What now for Tevez?

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 17: Carlos Tevez of Manchester City is substituted after scoring two goals during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Stoke City at City of Manchester Stadium on May 17, 2011 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Less than forty-eight hours on and the recriminations and speculation continue to gather pace in equal measure.

Even before many had awoken the morning after the night before we had witnessed both Roberto Mancini's declaration that Carlos Tevez would 'never' play for the club again and Tevez's subsequent attempt to clear the issue up as a mere misunderstanding.

The announcement that the club had fined Tevez two-weeks wages and suspended him for two-weeks (including from training) soon followed. It was a sensible, if obvious move; the action was decisive and swift, gets Tevez away from the club for a time and affords an opportunity for cool heads to prevail.

But what now for Tevez?

The very fact that Tevez was snatched away from Manchester United was reason enough for many to confer hero status upon him, but even those who remained unsure - largely on the back of a reputation for not being a 'pure' goalscorer - were quickly swayed. Tevez's work ethic and commitment were unquestionable and his goalscoring record was without compare: the fastest to fifty goals in a City shirt and accounting for around 40% of City's goals and assists during his first two seasons at the club.

It has been an unhappy time for Tevez of late. A disappointing Copa America tournament saw him again express his desire to leave the club, but a proposed move Brazilian side Corinthians collapsed amidst disagreements of financing the deal. Stripped of the captaincy, he also found himself a marginal figure relegated to the bench whilst those who replaced him made hay in the Autumn sun and Tevez cut a disconsolate figure on the bench. More than a pre-meditated course of action, Tuesday was likely the result of frustration boiling over.

When Tevez handed in his transfer request last year it caused huge shockwaves (so much so that it led to me discussing Tevez on the national news) but even then it always felt that the inevitable outcome was contrition from Tevez and a declaration of loyalty to the cause with his ego (and perhaps wallet) suitably stroked along the way from those in high places.

Football fans are notoriously fickle, but Tevez's actions have served to unify supporters as a whole - not to mention the management team and players who must be equally sick of the sideshow that swirls around him - and it is impossible to see a situation (should the owners demand it) where Tevez pulls on a City shirt ever again. The destabilising impact could have far reaching consequences for a side that, contrary to many reports, does appear a united one and whether by design or not his actions have crossed a line that he cannot return from.

Whilst Tevez appears to be in a position of strength, this is only really the case because of City's (specifically Roberto Mancini's) desire to banish him once and for all. For Tevez, the difficulty is where does he go? There was always a narrow field of suitors for his services, and this before he committed the cardinal sin of letting down his teammates. Even if City cut him loose on a free transfer, Tevez may find there is far from a lengthy queue beating a path to his door. The likely outcome could well be that Tevez moves on loan in January: a club in need of an injection of quality but without the necessary finances or volition to add a malcontent on a permanent basis. Hardly a satisfying outcome in what continues to be a nomadic existence but you reap what you sow and all that.

It could have all been so different of course and this is what perplexes most of all. I don't doubt that the family issues are genuine and anyone who has children will empathise with someone such a distance from their family. Here though you have a player whose ego and wallet are massaged in equal measure - to some tune as well - and was the focal point and heart of a side that won the FA Cup. City now find themselves legitimately challenging for the Premier League (the most high profile, and possibly the best league in the world) and playing in the Champions League (certainly the best tournament in terms of quality). Yet if this is still not enough what could serve to satisfy?

When the dust settles it is unlikely that any winners will ultimately emerge, yet whilst there will be many losers, there will be none moreso than Tevez himself.

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