In today's Independent there is a report that three of City's senior players have approached Mancini about stripping Tevez of the captaincy. Ian Herbert describes these developments as,
"the first evidence that the interminable uncertainty over the Argentine's future is damaging his popularity."The key word here for us City fans is 'interminable'. If Tevez does stay for next season, as many reports suggest, it doesn't necessarily mean that the speculation over his future will end. There are factors, in another season at City, that Tevez would consider a compromise. The most persistent grumble is about his family - for whatever reason, he doesn't feel Manchester and family life can be brought together, which is obviously a problem for him and his happiness in a country where, by his own admission, he has struggled to settle. These personal problems are unlikely to be solved in a new contract and I don't think we'll hear the end of them if he were to pledge himself to the club.
All of which is fine, to an extent - it is hard to find too much sympathy with such a well compensated problem. The issue is that this figure of uncertainty is the club captain. Giving Tevez the captaincy in the first place was considered a goodwill gesture to keep him at the club, but he should know that greater vocal commitment to the club is needed in such a role.
I would love Tevez to stay and there are signs that this is a distinct possibility but there is no reason why he cannot stay on without the captaincy. He has had a season where he has performed outstandingly, but his off the field comments, his transfer request and all that accompanied it, has left his position as the leader of the team looking quite flimsy - and it would hardly be surprising if more committed members of the squad are disgruntled by his continuing in the role.
Vincent Kompany would be the obvious choice as his replacement - a great leader on the pitch, respected by his team mates, and an eloquent and vocal ambassador of the club and its ambitions.
Obviously it is not as easy as all that - the last thing the management will want to do is upset Tevez at such a delicate juncture but, at the same time, if it is dealt with correctly then it could serve to show that Tevez is not the boss at the club, that the management will not bow to his every request, and this can only be good for the dynamics of the club. A very important player does not necessarily make ideal captaincy material. The club should be in the position of power and continuing the perceived mollycoddling of our prize asset should not be necessary where the club now finds itself in the English game.