Saturday confirmed what most fans have suspected for weeks now; Carlos Tevez will not be joining the club permanently.
For the past two seasons it has been a privilege to watch him in action and I for one have appreciated every ounce of sweat and every pound he has shed during United’s quest for success in all competitions.
We have had many talented front players over the years but few have worked harder for the cause than Tevez. Fans always knew what they were going to get from him every time – 100 per cent in effort.
In the past few weeks his imminent departure has been debated endlessly on the Talking Reds and what I have found interesting has been the shift in attitude from some users as it became less likely that he would be signing a permanent deal. Tireless work rate has become known as running around like a headless chicken whilst his goals seem to have been completely forgotten about; goals without which we might not be Premier League champions and back to back Champions League finalists.
During 2007/08 his timely interventions rescued vital points against Spurs and Blackburn in the league, while a vital away goal against Lyon kept United in the hunt for Champions League glory. My own personal favourite from that season was his winner in front of the Kop against Liverpool. Last season, though his league goals were rarer, he kept up his knack of scoring at vital times, such as the second goal against City to provide a cushion in that game. Perhaps more importantly, his cheeky back-heel gave us the crucial equaliser at Wigan, whilst in the Champions League, it was his goal at home against Porto that ensured one goal would be enough in the second leg to take us through to the semi-finals. He was also top scorer in the successful Carling Cup campaign with six goals – including four against local rivals Blackburn.
Even when he didn’t score, Carlos proved his worth in the title race with all-action displays in the memorable games against Villa and Spurs at Old Trafford. From attempting to slide tackle a Villa player with his head to being the catalyst in United overcoming a two-goal deficit to emerge 5-2 winners against Spurs, his contribution in both games was priceless.
Though I hoped that a permanent deal would be concluded during the summer, his comments in the media towards the end of the season seemed to indicate he felt his time was up at United. Couple these with his reaction to being substituted against Arsenal in the final home league game of last season, and my hope began to look a vain one.
As United supporters we can take solace in the fact that a move to Liverpool looks highly unlikely if recent quotes are to be believed, but this still means he could sign for City or Chelsea - if he does not move abroad.
Whilst I will not feel comfortable with him possibly ending up at City I know that when he returns to Old Trafford I will applaud him in the same way that Carlos, Carrick and Ferdinand are applauded when they return to West Ham. This shows a touch of class – something that is often missing from the modern game – and I sincerely hope that United supporters can display the same for Carlos. For his efforts in the last two seasons, he deserves that at the very least.
Farewell Carlos and thank you for everything.