Man City Fluff Their Chance To Break ’81-Year Christmas Duck’

By losing out to Everton in the Premier League yesterday evening, Manchester City fluffed a timely opportunity to celebrate wayward striker Carlos Tevez‘s new-found commitment to the cause and threw away a chance to break a long-standing ’81-year duck’ that will now continue to hover over the club for at least another twelve months.

Three points against the Toffees would have sent City to the summit of the Premier League pile over Christmas, a position the club last held way back in the primordial mists of 1929.

Alas, it wasn’t to be, and a goal apiece from Tim Cahill and Leighton Baines (Ivorian midfielder Yaya Toure pulled one back for City, via a considerable deflection off Phil Jagielka) ensured that Everton recorded their fourth successive win over City at the City of Manchester Stadium, and that Roberto Mancini‘s side will see December 25th pass by from the third-place vantage point which they had held for the week previous.

The defeat also meant there was no sugar-coated cap to be placed on a day which saw the aforementioned Tevez seemingly end a week’s worth of schism and bad blood by officially withdrawing the written transfer request he filed the weekend before last.

City midfielder Yaya Toure's deflected effort pings past Tim Howard

The news broke when City saw fit to release the following statement hours before their game with Everton was due to kick-off:

“During the meeting, Carlos expressed his absolute commitment to the club and formally withdrew his transfer request.

Carlos’ contract remains unchanged (thought to be somewhere in the region of £200,000-a-week) and both Carlos and the football club are keen to focus on the opportunities that lie ahead.”

The fact that Tevez was apparently dissuaded without the need for any reciprocated financial gain seems to reaffirm his claims that his transfer request was not made on monetary terms – although, who the hell knows what’s going on in the Eastlands accounting department anymore?

The restless Argentinian forward was immediately (and rather desperately) coddled and coerced by the City hierarchy into changing his mind and, after clearing the air with his fractious captain on Friday afternoon, Mancini (along with the rest of the waking world) is now keen to draw a line under the ordeal and move on:

“Carlos is a world-class player whose contribution since he joined the club has been invaluable. [His decision to rescind his transfer request] was important news. It is the only good news for this evening. It’s good for the club and the squad and for him.

I am pleased that we are now able to focus on pure football matters and to look forward to Carlos continuing to play a significant role in the club’s progress.

It’s good that we don’t have to talk about this anymore. It’s important that the situation is cleared.”

Yep, all done and dusted…for the next five months.

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