Football

Furious Shenhua fans fed up with misfiring Tevez

Carlos Tevez faced growing calls yesterday to be shipped out as angry Shanghai Shenhua fans turned on the Argentine forward and under-pressure coach Gus Poyet.

Shenhua fans are fast losing patience with Tevez, who moved to the Chinese club only at the start of the year from Argentine club Boca Juniors on a reported 38-million-euro (S$58.9m) salary that makes him one of the highest-paid footballers in the world.

In April, Tevez, 33, came under fire from supporters after being spotted at Disneyland Shanghai on the same day he missed an important match due to injury.

With big-spending Shenhua in the lower half of the Chinese Super League (CSL) following a 2-2 home draw with Chongqing Lifan on Saturday, some have had enough.

Argentine media quoted Tevez as saying he could leave Chinese football at the end of the season and Poyet apologised after the draw.

He told state media: "We did well in attack today, but made two big mistakes in defence and conceded two goals."

Tevez, whose itinerant career has seen him play for Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus, has failed to impress because of injury and inconsistent form.

He has scored only once this season, although he did grab an assist in the 2-2 draw.

Last month, he described Chinese players as "clumsy" and "very naive".

Tevez has a history of falling out with clubs and managers and one infuriated fan wrote on China's Twitter-like Weibo website after his latest underwhelming showing: "Tevez's attitude is the worst in the team's history."

Another fed-up fan wrote: "Tevez should leave Shenhua.

"Compared to other players running on the field, Tevez is scared to close down and is afraid to get hurt... Tevez's deal is really not worth it".

One using the name RONALDO7wbfp wrote: "He is here for the high salary and the Disney membership.

"If you really can't bear it and is disappointed with the team, then do something to lead the team through the rough times instead of taking strolls on the pitch like a master."

Chinese football fans on social media speculated that Uruguayan Poyet, a former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, could be the latest CSL coach to get the chop after a run of six games without a win.

CSL clubs are not afraid to wield the axe and six coaches were shown the door in the space of just one month recently.

"I ask the players to fight hard and show strong desire for victory," the Shanghai Daily quoted the 49-year-old Poyet as saying.

"But, as the coach, I am responsible for the result." - AFP

FootballChina