Why Man City need to stop indulging Carlos Tevez
C'mon Khaldoon, just get rid.
What should be a week full of recognition for City after a stunning day in Premier League history, has been hijacked by the self-indulgent Tevez and his need to mock his former Manchester United manager. And all this from someone who, on a mooted 200,000 quid a week, managed less than ten starts in the league this season.
The apologists are even claiming he didn't understand the sign! Like RIP translates differently in Spanish. Do me a favour! And all this after his golf swing celebration at Norwich City. How much longer are City going to indulge this character?
Sheikh Mansour and chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak have ambitions for City. Not just to dominate on the pitch, but also, perhaps more importantly, to make a positive and significant contribution to the every day life of Manchester. But how does Tevez's behaviour positively impact on the city's young people? Abandoning your workmates, slating your work place and then after months living it up, returning out of shape.
Again the apologists say people of Tevez's talent need 'special treatment', they deserve it because they're so much more gifted. Which is really an insult to players like Arsenal captain Robin van Persie, the sort of character who would actually improve the culture at City.
The crazy thing is that it took Tevez going AWOL to force manager Roberto Mancini into giving the captaincy to Vincent Kompany. Against United at the Etihad, it wasn't Tevez who powered home that all-important header. And its crazier still that City are now talking to Kompany about a £120,000-a-week contract upgrade - barely less than half Tevez's current wage packet.
Kompany, Joe Hart, Yaya Toure, these are the players who will take City forward and whose approach will be felt throughout the club for years to come.
Tevez's contribution this season should be barely a footnote. The influence he had since ending his exile has been overblown. And for all the 'what ifs' from Sunday, one which hasn't had a run in the media is what would've happened if the match officials had seen Tevez raising his hands at Joey Barton before his red card, as the QPR skipper has claimed?
At 28 and for all his talent, Tevez should be a £30 million player on the open market. Clubs should be banging on the Etihad front door, demanding talks. But the offers hardly came flooding in during January. In fact, one of the most serious was from Championship West Ham United. Perhaps the rest of Europe were sending a message to City's powerbrokers.
They're talking about a trophy-laden dynasty now at City. And who can argue against that? But as United found - and Liverpool before them - you need players, leaders, prepared to put the club above themselves to achieve sustained success.
Teams don't win Champions League titles suffering the sort of self-inflicted dramas City endured last season.