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Breaking down the United-Tevez-Kia tug of war

So it has come to pass. Manchester United have announced that Carlos Tevez has decided to reject United’s offer to make his loan move permanent. Here’s the statement:

Following contact received from Carlos Tevez’s advisors last night, in advance of the deadline the Club set for concluding negotiations, Manchester United announces that Carlos will not be signing a new contract with the Club. The Club agreed to pay the option price of £25.5m and offered Carlos a five-year contract which would have made him one of its highest paid players. Disappointingly however, his advisors informed the Club that, despite the success he has enjoyed during one of the Club’s most successful periods, he does not wish to continue playing for Manchester United. The Club would like to thank Carlos for his services over the last two seasons and wishes him good luck for the future.

As drab as official statements usually go, it does confirm the word going around that United did indeed offer the option price of £25.5m for Tevez. It confirms that our option price was £25.5m. That price, since it was known by the club for a while now, was clearly excessive in my opinion — which is why David Gill was perhaps hoping, over time, to haggle with Kia Joorabchian to bring his price down.

Now, there is a valid case to be made about the treatment meted out by the club towards Tevez. But, whilst Tevez gave everything he could on the pitch, his attitude off it needed to be questioned. I understood his frustration at being marginalised at the club by Fergie upon Berbatov’s arrival, and excused him when he went public about it in a radio interview in South America, back in December. I was willing to understand his point of view when he again did it in February/March. But he kept doing this as the season wound up towards its closing stages; his reaction upon scoring the goal against City; him playing the victim card using the massive fan support as a stick to beat the club with made me wonder what he’s really upto.

What shocked me was the willingness of the fans to boo Ferguson when he substituted Tevez, and even drown out the manager’s address to the crowd. What the hell were they thinking?

Following the Tevez deal cancellation announcement, Kia Joorabchian clarified his side of things:

“When Man United made their offer about ten days ago, for the first time in two years, we never went back to them to ask about money. We just asked for some time to think about it. Obviously they have had two years to think about it and Carlos had to make a decision based on his family. Just to make it clear, this has been Carlos’ decision. Nobody else would make this decision for him. We didn’t actually reject the offer. Manchester United have ruled themselves out of the running. We actually asked for more time and if they could not give that we would have to walk away. He wants time to digest it and to know which club would suit him because now he is committing the next five years of his future.”

Now this makes little sense to me. Joorabchian said that Tevez needed more time to think this over. But, ironically, it was Tevez who went public on two things:

1. that he always wanted to stay at United, and it was United that didn’t seem to want him. He in fact said that he’d sign up in a flash had they offered him a deal, not too long ago.
2. that he ruled out Spain and feels settled in England, and liked the fact that his daughter feels happy growing up in England.

Kia’s suggestion seems to contradict these two points because it makes it seem like Tevez actually feels the need for time to decide between United and City, when it doesn’t even involve moving house. He says he needed time to figure out which team would suit him. But is there even a choice to be made between City and United? Sure, he’ll get more starts in City, but would it meet his ambition right now?

He says his close relationship with the fans meant that he wouldn’t go to Liverpool, but Kia also mentioned Chelsea as an option. Now a Chelsea move wouldn’t infuriate United fans as much as had he moved to Liverpool, but they still are a title rival and to me, that would certainly disappoint. City, not being a threat at present wouldn’t present the same challenge. Also I doubt he can be assured of starts even in Chelsea, something that’s been a thorny issue for him at United.

But leave all that aside. Joorabchian goes on to add:

“If it was, let’s say, Wayne Rooney’s contract finishing six months before, or Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract finishing six months before, would they have tried to secure their services a bit sooner? He has that little bit of a feeling that maybe he wasn’t the most wanted person at United. Rightly or wrongly, that’s how he feels.”

Now regarding Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo there is a major difference. Regardless of who the player is, if the club owned the player, they are never going to let his contract run down. In Tevez’s case, we never owned him, so it wasn’t a bad idea to see how he performs over the season to ensure he’s worth his asking price.

It now hits me, and shocks me that United actually offered £25.5m and Tevez might have actually accepted it. This is over the £9m that it cost to bring him to the club on loan. Tevez is a really good player, but certainly not world class, which is what those sums of money dictate. My mind boggles if I think about how we would have bought a striker that might do a lot of running and grafting but isn’t really a better player than Rooney or Ronaldo. And for a striker that demands such transfer fees, he would have to score a lot of goals to justify it.

I find it sad it had to end like this. But I can’t say I’m too sad to see him go. I would have found it hard to wrap my head around overpaying for a good player. I am actually glad United showed some urgency in enforcing the strict deadline to show that they need to resolve this issue before sorting out the squad for the next season.

Here’s hoping for the same decisiveness whilst dipping into the transfer market.

