Mancini hopes Tevez misses friendly

The lucrative game has been arranged in Qatar to showpiece their

country ahead of voting to stage the 2022 World Cup, which they are

bidding to bring to the Middle East for the first time. They will

certainly hope both countries have all their big names on show,

including Tevez, who is one of the most high-profile members of the

Argentina squad. However, Mancini is concerned at the number of

matches his 26-year-old captain is being forced to undertake. In

addition to 10 appearances for his club, who due to injuries picked

up by Emmanuel Adebayor, Mario Balotelli and Jo at various stages

of the season have been forced to rely on their captain more often

than they wanted, Tevez has been clocking up the air miles on

international duty. Although a friendly in August only required a

short trip to Dublin, in September he jetted back home for a

meeting with Spain in Buenos Aires, while Argentina had to fulfil a

commitment in Japan this time around. Tevez has never hidden his

love for Argentina, nor the pride he feels from representing his

country – therefore it is not certain he will share his boss’s

desire to sit a game out, especially one against Brazil. But

Mancini is certain it would be the correct decision. “Argentina

have a friendly but I hope in November he can stay here,” said the

Italian. “Carlos didn’t work from the start of the season. He

arrived here in August. After three days he went away with the

national team. “But he still needed to recover after the World

Cup.” Mancini cites that extreme tiredness as the reason for

Tevez’s explosion at half-time in the Newcastle encounter when,

frustrated at City’s poor performance, the South American gave vent

to his feelings. His manager responded, in a manner that initially

led Tevez to believe he was being hauled off. Mancini insists the

drama has been overplayed. “I played football,” he said. “I

understand when you are tired maybe sometimes you can say things

you don’t want to say. This is normal. “The tiredness is a problem

for Carlos. Argentina do not just play in Europe, so it is very

difficult.” Indeed, not for the first time, Tevez has hinted he may

quit football altogether because he no longer gets any enjoyment

from it. Mancini is dubious about whether the former Boca Juniors

star will carry out that threat. “I haven’t spoken to him about

this,” he said. “Carlos is born to play football. I don’t know if

he will continue to play here for 10 years or whether he goes back

to Argentina but he will play football.” Mancini raised an eyebrow

or two when he said Sunday’s visit to Blackpool would be “like

going to Rimini”. The famous Tower and Pleasure Beach may be

highlights of a visit to this particular seaside town but Mancini

intends to have a talk with Tevez before finalising the line-up

that tries to ensure their day by the coast turns out to be a

winning one. He has already had a chat with Nigel de Jong, who has

been in the news for the tackle that left Hatem Ben Arfa with a

broken leg, which triggered Bert van Marwijk’s decision to axe him

from the Holland squad. “I have spoken with him,” said Mancini.

“Nigel will continue to play in this way because that is his style.

“But he must pay attention in the next two or three games because

some referees may see him differently.” Mancini certainly does not

believe his player has been helped by some harsh comments in the

media. “The reaction was out of order,” said Mancini. “Probably

people do look at things negatively with Nigel but every week, in

every game, here, in Spain, in Italy, there are unbelievable fouls.

“This was just a normal tackle.”