It has always been difficult to figure out what drives Carlos Tevez. But whether his motivation is professional success, lifestyle, money or something else entirely, now would seem the right time for the gifted but controversial figure to end his time at Manchester City and move to another club.
Let us assume Tevez's burning desire as a footballer is to win trophies, as he told the Manchester Evening News in September of 2012:
What I want is to keep winning silverware. That is why you train and play – to keep winning trophies – and that pressure will always be there. It’s like every Sunday you take an exam. In football you have to play a game under pressure. But I don’t put myself under extra pressure to become a champion – that is just something I want to achieve.
After winning the FA Cup in 2011, City went on to claim their first league title in 44 years in 2011/12. In the season just gone, however, the club went trophy-less, finishing second behind Manchester United in the title race, going down to Wigan in the FA Cup final and failing to make it out of the group stage of the Champions League.
What should Tevez do now?
Will 2013/14 be a better season for the club? If anything, claiming silverware may be an even tougher prospect than last season. The unsettling effect of the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson from United will give City some cause for optimism. A change of managers at the Etihad Stadium, though, means the blue side of Manchester will be undergoing a transition period of their own. When you consider they fell a hefty 11 points short of United last season, they will have to hope that things fall apart considerably under David Moyes in order for them to close the gap.
If things look challenging on a domestic level, Manchester City have even more ground to make up in Europe. No English sides made the semi-finals last time around, and it is hard to see City getting past experienced Champions League campaigners like Juventus, Real Madrid and Barcelona, let alone current champions Bayern Munich, at least in the next couple of seasons.
Is Tevez's primary concern lifestyle and the comfort of his family? He infamously told an Argentine TV station, Telefe, in June, 2011, as reported here by The Telegraph, that the city of Manchester was not his dream location:
There's nothing to do in Manchester. There's two restaurants and everything's small. It rains all the time.You can't go anywhere.
There comes a moment where you say 'Where am I going to go with my family?' and you begin to feel bad.Of course, one trains, plays, does things, and when the family or friends come one feels bad and you can't take them to the movies because they don't understand anything. I will not return to Manchester, not for a vacation, not anything.
"Carlitos" did return, of course, and even claimed he was happy to be back, but it has long been suggested that, assuming no Argentine club can afford his wages, he would be more comfortable at least in a country with more similarities to his homeland.
In terms of cuisine, language and culture, Italy or Spain would seem, on the surface at least, much more suitable to Tevez's lifestyle requirements.
If money is, in fact, the Argentine's motivating factor, as many suspect it might be, there are plenty of wealthy clubs in Spain, Italy and France that could be prepared to offer him substantial wages.
Wigan earn just £4.5m in matchday revenue every season. That's the same amount of money that Carlos Tevez has lost down the back of his sofa— Iain Macintosh (@iainmacintosh) May 14, 2013
Back in 2010, Tevez told TyC Sports, as quoted here by The Guardian, that high wages in the Premier League were actually a turn-off for him, and that they made him want to walk away from the sport altogether:
I don't want to play any more. I'm tired of football but also tired of people who work in football. I'm talking seriously. Football is only about money and I don't like it.There are so many agents with really young footballers, it's awful as these young players are not interested in winning titles. They only want money.
In practical terms, this would appear the easiest of Tevez's problems to solve, as many teams would be prepared to pay him less than Manchester City do.
Whatever it is that makes this talented striker tick, at this stage of his career it may be best for all parties if he and Manchester City part ways now. Surprisingly, despite the love/hate relationship Tevez has endured with City, it is actually the club where he has spent the longest stint of his career.
It is time for the rambling man to ramble on.