Friday, 28 December 2007

The Return Of Carlos

Carlos Tevez returns to Upton Park tomorrow with Sir Alex Ferguson convinced that West Ham United owe their Premier League status to the South American. Tevez netted seven goals in 10 games for the Londoners at the back end of last season, including the winner at Old Trafford on the final day as they beat the odds to stay up at Sheffield United’s expense. Although the 23-year-old promptly quit the Hammers, joining United on a two-year loan following a protracted registration wrangle, his immense contribution to his former club’s survival fight is unlikely to be forgotten by the home fans, who seem certain to buck their usual trend of booing the Red Devils by acclaiming Tevez as a hero.

Paul Ince, for one, always got a particularly hostile reception whenever he returned to Upton Park. Ferguson is unsure that Tevez will be afforded the reception most people expect. However, the United boss is in no doubt the club owe the stocky forward a major debt of gratitude. "Deep down the West Ham supporters must be thankful because Carlos kept them up last year," Ferguson said. "His performances for them were fantastic. There must be a grudging admiration for what he achieved at West Ham in such a short period. It is a part of football that when players leave a club and then go back, they don’t always get a reception you think they should, so it will be interesting to see what happens."

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