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Pep Guardiola, Carlos Tevez and the wild relationship that could have reshaped modern Man City – Alex Brotherton

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Football is full to the brim with ‘what if’ moments.

What if Paul Dickov hadn’t equalised against Gillingham in the Second Division play-off final? What if Sergio Aguero hadn’t scored that goal against QPR? What if Pep Guardiola had said no?

These are all big questions to ponder, and if you spend too long thinking about them you’ll probably drive yourself insane.

A slightly more light-hearted one is this: What if Carlos Tevez had played under Guardiola at City? We reckon it would have been both brilliant and disastrous.

Tevez was a City hero before he’d even kicked a ball in sky blue – that’s just the kind of adulation you get from City fans if you ditch cross-town rivals Manchester United.

The ‘welcome to Manchester’ billboard erected at the bottom of Deansgate only added to the anticipation of seeing Tevez play at the Etihad Stadium.

The transfer coup was far from a PR stunt; Tevez was sensational in his first couple of years at City. In 2009/10 he scored an impressive 23 goals in 35 league appearances to fire City to a then-best fifth-place finish, before he captained the club to FA Cup glory the following season, City’s first trophy for 35 years.

Over those two seasons, Tevez showed that he would have been the perfect striker for the manager that would take charge at City three years after his departure.



Carlos Tevez is something of a character

Largely operating as the frontman in a 4-2-3-1 formation, although he occasionally played as a winger or as a secondary striker, Tevez was as stereotypically Argentine in his play as they come.

He was strong, nimble and quick as he relentlessly ran at defenders, with his low centre of gravity enabling him to trick defenders with last-second changes of direction or feints.

He chased lost causes and pressured opponents like a hyena chasing prey; it was almost as if he enjoyed the struggle, the chase and adrenaline it gave him. In that respect, he was a superb team player and Guardiola’s pressing approach would have fitted him like a glove.

Of course, Tevez was an individual too – you don’t score 43 goals in your first 66 Premier League appearances for a club otherwise. El Apache is one of the most lethal strikers to have graced European football, a goalscorer capable of burying a 30-yard rocket in the same game that he dinks the goalkeeper with a velvet touch.



The striker is no stranger to a disagreement

However, there is an elephant in the room.

Perhaps Tevez and Guardiola would have bonded over their shared love of golf. A leisurely round on the course while conversing in their mother tongue could have been a nice way for Pep to unwind.

On the other hand, getting yourself suspended by the club for five months and spending much of that time swinging your five iron instead of your right foot probably would not have gone down well with Guardiola.

Tevez’s refusal to come on as a substitute against Bayern Munich enraged Roberto Mancini, so just imagine the chaos that would have ensued had Pep been in the dugout. Tevez returned from garden leave in February 2012 to help City’s title bid, but he was never quite the same player.



Just like you, we can’t get enough of Manchester City! That’s why we’ve decided to supplement our expansive City coverage on the Manchester Evening News with a more fan-oriented platform catered specifically to City fans – City Is Ours.

Writers and presenters who share your passion for the blue side of Manchester will be producing written, visual and audio content to reflect the mood in the stands as well as the press box.

Follow our team on Twitter (@DomFarrell1986 and @alex_brotherton)!

11 goals and 12 assists in 2012/13 still represented a good return, but by then Sergio Aguero was the top dog at City. The two Argentine’s showed glimpses of what they could do together before Tevez left for Juventus in 2013, but that partnership is another ‘what if’ in itself.

A fair conclusion is this: Tevez the player would have been Guardiola’s dream. A hard-working, technical striker who could score goals but also get involved in the build-up. What’s not to like?

But Tevez the man would probably not have been to Guardiola’s taste. His history of disciplinary issues, coupled with the transfer request he submitted in December 2010, would have seen him out the door quicker than Pep takes his coat off in big games.

One thing is for certain; Tevez leading the line in a Guardiola team would have been fun.

