James Lawton: City must bring the curtain down on Tevez pantomime

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The Independent Online

Has anyone ever sat down with Carlos Tevez and tried to explain to him some of the requirements of truly growing up?

Has he been told that millions upon millions of his fellow human beings do in fact know what it is to suffer dislocation in their personal lives, and enforced separation from their loved ones, sometimes simultaneously with the daily risk of having their heads or various limbs blown off?

Or that so very few of them are paid the best part of £1m a month and thus have the chance to reach a mature and equable solution?

The answer is obviously yes and judging by the look of strain that appears on his handsome features whenever Tevez is mentioned, Roberto Mancini (right) has been most burdened with the task.

Now, though, it seems that the worst of the ordeal may be over for the Manchester City manager with the suggestion that the club chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak is not only "sanguine" about the consequences of the latest overwrought effusions from the player, but prepared to come up with around £40m for a ready made replacement.

The nomination is apparently Atletico Madrid's excellent young striker, and Diego Maradona's son-in-law, Sergio Aguero, who on top of his other virtues offers the possibility that he will understand the world is not likely to fall from its axis if he happens to notice the sun isn't shining over his mansion in one of the most pleasant suburbs of Manchester.

It will, of course, be understandable enough if some City fans get upset if the big football market warms to Tevez's belief that at anywhere up to £50m he represents outstanding value.

True, he regularly sneers at a city which was good enough for John Barbirolli, while rescuing the Halle Orchestra from the ravages of the Luftwaffe, George Best, Bert Trautmann, Eric Cantona, Malcolm Allison, Clive Lloyd and the wonderful flyweight Jackie Brown, somewhere which pioneered the industrial revolution and then fought its worst implications, any number of major engineering and medical innovations and to this day remains a place which can separate most men from their pretensions as quickly as any place on earth.

But then Tevez can play and whatever the state of his ego he has almost always done it with superb force.

No, he is not as good as he sometimes seems to think but he is one of the most formidable of players and is someone who has been fundamental to City's march into the elite of English football.

In last summer's World Cup Maradona said "Carlito" was at the heart of the Argentina effort – the player most eager to do everything he could for the team.

Now, Tevez says he hopes the City fans understand how "incredibly challenging" his life in Manchester has been while separated from his two daughters.

Some fans may want to balance such pleading against the dismissive performance he put in recently on a chat show back in Buenos Aires. He said he couldn't bear the idea of living in Manchester – with or without his girls. Manchester was just too "small and wet" for the little big man.

Tevez should go, as soon as any major club is prepared to take the best of him and live with the rest, the foibles, the mood swings and, most disturbingly, the overweening belief in his supreme right to perfect happiness entirely on his terms.

City want to be one of the most important clubs in football. They have come some of the way. Far enough, certainly, to know that it is time to turn their backs on the pantomime emotions of Carlos Tevez.

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