Friday, November 15, 2013

Pelotas' Ponderings: Is Argie gaffer a 'testardo?'

Tevez in form back in Italy, Argentina move on in N.J.

Argentina manager Alejandro Sabella refuses to discuss Carlos Tevez and his absence from the national team. Although he does his best to be mild-mannered about it, you can sense his tiresome sighs as he fields inquiries from his country's reporters at the Westin Hotel in Jersey City, N.J. where the team is stationed at ahead of tonight's friendly against Ecuador at MetLife Stadium.

Sabella feels it's disrespectful to speak of a player that's currently not with the team and also belittles the ones that are.

Fair enough.

But why--with Lionel Messi out nursing the most famous hamstring in the world--would Sabella not call El Apache up? The man has netted six times in 11 matches so far with Juventus following his transfer from Manchester City and has looked in fine form. He's happy in Turin, is more comfortable with the language and has an array of talent surrounding him that fits his on-the-pitch personality, giving him the fuel to perform.

His last appearance in the famous sky blue and white colors was at Copa America 2011 in Argentina where the home side was eliminated in penalty kicks to Uruguay in the quarterfinals. Tevez missed his from the spot.

From there speculation arose about his commitment to the national team. There were murmurs of attitude, unhappiness and burnout. His rift with then-manager Roberto Mancini at City that led to him taking leave from the team didn't help his cause. Tevez also had made remarks about quitting his international career at 28 years old on several occasions. You have to wonder what his mindset is at now.

However, the joy that is displayed on his face this season is priceless. He comes from a rough Buenos Aires neighborhood called Fuerte Apache and may not be the most articulate or engaging individual to the press and upper management but he is a true warrior of the game, representing what we all strive to do whether on the pitch or off of it. Tevez isn't Cristiano Ronaldo-glamorous but his hard-working personality sparks a demeanor that makes us fans root for him. And he will surely be missed tonight in New Jersey.