Tag Archives: roberto

Manchester City and PSG agree personal terms with Edinson Cavani

Man City joined by PSG in agreeing terms with 60m Cavani… but Real Madrid are set to pounce

By
Sami Mokbel and John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

15:30 GMT, 23 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:10 GMT, 23 April 2013

Manchester City are closing in on in-demand Napoli frontman Edinson Cavani after agreeing in principle terms with the player over a summer move.

However, David Beckham's Paris St Germain remain in the hunt after striking up a similar deal despite neither agreeing a fee with the Uruguayan's club.

To make matters worse for City, the player himself has set his sights on a dream move to Real Madrid.

Scroll down to watch Cavani in action

In demand: Serie A top scorer Edinson Cavani has agreed deals in principle with Manchester City and PSG

In demand: Serie A top scorer Edinson Cavani has agreed deals in principle with Manchester City and PSG

In demand: Serie A top scorer Edinson Cavani is being tracked by Europe's top clubs, including City and PSG

GOAL MACHINE CAVANI

Edinson Cavani has scored 72 goals and delivered 12 assists in 100 appearances for Napoli in Serie A.

With fears mounting that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be lured back to Juventus, as revealed in Sportsmail, PSG hope to hijack City’s pursuit of one of Europe’s most accomplished finishers.

Roberto Mancini is desperate to hit the ground running this summer after seeing his title chances damaged considerably last year when Robin van Persie chose Manchester United.

City, then, have agreed in principle to offer 256k per week, though there remains the barrier of his release clause, initially thought to be 53million. Recently, though, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis insisted it would take an incredible 60million to trigger it.

Getting shirty: The fight for Cavani is likely to be a long and bitter one between Europe's leading clubs

Getting shirty: The fight for Cavani is likely to be a long and bitter one between Europe's leading clubs

Getting shirty: The fight for Cavani is likely to be a long and bitter one between Europe's leading clubs

Asked to clarify the exact amount
needed to prise the 26-year-old away, the president said: ‘We included a
very high buy-out clause in his contract, because we want him to stay.

'The clause does exist, though, and if some nutter is willing to pay €70m for him we are ready to listen.'

Cavani is the top scorer in Serie A this season, with 23 goals, firing Napoli to a likely second-placed finish behind Juventus.

Friends forever: Could Ezequiel Lavezzi, who left Napoli for PSG, play a part in Cavani's future

Friends forever: Could Ezequiel Lavezzi, who left Napoli for PSG, play a part in Cavani's future

His blistering form has led PSG sporting director Leonardo to work overtime behind the scenes to convince him of the Parisien project, with reports in France claiming an offer of 7million per year, plus bonuses, is on the table.

Real Madrid have been favourites to sign Cavani, but due to Ibrahimovic openly courting a return to Juve, plus fears within PSG that they could also lose Ezequiel Lavezzi to AC Milan, competition is more fierce than ever.

VIDEO Napoli frontman Cavani doing what he does best…scoring goals

Roberto Martinez praises old-fashioned Andy Carroll ahead of Wigan v West Ham

Wigan boss Martinez praises 'old-fashioned' Carroll ahead of West Ham clash

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

10:56 GMT, 19 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:10 GMT, 19 April 2013

Roberto Martinez has hailed Andy Carroll as a throwback to the old days and admitted he poses a 'unique' threat to Wigan's hopes of staying in the Barclays Premier League.

Wigan are desperate for points to escape the bottom three, but Martinez knows they will have to find a way of combatting Carroll's physical presence against West Ham at Upton Park.

The on-loan striker laid on his side's opening goal, in Wednesday's 2-2 home draw with Manchester United, but also infuriated Sir Alex Ferguson with an aerial challenge that flattened keeper David de Gea.

