Wait until next year

Putting off what could be done tomorrow, today

Tag: carlos tevez

Gary Neville is a boot-licking moron

…or so says his old team-mate Carlos Tevez, who made quite the attack on him via a radio interview for ESPN Argentina. Gary Neville had stated that Tevez wasn’t worth the money, following his move from Manchester United to Manchester City.

In Tuesday night’s Carling Cup semi-final, first leg, Tevez gestured to Neville, after scoring his first goal. Neville wittily responded by raising his middle finger. In a radio interview Tevez explained:

“My celebration was directed at Gary Neville. He acted like a complete sock-sucker [boot-licker] when he said I wasn’t worth £25m, just to suck up to the manager. I don’t know what the hell that idiot is talking about me for. I never said anything about him.”

Well, I think Tevez will have won himself a fair few new fans for sticking it to Gary Neville, not one of the most popular players in the UK. He may well have some unexpected fans in the red half of Merseyside, who have been known to call Gary Neville far worse things than a ‘sock-sucker’.

While this is a case of ‘handbags at dawn’, it is good to see a little bit of proper antagonism between the two sides. It certainly sets things up for a lively return leg at Old Trafford next week.

In the meantime, let’s hope ‘sock sucker’ enters common use. It’s handy as it sounds like something else that is quite a bit ruder. Just like when they dubbed a TV version of Beverly Hills Cop, so that ‘motherf***er’ became ‘melon farmer’. Great stuff.

Carlos Tevez – Anatomy of a goal (Manchester City 2 Manchester United 1)

Generally football is a fluid game, continually in motion. It does not pause for any length of time. It is also a team activity. There are, of course, moments of individual skill, but rarely do we see a one against one situation, like we might see between a batsman and bowler in cricket.

But here is the waiting. That rare, dramatic waiting. Here is that one-on-one.

A penalty has been given. Manchester City can equalise. Carlos Tevez stands passively. And waits.

His former Manchester United team-mates argue with the referee, but as always with these matters, the decision stands. Tevez’s soon-to-be-opponent, Edwin van der Sar, slowly takes a drink and deliberately wipes his gloves, anything to stall proceedings. Anything to knock Tevez’s concentration, or nerve. The referee waves a yellow card in the goalkeeper’s direction.

The referee signals – let battle commence. City’s new hero against his old colleagues. The spurned sportsman with a chance to show United what they are missing. To bring one side of the city joy, the other agony.

Van der Sar stands tall. A lot less of the target is visible. He stretches his arms out, much more a crucifix pose than an open welcome to shoot.

Tevez stands passively. He then hears the referee’s whistle.

A hop, skip, shuffle to the side. Wayne Rooney, his old striking partner, speaks, another attempt at distraction. Tevez refuses to listen. He begins his run-up, an arch towards the ball. Not too fast, but steady, determined.

And then.


Straight down the middle. Straight past van der Sar. Never stood a chance. Never any doubt. Emphatic.

Tevez reels away. His clenched fists reveal only controlled emotion – not release, not relief. Not yet.

One apiece. Manchester City are back in the game.