Apparently it’s never too late to apologise.
It was the night of September 27, 2011, that Carlos Tevez refused to warm up under instruction from his manager, Roberto Mancini, in the Champions League group game against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
It’s taken almost five months but after moves to both Milan clubs and Paris Saint-Germain fell through, a self-imposed three month hiatus back home in Argentina, an estimated £10million lost by the player in earnings, fines and bonuses, Tevez has done the deed to herald a ‘fresh’ start to his time at the Etihad.
No televised act of contrition, but a statement agreed by all parties and put out by City on Tuesday night.
The club statement read: “Carlos Tevez has today apologised to all concerned for his recent conduct. Carlos returned to the football club last Tuesday, following a three month absence from duties, without permission.
“Carlos said, ‘I wish to apologise sincerely and unreservedly to everybody I have let down and to whom my actions over the last few months have caused offence. My wish is to concentrate on playing football for Manchester City Football Club.’
“Carlos has also withdrawn his appeal against the club’s finding of gross misconduct which was due to be heard by a Premier League panel in the coming days.
“He has since begun a training program designed to return him to optimum fitness.”
Cynics have already dismissed his words out of hand as merely an attempt by the player and his advisors to put himself in the shop window ahead of a summer move away from England.
It does suit all parties for Tevez to be playing football again, with a £25million price tag suddenly looking overly inflated for an unfit player whose attitude is questionable at best.
The apology appeared important enough for Mancini to insist that without it he would be unable to work with Tevez, but an apology must of course be accepted.
Mancini has done so and this week said: “I’ve accepted his apology. I think he needs two to three weeks to train, then some games.
“I’m happy with what Carlos said.”
Then there’s the fans. Many may no longer respect the 28-year-old but the importance of a five-letter word to them is far outweighed by their desire to see the team lift their first title since 1968. They’ll accept his apology once he’s proved his worth by setting up or scoring a crucial goal that secures three points towards City succeeding United as Premier League champions.
That leaves the players who, on the whole, have remained dignified about the whole matter.
A few former professionals have weighed in with their opinion but it is the current City squad that must accept Tevez back in the fold.
While he’s been persona non grata, it’s they who’ve kept City top of the league, who’ve celebrated the highs of the 6-1 win at Old Trafford, and who’ve kept the ship afloat during difficult times such as the Champions League exit, an FA Cup defeat to United, and a Carling Cup semi-final exit at the hands of Liverpool.
They’ve built a squad morale in Tevez’s absence so essentially if they can find it in themselves to forgive him then anyone can.
In a season when numerous high profile players have caused disrepute through their actions, perhaps Tevez can prove that an apology can go a long way to restoring respect.
Tags: Barclays Premier League, Carlos Tevez, Luis Suarez, Manchester City, RESPECT, Roberto Mancini