Scroll down for video

Seal of approval: Roberto Martinez has sung the praises of Andy Carroll (below) before the two meet

Seal of approval: Roberto Martinez has sung the praises of Andy Carroll (below) before the two meet

Carroll

'There is a place for an old-fashioned number nine in the Premier League, and Carroll is proving that,' said the Wigan manager. 'Possession football can be the way for some teams, and we have all seen Spain play with no strikers at all in some games.

'But if you have a very good number nine, and you give him the right service, it can be very effective. Carroll has great power and strength, and the way he attacks the ball in the final third is quite unique.

Physical: Carroll was cricitised for this lunge at David de Gea against Manchester United on Wednesday

Physical: Carroll was cricitised for this lunge at David de Gea against Manchester United on Wednesday

In action: Wigan, with Arouna Kone, are looking to get their survival back on track after losing at Man City

In action: Wigan, with Arouna Kone, are looking to get their survival back on track after losing at Man City

'He is one of the best in the business at that, and he is becoming a very important player for West Ham, particularly with the service he gets from the flanks and the connection he has with Kevin Nolan just behind.

'He was very impressive for England in the European Championships, so it is no surprise to see what he is doing now. If you allow him to use his best attributes, he will be a very powerful and dangerous player for his team. We have to be on our guard for that.'

'No disputing Carroll should have had red card,' says Fergie

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West Ham have quality everywhere, says Martinez

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Roberto Martinez admits Premier League relegation would mean Wigan"s FA Cup final spot

Martinez: Relegation would turn FA Cup final into 'empty achievement'

By
John Edwards

PUBLISHED:

12:19 GMT, 16 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:13 GMT, 16 April 2013

Roberto Martinez has admitted that reaching the FA Cup final will go down as an 'empty achievement' if Wigan fail to safeguard their Barclays Premier League status.

Relegation-threatened Wigan face Manchester City at The Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night in what is being dubbed a dress rehearsal for next month's final, after both teams came through last weekend's semi-final ties.

But Wembley will not be allowed anywhere near Martinez's thoughts, after he described how Wigan's players travelled straight back after Saturday evening's win over Millwall and trained the following day.

Scroll down to watch Martinez's pre-match press conference

Extra motivation: Wigan manager Roberto Martinez thinks getting to the FA Cup final can help his team's Premier League survival chances

Extra motivation: Wigan manager Roberto Martinez thinks getting to the FA Cup final can help his team's Premier League survival chances

Far from staying over in London for a party to mark their first-ever Cup final place, Wigan's squad were heading north within an hour or so of the final whistle, and Martinez explained why, as he said:
'I didn't allow too many celebrations, because Wednesday's game is so important.

'We switched back to normality straightaway, and put in a great day's work on Sunday, and that is huge credit to the players.

WIGAN'S RUN-IN
April 17: Manchester City (a) April 20: West Ham (a) April 27: Tottenham (h) May 4: West Brom (a) May 7: Swansea (h) May 14: Arsenal (a) May 19: Aston Villa (h)

The Latics currently sit in the last relegation place, three points behind Aston Villa but have two games in hand on their rivals. However, Martinez is fully aware of the task facing his side as they visit the reigning league champions tomorrow.

He said: 'Given City's record at home over the past couple of seasons, this is the toughest test we could face, but we have to respond to the position we are in and make sure we keep picking up points.

'If we do, it will be an incredible achievement to secure a ninth season in the Premier League. That would be some statement.

'If we don't, then reaching the Cup final will become an empty achievement. The Cup is the oldest and best knock-out tournament in the world.

'There is no doubt about that, and getting to the final is an historic moment for this club, and one we are proud of. But we can only count this season as a success if we stay in the Premier League.

Wembley glory: Shaun Maloney celebrates his goal in Wigan's 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Millwall on Saturday

Wembley glory: Shaun Maloney celebrates his goal in Wigan's 2-0 FA Cup semi-final win over Millwall on Saturday

'Other teams have reached Wembley finals and been relegated, so that shows the demands we are facing. We are probably facing the hardest fight to stay up so far, and that is credit to the teams around us and the competitive nature of this league.

