Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Time for the end of Carlos's captaincy?

It is often the case as a football fan that you have to dislocate the man from the player or at least aspects of the man from the player who crosses that white line.  This is easy to do as long as the attitude on the pitch is what is expected.  Martin Petrov, for example, lost almost all my sympathies when he brought his name-waggling whining celebration into games.  Carlos Tevez, on the other hand, is perfect.  Disregarding the occasionally grumpy characteristics, he gives his all for the team and you cannot ask for much more from a player.  Off the pitch, however much is true of what we read, is a circus of uncertainty.

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.


  1. Much as it saddens me,I have to disagree with your description of Carlos as 'perfect' on the pitch. He has not shown the minimum encouragement of the younger players that should be forthcoming from any senior player, let alone from the Captain. Moreover, Carlos is inordinately selfish, so much so that he sees Mario and Edin as rivals.

  2. I agree about how selfish he is; 'perfect' perhaps in his work rate and commitment (on the pitch), but so selfish in how he never passes (except to David Silva, safe in the knowledge he'll get it back). And he doesn't appear to communicate with Edin and never passes to him

  3. To follow up on the previous posts, tedious analysis of the Guardian Chalkboard shows that Carlos Tevez passed just half a dozen times in total to Edin Dzeko in the Premier League games against Wolves, Birmingham, Manchester United, West Brom, Fulham and Liverpool.

  4. ...but then again Tevez isn't paid to pass. He's paid to score goals and he's one of the few players we have who does this with regularity. If anything City was too "pass happy" at times last season, wasting scoring chances trying to make that extra pass. There are a lot reasons Tevez does not deserve to maintain the captaincy but his pass rate is not one of them.

  5. A captain should set an example to all at a club in everything he does and everything he says. Tevez does not. Simple.

  6. If Tevez stays, it would be a public humiliation to strip hiim of the captaincy and I doubt Mancini would go that route. As for Tevez being selfish, that rather suggests that when he gets the ball he runs with it until he either scores or loses it. This is a perception that has been growing for months and is just that - a perception. The stats do not back it up and if you look at his performances and watch him properly instead of picking up everyone's opinions, you will find that more often than not he passes. Personally, I think he will be with us next season and possibly the one after and will return to Argentina when his contract expires. I hope that is the case because one or two have had the knives out for him which is a real shame because he is outstanding, he scores goals for fun and he is blue!

  7. 14.10 - I don't think it's a case of picking up other people's opinions - I think that's quite patronising. Fans that I know have independently reached the same opinion and why shouldn't they? Yes, Tevez is a great one man show, and I think all City fans will be delighted with all the times he's scored, but other than to David Silva, he doesn't really pass that much, and he does appear to be keener on individual success than on the team's success. And he really doesn't help his cause by not committing himself to City's future, and by slagging off Manchester! But that's my opinion. I agree, it would be very difficult to take away the captaincy from him (assuming he stays), but the interesting point is that there are (allegedly) 'senior players' who think that should happen