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September 27th is a Thursday this year. Given that 2012 is a leap year, it will be the 271st day of the year. On this day, the great Roman Francesco Totti will celebrate his 36th birthday, while the folks over at Google HQ celebrate its 14th.
However, September 27th, 2012 will also be the first anniversary, so to speak, of that night in Munich, a day that will be forever remembered by Manchester City fans, as well the six months that followed.
I needn’t explain what went on that night, in fact, I probably couldn’t even if I wanted to, because I don’t know. The truth is, I don’t think anybody knows what exactly happened because what is clear to me is that there was massive confusion and miscommunication between Roberto Mancini and Carlos Tevez.
Now Carlos Tevez is arguably the best footballer I’ve ever seen put on “City Blue”, he’s probably the hardest working footballer that I’ve ever seen in a sky blue shirt, but the fact remains that in taking a six-month ‘hiatus’ from City, he completely disrespected the manager, the owner, the shirt, and most importantly, the Manchester City fans who would give everything to have the opportunity to be out playing on the pitch that he so disgracefully neglected.
However, Tevez returned when City were starting to flag. By the 21st March of this year, City had been knocked out of the Champions League and then were knocked out of the Europa League. To add to this, we weren’t top of the tree for the first time since October. City were faltering and they needed someone to shake things up, David Silva hadn’t been on top form since the turn of the year and it was showing in City’s performances.
In all likelihood, Tevez’s ‘advisor’, Kia Joorabchian, probably agreed personal terms with AC Milan on behalf of Tevez last year, with a view to a permanent move in January of this year. However, City were stubborn and didn’t budge from their asking price, and rightly so as Galliani is known to be a horror to deal with.
Alex Ferguson once said of the Italians:
“When an Italian tells me it’s pasta on the plate, I check under the sauce to make sure. They are the inventors of the smokescreen.”
It’s highly probable that Milan had lined up a deal with dubious “add-ons” and “instalments”.
However, he remained and revitalised a team that definitely needed a shake up, contributing greatly to a City side that overcame an eight point deficit to pip United to the league title.
This is what it may have taken for City fans to forgive Tevez. For me, he was forgiven when he apologised to the club and to the manager, the goals were just the cherry on top if you like.
On the other hand, what happened in Munich is etched in the memory of every City fan, none will be able to forget. Some may not even be able to forgive.
Some may even ask what is the point? Football sold its soul to the devil a long time ago, what is the need in restoring its morals now?
This makes me wonder whether any footballer, particularly foreign, actually care about the clubs they play for. Or are they all mercenaries? Money is undoubtedly the precedent in today’s game, and although there are likely to be some that bleed their team’s colours, the majority are just waiting for pay day.
Carlos Tevez, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo. You name them, they’re mercenaries.
But we support them.
Tevez is perceived by myself as an utterly despicable man. Is it hard to accept this sort at my football club? No, not really. It can be considered the price of success.
Carlos Tevez helped contribute to the build up to the happiest day of my life. For that I am eternally grateful.
Written by Josef O’Brien
Follow him on Twitter @The_X_offender
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