Much was made of Carlos Tevez’ controversial move across Manchester, from United to City, but Tevez answered every one of his critics during his four years at Eastlands. A fee reportedly in the region of £25.5 million is all Manchester City spent on the Argentine and what an investment he proved to be. Through ups and downs, Carlos Tevez was still one of the greatest players ever to represent City.
In signing for Manchester City, Tevez became the first player to move between the two Manchester clubs since Terry Cooke moved from United to City in 1999. His move attracted much media attention and City famously erected a “Welcome To Manchester” billboard with the face of Carlos Tevez on it to cause havoc.
Tevez made his debut coming off the bench for City during their 0-2 win over Blackburn Rovers at the beginning of the 2009-2010 season. The Argentine would score his first goal for the club in the Carling Cup against Crystal Palace only days later.
It would be a month later against West Ham where Tevez would finally bag his first league goals for City. A brace of goals in a 3-1 win over his former club, West Ham, silenced the media who were beginning to be critical of Tevez. Despite poor league form, Carlos continued his goal-scoring streak in the Carling Cup by scoring against Scunthorpe and Arsenal respectively.
His impressive run continued and he managed to score eight goals in seven games in December, including a goal on new manager Roberto Mancini’s home debut. Fans were finally beginning to see the real Carlos Tevez who seemed very settled playing in front of his new crowd.
His first hat-trick for City came against Blackburn Rovers in January on the same night he claimed the player of the month award for December. Two more goals followed suit only days later in City’s first semi-final for twenty-eight years. His brace against former club Manchester United gave City a goal advantage in the semi-final of the Carling Cup. The return leg would see Tevez score once again, but it wouldn’t be enough to see City to Wembley as United progressed 4-3 on aggregate.
The highlight in February seen Tevez wins twice at Stamford Bridge where City would beat eventual champions, Chelsea, 2-4. Another hat-trick at the end of March followed suit against Wigan before Tevez swept the club’s awards for supporters and players’ player of the season award. Despite not making the Champions League as previously hoped, Tevez was instrumental in guiding City to European football and their highest ever Premier League finish of 5th.
As the new season approached in 2010, Tevez was handed the captain’s armband replacing Kolo Toure. Six goals in his first five games meant Tevez was leading the race in chase of the golden boot. After a victory against Bolton in December, Tevez began to tarnish his near-perfect reputation with City fans.
A transfer request was handed by Tevez citing personal reasons and also a breakdown in relationship with some of the clubs top executives. The request was described as lubricious and swiftly rejected by City’s top personnel. On December 20th as City looked to end Christmas top of the league for the first time since 1929, Tevez withdrew his transfer request after he held ‘clean-the-air’ talks with the club. Tevez was straight back into the action on Boxing Day and scored another brace, this time in City’s 1-3 away win at Newcastle United.
Tevez managed to score his fiftieth goal for the club in an F.A. Cup replay against Notts County. He had taken just 73 appearances to do so. This record was the second-fastest by a City player, behind only Derek Kevan who managed to achieve the record in just 64 games.
City’s impressive form continued, and Tevez was finding the net on a regular basis. He was crucial to guiding City to yet another Cup semi-final against United but would miss the clash due to a hamstring injury suffered just days before. Tevez wasn’t needed as City were going to a Wembley final for the first time since 1981. He returned to the side for the Cup final and became the first City captain since 1976 to lift a trophy for the club, ending a generation of misery for the City faithful.
Two days later, amid rumours of his departure to Italy in the summer, he announced his desire to stay at Eastlands. However, on 8 June, he told an Argentine chat show host that he “would not even return there on vacation”.
The 2011-2012 season started with a home fixture against Swansea and City had a new Argentine superstar in Sergio Aguero. He came on as a sub in the next game away to Bolton but Tevez had lost the captaincy by this point to Vincent Kompany, despite committing his future to Manchester City. He made his first league start of the season at home to Wigan but missed a penalty in a game where Sergio Aguero managed to score his first City hat-trick.
September 27th, 2011 seen arguably Tevez’ most famous moment in a City shirt where he refused to come off the bench for City in Munich. This later led to manager Roberto Mancini claiming Tevez would never play for City again as he “couldn’t accept this sort of behaviour”. Tevez was suspended as a result of his action, and a full investigation was underway to the club. Sheikh Mansour ordered Tevez to be placed on gardening leave and to stay away from the training ground. In doing so, Tevez returned to Argentina without permission and would face further disciplinary action when he would be forced to return.
Tevez returned to training on February 14th, 2012 and was obliged to apologise to teammates and management before his return was granted. On February 23rd, Roberto Mancini drew a line under the saga and declared Tevez was available for selection.
Tevez made his return to the Manchester City first-team in a 2–1 home victory against Chelsea on 21 March, coming on for Nigel de Jong in the 66th minute before providing the assist for Samir Nasri’s winning goal. His first goal of the season came four games later, the third goal in a 4–0 home win against West Bromwich Albion on 11 April. On 14 April, Tevez scored a hat-trick and provided an assist for Agüero in a 6–1 away win against Norwich City. He celebrated his third strike with a golf swing, in response the pundits who questioned his desire during his leave of absence in where he was pictured on the golf course. He also played in City’s title-winning game against Queens Park Rangers on 13 May.
The season ended, and little rumours of a departure existed meaning Tevez was keen to get down to business at City. By the beginning of the season, Tevez scored his 100th goal in English football in a 2-2 draw away at Liverpool. A week later he scored his 50th Premier League goal for City, becoming the first player to achieve the fleet.
On 19 January 2013, it was reported that Tevez had revealed that he nearly retired from professional football in 2012 in the midst of his Manchester City and Argentina crisis. By this time it was widely believed the club would finally cut their loses with Tevez. He ended the season as City’s top scorer with 17 goals in all competitions as City ended the season in a respectable second place.
On 26 June 2013, Tevez signed a three-year contract with Juventus for a reported £12 million. The fee combined with wages and bonuses due to Tevez in the final year of his contract was estimated to save Manchester City about £27 million. Nonetheless, the impression Carlos Tevez has left in Manchester is one of success, passion, hard-work and dedication. His goals were crucial to City in a time of growth, and he was a major figure in helping to close the gap between city rivals, United and City.
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