You are one of the best strikers in the world. You are earning reportedly £200,000 per week. You are playing against Bayern Munich away from home in the Champions League in your club’s maiden season in the competition. You are named on the substitute’s bench. Your team is 2-0 down and you have just seen a defensive midfielder come on as your team’s first substitute. You are highly annoyed at your manager’s tactical decision. Now, with 30 minutes or so left to go in the game your manager has asked you to get ready to come on and help your team mates to try and turn the game around. You sulk like a baby and declare that you will not be participating in the game, much to the annoyance and frustration of your world class manager. Your name is Carlos Tevez and you are a disgrace to football.
After Tuesday night’s antics my advice to Manchester City F.C would be to let the spoiled Argentinian International rot with the reserves until the next transfer window and hope and pray that a club will come in with an offer to take him off your hands. It’s no secret that he has wanted a move away from the Sky Blues as early as the summer but to behave in that manner is totally unacceptable. Roberto Mancini is fully vindicated by his proclamation to never allow Tevez to play under him again.
There is no doubting the talent that Tevez has though, and I’m a huge admirer of him as a player. Being a Man United fan I was devastated when i found out he was going to be leaving Old Trafford a few seasons ago. But now after seeing how disrespectful he was to his club, manager, fellow team mates and to the travelling City fans who paid their hard earned money to travel to Germany to see them play, I am glad his stay at Old Trafford was short lived.
No player in the world is happy when they are not playing. That is a simple fact of life. Every player in the world has gone through a stage where, for whatever reason, they are not part of the manager’s plans or they are struggling to hold a spot down in the starting line-up. I’ve had it this season myself and my attitude has always been "If i get on I’ll show the manager I should have started the game".
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve shown my frustrations at not being selected in the starting line-up but it has never influenced my performances when called upon from the substitute’s bench. No matter how disheartening it is, you have to suck it up and show a positive attitude.
So for Carlos Tevez, who is at one of the world's richest, and soon to be one of the most successful clubs in world football, to refuse to come on as a substitute is beyond belief. Given that he is on an astronomical amount of money per week, it would seem that he was highly regarded at the club, so it is a kick to the proverbial balls for everybody connected to Man City.
One can only look to the legend that is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a prime example for ultimate professionalism. How many times did he come off of the bench for the Red Devils to save the day? None more important than when he scored the winning goal in the Champions League Final in 1999, after coming on a substitute, to help Man United secure an historic treble.
Ironically, that goal was scored against Bayern Munich. Who knows, if Tevez had of actually bothered to play then maybe he could have kick started City’s quest for Champions League Glory?
In other news, last weekend’s 2-0 victory over Dundalk at Oriel Park kept us firmly in the Airtricity League title race. Sean O ' Connor was the scorer of our goals with two truly outstanding finishes with his weaker right foot. Sean has been top drawer since his return to Richmond Park and has amassed a total of 7 goals in all competitions. His overall play has been of a really high quality also so we will be hoping his excellent form continues going into the remaining weeks of the season.
After the game myself and Derek "Detser" Pender were informed that we were the two Saints’ players chosen to undertake a random drugs test. Maybe the decision was taken after they had seen Detser’s fresh air kick in the first half in front of the travelling vociferous Saints fans who yet again were in good voice and numbers. Or, perhaps, it was because of my continuing struggle to score my first goal of the season! Either way, we were told that the test would be carried out with a sample requiring 90 millilitres of, you guessed it, urine.
After playing 90 minutes against a tough side like Dundalk it wasn’t going to be easy to rehydrate so quickly for the full 90! Regardless of how much fluid I had taken on board before and during the game I knew I was going to struggle. Derek Pender was much more confident than I was – that’s for sure!
The two Dundalk players chosen were my ex UCD and Sporting Fingal team mate Greg Bolger and Stephen McDonnell . One by one we were told to go in and give our samples. Being rather naive, and after drinking only one bottle of water, I declared that I was ready to go first. I quickly returned with a measly 15 millilitre sample, much to the entertainment of the other lads!
Thankfully, their joy was to be short lived however, with both Greg and Stephen not being able to produce a single drop. Definitely a case of Stage Fright at its finest! I was also delighted that Detser could only muster up 40 millilitres. That meant that I wasn’t solely responsible for holding up the travelling players and staff bus.
An hour later, and after five bottles of water, a full bottle of lucozade, two ham sandwiches, a million "hurry up" calls and texts from our team mates and a slice of pizza kindly given to us from the Dundalk dressing room by Greg Bolger, myself and Detser were ready. Not that it mattered though, as the team bus had already left us behind! The phrase "There are no friends in football" couldn’t have been more appropriate in this situation.
Luckily our Team Liaison Officer, Jim Lawlor, stayed behind with us to give us a lift home. Truth be told Jim and Detser have better banter than the rest of the squad put together so maybe it was a blessing in disguise!
Next up for us is a crucial league game against Bohemians at Dalymount Park on Friday. With an eleven game unbeaten run and a fully fit squad to choose from, we go into the game with great confidence and we will be doing everything we can to get the three points. If I’m named among the substitutes bench on Friday I’ll be thinking along the lines of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, rather than Carlos Tevez - unless the team bus decides to leave me behind again!