A few months ago, everything was going swimmingly for City. All they seemingly had to do was to show up for win after lopsided win. But then there was a gradual slide in theor fortunes. At the end of January their season is but a litany of thwarted ambitions. Out of the Champions League in December and by last week, the Carling Cup and the FA Cup, their accelerated program to win the Premiership title seems to have hit a wall and in danger of being snatched by those other pesky Mancunians and the upstart Spurs.
To add insult to injury, today's loss to Everton was at the hands of Darron Gibson, a former Man Utd midfielder, at a reported £2 million providing with one swing of his leg, a lot more value for money than Edin Dzeko, Samir Nasri, David Silva, and Sergio Aguero combined at £115 million. Roberto Mancini's future now rests on the narrow case of winning the Premiership but the momentum has all but gone, stalled by inconsistency and patchy performances.
City's intransigence saw Carlos Tevez priced out of this transfer market. The earliest, he could move out would be this summer. The transfer negotiations with Milan which proved to the most promising fell apart because City balked at a loan deal and when the Serie club came with an improved deal it was deemed short. In the meantime, Tevez has lost £9.3m in wages, bonuses and fines. A tidy sum of money. He has served his two week suspension and is training with the reserves which is where Mancini envisions him staying till he leaves. That is being disputed by Tevez's man Friday, his agent, Kia Joorabchian who say's he should be integrated with the senior team.
Mancini has said Tevez will never wear the team's colours and the only way he would consider him for first team training is if he apologizes. However, Mancini is also confronted by the fact that his high priced transfers haven't materialized the way they should have. And there is no indication that they will.
The hugely talented Mario Balotelli provides cameos of what he's capable of but more often that not, is overshadowed by his on and off pitch implosions. Both Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero have cooled off their hot streak, Samir Nasri has been disappointing, and with David Silva, the only consistent creative spark, City is leaving a lot of loose ends. The attack needs a proven and consistent goalscorer which Carlos Tevez always has been which ever club he's joined. Plus, he's always been that clutch player who digs his club out of trouble.
Last season, he was the top scorer and in his 63 league appearances he scored 44 goals, better than anyone else. From Tevez's perspective, the longer he remains away from the pitch, the more he takes himself off the market. And deny he might but Tevez is losing a lot of good money he could squirrel away for a nice retirement nest egg. It is in the interest of both to start a dialogue and with a third of the season still remaining there is still plenty of time for Tevez to be productive and help put those creeping doubts away for good. The more Mancini and City make heavy weather, the louder the calls for kiss and make up. That sounds better than the axe, leaving City to pursue Jose Mourinho. Now that would be galling.