'But I believe our Cup expoits can actually enhance our survival prospects. Stepping out at Wembley next month would be a unique moment in the career of every Wigan player, and none of them wants to miss out on that. The only way to ensure a place is by contributing to the intervening League games, and that is bringing a really good competitive edge to our play.

'Everyone wants to be involved next month, and that is a great motivation for them over the next few weeks.'

VIDEO Martinez praises Wigan players' form

Martinez praises Wigan players

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Sergio Aguero plays pool in Manchester pub – pictures

Aguero sinks the reds (again): Right on cue, City's 38m star joins locals for game of pool in Manchester boozer

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:36 GMT, 11 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:17 GMT, 11 April 2013

We've all been there – sipping a pint in your local pub waiting for that bloke to finish playing pool so you can get a game.

But what would you do if the guy sending you potty was none other than Sergio Aguero

Manchester City's 38million striker isn't the kind of person you'd expect to bump into as you enjoy a post-work drink down your boozer.

Yet, at just before 6pm yesterday, that's exactly what happened in the Woodley Arms in Stockport.

Pool party: Sergio Aguero lines up a shot at the Woodley Arms in Stockport

Pool party: Sergio Aguero lines up a shot at the Woodley Arms in Stockport

Eye on the balls: Aguero focuses on the game against his opponent

Eye on the balls: Aguero focuses on the game against his opponent

Vision: Aguero takes aim inside the boozer

Vision: Aguero takes aim inside the boozer

Vision: Aguero takes aim inside the boozer as part of an advert being filmed for Puma

Rumours had been circulating that the Argentina ace was going to pop in and around 100 locals got to see him up close.

City boss Roberto Mancini doesn't need to worry about Aguero's post-training habits, however. His visit was part of an advert being filmed by his sponsors Puma.

The player has already spent time being filmed on an all-weather pitch at a nearby sports centre before heading for his game of pool.

VIDEO No chance of a quiet game of pool in this Stockport pub…

Fans descend on Stockport pub to see as Sergio Aguero play pool…

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Famous face: Aguero looked like he enjoyed his visit to the pub

Famous face: Aguero looked like he enjoyed his visit to the pub

Technique: Aguero at the table

Technique: Aguero at the table

Aguero – who scored the winner in Monday's Manchester derby at Old Trafford – was brilliant with the City fans, signing autographs and posing for pictures before driving away in his Aston Martin Vanquish.

Jamie Taylor, manager of the Woodley Arms (and a confesses United fan), was delighted with his pub being used for the event.

He told the Manchester Evening News: 'You couldn’t say No, could you He’s a great player and I was as giddy as anyone when he came through the door.

'A lot of our regulars are City fans
so it’s been a great afternoon for them and something I’m sure we’ll be
having a bit of banter about for a long time.

'He
was pretty handy pool player as well. We’ve got a pool league down here
and if he fancies a regular game he’s welcome any time.'

Local Bob Marston, 70, added: 'Word was spreading like wildfire and I got the call and came straight down.

'I'm
off down to Wembley on Sunday – I was impressed with his pool skills
and hopefully he’ll be in similar form against Chelsea.'

Winner: Aguero fires home against Manchester United - leaving Phil Jones shocked

Winner: Aguero fires home against Manchester United – leaving Phil Jones shocked

Flying high: Aguero celebrates his winner against United at Old Trafford

Flying high: Aguero celebrates his winner against United at Old Trafford

Wigan v Millwall FA Cup semi-final open to neutral spectators following poor ticket sales from Premier League side

Wembley woe for Wigan as FA open neutral section after Latics fail to sell 10,000 tickets

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

15:06 GMT, 10 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:38 GMT, 10 April 2013

Saturday's FA Cup semi-final between Millwall and Wigan at Wembley will be open to 'neutral' supporters following the Premier League team's struggle to sell tickets.

