Arrogance, hubris, stubbornness, confidence; whatever you want to call it many managers who’ve found themselves in charge of a team at the top of the Premier league have been inflicted with the curse of thinking they’ve already won the title.
In the past we’ve seen how the likes of Rafa Benitez, Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho have made the mistake of believing the status quo for their team will be enough to see them over the finish line. Of course on some occasions men like Wenger and Mourinho have been correct in believing the team they manage is good enough to go all the way, but at other times we’ve seen the same confidence turn out to be badly misplaced.
One manager who hasn’t displayed that sort of arrogance is Roberto Mancini, who rather than scupper any chances Carlos Tevez had of rejoinjing the club, has simply left it to the striker to put things right. Now Mancini’s patience and strong-will have been rewarded as the second least popular South American at Old Trafford has finally released a statement ‘apologising unreservedly’ for his actions over the past few momths, which began with his failure to take the field as a substitute in an important Champions league clash.
Although nothing is certain, it now seems highly likely that Mancini will allow Tevez to play some sort of role in the title race and this could well be a make-or-break decision for the City boss.
The advantages of reintroducing Tevez seem obvious. A proven goalscorer and one of the few City players who understands the pressure of a title race, Tevez could well help push City over the finish line, just as he did for United in his final season with some vital goals.
Tbe problem is, will he ‘upset the applecart’ so to to speak, let’s not forget that the current City strikeforce has pretty much guided the team to the top and kept them there without the former United man.
Bringing Tevez back into the side, could affect not only the consistency of some of the othet strikers who will obviously have less playing time, but also their attitude. Everyone knows Mario Balotelli has enjoyed a very good season- despite his usual antics- and a temperamental striker like him, may not be too impressed if he’s relegated to the subs’ bench to make way for Tevez, or sees his number being held up to allow the Argentinean on.
Edin Dzeko started the season in blistering form and after something of a dry spell has bagged two goals in his last four starts, Sergio Aguero is another forward who’s had an indifferent spell in front of goal these past two months but looks to be coming back into form with two in his last three games.
Throwing Tevez back into the mix could cause the rest of the City strikeforce to go off the boil, or it may just prove pivotal in helping City win their first Premier League title.
Leagues are won and lost on such decisions, it sounds silly now, but Sir Alex Ferguson stated in his autobiography ‘Managing my Life’ that the failure to sign Luton Town striker Mick Harford could well have cost United the title in 1992.
Mancini may well surprise us all and simply let Tevez rot in the reserves, but if he does bring the striker back into the fold, then come May that could well be the decision that people look back on as being the seminal moment of the season.