Armchair Pundit

What now for Tevez?

Alex Chick

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After Roberto Mancini accused Carlos Tevez of refusing to
play and declared him "finished" at Manchester City, here's a look at the club's options.

OFFLOAD HIM

The most likely outcome, even though City were unable to get
rid of Tevez in the summer. Circumstance means they will have to reduce their
asking price to a level his suitors can meet.

The main obstacle is finding a club Tevez wants to join.
Nobody can force him to leave City, and it would be surprising to see any
European giants (even Internazionale) go in for such a disruptive player.

The teams who can afford him (Anzhi Makachkala, Emirati clubs)
hardly set the pulse racing, so it could be Corinthians or bust - or else a
loan move away from Manchester.

SACK HIM

A popular option with many people this - usually backed up
by the argument that if a 'normal' person refused to do their job, they would
be sacked on the spot. One problem - it's not really true, is it? If you had a
row with the boss and stormed out of your office, but then said you were willing
to come back to work, you would almost certainly not be sacked.

You would get an official warning, and you would probably
lose some pay, but you would probably have a decent case for unfair dismissal
if you were sacked for that incident alone.

People refusing to do part of their jobs they dislike is not
unheard of. It's extremely distasteful when they are a professional footballer,
on monstrous wages, refusing to play against Bayern Munich in the Champions
League. But it's not a sacking offence.

If City try to terminate Tevez's contract without
compensation, not only would they write off any potential transfer income, they
would initiate the mother of all legal battles, one which they would probably
lose.

A mutual termination also seems out of the question, as City would have to pay up Tevez's contract and miss out on a transfer fee.

LET HIM ROT

Another course of action with a lot of support - today's Sun
bore the headline: "City should
let him rot for sake of football." The idea is that City will
refuse Tevez the move he so obviously craves, and can afford to pay his wages
without letting him see a minute's competitive action.

It might
appeal to those with a desire to see the player suffer (suffer on £200,000 a
week, that is), but it's not going to happen.

If City decide
Tevez has no future in the first team, they must simply get rid of him - even
if that is what he wants. Why pursue any course of action that involves keeping
a corrosive personality against both his and your will, especially when you
would only be doing it to spite him?

PLAY HIM

This may not be as outlandish as it sounds. Let's not forget
Tevez has already slapped in two transfer requests and is still a City player. Things
look bleak now, but over time bridges can be rebuilt.

Of course City's first option would be to get rid of Tevez,
but if no suitable deal can be done, why would they refuse the services of a
proven performer?

OK, there are lots of reasons. But January is a long time to
keep Tevez frozen out. If - and it's a big if - Tevez shows contrition, gets
his head down and trains hard, Mancini may well be tempted to return him to the
fray.

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