Wigan's ticket sales have so far not sold 10,000 of their 31,000 allocation for the last-four tie against the Championship side and the FA have intervened by opening a mixed zone for spectators.

Both teams were given just over 31,000 tickets and Millwall – who are, of course, based in London – are expected to sell their full quota.

Poor sales: The FA have opened a neutral section for this weekend's semi-final between Millwall and Wigan

Poor sales: The FA have opened a neutral section for this weekend's semi-final between Millwall and Wigan

But Wigan's Wembley woe is not exactly unexpected. Roberto Martinez's men rarely sell out home matches and the average attendance for Premier League games at the DW Stadium this season is just shy of 19,000.

Perhaps more of a surprise is that Millwall, who only had around 9,000 at their home game against Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday, have managed to shift nearly 31,000 tickets.

The FA have now made a maximum of 6,000 seats, from what was due to be Wigan's allocation, available to neutrals.

Even so, Wembley is still expected to be far from full on Saturday with officials estimating around 15,000 empty seat.

Sunday's more glamorous semi-final between Manchester City and Chelsea is expected to sell out, though.

Wigan qualified for their first ever FA Cup semi-final thanks to a surprising 3-0 win against Everton at Goodison Park.

Millwall,
meanwhile, advanced to the last four after Danny Shittu's header saw
off Blackburn in their quarter-final replay at Ewood Park.

Cruise: Wigan set up their first ever FA Cup semi-final after a 3-0 win at Goodison Park in the last round

Cruise: Wigan set up their first ever FA Cup semi-final after a 3-0 win at Goodison Park in the last round

Heading for Wembley: Danny Shittu scored the only goal as Millwall beat Blackburn in their quarter-final replay

Heading for Wembley: Danny Shittu scored the only goal as Millwall beat Blackburn in their quarter-final replay

Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez back behind the wheel

Tevez back behind the wheel just days after court bans him for six months…

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

13:09 GMT, 8 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:33 GMT, 8 April 2013

Carlos Tevez has been driving officials at Manchester City round the bend recently.

And Roberto Mancini will no doubt be fuming to discover his star striker is back behind the wheel just days after admitting to a court that he was caught without insurance while disqualified.

But the Italian need not worry, because while Tevez serves a six-month ban from driving on the road, he was been getting his vehicle fix around the golf course.

Are you sure you're allowed to do that, Carlos Just days after being banned from driving, Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was back -behind the wheel. Luckily for his legal team, it was only a golf buggy

Are you sure you're allowed to do that, Carlos Just days after being banned from driving, Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was back -behind the wheel. Luckily for his legal team, it was only a golf buggy

Are you sure you're allowed to do that, Carlos Just days after being banned from driving, Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was back -behind the wheel. Luckily for his legal team, it was only a golf buggy

Are you sure you're allowed to do that, Carlos Just days after being banned from driving, Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was back -behind the wheel. Luckily for his legal team, it was only a golf buggy


Carlos Tevez

The 29-year-old
was found guilty at Macclesfield Magistrates’ Court in Cheshire last
week and was ordered to pay 1,145 in court costs, as well as a fine, on
top of the driving sanctions and added punishment of community service,
which he started on Friday.

Tevez was on the golf course 24 hours after starting his sentence, for which he must complete 250 hours.

Court in the act: Tevez was banned from driving after an appearance in front of Macclesfield magistrates on Wednesday... but he'll be back in action tonight in the Manchester derby

Court in the act: Tevez was banned from driving after an appearance in front of Macclesfield magistrates on Wednesday… but he'll be back in action tonight in the Manchester derby

Court in the act: Tevez was banned from driving after an appearance at Macclesfield Magistrates Court on Wednesday... but he'll be back in action tonight in the Manchester derby

The Argentine arrived for his
cleaning duties in a 100,000 Porsche, chauffeur-driven to the site in
Cheshire where he was soon informed that he would be cleaning a 30ft
storage container owned by the Probation Service, according to The Sun.

