Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp has launched a stinging attack on Carlos Tevez, but has warned Manchester City that the striker "holds all the aces" in the power struggle that has developed between the player and the club.
City boss Roberto Mancini claimed last night that Tevez refused to come off the substitutes' bench and play for the Barclays Premier League club in their Champions League clash at Bayern Munich, which they lost 2-0.
Tevez denied those claims this morning, but Redknapp clearly thinks the former West Ham striker was in the wrong and gave his full support to Mancini.
Redknapp, speaking ahead of Spurs' Europa League meeting with Shamrock Rovers tomorrow night, said: "It was unbelievable. I felt sorry for Roberto Mancini to be put in that situation.
"It's not fair. It wasn't right for Man City, wasn't right for football. I can't believe it. It shouldn't happen. It can't happen.
"I just wonder what City legends like Malcom Allison and Mike Summerbee would have thought of seeing a player refuse to play in a Champions League game. It is beyond belief."
Tevez had pleaded with Mancini to allow him to leave the club this summer but a move to Corinthians fell through and he had to stay at the Etihad Stadium.
He has been forced to play second fiddle to Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli since, but his talent and goal-scoring record mean he could have turned the tie in City's favour last night.
Redknapp thinks the striker's refusal to play sends a terrible message out to youngsters watching the game.
He said: "What message does that send out to young footballers? If on Sunday morning an under-10's team manager wants to put a sub on and he stands there saying: 'I ain't going on'. It can't be right."
Mancini has said he never wants Tevez to play for him again but Redknapp thinks letting the Argentina star rot in the reserves could be detrimental to the club.
"I don't know what you can do with him now," Redknapp added. "At the end of the day he holds all the aces.
"He gets his wages every week and if you want to give him away someone will give him a fortune because he is cheap.
"He is a great player, no doubt, a fantastic footballer but it's a problem that Man City can deal with now.
"Only they can decide whether he plays for them again. I thought the manager was fantastic after the game, the way he spoke. He didn't deserve that. He is a good manager. He is a good guy."
When asked whether he would consider making a bid for Tevez, Redknapp said: "We couldn't afford him. No chance."
Stoke City boss Tony Pulis, speaking ahead of his side's Europa League tie with Besiktas tomorrow night, said of the Tevez incident: "Players get disappointed and players have got egos, but you deal with it.
"I'm sure they will deal with it in the right and proper manner.
"What is said and done between two people is said and done, so they have to react and do what they have to do at Man City."
Former Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Stefan Effenberg believes Mancini is right to throw Tevez out of his squad.
Effenberg, who captained Bayern to their last Champions League triumph in 2001, said the Argentina forward's behaviour was unacceptable and that he, like Mancini, would never consider the player again.
"That player would never play in the same club as me again - that goes without saying," he told Germany's Sky television, for whom he now works as a pundit.
"There is a clear order from the coach and he disregards it. That is poor behaviour and the club has got to come down hard on it."
According to Effenberg, Tevez will also now have problems finding another employer who would still be keen on him after the incident.
"Other clubs are going to have to consider whether they want to sign a player with such a character," he added.
"You just don't do something like that. It is disrespectful to your team-mates and is not just in spite of the coach, but in spite of the whole team. I hope that they actually go through with what Mancini says and that he never plays for the club again."
Tevez's actions also drew a scathing response from British television pundits, with former Liverpool manager Graeme Souness reacting furiously.
"He (Tevez) is one bad apple," the Scot told Sky Sports 2. "He can undo all the good work that has been done (at City). He's a disgrace to football. He epitomises what most people think is wrong with modern football.
"It is totally unacceptable. He's a football player and he is paid to play. He is refusing to help his team-mates. It's all about him, him, him. How can you deal with players acting like that?"
Former Scotland striker Andy Gray, sacked by Sky Sports earlier this year following a sexism row, labelled Tevez disrespectful and unprofessional but believes the incident may not be a bad thing for Mancini.
Gray said on talkSPORT: "I don't care what excuses he comes out with now. I'm not interested in that after what he did. He won't be in the squad again.
"You can't do what he did - it was so disrespectful, so unprofessional. I've never known anything like that. How are they going to get £45m for him now? Why do you think Fergie got rid of him?
"But what happened last night could be a blessing for Mancini because now he can get rid. He can say, 'you're not playing, you're not in the team and if you can get a move in January Carlos, on you go'."Reuse content