Manchester City: Is Carlos Tevez in Danger of Losing His First-Team Place?

Phil KeidelContributor IIMarch 21, 2013

It was not that long ago that the Blue side of Manchester wanted nothing more than this.
It was not that long ago that the Blue side of Manchester wanted nothing more than this.

Multiple factors swirling around Carlos Tevez threaten his place, both in Manchester City's first team—and in Manchester, period.

It is an odd thought, Tevez leaving in the near future, given his side's continued reliance on him. Only David Silva has more appearances in Premier League action for Manchester City than Tevez's 25 this season.

Very little about City's title defense has made much sense, though.

Through 29 matches played, City has only lost four times. Not too bad, right? After all, Manchester United has three losses. How bad can it be?

Fifteen points behind loathed Manchester United with nine matches to play. That's how bad.

City's troubles stem far less from losing as they do from simply not winning often enough. Given City's firepower, eight draws against 17 wins is just not good enough.

And the root cause of all the tie scores is a lack of goal scoring, which of course is Tevez's primary job.

You do not need a degree in higher mathematics or football tactics to know that a club with City's payroll and weaponry just cannot be trailing the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal in goals scored in league play.

Tevez has 15 goals in all competitions this year, but only nine of them have come in Premier League play.

While FA Cup hat-tricks against Barnsley are fun, even one goal at Goodison Park last week would have meant a lot more.

As reported by The Sun and others, City boss Roberto Mancini is bent on replenishing his side's talent base in the coming summer transfer window. No name is too big, at least for rumor.

That assumes, of course, that Mancini himself is staying, which some think is not exactly guaranteed.

And if a premier striker is coming in, more than likely (at least) one striker will need to go.

Maybe Edin Dzeko is leaving, maybe he is not. Maybe Sergio Aguero is leaving, but probably not.

As for Tevez, though, his departure may be hastened by his inability to take the "no" in "no driving with a suspended license" for an answer.

Per The Telegraph, Tevez faces ever stiffer punishment than he has received in the past for his recidivist vehicular misconduct. 

Is Tevez really going to miss the derby on April 8 for driving while disqualified and without insurance? If history is any guide, probably not.

But with this latest chapter in the checkered history of Carlos Tevez, he cannot be endearing himself to either his manager or his team.

Besides, there is no need to weep for Tevez if in fact the end of his line at City is near. A prolific striker on the proper side of 30 is rarely going to lack for suitors, per the Express.

Ultimately, the removal of Tevez from City's XI would probably have more to do with his off-the-pitch baggage and City's desire to put its disappointing season behind it than anything the Argentine did with the ball in play.

Then again, if Tevez was leading the Premiership in goals, we would not be having this conversation at all.