He worked for two hours cleaning
equipment including brushes, wheelbarrows, lawnmowers and spades. Maybe
that's why he thought it was a good idea to scrub up on his golf skills,
too.

QPR 1 Wigan 1 – match report

QPR 1 Wigan 1: Dramatic Maloney strike denies 10-man hosts after Remy's wonder goal

PUBLISHED:

17:05 GMT, 7 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:19 GMT, 7 April 2013

Shaun Maloney's stunning late free-kick earned Wigan a dramatic draw against 10-man QPR as Harry Redkannp's men were denied a crucial three points in their bid to beat the drop.

The home side were reduced to 10 men in the first half when Bobby Zamora was sent off for a high kick on Jordi Gomez but French striker Loic Remy looked to have won the game for QPR when he produced produced a sublime finish at the end of an 85th-minute counter-attack.

But Maloney's free-kick in injury time rescued a point for Roberto Martinez's men.

More to follow

Drama: Shaun Maloney's late free-kick rescued a draw for Wigan at Loftus Road

Drama: Shaun Maloney's late free-kick rescued a draw for Wigan at Loftus Road

MATCH FACTS

QPR: Julio Cesar, Bosingwa, Samba, Hill, Traore (Onuoha 46), Townsend, Jenas, Mbia, Hoilett (Taarabt 56), Remy (Mackie 88), Zamora.

Subs Not Used: Green, Park, Granero, Ben Haim.

Sent Off: Zamora (21).

Booked: Remy, Samba.

Goals: Remy 85.

Wigan: Robles, Alcaraz, Scharner, Figueroa (Espinoza 88), Boyce, McCarthy, Gomez, Beausejour (McArthur 61), McManaman (Di Santo 67), Kone, Maloney.

Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Caldwell, Henriquez, Stam.

Booked: McCarthy, Alcaraz, Figueroa.

Goals: Maloney 90.

Att: 16,658

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Click for the latest Premier League table, results and fixtures

High: Bobby Zamora was sent off in the first half for this kick on Jordi Gomez

High: Bobby Zamora was sent off in the first half for this kick on Jordi Gomez

High: Bobby Zamora was sent off in the first half for this kick on Jordi Gomez


Uproar: QPR players surround referee Phil Dowd after Zamora's challenge

Uproar: QPR players surround referee Phil Dowd after Zamora's challenge


Red: Dowd shows Zamora the exit after sending the striker off

Red: Dowd shows Zamora the exit after sending the striker off


Ahead: Loic Remy celebrates his late goal with team-mate Stephane Mbia after putting QPR 1-0 up

Ahead: Loic Remy celebrates his late goal with team-mate Stephane Mbia after putting QPR 1-0 up


Delight: The QPR bench celebrate Remy's late goal

Delight: The QPR bench celebrate Remy's late goal

Remaining Premier League fixtures

QPR

Apr 13 Everton (A), 3pm
Apr 20 Stoke (H), 3pm
Apr 28 Reading (A), 1.30pm
May 4 Arsenal (H), 3pm
May 12 Newcastle (3pm)
May 19 Liverpool (A), 4pm

WIGAN

Apr 17 Man City (A), 7.45pm
Apr 20 West Ham (A), 3pm
Apr 27 Tottenham (H), 3pm
May 4 West Brom (A), 3pm
May 7 Swansea (H), 7.45pm
May 12 Arsenal (A), 3pm
May 19 Aston Villa (H), 4pm

Roberto Mancini praises Vincent Kompany as Manchester City thrash Newcastle

Kompany is key for City: Mancini pleased to have his captain back from injury

By
Simon Stone, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

21:02 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:02 GMT, 30 March 2013

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini hailed the influence of captain courageous Vincent Kompany after the Blues romped to their biggest Premier League win since November.

On his first appearance after two months out with a calf problem, Kompany netted City's third in a 4-0 triumph over Newcastle that consolidates their second-placed position in the table.

