Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Football trend #143: The Mid Season Fallout

Carlos Tevez
Tevez, should he stay or should he go?

Manchester City supporters were feeling pretty good about themselves Saturday afternoon, the squad had just hammered West Ham 3-1 and looked very good doing it. Fans were finally seeing the free flowing, silky beautiful football they had been craving since the Abu Dhabi group took over the club and promised the world. Roberto Manchini's team were, albeit temporally, joint top of the table with Arsenal and finally gaining the respect of their cross town rivals United. It seemed City fans were getting an early Christmas present.

That was until about 6 pm, when Carlos Tevez decided he didn't like Manchester anymore.

The sensational news their club captain and top goal scorer had handed in a written transfer request stunned not only City fans, but the footballing fraternity in general. The fact that Tevez wasn't happy at City wasn't a huge shock. You could point to a number of actions by the Argentinian striker that showed his discontent. From repeated trips back home to Argentina during the middle of the season to see his kids, to locker room and on the field blow ups with other players and Manchini. To his requests during this off season to be transferred away from England in order to be closer to home, it was clear number 32's time at the club was going to come to an end sooner rather than later. However no one though this soon, and this abruptly.

In his own statement released Monday Tevez went out of his way to make us understand that his motives were not money based like some other striker in Manchester who tried to pull something similar. Though it is worth mentioning that City claim Tevez's handler Kia Joorabchian has been angling for an improved contact over the past year.

He stated that his relationships with "certain  executives" and management have "broken down beyond repair" and that family reasons, not money or more playing time were behind his request. Many are speculating what might be going on behind the scenes at Eastlands but Dan Roan of BBC Sport sees it as a  "developing power struggle between Joorabchian and City's board, especially chief executive Garry Cook". Whatever the case may be Tevez is not the first, nor will he be that last player who suffers from the mid season fallout bug.

Cassano's days on Sampdoria seem numbered.

Several players currently are either holding out from their clubs, or are being held out by their owners due to a mid season fallout. The biggest example currently is in Italy where Italian international striker Antonio Cassano is being "frozen out" of his club team Sampdoria for falling out with owner Riccardo Garrone. This situation is a bit different though as Cassano refused to attend a function with Garrone and later called the owner what loosely can be translated in English "an old piece of sh*t". Needless to say Cassano despite all his wonderful talent has not seen anything close to game action since, and is thought by many Italian football pundits to be living on borrowed time at the Genoa club.

Zlatan Ibrahimović is a two time member of this club, first falling out with the afore mentioned Roberto Manchini at Inter Milan before being sold to Barcelona in exchange for Samuel Eto'o (Who's no saint himself). Then admitting this summer that he and Barca manager Pep Guardiola hadn't spoken in 8 months and that he felt Guardiola wasn't good enough to manage him. That mid season fallout last season lead to his loan/will become permanent move to AC Milan in August.

Dishonorable mentions go to: Robinino (Another Man City disaster), Emmanuel Adebayor (Potentially a City disaster), Joleon Lescott, Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo (Not the current one) and the countless others who have run rampant with the Bosman ruling.

As players gain more money and agents become bigger players in the business end of the game, these "fallouts" or grievances will continue to grow in the game. I do not believe this Tevez affair is all about money, if it was I believe this wouldn't be playing in the press as freely as it has. Family has a lot of say in this, his two daughters live in Argentina and he wants to be closer to them. However I also believe that he might be losing the passion to play the game at the highest level. In the past Carlos has railed against the business of the game, saying it can ruin a players desire to keep on playing. By no means do I think Tevez will up and retire, but I do think he is getting sick and tired of all the football politics around him, especially around his agent Kia Joorabchian who also owns his economic rights in regards to his footballing income.

For Tevez's sake I hope he knows what he's getting himself into.


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