In current days of high expectations, take the tidings that players are draped in a king’s robe, lavished with exorbitant salaries and red-carpet handling—not to mention the monumental self-worth that any crooked CEO might not possess—and set it aflame, because the media know if the passion and fire are in the match, someone is going to get burned.

In the Carlos Tevez case, newspapers are smoldering.

Ironically, as scads are quick to temper on the proposed Tevez tantrum (his refusal to take to the pitch as a substitute during the Champions League match against Bayern Munich), one would be blind not to see he is being treated like cattle.

But hey, someone’s got to argue the other way.

In a screwed-up chain of half-truths, Tevez’s basis for not taking part in the game was that he wasn’t “mentally in the right place”  or that he didn’t feel well—physically, or something like that.  He’s been accused of not taking responsibility for his own actions.

Really? I don’t recall reading that somebody else shouldered the blame for his refusal to participate.

However, because he signed a contract stating he is not made of emotions, flesh and bones, he is nothing more than what he signed up for: a scoring machine, manufactured to produce goods at a ridiculous rate.  Incidentally, who at the top of any career isn’t overpaid?

The curtain rises.  Enter King Lear and his fool.

Tevez’s ambivalence to his key role at Man City has been a mainspring of his ongoing plight.  His whim to leave and return to his family as well as super-signings of Segio Aguero and Edin Dzeko have rearranged the pecking order.

Claims that it would have been easier to appear that ill-fated night to please his fans and to pick up a paycheck is preposterous.  Had it been easy for him, despite being paid 250,000 pounds a week, he would have done it.  Now he’s dealing with threats and fines.  Ergo, a monetary value on the stance of both sides had been placed.

According to onlookers and sensationalists in newsrooms, Tevez took a “tantrum.”  And I’m thinking, here we go again with derisive verdictives.  I’m keen to see footage, what with all the kicking and screaming, but it failed to turn up.

However, on the contrary, what I did find was an interview with a tension-clad Mancini, less composed than Tevez when he gave his post-match interview.

Then there is the issue with communication, or, translation of speech, which became another ballgame.  There was racket on the bench, some sort of confusion.  What Tevez defended in an interview rested on “misunderstanding.”  Still, although the case is drawing to a close, the matter still isn’t “clear.”  What did all that mean?

Against the German side Tuesday night, if the Sprichwort “no player is bigger than any club” holds weight, why shouldn’t Manchester City have gotten by without Tevez?  A handful of minutes till the end of the game and Man City were losing 2–0.  Are critics duped into believing Bayern were not a topnotch team?  The word choice in lieu of Mancini’s disdain might be acting on “principle.”

“Timocracy” also springs to mind.

Then there is the issue of protest.  It was claimed that Tevez’s declination to take to the pitch was a message to his club that he was dissatisfied with his lot.  However, he (in a somewhat, equivocal form) rejected that.

I believe him.  After all, what is the point of a protest if one denies it is a protest?  That would be akin to those who are jailed engaging in self-starvation to make a statement and when confronted by authorities say they were on a diet.

Tevez’s let-down of the “millions of fans” dilemma has gripped popular opinion, too.  Mancini stated that Tevez “doesn’t care less.”  So what if he doesn’t, that should mean we shouldn’t too?  To be suspended, to be sacked, to be sold—does it mean anything at all to him?

But in assessing the scope of Tevez’s ongoing plea, I cannot imagine he will lose sleep if, after he retires, he fails to receive love letters.  Nonetheless, it will go down in the sheets of history.

In a change of events, had Manchester City won the other night with Tevez still refusing to leave the bench, I wonder if there’d even be a story.  So much for pathos.

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I am a freelance journalist from New York City. My published football articles and literary essays have appeared in many magazines such as the Bleacher Report, Tribalfootball, Cincinnati Review, Evergreen Review, Portland Review, Seattle Review and also have been syndicated to other newspapers. Although most of my published work is literary, I exhibit a great passion to write about the beautiful game. I admit I love the giants of the football world: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United and any other team that knows how to win. Currently, I live and write in Switzerland.

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