City succumbed to a 2-0 defeat away to Bayern Munich last night in their second Champions League group game. A first half brace from Mario Gomez was enough to seal City’s fate on the night. In truth, Munich were far superior and deserved the victory. The German’s blistering form this season continued as City’s equally positive progress this season faltered somewhat. Munich are undefeated this season, without conceding, and they were clearly intent on continuing their unbelievable form last night. With one point from their opening two group games, City face a tough challenge to progress to the knock-out stages of the Champions League. Though, all is not lost as four games remain.
Unfortunately, the game will not be remembered for events on the pitch. The refusal of Carlos Tevez to come on as a second half substitute has, rather unsurprisingly, stolen the headlines. In a second half where Munich continued to control the game, Roberto Mancini ordered Tevez to warm up and replace Gareth Barry. Tevez did not move from the bench meaning Aleks Kolarov went onto the pitch instead, much to the anger of Mancini, the City staff and of course the fans.
Exactly who does Carlos Tevez think he is? For someone who portrays himself as an exemplary professional, last night showed a simply unacceptable side of the want-away Argentine. Tevez reportedly earns in the region of £250,000 a week and cannot be bothered to run around a football pitch for 30 minutes. That is just offensive, offensive to Mancini, his colleagues, the club and to his profession. Not only has Tevez incurred the wrath of Mancini and the City faithful he has also attracted deserved criticism from the wider footballing community. Mancini stated ‘If I have my way he will be out. He’s finished with me.’ I think you will be hard pressed to find someone who disagrees with the sentiment.
During the summer, I was of the opinion that if Tevez leaves City, great because he clearly doesn’t want to be there. Then again, I also thought that if Tevez stays, great because he will give it his all when on the pitch. Sadly, I have been proven wrong. His refusal to even take to the field of play is just a step too far. The sooner Tevez leaves City the better.
On what should have been a night to remember for City, playing one of the great European teams in arguably the best football competition in the world, the Champions League, it will be a night most City fans and players alike will want to forget sooner rather than later. Even though City lost the game, the occasion should have been remembered for marking City’s arrival at the summit of European football. In reality, it will be remembered for the moment Carlos Tevez over stepped the mark and perhaps epitomised all that is wrong with modern football. The sooner City put this rather ugly episode behind them the better.
Words by Rob Toole