Then Saturday Comes… the half decent football blog


Tevez finds football and parenthood don’t mix
February 22, 2010, 8:11 pm
Filed under: Mat Reville's Football Blog | Tags: , ,

Carlos proves his top parenting skills

Domestic managers have battled against the perils of ‘club versus country’ rows for many moons. Rows have raged for years over whether their little millionaire owes more to the country that reared them and give back to 60 million people, or whether they should be at their peak for the benefit of the international brotherhood of oil tycoons that happen to be signing the cheques this year.

Presumably you can see where I stand on the issue.

In similar black and white terms, there is another battle that rears its head once every so often, that of club versus personal crisis.

It is very easy to criticise football managers for putting the good of three points which, in all reality, will mean very little come the end of anybody’s life, or the chance to see their son being born or attend their mother’s funeral. In fact it is so easy to criticise such a manner that I will do without even bothering to bore you with the other side of the argument.

The example that is turning my head towards this matter is an apparant spat between Carlos Tevez and Manchester City. Little Carlos has been a big hit at the massive club this season, but his attention to the cause was lost when his wife went into labour dangerously early he flew back in Argentina.

Tevez quite rightfully flew back to his home country, where reports are vague but apparently sufficiently serious for significant worry over their well being.

Manchester City have publically given their permission for him to stay in Argentina, but there are plenty of rumours that the permission is forced because they know that Tevez would not return, as they would like him to.

Good evidence for this came afeter Manchester City limped to an abysmally boring 0-0 draw with a Liverpool side that play like an apathetic corpse, Tevez’s boss Roberto Mancini showed that behind the scarf there is a bit of a scumbag, with comments suggesting the Argentine was not a team player because he is favouring resolving serious family issues at the expense of playing football.

Mancini said:

“I don’t know where Tevez is, I think he is in Argentina.

“It’s a big problem for us because we have an important week and we don’t have Tevez. For me it is no good. Carlos has been eight days at home and I don’t know if, while in Argentina, he has been working [on his fitness].

“I hope Carlos, within the next two days, can come back here because we need him. Maybe he is on the plane. He had some problems with his family but now it has been resolved and I hope he comes back. I need him.”

It’s not quite the glowing permission you may expect for someone facing a massively serious worry in his home life.

Manchester United gave Edwin van der Saar time off when his wife was ill. Irrespective of your thoughts on the man, Chelsea were quite right in allowing John Terry the opportunity to resolve problems in his marriage that were deemed front page news for a period that put particular scrutiny under the credibility of  journalistic views of importance.

Yet with Manchester City dropping points yet again at the weekend (two wins in seven now), Mancini is starting to feel the stress and seems to be imploding by creating divisions within his squad.

And, for the record, Manchester City can afford to lose him if they can afford to give away Robinho on loan for a season.

I’m sure Mancini could have done more to stop that happening. His poor man management has also meant that £32m signing got his last bus out of Manchester, moving on a loan deal that (if Championship Manager 97/98 is to be believed) will include only the cost of his wages.

With Manchester City, Bolton and all flopping again this weekend, it’s fair to say things aren’t going well for teams who sacked their managers this season.

Although for that matter… with Hull City and Liverpool seeping out predictably rubbish results, it’s also not going spectacularly well for those clubs that staved off the temptation to sack managers despite a thousand Sun ‘exclusives’ to the contrary.

Admittedly, this frank admission that I don’t really know what’s going on isn’t the strongest way to start this topic. But it is with great magnanity that I thank you for your continued reading.

Because at the end of the day, there is nothing you can really say about managers. True, some will be better than others (see how Peter Taylor treated the same squad he inherited at Leicester City from Martin O’Neill). There is a degree of importance to attach to the manager.

But morons like the soul-less robots on Sky Sports put too much sway into whether the manager picking a 4-3-3 or a 4-5-1 formation. At the end of the most important variable is, of course, the players.


The biggest relationship the manager has with players is man-management. Anyone who thinks Harry Redknapp is more tactically astute than Glenn Hoddle is an idiot. Yet Harry Redknapp manages a team challenging for the Champion’s League and Glenn Hoddle is consigned to the managerial scrapheap.

Mancini should remember that his biggest job is getting the right things out of the players he puts on the pitch. If he forces him home there is no point having Tevez back as he wouldn’t be half the player as when his full attention is on football (which it shouldn’t be at the moment). Similarly, you can bet that a lot of the squad would begin to think negatively on Mancini for imposing on the supremely likeable Argentine.

Although it’s still early days for Berti Mancini – who I do like very much – he would do well to learn that lesson very quickly. Phil Scolari will tell you that you don’t get much time to make a good first impression when you have overbearing billionaires wanting instant success.

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