Do you think Tevez and Guardiola would have worked? Follow City Is Ours writer Alex Brotherton on Twitter to join the conversation and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.




Football is full to the brim with 'what if' moments.

What if Paul Dickov hadn't equalised against Gillingham in the Second Division play-off final? What if Sergio Aguero hadn't scored that goal against QPR? What if Pep Guardiola had said no?

These are all big questions to ponder, and if you spend too long thinking about them you'll probably drive yourself insane.

A slightly more light-hearted one is this: What if Carlos Tevez had played under Guardiola at City? We reckon it would have been both brilliant and disastrous.

Tevez was a City hero before he'd even kicked a ball in sky blue - that's just the kind of adulation you get from City fans if you ditch cross-town rivals Manchester United.

The 'welcome to Manchester' billboard erected at the bottom of Deansgate only added to the anticipation of seeing Tevez play at the Etihad Stadium.

The transfer coup was far from a PR stunt; Tevez was sensational in his first couple of years at City. In 2009/10 he scored an impressive 23 goals in 35 league appearances to fire City to a then-best fifth-place finish, before he captained the club to FA Cup glory the following season, City's first trophy for 35 years.

Over those two seasons, Tevez showed that he would have been the perfect striker for the manager that would take charge at City three years after his departure.



Carlos Tevez is something of a character

Largely operating as the frontman in a 4-2-3-1 formation, although he occasionally played as a winger or as a secondary striker, Tevez was as stereotypically Argentine in his play as they come.

He was strong, nimble and quick as he relentlessly ran at defenders, with his low centre of gravity enabling him to trick defenders with last-second changes of direction or feints.

He chased lost causes and pressured opponents like a hyena chasing prey; it was almost as if he enjoyed the struggle, the chase and adrenaline it gave him. In that respect, he was a superb team player and Guardiola's pressing approach would have fitted him like a glove.

Of course, Tevez was an individual too - you don't score 43 goals in your first 66 Premier League appearances for a club otherwise. El Apache is one of the most lethal strikers to have graced European football, a goalscorer capable of burying a 30-yard rocket in the same game that he dinks the goalkeeper with a velvet touch.



The striker is no stranger to a disagreement

However, there is an elephant in the room.

Perhaps Tevez and Guardiola would have bonded over their shared love of golf. A leisurely round on the course while conversing in their mother tongue could have been a nice way for Pep to unwind.

On the other hand, getting yourself suspended by the club for five months and spending much of that time swinging your five iron instead of your right foot probably would not have gone down well with Guardiola.

Tevez's refusal to come on as a substitute against Bayern Munich enraged Roberto Mancini, so just imagine the chaos that would have ensued had Pep been in the dugout. Tevez returned from garden leave in February 2012 to help City's title bid, but he was never quite the same player.



Just like you, we can’t get enough of Manchester City! That’s why we’ve decided to supplement our expansive City coverage on the Manchester Evening News with a more fan-oriented platform catered specifically to City fans - City Is Ours.

Writers and presenters who share your passion for the blue side of Manchester will be producing written, visual and audio content to reflect the mood in the stands as well as the press box.

Follow our team on Twitter (@DomFarrell1986 and @alex_brotherton)!

11 goals and 12 assists in 2012/13 still represented a good return, but by then Sergio Aguero was the top dog at City. The two Argentine's showed glimpses of what they could do together before Tevez left for Juventus in 2013, but that partnership is another 'what if' in itself.

A fair conclusion is this: Tevez the player would have been Guardiola's dream. A hard-working, technical striker who could score goals but also get involved in the build-up. What's not to like?

But Tevez the man would probably not have been to Guardiola's taste. His history of disciplinary issues, coupled with the transfer request he submitted in December 2010, would have seen him out the door quicker than Pep takes his coat off in big games.

One thing is for certain; Tevez leading the line in a Guardiola team would have been fun.

Do you think Tevez and Guardiola would have worked? Follow City Is Ours writer Alex Brotherton on Twitter to join the conversation and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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