It is often highlighted when Manchester United miss out on signing a player who people think they should be signing or when they let someone go who they think they should keep.
However, in recent memory, I do not remember the Reds getting any more criticised than they did when Carlos Tevez left the club to join our city rivals, in 2009.
I must admit that at the time I was concerned about letting the Argentine leave the club, especially in the same summer as Cristiano Ronaldo was sold to Real Madrid but considering Tevez’ behaviour since January, when he filed his first transfer request, I think it underlines what a masterstroke it was by our manager.
Even though Tevez is a world class star, blessed with abilities that are matched by very few players in the world, it is obvious that he causes problems at whatever club he plays for.
The main issue it seems is his loyalty, with the longest he has ever stayed at a club being 5 years at Boca Juniors, his childhood club. Despite being a national icon in Argentina, he did not find any problem in packing his bags at Boca to join Corinthians, one of the biggest sides in Brazilian football; despite the bitter rivalry between the countries.
As we are all aware, his first move into English football came in the East End of London, at West Ham. Yes, he kept the Hammers in the Premier League in the later stages of that season, with his outstanding leadership, with an unlikely win over ourselves at Old Trafford on the last day of the season but the Premier League fined West Ham the following season because of the deal with MSI, which included revelations that he was still partly-owned by the company.
The Ultimate Mercenary?
At this point, it started to appear that there were cracks appearing around the marvellous ability he undoubtedly possesses. His capabilities were the reason why United signed him, as they wanted to surge towards Champions League victory, but this was only on a 2-year deal (costing roughly £5m a season) due to complications with his contract with MSI.
The ability to sign Tevez long term was evidently becoming more doubtful by the time his two year loan period was drawing to a conclusion. Kia Joorbchian, his agent was appearing to become more and more difficult seemingly making all the Argentine’s decisions for him. United supporters like me all appreciated Tevez for his commitments on the pitch but were unable to realise his attitude off the pitch to the United management.
It is this attitude which has surfaced during his time at City, especially throughout last season. The most remarkable thing I remember about Tevez’ lack of shame was his uncaring mannerisms during his first press conference at City where I remember him even stating he expected the United fans to ‘understand’ why he had jumped ship.
Then, the first transfer request came in January, during a time where City were in with a shout of winning the Premier League. Everyone seemed to be in shock at the time, although one person who probably was not was Sir Alex as it is now apparent that if United were to have paid the £30 million asking price for Tevez’ full-time services, he would soon have got fed up with life at Old Trafford and demanded a move.
This would have would have been extremely infuriating and embarrassing to us supporters who consider United to be the biggest football club in the world. The fact that he has lived in the country for almost 5 seasons and is still unable to hold a sentence shows his long term commitment issues.
He has scored 43 goals over the last 2 seasons at City, which shows what on the pitch the controversial striker can bring to a team. However, for the majority of those goals he followed up with a celebration with kisses of the club badge. Recent events show how genuine those moments were and show why his personality will always overshadow his tremendous skills.
About Joseph Maloney
A massive United fan, Joseph has been a season-ticket holder at Old Trafford for the past 5 seasons and is currently studying sports journalism at University. Hoping to succeed in the tough world of football media, Joseph will be writing more often on Can They Score in the coming months, as he hopes to express his passion for the club through his writing.