Tevez keen to win over doubters
PSG director Leonardo suggested his team are more suited to
playing in the Champions League than Ligue 1 after an embarrassing
defeat to 10-man Reims.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side went down 1-0 in Reims as Grzegorz
Krychowiak scored in the 64th minute, six minutes after the hosts
had Christopher Glombard sent off for a second bookable
PSG had already seen Zlatan Ibrahimovic denied a goal for a
questionable offside decision, but missed several other chances and
surrendered vital ground in the tight Ligue 1 title race.
It was a second away defeat in a row for PSG and Leonardo warned
there could be more as his expensively-assembled team was
constructed for grander stages.
“We are perhaps not made to play in these types of games,” the
Brazilian told Infosport. “We created a team to play in the
Champions League, not the championship.
“We don’t know yet how to handle games where the situation is
against us, where the surface is difficult and we have an important
game every three days.”
However bold their ambitions on the continental stage, Leonardo
admitted they must find a way to win at home in order to stay in
control of the title race.
“When games are based on a fight, we do not succeed,” he said.
“We will have to learn how to face games like these when it gets
tough, as they are common here and this will not be the last
But while Leonardo’s comments seemed to question PSG’s title
credentials, coach Carlo Ancelotti insisted he had no worries about
his team’s attitude.
“It’s a big disappointment, because we had the opportunity to
win this game with the chance for (Ezequiel) Lavezzi in the first
half and the (disallowed) goal of Ibrahimovic in the second,”
“The only thing I can say is we have to accept this defeat and
better manage matches like this.”
Prior to this match, PSG had enjoyed back-to-back victories over
rivals Marseille in the league and cup, but they also lost their
last league outing away from home in losing 3-2 to Sochaux.
“This is different to Sochaux,” Ancelotti added. “Today we do
not have any attitude problem. It was not a problem of
concentration, but a technical thing. We encountered difficulties
in the game because the pitch was not good. If you cannot play
football, it is hard.
“But I cannot be angry because the team is doing a good job and
we are still leading (the table). We might have won if Lavezzi took
that chance and then the officials had made a different
Tevez has re-established himself as a regular in Roberto
Mancini’s side this season, something that was almost unthinkable
last year as he went on unauthorised leave in his homeland for
several months, apparently ready to quit the game.
“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to come back,” Tevez told the
Sunday Times. “I’d left City and you could almost say I’d left
through the back door. But it is almost like there are two Tevezes.
There’s the Tevez before, who had a problem, and there’s the Tevez
now, who no longer has problems.”
Tevez said the key has been getting his family back together.
Tevez had requested a transfer from City prior to his walkout when
his wife and children returned to Argentina, but now they are all
back in England Tevez said he has a different perspective on his
“It totally changes everything, your disposition, your humour,
just having them close,” he said. “If I wasn’t selected in the past
I’d be in a terrible mood. Now I’m still gutted but I go home, see
my daughters, it takes my mind off it and I feel better.”
The 29-year-old has 11 goals in 33 appearances in all
competitions this season, not quite matching the outstanding return
of his pre-walkout days but still a highly valuable part of Roberto
Despite that, a sizeable number of City fans still bear a grudge
after last season, with Tevez’s goals often met with a more muted
celebration than those of his team-mates.
Tevez can understand that, but is still working to win them over
with his new attitude.
“I knew it would be difficult for the fans to accept me again,”
he said. “But I hope, little by little, match by match…you give
everything for the shirt and win them over through hambre de gloria
(hunger for glory). I was once a real idol for these fans, they
were so supportive of me. I hope I’m able to win them back.”
While his standing with the supporters still needs work, Tevez
is adamant he and Mancini are now “fine”, their once fiery
relationship “a lot calmer now”.
“It might be down to maturity,” he added. “Maybe, before, I was
under a lot more pressure. I was a leader of the team. People would
often say, ‘If Carlos has a bad day, City have a bad day’. Maybe
you just reach a point where there’s worse things in life than
disappointment in football.
“If I come off the bench and score but I’m not in the next
starting line-up I’m a lot more accepting.”