Stick or Twist - Carlos Tevez

Following on from my Stick or Twist piece on Gareth Bale, I now turn my attentions towards Carlos Tevez, whose role from the bench against Arsenal last weekend left thousands of Fantasy managers wondering whether it’s time to say goodbye to Carlos.

A player owned by 48 percent of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers, Tevez started the season on fire, returning 3 goals, 4 assists and 6 bonus points from his first 4 games. Whether we stick or twist with Tevez, this is a quandary which affects huge swathes of the FPL community, and it’s one which requires careful thought.

Tevez has received the fourth highest transfers out so far this week, with over 35,000 Fantasy managers selling the Argentinian, but for those still undecided, here are my verdicts to mull over.

Reasons to Stick

Before we look at footballing reasons, two factors in favour of keeping Tevez are his FPL starting price and ownership.

After starting the season at 9.0, Tevez has rapidly risen to 9.9, and Fantasy managers who bought Tevez at his original price should bear in mind that they will probably lose out if they decide to buy him back. Those who bought at 9.0 can currently sell for 9.4, but if Tevez goes on another good run, and rises in price again, those Fantasy managers could stand to pay over 0.5 more to buy him back.

Secondly, selling a player with nearly 50 percent ownership could be considered a risky strategy. While you could argue it’s stealing a march on opponents, if Tevez hits a goal or two this weekend, you stand to lose out against a lot of Fantasy managers (unless your replacement does even better, of course).

Moving on to footballing reasons, and we should remind ourselves that Tevez was rested for just one game, so we should perhaps allow ourselves more time to see how this pans out. After all, in the absence of Sergio Aguero, Tevez had been carrying Man City’s attack, so he was due a rest.

Finally, Man City’s fixtures over the foreseeable future are what dreams are made of. The next 7 fixtures sees Tevez face Sunderland, Swansea, Tottenham and Aston Villa at home, while trips to Fulham, West Brom and West Ham will hold no fear. Man City attacking coverage seems essential for that run.

Reasons to Twist

Man City’s teamsheet in tonight’s Capital One Cup tie against Aston Villa is cause for concern, with Tevez and Balotelli paired together for the whole 120 minutes after the game went into extra-time. Edin Dzeko appeared from the bench on 74 minutes, while Sergio Aguero was given the night off and seems certain to start at Fulham.

With Man City facing Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League next Wednesday, further rotation is possible, and after originally being confident of a Tevez start this weekend, tonight’s teamsheet has left me doubting this, with an Aguero-Dzeko pairing looking just as likely, particularly with the match going into extra-time.

Rotation is our main reason to twist then. Roberto Mancini has four top class and fit forwards to choose from, and with European football fully underway, we’ll inevitably spend our Gameweeks nervously looking for Tevez on Man City’s teamsheet.

The likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Steven Fletcher and Rickie Lambert are all viable alternatives, with guaranteed starts and strong form, and if you’d prefer to switch to another big hitter, you could upgrade to Aguero (and gamble on him being more nailed on), or even switch to Luis Suarez, who faces nor, STO, RDG over the next three.

It’s also worth noting that with Aguero and Balotelli back, Tevez’s chances of being on spot-kick duties look remote, unless the aforementioned two are not on the pitch.

The Final Word

For those Fantasy managers that acquired Tevez at 9.0, you need to think very carefully about your next move. I’m one of them, and despite serious doubts over Tevez’s starting role this weekend, I’m erring on the side of sticking with Tevez, at least for now. If I’m stung with another substitute appearance this weekend, and Tevez starts in the midweek Champions League match, I’ll review the scenario prior to the Gameweek 7 clash with Sunderland. However, with 2 free transfers at my disposal, a switch to Aguero is not out of the question this Gameweek.

If you jumped on the Tevez bandwagon after he had already risen in price, the switch to another player seems more straightforward, though be sure of your replacement, as Tevez could easily return to haunt you.

It certainly is a tricky dilemma this one!