Sometime during the footballing lesson that Manchester City were being taught at the hands of Bayern Munich, Carlos Tevez started trending on Twitter. Most people that saw this thought that he had probably scored a magnificent goal or multiple goals (because Ten Action refused to show this match live). How wrong everyone was, because Tevez hadn't actually scored. He hadn't assisted or beaten 10 defenders or gotten a controversial penalty. In fact, he wasn't even on the pitch.
It's widely known Tevez is unhappy at the Etihad stadium. Manager Roberto Mancini has already stated that Tevez isn't part of his plans. Tevez wanted to go back to South America in the summer but deals fell through and Tevez and Mancini were stuck with each other at least until January.
Tevez has only managed one league start this season. As Bayern dominated City, Tevez, apparently disappointed that he wasn't starting, refused to go on as a substitute. Mancini said during his post-match press conference, “He is finished for me. If I had my way, he'd be out of the club.” And that's what will probably happen. Tevez has been slapped with a two week suspension while the club investigates into the matter and he will probably leave in January much to the relief of all parties involved.
But why would he do such a thing? Where's the sense in turning down game time because you wanted more game-time? Yes, he's a good footballer who gives everything on the pitch but he has also always been a tremendous, arrogant douche and this week was the height of his crassness. After Mancini told the media about how Tevez had refused to do the job he was paid 250,000 pounds a week to do (and as a substitute as well; that's like me getting paid to write two sentences), the striker stumbled in front of the cameras to say how he was “not feeling very good mentally to enter the pitch.” Why not tell the manager that before the match, moron? Why not say that before he picks you for the bench? Half the French team did just that in the World Cup last year. Once he realised how much of a monumental jackass he had made of himself, he released a statement saying he had not actually refused to play. Bit late for that, mate.
As former Liverpool captain, Graeme Souness said, “Carlos Tevez is a disgrace to football, he epitomises what the man in the street thinks is wrong with modern-day players.” This time he has really shown the City loyal how he couldn't care less about them. There have been signs for a while: his moaning at Old Trafford, flying back to Buenos Aires every time he catches a cold and his constant begging to return to Argentina while searching for a move to wealthy teams further from home. In truth, he's just a selfish idiot who doesn't know how good he has it.
And all this does is make more headaches for Roberto Mancini. He's been here before and he lost his job last time at star-studded Inter, where Luis Figo pulled a Tevez (or is it the other way around?) after falling out with the manager. At the end of that season, he was dumped unceremoniously despite winning them their third Scudetto in three years.
City may have a wealth of players and actual wealth that is damn near incomparable but their egos will be their downfall. Tevez has already made his statement and other strikers don't look better off. Edin Dzeko threw a massive tantrum after being subbed off for playing poorly and then there is the ever-controversial, ever-moody Mario Balotelli who can throw fits so childish you wonder if he ever hit puberty. Forget winning anything with these guys, if Mancini can keep them together for the next year, he deserves an award.
Manchester City can pretty much buy any player they want. They're already lining up a bid for Arsenal's Dutch striker Robin Van Persie as a replacement for Tevez and who knows, after their dismal showing in Munich, they might be tempted to buy the entire Bayern team. While they can buy players and they can buy all the talent in the world, they can't buy a team and ultimately that's what you need in football, a team.
Last week, our topic was Power. The entry below bluntly points out a major issue in our country. Beneath the surface of the protagonist's actions and the apparent changes his character undergoes, we see a subtle hint of the fallacy of life and our futile dreams of hollow victories and vain glory. For next week, our topic will be Crooked. Submissions must be sent in to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday noon. Word limit: 500 words. Good luck.
By Nabil Rahaman
Pal, chum, bud, friend, mate, so many words! Yet, not one could ever describe what he was to me. He was a guide and still, a follower. A bond which every dictionary would define as friendship; we shared that, and more. More. The depth of which cannot be defined, only felt.
I remember sitting next to him everyday when we were classmates. His eyes gleamed with hope and he'd whisper dreams to me. He told me how everyone's suffering would end someday. I listened for hours, entranced. I believed in him. If I missed school for one day by any chance, he'd get worried and come to our house just after school ended. And I thought I could never lose him...
While our dreams tell us tales of inordinate delight, reality guides us elsewhere. We parted just after high school. I was moving abroad to a new life. A life without the person I cherished the most. He came to see me off at the airport and there, I saw him crying for the first time in my life.
He was out of sight, but not out of mind. We talked on the phone on weekends. But the phone calls kept away too many things from me which I should've known.
On a gloomy afternoon six years later, I stood before him. Change was the only thing that remained unchanged. Too many things had happened during the course of my absence. He lost his amiable smile. His eyes sparkled no longer. Standing before me was an unknown figure; a victim of student politics.
He was already a big leader by then, I'd heard.
"Of all things, why politics?" I asked him.
"Politics is the synonym for power," was his reply.
"Power?" I couldn't believe what he said. "You're doing this for power? Something so superficial?"
He was silent.
"The path you've chosen is smudged with crime and blood. And after arriving, I've already heard rumours about you. Not good rumours. How can you change so much? Why did you hide all this from me? I thought we were friends! Why didn't you confide in me?"
I looked at him. I didn't get a reply. He gave a nonchalant shrug, but his eyes betrayed the trace of guilt. "I'm sorry, I'm not the guy you knew," he said as he turned away.
Who knew that that'd be the last image I'd have of him? As I stood near his grave a week later, I couldn't control my tears. "Killed by the cadres of the opposition," the newspapers said about his demise. I fell to my knees and looked at the rectangular patch of freshly turned earth. He lay there, alone and powerless.
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