Little wonder Mancini was so concerned at Kompany being called into World Cup action for Belgium last week, given his obvious importance to the Blues.

Mobbed: Manchester City's players celebrate with Vincent Kompany after he scored his side's third goal against Newcastle

Mobbed: Manchester City's players celebrate with Vincent Kompany after he scored his side's third goal against Newcastle

'Vinnie is important for us,' said Mancini. 'We played without him for 60 days, which was very bad for us, like when we lost Yaya Toure for a month. 'There are some players that are very important and if they don't play for three, four, five games it is a big problem.'

Kompany turned home a Gareth Barry strike at the start of the second half to snuff out any hope of a Newcastle revival after Carlos Tevez – with his seventh in six games – and David Silva had put the hosts in command before half-time.

Yaya Toure increased City's lead before the end and with Sergio Aguero also returning from a knee injury, the Blues will head into their April 8 Manchester derby meeting with United at Old Trafford in confident mood, even if their Premier League title defence is almost over.

'It is impossible we can win the title but it is important to finish the season well,” said Mancini, whose side will discover their FA Cup semi-final opponents on Monday when Chelsea entertain United.

'If we play like this we won't have a problem in the last couple of months of the season.

'We want that second place and to win the FA Cup semi-final.'

Mancini confirmed defender Matija Nastastic had been ruled out by a foot injury sustained on international duty, although the Serbian is not expected to be missing for long.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew admitted his side were second best, a situation that would have been the same even if they had been at full strength.

'I think we might have struggled against that Manchester City side even with my best team,” he said. “Kompany gives them an assurance and a presence at the back that they might have been missing in other games.

Taking the applause: Kompany claps the City fans as he is substituted

Taking the applause: Kompany claps the City fans as he is substituted

Key man: Roberto Mancini is pleased to have Kompany back in the side

Key man: Roberto Mancini is pleased to have Kompany back in the side

'I don't think City are going to win the league and in the first half they had an assurance about them that comes from playing with no pressure.'

The same cannot be said of Newcastle. Whilst Thursday's Europa League quarter-final with Benfica sprinkles some stardust on their season, the spectre of relegation is growing.

The Magpies are now just three points above the drop zone and Pardew accepts they have some scrapping ahead of them if his side are to preserve their top-flight status.

'I don't think we ever thought we were out of it,' said Pardew.

Paul Dickov warns Roberto Mancini ahead of Manchester City"s FA Cup match with Barnsley

City legend Dickov warns Mancini: Beware banana-skin Barnsley! (and he should know… he helped Oldham KO Liverpool)

it was their first league title in 44 years. Barnsley have been waiting 101 years to build on their single top-level triumph, when they won the FA Cup in 1912.

Barnsley boss David Flitcroft played professional football for Preston, Lincoln, Chester, Rochdale, Macclesfield, Bury, Hyde and Rochdale. City counterpart Roberto Mancini played for Bologna, Sampdoria, Lazio and Leicester.

Barnsley and City were both founded by clergymen. Barnsley were formed as Barnsley St Peter’s in 1887. City started life as St Mark’s in 1880 by the rector at St Mark’s in west Gorton, Rev. Arthur Connell.

‘On TV you know somebody will watch it
and say ‘he can play'. And that has happened with Matt Smith – who
signed a boot deal with Warrior after scoring two against Liverpool –
and I’ve had clubs in touch asking about him after the Cup games.’

Premier League clubs have contacted Dickov about about Smith and he is certain that the same potential opportunities lie ahead for any Barnsley players who shines on the Eastlands stage.

Speaking at his home in Cheshire – with the historic silver trophy on his kitchen table courtesy of FA Cup betting partner William Hill – Dickov revealed that his most inspirational team talks as a player came from Joe Royle during his days at Manchester City.

‘Big Joe Royle was my most inspirational manager with his team talks and he would always say ‘be the best you can’.

‘I told the Oldham lads just that and after I said it to them a couple of times I asked them what they thought it meant.

