Tevez drops down pecking order

In his first two seasons with the Blues, Tevez had been one of the

first names on the team sheet of first Mark Hughes, then current

boss Roberto Mancini. However, a late return after appearing at the

Copa America for Argentina, and with his future at the Etihad

Stadium uncertain, led Mancini to leave the striker out of City’s

opening two games, starting with the Community Shield. Edin Dzeko

took the chance to impress and with Sergio Aguero equally

impressive following his arrival from Atletico Madrid, Tevez was

squeezed out. And the news is even worse for, with Mario Balotelli

able to occupy a wide berth, Tevez’s chances could become very

limited. “Mario could have more chance because he can also play

wide,” said Mancini, ahead of the Premier League encounter with

Everton at the Etihad Stadium. “The thing is, Carlos is not 100% at

this moment. “He needs to play to find good form and he understands

that we have other strikers that at this moment are doing well and

scoring goals.” Not that Mancini is dismissing the contribution

Tevez can make. However, after being in a healthy bargaining

position for so long, the 27-year-old is now just one of a growing

number of high-profile players for City to accommodate. No matter

who Mancini has used in the past, it has not helped him to find a

way of beating Everton. The Toffees have emerged victorious on

seven of the last eight meetings between the two sides, including

the last four, a period that encompasses all Mancini’s duels with

David Moyes. It is something that happened in reverse during his

Sampdoria days and the City boss admits he struggles for an

explanation. “When I played for Sampdoria, we went to Udinese and

always won,” he recalled. “This can happen in football. Maybe I

should just cancel the game.” The latter comment was delivered with

a smile but Mancini knows his side should end the run soon, given

the vast disparity in income between the Blues and the

cash-strapped Toffeemen. “There are many clubs like Everton who

can’t spend money. They are still a good team,” he said. “Maybe

they spent in the past or have young players who have come from the

academy. “I like Tim Cahill a lot. His mind works for the team all

the time. “He is not tall but he is fantastic in the air.” Mancini

has already decided not to include Owen Hargreaves and will check

how well Kolo Toure came through his return from a drugs ban before

finalising his line-up. After dropping two points at Fulham last

weekend, City have fallen behind neighbours Manchester United, who

retain a 100% record. However, the City chief has been given an

incentive to improve as if he remains in charge for another three

years, he could preside over the move into the club’s magnificent

new training complex, the plans for which were unveiled earlier

this week. “I don’t know when it will be finished,” said Mancini.

“In Italy if you say two years, it means four. “I hope to be here.

It would mean I had worked well. “If not I will come back as a

supporter.”