Tevez revels in City parade

It had been suggested instead of climbing aboard the bus taking the

Blues from the centre of Manchester to their Eastlands home to

parade the FA Cup, Tevez would be on a flight back to Argentina,

effectively the final snub of his City career. Instead, the

26-year-old was with his team-mates – with the exception of Mario

Balotelli, who is said to have been given permission to return home

by Roberto Mancini – to mark the end of City’s 35-year wait for a

trophy. “In my mind, there was never a question as to whether I

would be there,” said Tevez. “It is a great day for Sheikh Mansour,

who has given so much to the club, and also the fans, who have

waiting so long and so patiently as well as the players who have

given their all to make this possible. “No-one had to persuade me

to be here. I simply wouldn’t have missed this event.” The South

American was one of the main figures to take the fans’ acclaim as

they lined the route in their thousands before a spectacular party

at Eastlands. Tevez did more than anyone to ensure the Blues’

campaign ended on a high note, with an automatic place in next

season’s Champions League group phase now assured following

yesterday’s win at Bolton. He would certainly leave a big hole in

Mancini’s squad if he was to leave for Spain or Italy. However,

that would presumably just bring even more pressure from manager

Roberto Mancini for further investment, even though Sheikh Mansour

has already spent £350million on players since his takeover

three years ago. Vincent Kompany is undoubtedly one of the best

purchases. And having been crowned fans’ player of the year at a

function last night, the Belgian is already looking forward to

further glories. “We had a good season but the reality is we didn’t

finish champions, so there is obviously a gap (nine points) between

first place and second and third,” said Kompany. “We will do

everything we can to bridge that gap. If the club decides to buy it

will make sense but hopefully this team will be stronger,

regardless of that.” Kompany certainly does not feel any sense of

inferiority when he assesses City’s strengths against those of

their rivals. “There has been very little in our games with United,

Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham,” he said. “We will do

better next season than this and the gap is going to get smaller.”

As someone who was part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s backroom team during

the Scot’s difficult early years at Old Trafford, City assistant

boss Brian Kidd knows such progression cannot be rushed. Kidd

retains enough affinity for his old club to be attending Saturday’s

Champions League final at Wembley. And he does not feel it will be

long before City are battling on an equal footing. “I don’t see why

not,” he said. “We are a young squad and the players who have come

in from abroad will learn from it. “If you look back in the 80s

when the boss – Fergie – came in, people forget there was 30,000 in

there watching Wimbledon. “It is a long, hard process but when you

win something it becomes intoxicating.”