‘Matt Smith is a bright lad and understood it more than most, but some other lads would say that they had to be man of the match, to put in an outstanding performance, be the best player on the pitch.

‘But with all the relegation pressure on them I wanted to alleviate that and explained what it meant.

‘Essentially, give it everything you have got and nobody will ask any questions of you.

Shock: A brace from Matt Smith sealed Oldham's famous victory against seven-time winners Liverpool

Shock: A brace from Matt Smith sealed Oldham's famous victory against seven-time winners Liverpool

Shock: A brace from Matt Smith sealed Oldham's famous victory against seven-time winners Liverpool

‘I told them ‘be the best you can and have a right good go'.

‘If the Barnsley players do the same it will not be easy for City – I am sure Barnsley will score.

‘When Steve Gerrard and Jamie Carragher
were not in the starting line-up at Boundary Park that was massive for
us, Carra was going mad on the bench. I watched Liverpool against Stoke
and saw how Tony Pullis’ team beat them.

Fond memories: Dickov was in the Arsenal squad that won the FA Cup in 1993

Fond memories: Dickov was in the Arsenal squad that won the FA Cup in 1993

‘But after the game Carra, Gerrard and Brendan Rogers came into the dressing and shook hands with the lads. That was real class and meant a lot.

‘I suspect Manchester City won’t be resting players as they must think that the FA Cup is their one chance of getting silverware this year.

‘So you would like to think Roberto Mancini will play his strongest team.

‘He’ll have to respect Barnsley as they are the biggest banana-skin between City and FA Cup glory.

Vote of confidence: Dickov is sure that Barnsley will score at the Emirates

Vote of confidence: Dickov is sure that Barnsley will score at the Emirates

Vote of confidence: Dickov is sure that Barnsley will score at the Emirates

‘Whatever the Barnsley lads do they will be heroes back home, but I am supporting City but don’t get me wrong I would love Barnsley to get the replay and get another tie at home.

Dickov also has fond memories of the FA Cup from his time as a player: ‘I was just a kid when I got my FA Cup winners medal back in 1993 with Arsenal, but I wasn’t on the pitch.

'I got a League Cup winners medal that same season and a European Cup winners medal the next season as part of the squad.’

Old boy: Dickov was instrumental in City's return to the Premier League after they dropped to the old Division Two

Old boy: Dickov was instrumental in City's return to the Premier League after they dropped to the old Division Two

But Dickov’s biggest Wembley moment was scoring the equaliser for Manchester City against Gillingham in the Second Division play-off in 1999 that put the club back on the long road to the top flight.

In the meantime Dickov – who is mulling over his latest job offers – is enjoying his short break out of football and planning a day out to the Cheltenham Gold Cup with one-time room mate from his Derby and Leicester days Robbie Savage – another William Hill sporting ambassador.

William Hill match odds: Manchester City 1/8, Draw, 15/2, Barnsley 18/1

Carlos Tevez wants to regain cult status with Manchester City fans

I will win fans over! Fallen idol Tevez wants to regain cult status among City faithful

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:59 GMT, 3 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:04 GMT, 3 March 2013

Carlos Tevez claims he is a different man to the one that walked out on Manchester City to return home to Argentina last season, but admits he still has work to do in winning back the club's fans.

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.'

Back on form: Tevez has netted 11 times for City this season in his 33 appearances

Back on form: Tevez has netted 11 times for City this season in his 33 appearances

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 football.

'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 this season, not quite matching the outstanding return of his pre-walkout days but still a highly valuable part of Roberto Mancini's strikeforce.

Letting fly: Argentine Carlos Tevez smashed home Manchester City's second against Chelsea

Letting fly: Argentine Tevez smashed home Manchester City's second against Chelsea

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'.

Vital: Tevez's return proved pivotal in bringing the Premier League title to the Etihad Stadium last season

Vital: Tevez's return proved pivotal in bringing the Premier League title to the Etihad Stadium last season

'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.'