On Tevez, we sincerely wish him the best of luck, as long as he doesn’t score against us. (It’s nice to see he had the good sense to reject the cesspool; we’ll grant him that.)



  1. Redrich

    21 June 2009 at 22:25

    @Traverse: Playing a trumpet and hooliganism are not aligned on the same degree of public annoyance!!


    21 June 2009 at 23:13

    for the midfield i never really watched a match where de rossi impressed, but melo today was eye catching, if we dont snatch him this year he will be out of reach with everyone trying to tempt him.

  3. Traverse

    21 June 2009 at 23:42

    @Redrich: Yeah, one of them is on a much smaller scale, and doesn’t ruin the enjoyment of a football game. The other is a plastic Chinese instrument.

  4. Traverse

    21 June 2009 at 23:50

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m neither against instruments at football, or African heritage. South Africans can bring all the Shekeres, Koras, Mandolutes and Kalimbas they like. Anything with more than one note, or is a percussion instrument.

    But to be honest, we all know the World Cup tickets are going to be priced out of the range of the average South African by the hive mind of FIFA and their sponsors….

  5. Traverse

    21 June 2009 at 23:53

    Also, this from the internet..

    “An unnamed English Premier League club has been bought by a member of the ruling family in the United Arab Emirates, according to the WAM news agency.”

    I hope it’s us :mrgreen:

  6. Traverse

    22 June 2009 at 00:24

    Also, in possibly Benzema related news, Lyon have made a bid for PSG striker Guillaume Hoarau….

  7. gator

    22 June 2009 at 01:44

    @Craig Mc: yea im thinking that we may have had the 26m clause so we could buy someone early and then if the deal went south… we would still be able to afford the player. but no one came. maby cuz of the prez shit? idk?

    fingers crossed hargo makes it back we need him bad.

    with him back and brown back our gk will have an easier job this season.

    I seriously would like to see us blood welbeck and kiko this year and with the addition of valencia and some of the young Brazilian mfs weve been linked to for cover… we still have a great team


    but what if we’re getting benzema is berba going to be the “link to the midfield” are we putting him in a diamond like

    nani/park,valincia/wellbeck(trading out for def and offensive prowess)

    looks good but does berba move enough to be a cm?

    i would go for david silva or aguero before benzema but he is class.

  8. NicoQB

    22 June 2009 at 02:53

    @Traverse: Bad news.

    Just like Bayern do in the Bundesliga, Lyon always get the best players of Ligue 1 just before they get known across footballing fans and media.

    I’ve been mentioning Hoarau as the next great striker to come from Ligue 1 for some time now. Wouldn’t surprise me if in two years Chelsea comes knocking on with a 30 million cheque at the ready. An United getting interested but late as always…

    Damn I should be working as a scout.

  9. Roge9

    22 June 2009 at 04:04

    @Karl: You and Grog both have good points, but SA does have an obligation to the world seeing that they are hosting a World event. If you competed for and were awarded the right to host a party, and over 50% of your guest were vegetarians or simply detested the taste of the meat, would you serve only meat? Unless an asshole, probably not.

    Its a fair compromise to allow the vuluzela at SA games, but ban them from other matches if that’s the wish of a majority of the attending audience.

    The players, too, who already have to contend with assimulating to the weather should have a voice. Many teams have complained that is distracting and does nothing for the atmosphere, so why should they be subject to it unless they are playing against SA,?

    I’m more concerned with Africa successfully hosting its first World Cup than I am with offending a nation over horns. It would be petty of SA to make this an explosive issue. The country certainly does not need attention for the wrong reasons. frankly, it’s a small sacrifice to make for the honor of hosting the biggest sporting event on the planet.

  10. Redrich

    22 June 2009 at 07:10

    @Roge9: The spotlight has apparently focused itself on the example of the attending fans and their propensity to blow horns. I grew up in a culture that found it difficult to except anything other than the prevailing trend of crowd misbehavior!

    While compromise is certainly an option, the idea of this, in any way, being an detraction from the 2010 event itself , has a tinge of elitism attached to it. We, the all knowing gods of the footballing northern hemisphere, have parlayed and determined that the blowing of the V-horn hurts our pink little ears and could indeed, jeopardize our languid enjoyment of the 2010 WC.
    If I was SA’n or part of the organising committee, I’d be blowing my horn too, and saying to FIFA, “we’ll do it the way we’ve always done it!”. And when they say you wont get the WC again I’d simply reply with the example of England 1966 – 2018(maybe).

    When I first came to the US I didn’t like the barrel organ introducing the next batter, but I got over it too!!

    However, if the Zulu’s start rattling their spears against their shields at half time, that would do it for me!! 😆 😆

  11. Dan

    22 June 2009 at 07:41

    @Roge9: But hes 25, thats a striker hitting his prime.

