MANCHESTER CITY MANAGER Roberto Mancini has backed Carlos Tevez to play a starring role for the Premier League champions after his stunning strike inspired a 3-2 win over Chelsea in the Community Shield.
Tevez was in vibrant form at Villa Parkyesterday as the Argentine forward provided a glimpse of the talent that City missed for much of last season during a self-imposed exile that followed his touchline row with Mancini at Bayern Munich.
The former Manchester United star returned late in the season to help City clinch their first English title for 44 years, but Mancini believes Tevez will be much fitter and more motivated this season. He put City ahead with a blistering second half shot after Yaya Toure had cancelled out Fernando Torres’s first half opener for Chelsea.
Samir Nasri bagged City’s third and Ryan Bertrand’s late consolation couldn’t stop Mancini’s men warming up for their title defence with their first Community Shield win since 1972. But it was the form of Tevez that most pleased Mancini ahead of next weekend’s Premier League opener against Southampton.
“I’m very happy,” said Mancini. “Carlos worked very well. His form is better than last year. He wants to play football. With foreign players it’s difficult. He didn’t play last year for six months. If he wants to play, he’s going to be top.
“Having Carlos for the last 10 games (of last season) was important. But he is now 100%. This is the first time in four years we have him fit.”
Mancini also confirmed that England midfielder Jack Rodwell will complete a move from Everton after undergoing a medical, and then suggested he expects the club to add to their first summer signing.
“Jack is having a medical at the moment,” he said. “He’s young, it will be different for him but he will be a strong midfielder in a couple of years. He’s a player that needs to improve but he’s young. We are interested in all good players. We will see if we have new signings. We are looking for other players. I’m waiting to see.
“Every manager is unhappy if one week before the season we had not got any players, but I hope we’re working and this week or 10 days we should have more players in.”