He is not exactly the prodigal son, but Carlos Tevez made it a return to remember against Chelsea when he came off the bench and set up Samir Nasri for a magnificent Manchester City win Wednesday night.
This kind of impact was never out of the question. The self-imposed exile from Manchester only served to build up the hype; towards the end, his teammates joined the clamor for Tevez’s return.
Even Roberto Mancini, whom he fell out spectacularly with, has been eager to get him back on the pitch.
Just a point behind bitter rivals Manchester United in the league table with nine games left, City will make a right go of it—and with Tevez in the side, they might just claim the title in May.
Here are five reasons Carlos Tevez will lead Manchester City to the Premier League title—and, as usual, feel free to have your say in the comments below.
Perhaps Roberto Mancini is feeling the pressure from United and could do with any additional quality he can get, but the turnaround in Tevez’s fortunes and treatment is nothing short of remarkable.
And massive credit should be due Tevez’s way as well.
Not only did he make a full apology in a bid to get himself back in the team, but his training in recent weeks has been so professional that Mancini has almost instantly been convinced to return him to the first-team fold.
Given that Tevez has been such a key figure for City since his arrival in 2009, Mancini also knows enough about his star striker that he’s already usurped Edin Dzeko in the pecking order—as evidenced by the order of their substitute appearances on Wednesday.
This trust will propel Tevez into high spirits, which will propel City into higher ground.
It is a great paradox and a great mystery: Tevez outside the football field can be an extremely petulant individual, but once he’s on the pitch, he’s altogether a different beast.
Wednesday’s game-winning assist for Samir Nasri wasn’t the only time we’ve seen such a key contribution from Tevez, and it won’t be the last time.
Such is the work ethic of Tevez that he combines the most industrious work rate of almost any Premier League forward—he is the prototypical leader from the front.
His selfless and never-say-die attitude on the field makes him, at times, a lone figure in chasing lost causes and scoreline deficits.
And his ability to put the team before himself means that he will be a key contributor in City’s title push in the coming weeks.
…And I’ll go grab my coat.
On a (more) serious note, Carlos Tevez, on his day, is one of the most complete forwards in English football, if not the world.
He passes, he runs, he dribbles.
He scores from set pieces, from simple finishes, and from long range.
He tracks his runners and harasses opposing defenders.
Simply put, he is a nightmare to defend against.
What an option to have from the start—and what a scary prospect for defenders to see the City No. 32 come up on the fourth official’s board.
Tevez’s return completes the most fearsome and versatile forward line in the Premier League, and this firepower will be invaluable as City contest a tougher fixture list than United.
Because he would be able to form a potentially lethal partnership with any of Mancini’s forwards.
Alongside the silky and clinical Sergio Aguero, Tevez would provide a stocky physical presence capable of dragging away defenders.
Next to the brilliant but lethargic Mario Balotelli, Tevez would provide a hardworking foundation and an equally fearsome threat on goal.
And lining up with the physically imposing Edin Dzeko, Tevez would provide a useful foil to get on the end of second headers and knockdowns in a archetypal “big-man-little-man” strikeforce.
Three combinations to fire City to the top.
Remember West Ham vs. Manchester United on May 13, 2007?
Tevez scored the only goal of the game to secure the Hammers’ Premier League status on the final day of the 2006-2007 season.
What about the 2008 and 2009 title-winning campaigns for United and his key roles in the most crucial fixtures?
Simply put, Carlos Tevez thrives on the big stage—and when tasked with an assignment so great, he comes up with the goods for himself and his team.
Not to mention that he’s always been the bane of his old employers.
Don’t be surprised if he proves the difference once again.
If you liked this article, you might also be interested in 1 Starter Each EPL Team Will Sell and What This Season’s Results in Europe Reveal About English Football. Please also check out my writer’s profile, where you can find more of my work, and my blog, The Red Armchair, for Liverpool match reactions and opinions.