend on players.

In fact a quick review of transfers suggests that Man Utd' net transfer spend over the last 10 seasons if approx £140m, or about £14m per season.

Compare that to Man City who have a net of £473m spent over the same period, including £57m, £126m and £99m in each of the last three seasons.

Man Utd are clearly big spenders, but there are others who have spent a LOT more without matching their success.

Chelsea are averaging net £62m per season since Abramavich arrived. Arsenal are £50m in profit(!) on transfers since they moved to the new stadium.

After all that frenzied thinking this table sums it up better than I did. Man Utd are 4th in the spending league behind Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool. Thats over a slighty longer period than my numbers, '92 to '11.

Man City have bought a lot of star players and are putting some of them on the bench. Tevez aside I actually think they're doing remarkedly well to gel them into a a team so well.
posted by samworm at 7:10 AM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm not surprised by his actions, it's clear from the interview in Argentina he didn't want to be in Manchester or play for the club again.
posted by giftguru at 7:13 AM on September 29, 2011


I read somewhere that Tevez sold his 'economic rights' to Joorabchian and some other eastern European businessmen. Does that mean he only gets a portion of his salary? Or a portion of his transfer fees?
posted by PenDevil at 7:29 AM on September 29, 2011


PenDevil, this article explains Tevez's unique position better than anything else I have read.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/david-conn-inside-sport-blog/2011/aug/23/carlos-tevez-legal-battle-revealed?INTCMP=SRCH"

samworm, my point is that this isn't a Disney movie : Utd became successful in exactly the same way as every other successful team in every other professional sport.

I felt, wrongly, that RedShrek was claiming the moral high ground for them, but RS wasn't so that that's the end of that.

So neither Man Utd nor Wolves had £600m to spend on players.
Agreed. I was trying to present another way of looking at the financing of top teams, and how that perceived unfairness led to FIFA's new regs.
posted by devious truculent and unreliable at 7:53 AM on September 29, 2011


Every Red supporter likes to play up the list of their home-grown star players, and rightfully so. They're a skilled bunch. The thing those same supporters forget, however, is that they went about it in the same way that City are doing now (though the price scale is very different these days). Pallister came over on what was then the national transfer record for a defender and 2nd highest overall. A couple of years later they again set a record transfer getting Roy Keane. Not to mention all of the other big name players they brought in at that time (Cantona, etc.) If you want to be a big club these days, the fact is you need to spend a bunch to make your team a place where stars and star prospects alike want to play. City have done the former with an FA Cup and Champions League play. Now they're putting massive money into a top-flight academy. Go big early, keep it coming for years with home-grown talent.

As for Tevez, I'm just very disappointed. I have to admit that Sir Alex seems to have made the right call about his temperament. So much talent, shame to see it wasted. Good thing we have other options up front this year.
posted by mzanatta at 8:10 AM on September 29, 2011


Others talented players before him have thought they were bigger than the club, like Beckham (and even as far back as Ince and Webb), and were moved on too.

Wait, Howard Webb isn't still on United? ZING

posted by inigo2 at 8:40 AM on September 29, 2011


If you ask a cross-section of fans to name the English team with character (which I take to mean a work ethic, self-belief and determination to push for the win right until the final whistle/end of the season) ... then Man Utd would obviously be the majority choice.

How about some respect for the other teams on the table. I'm biased, naturally, but character, work ethic, and determination to push for the win right until the end sounds like Tony Pulis' current Stoke side to me.

Man U is a great team and I have begrudging respect. Man City has no there, there. It just seems all kind of blah and like an all star team that can't quite gel. So far this season, my gut feeling about them is wrong as they are doing very well. I just don't see the same personality that I see with the other Big 4(5? 6?).
posted by josher71 at 9:52 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


The thing about Arsenal is they always try to walk it in.
posted by BinaryApe at 12:32 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did City ever give that Jimmy Grimble kid a start?
posted by doublehappy at 12:56 PM on September 29, 2011


BinaryApe: "The thing about Arsenal is they always try to walk it in."
Was there a ludicrous display on last night? I must have missed it because I was too busy watching Tottenham suck.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:43 PM on September 29, 2011


@ RedShrek: You're probably right, I just enjoy conspiracy theories.

@ mzanatta: agree with your point, though not sure Cantona (signed for just over a million, I think) is the best example of United's big spending. Maybe Ferdinand or van Nistelrooy?

It's interesting (though arguably off-topic) to try and define the soul of football in these dark times. It has to be: thick or thin fans; players and managers giving their all, even when they're taking a beating (I'm looking at YOU Carlos!) and an understanding of what it all means to those who shell out big money to watch the game.
posted by Myeral at 1:07 AM on September 30, 2011


Should have stayed at West Ham. Consistent first-team play and the darling of supporters/manager/whoever.

But no money, of course...


Apparently West Ham asked if they could have him on loan for a few months. City said, "Hang on, we're still constructing a gibbet for Tevez, we'll call you back."

The feeling I get from this is that Tevez is a petulant, immature, irresponsible player who's full of himself and has gotten consistently spoiled and is receiving poor advice. He's trying to lie his way out of Manchester because he doesn't want to play there any more, but it's not really because of family reasons - that's just an excuse.

Anyway, the Financial Fair Play regulations are at least an attempt at returning to sanity, although financial stability is now something of an impossibility for football these days, what with rich men the world over coming to see football clubs as their playthings (Chelsea, City, and now PSG - and Malaga, IIRC). Not so good for the dominance of the traditional 'big' clubs, better for the neutral who wants to see a little more competition at the top, crap for the average fan who would like his club to have some chance at winning something.

I'm a United fan but of all the teams I do admire how Arsenal is run. (Well, at least up to now...) They have relatively healthy finances, a newish stadium, and manager who advocates attractive football. The only thing they lack is the mental fortitude to win things (e.g. every one of the last six years).

Finally, it's nice to be able to discuss football without descending into vitriolic jabberings about the various tribes.
posted by WalterMitty at 4:42 PM on September 30, 2011


Relevant: Welcome to Carlos, Manchester.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:59 PM on September 30, 2011


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