MANCHESTER United made the back pages for their high profile departure over the summer. Oh, ok, counting the predictable Ronaldo one there was the other one between Carlos Tevez and the team that plays in blue over at Eastlands. It was a move that was closer to home in more ways than just the geographical distance. While enough column inches have undoubtedly been written about whether we needed him and whether he was in fact playing the fans to secure a deal at Old Trafford there is a still a few angles in the story that must be looked at before we can go right ahead and boo the new blue.
Tevez probably did want to stay. Sir Alex probably did want to keep him. With everything else it all gets murky. Either no effort was made to do this or, from the other side, weighing in with millions of pounds, from Govan, manager of the best football team in the whole worrrrrrrld; Sir Alex tried to contact Carlos and was ignored.
You have to wonder about Sir Alex’s ability with mobile phones don’t you? He texts Sam Allardyce when Bolton help United to claim their title back, he gets Cristiano Ronaldo’s old number and wonders why our former number seven gave no reply, and recently we learn:
“I phoned him on holiday and he never got back to me and I texted him twice and he never got back to me then either, so obviously he had made his mind up a long time ago” (July 13)
The headlines that revolve around Fergie’s texting ability, we pray he never gets an iphone and it’s probably a good job we aren’t sponsored by Vodafone now too!
The point that may have been over looked in the scenery of who texted what to whom after what game, and the question I find myself asking is Was it worth two years investment?
When Wayne Rooney moved from Everton to Manchester United I looked as it simply as a player moving to improve his career with a better employer. Living on Merseyside at the time I had access to Evertonian opinions on this and they always seemed to say that they knew he would leave eventually, but that as reward for the time and investment Everton had given him, the blue noses would have liked him to stay an extra year or two as payback almost. I never saw that point of view, but Tevez has made me rethink. I can now see the Everton point of view, for all the hard work and the nurturing of the promise, it must have really hurt that he left as soon as it was possible. I empathise with the loss that those supporters felt; he will not be the Everton legend he was being groomed to be, the European success he brings will not be to the Everton team. That’s what hurt. Cash wouldn’t solve that, and hasn’t to this day.
Fast forward to now and we get a tricky little player on loan from some businessmen; the fee is fixed at the start and at the end United will have to decide whether to pay it or not. Simples! While Carlos may not have been nurtured and developed in the same way as Wayne Rooney was with Everton, we can still make the argument that the two years is an investment all the same. An investment from fans to player, from manager to player, from player to club. Even as he was putting the ball in the net for West Ham against us the day we got our trophy back, we knew that the chances of him being a Manchester United player the following season were about as slim as a fat man with crispy crème donut loyalty card.
He came, he saw, he scored important goals for us throughout the two years. He moaned when he was on the bench and had the support of the fans when his brand of get up and go was overlooked week after week for Berbatov whose get up and go, got up and went! He loves Manchester United, he tells us often enough, he wants the offer of a contract and he is working for people who want to at least discuss that with him. The bottom line is, if you want to stay at Manchester United, you stay at Manchester United. It’s not difficult and I don’t care who you are or how many times you say that. Come in, sign, go celebrate. Love affair in tact.
But no, he signs for City and digs the knife in even more with yet more denials that a contract was never offered. This after his agent had told Sky Sports that a contract was offered, but not early enough to make Tevez feel wanted.
The whole loyalty debate is for another article. I’m still wondering about whether the investment of two years of our resources, time and effort and the fans support was worth the return. Yes, crucial goals. What else? One of the most crucial goals of last year was not scored by Tevez but by Frederico Macheda; a youngster from within our system. The Tevez departure leaves me feeling empty, not because he has gone to City but because I’m even having to ask, at the end of the two years is that all there is?
This isn’t a case of a player being brought in under huge fanfare, and then a short time later being allowed to leave quietly. Ferguson never admits that made a mistake signing a player, but it’s amazing how many of those are allowed to sneak off to Chelsea or wherever. That’s the closest to Ferguson admitting that the player didn’t work out at this club. Tevez does not fall into that catergory. He was a success.
Say what you want about Cristiano Ronaldo but the facts are that we knew he wanted to play for Real eventually, he gave us six years of his career and we turned him into the best player in the world. The investment is there to see, the development is there to see and I have no ill will towards him at all. He knows the part that Manchester United played in his career. In that case, the investment more than paid off.
That is not the case with Tevez, and I guess I’m feeling like it could have been. He could have been the United legend alongside the fan favourite, he could have played a bigger part in the history of Manchester United and I could have believed that he wanted to do so. But he wont. So I don’t.
For two years Carlos Tevez was part of our club and did make a contribution, but it could have been more. Ole Solskjaer repaid the investment and continues to do so on the staff, working with players who will hopefully one day score important goals for the club. One day they will say they love the club and the fans, and they will mean it. The investment will be worth it. Part of me wonders whether it would have been better to never have taken him on board because as I have said, it wasn’t as if he’s a Nevland or a Richardson or a Veron I can happily say didn’t work out here and left. Tevez did and made me believe he wanted to damn it!
End of story. Tevez is a blue. I hope the fans enjoy the fact that they ‘stole him’ from under our noses and I hope someone ends Carlos’ belief that he is still warmly thought of by the United support.
Sometimes he makes it hard for us to do, but at the end of the day in Fergie we trust. Tevez decided to swap to that lot across the city? Well then ladies and gentlefolk it’s a whole new ball game now. Until next time…. GtS