  12. goalcentre

    22 June 2009 at 07:51

    Don’t worry lads. United will surprise all of us with a big signing. I wouldn’t want to mention any names but i am pretty sure SAF has got the player he wanted already in his mind. Patience.. 😈 😈

  13. Red Ranter

    22 June 2009 at 08:12

    New post up. I’m off to bed. Good night/morning/afternoon/evening wherever you all are.

  14. Karl

    22 June 2009 at 08:19

    I went to Old Trafford not too long ago. As this was a Sunday, I really were looking forward to have a relaxing afternoon, after a very difficult week at work, and the fact that is a real expensive experience to watch a game at OT for me. All I wanted to do was to watch a game, eat my prawn sandwiches and politely clap whenever United scored a goal. But, alas, can you imagine my frustrations due to my annoyance with the constant singing and barging of some uncultured ‘drunk’ supporters? I think they were more focused on having a sing-off with the opposition supporters in the stadium that I’m sure they were not even interested in the game. At the end of that game, I had a headache of such magnituted from these constant noises, that I swore I would never ever go to a live game again. Why can’t these noisy, uncultured supporters be more considerate? Why can’t they take a cue from the good natured golf supporters?

  15. Onkar

    22 June 2009 at 08:24

    Another twist in BENZEMA story…,19528,11667_5395123,00.html
    Apparently his agent is saying that he is staying put with LYON for another year….

  16. Jonny

    22 June 2009 at 08:32

    damn, I haven’t been here in ages..

    I know he’s 27, (and thus against the over-26 “rule”) but what do you all think of Zlatan Ibrahimovic? can he and Berbatov play together up front?

    The only reason I bring this up, is because Rooney finally said at the end of the season that he’d rather play in the hole behind the strikers, but SAF kept fucking playing him wide (I never got that). It’s a ballsy move to make, but i see it possibly working out.

    I see mainly two advantages to this.

    1. Ibrahimovic and Berbatov are both 27-8 ish.
    Never mind the fact that they’re both fairly skilled at linking up play as well as 20+ goal scorers, these two players will be at their peak for the next 2-4 years, just in time for them to transition with Welbeck, Mecheda, Pettruci etc. who are all still 17-18 year olds. IMO, they’d be in the mold of Ole and Sherringham, except they’d be starting the majority of the games.

    beyond that.. come on, the potential beautiful football that those two players teamed up would produce?? mouth-watering.

    2. We’ll finally play Rooney in the “Gerrard/Lapmard” role that he’s been supposed to play but hasn’t ever since Rudd left.

    Imagine the following lineup..

    ——————Back Four——————–

    Not only does this strengthen our midfield by having Rooney as an ACM, but it’s also easy to revert to a traditional 4-4-2 by subbing off one of Berba/Rooney/Ibra and bringing on a wide player.

    Mind you, for me, this 4-3-1-2 probably only works well if you have overlapping attacking defenders like Rafael and Evra giving the extra width, and I’d only be comfortable with them overlapping if we have players like Hargreaves, Anderson, Fletcher, Park, and even Rooney who can cover for them if neccessary.

    Suddenly, the midfield goes from a weakness to a strength, with 3 midfield slots to fill with Carrick, Anderson, Nani, and Hargreaves (not to mention Park and Fletcher… or Giggsy and Scholes for that matter) we have a fairly talented, industrious midfield.

    Of course, this is all meaningless drivel if Zlatan Ibrahimovic is/turns out to be shite..

    but enough from me, what say you all?

  17. Jonny

    22 June 2009 at 08:35

    @Karl: golf supporters are annoying haha

    I mean.. who has the time to actually go and watch golf? do they pay to see it? I have no idea

  18. Roge9

    22 June 2009 at 15:32

    @Redrich: Elitism hs nothing to do with it. The v-horn produces an annoying sound;this wouldnt be an issue if it didnt. And when I came to America, I hated baseball….I continune to hate it, so you know what i do? I avoid it like a plague, similar to what many people will end up doing over a horn.

  19. Grognard

    22 June 2009 at 18:45

    @Karl: Thank God we millions watching the game couldn’t hear how they annoying they were at OT. Can you imagine that kind of noise grating on the nerves coming out of your tv set? It’s like every other stadium in Europe, Asia and North and South America, 99% of the planet react and cheer like fans at Old Trafford. Just ban them all from the stands. God knows they have to be as abusive and as ignorant as a spec of the world population who continue to blow noise from a horn using their mouths when really, they should all insert it up their asses. 😉 Sorry mate for being harsh but your point has absolutely no validity at all as the noise of people singing is like music to the ears of billions around the world and cannot be compared unfavorably to the sound of a blasted instrument that sounds like a swarm of bees attacking one dangly bits. This has nothing to do with culture, it has to do with something that is just annoying and abrasive to the masses. Live with it. Somehow I think South Africa will survive without it and will continue to grow as a people and a culture. I think your case for it is a bit over the top and over dramatic.

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