"Carlos did not refuse to play, and what he did was no worse than Cesc Fabregas, Luka Modric and Samir Nasri refusing to play." That was the startling and contradictory defence of Carlos Tevez delivered by his adviser Kia Joorabchian yesterday, a defence that is unlikely to improve relations with Manchester City, given that it came in the middle of the club's internal investigation into the Argentine's apparent refusal to go on as a substitute against Bayern Munich last week.
Joorabchian (right), speaking at the Leaders in Football conference at Stamford Bridge, then poured further oil on the flames by suggesting that other managers, such as Sir Alex Ferguson, would have handled the affair better than City's Roberto Mancini. He then insisted Tevez's post-match comments in Munich, which appeared to be a confession that he had refused to come on, had been mistranslated and blamed the club for not having a "professional" translator.
"Roberto has his style of management. He is very direct and totally different to, let's say, Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsène Wenger or Carlo Ancelotti. Carlos feels he has been judged and condemned before the case has really been looked into. Carlos and Roberto now have to live with the manner with which it has been handled. Can they be reconciled? This is something for the two of them to work out."
Regarding the incident, Joorabchian said: "What happened on the bench in Munich is one of a lot of confusion, as shown in the TV footage, which shows a totally different light. From my interpretation the TV footage shows a lot of argument going on on the bench when [Edin] Dzeko comes off.
"Carlos was still warming up. He walked back to the bench and there was a row between Mancini and Dzeko. Then Carlos sits down. Then you see the physical trainer talking to Carlos so we don't see they [Mancini and Carlos] are talking. Carlos then stands up, there's more shouting, then sits back down. That's what we see from the footage. The next thing we hear is what Mancini said."
That was the manager's accusation that Tevez refused to play. The striker was then interviewed on Sky with Pedro Marquez, a Portuguese who had acted as interpreter for the club in the past but who is employed as City's opposition analyst. "Carlos does speak English but it is not good enough to host a full-blown interview," said Joorabchian, adding: "If you don't have a very professional interpreter you have a problem ... The interpretation was incorrect."
Joorabchian did not, however, recount his version of Tevez's response to Geoff Shreeves' first question which is usually translated as "I felt it wasn't suitable to go on because my head wasn't in the right place."
Tevez took events personally, Joorabchian said, because he "was one of the first players to join Man City's new era". He added: "Carlos was brought in to start that new vision. He has an intense feeling about it." That, at least, is not in dispute.Reuse content