My tribe

Why Tevez and weak Man City leadership group handed title to Scholes-inspired Man Utd

Carlos Tevez has to be the happiest man at Manchester City.

The club has gone into freefall since his return - and he's escaped scrutiny scot free. Instead, Mario Balotelli, with all his antics, has been made the scapegoat for all that is wrong at the Etihad.

And it's easy to blame the Italian, the red cards, the car accidents, the gatecrashing of media conferences. Dead easy. But how can a young lad, at 21, who is so self-entitled and self-absorbed, be convinced to change his ways when he sees a so-called leader of the dressing room go AWOL, slate the club, the city, the fans and then be welcomed back by the same locker room he let down - and a couple of belt sizes larger?!

Sir Alex Ferguson has been lauded as the difference between the two teams this season. But it goes deeper than that. Its the culture inside the respective locker rooms.

Tevez has been back at City for OVER A MONTH. Yet, his roly-poly body still can't cope with more than 20 minutes at Premier League level. Contrast that to Paul Scholes' return. When he made his comeback - at City - he'd had no reserve-team games in preparation, no preseason, but also was carrying no extra baggage around the midriff.

He was actually out of the game for longer than Tevez's self-imposed exile. And you just know he wouldn't have considered the thought of a comeback if he felt he was going to let the club down.

And as he was inspiring his teammates to haul in City's eight point lead, Tevez was home in Argentina working on his golf handicap.

The Argentine's return was celebrated by his teammates. Yes, he'd apologised to them - and all was forgiven. The slate was clean.

But again contrast that to what happened at United a year ago with Wayne Rooney doubting the quality of the squad and dropping the bombshell he was thinking of leaving. Rooney also apologised to his teammates - but the difference was that leaders like Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs made it clear, through the press, that they'd felt let down by his comments. Yes, they were happy families again, but both in the public arena and privately, fans knew the leadership group at United were upset with Rooney's actions.

At City, the difference couldn't be greater. To a man, City players, when asked about Tevez's return, insisted 'everyone makes mistakes' and they were just grateful to have him back. Micah Richards, Vincent Kompany, Yaya and Kolo Toure, they all publicly accepted Tevez's behaviour. There was no condemnation - which can only suggest the club still comes second to the individual at City.

When it came to making that extra effort needed to be champions, City's players have been found wanting. The Toures, Kompany, Richards and Joe Hart are all great pros, but true, genuine City leaders? The type that exists - and is consistently developed - over the road at Old Trafford? No chance.

Someone, like Kompany or Yaya, needed to have the bottle to come out and condemn Tevez. They needed to make clear that the City cause was more important than any teammate - no matter how likeable.

Since Tevez's wobbler, United have turned an eight point deficit into an eight point lead. A sixteen point turnaround. That's massive and should be embarrassing for City's millionaires.

The title collapse will be blamed on Roberto Mancini. But the real failure was the leadership group and it's apathetic approach to a teammate who put himself above everything this club has been trying to achieve under Sheikh Mansour.

Chris Beattie
About the author

Chris Beattie

Have your say
  • Add your favourite leagues and clubs
  • Build your own personal news stream
  • Easily share your favourite stories
  • Connect with what your friends are saying

Select your favourite
leagues and clubs
to get started.

Already part of MyTribe?