In a week Manchester United have let Christiano Ronaldo and then Carlos Tevez leave Old Trafford. There will no doubt be a lot of comments from all sides coming out about both these departures, but I fear the loss of Tevez is harder to swallow for United fans.
Ronaldo’s had his heart in Madrid for a long time now. He has come out and said he decided he wanted to leave United for Madrid last season. As much as United fans have loved what Ronaldo has done on the pitch, the news of his departure did not come as a shock. United fans have had a season to prepare for it and many realised that the world record fee of 80 million pounds was too good an offer to turn down. Ronaldo had some great years at United and he will be missed.
Tevez departure is harder to take. The Argentine forward is a United player. His work rate and effort for the team was second to none. United fans took him to heart immediately and all the noises coming out of the Old Trafford board room and from the player himself, after his first season, was that it would be when and not if United would sign the player permanently. As the last season wore on a few grumblings began about why Tevez had not been signed up. He began to start far less often and had to settle for more of a bench role than he, and United fans, liked. Tevez became frustrated at how he was treated and it became more likely that he would leave. And that’s what has now happened.
United agreed to pay the 25.5million fee that was asked and offered a 5 year deal to Tevez. When Tevez needed time to think about the offer United took it off the table and announced that Tevez had turned them down and was leaving. There are two things to take from this. Firstly United are not frustrated and did not lose patience with the player himself, but rather with his representatives. Tevez unique situation meant that his rights were owned by a company and not a club and United were finding it difficult to deal with them. That being said, the second point is United have not been fair to the player himself.
Tevez wanted time to think about the offer. Many feel that he’s had two years to think about it and shouldn’t have been taking this long to let United know. The general feeling is that if a huge, successful team like United want you for 5 years you say yes please. Had the offer been made at the end of last season there is no doubt that is exactly what would have happened. But Tevez situation with United changed this year and he had to decide if he wanted to remain with the United he played for during his first season or the United he played with in his second. He should have been given the time he needed, his loan spell still had 10 days to run, and United should have done everything to make him stay.
With Ronaldo gone Tevez would have played a more important role in the team, and United would have needed that. Yet they have let him go. Another point to consider is if United have known that Ronaldo was leaving this season then why was the team build around him? Surely it would have made more sense to build for a Ronaldoless team and focus on Rooney and Tevez?
It’s been said a million times before and will be said a million more, but no player is bigger than the club. United will go on without Ronaldo and Tevez and build a new successful team, just as they did when Hughes and Ince left, when Cantona retired, when Beckham left, and when Keane left. United will go on. Sir Alex has always steered the club in the right direction and will no doubt do so again. Players will be brought in to replace those who leave, and those at the club, Nani, Tosic, Kiko and Welbeck will be given chances to stake a claim for starting births. However the heart and courage of Carlos Tevez will be hard to replace and he will be missed. It says a lot about the man that he has ruled out moving to Liverpool because of the rivalry between the clubs. Yes Carlos Tevez will be missed by United. Good luck to him.