Carlos Tevez returns to the club he calls his ‘birthplace’ this weekend when Manchester City take on West Ham at Upton Park.
Tevez started his career in English football with the Hammers after arriving with Javier Mascherano from Brazilian side Corinthians in 2006, before moving on to Manchester United and later their cross-town rivals City.
“I have very good memories [of West Ham] because it was my first club in Europe. I’m very happy to be returning to the club that [you] could say was my birthplace [in English football],” the Argentina international told City’s official website.
After a disappointing run of form in Europe, City could be out of the Champions League by as early as this week – but Tevez sees last weekend’s 1-0 victory at home to Swansea as a wake-up call for the defending Premier League champions.
“After playing very badly at Ajax we had to wake up, play better and win, which was the most important thing.”
Tevez has plenty of competition for a starting spot up front with ‘super-sub’ Edin Dzeko joining Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero in the queue for striking starts, and the Bosnian has reaffirmed his commitment to City.
“It’s my obsession to win the title again with City. Roberto Mancini is the boss and I accept his orders. He’s always talking to us and is satisfied with my work,” he told The Sun.
“Obviously it’s frustrating to be on the bench but that’s how it is in English football. The season is long and I will get chances, so I need to be ready.
“Nobody promised me a place in a title-winning side. I was very happy with my goals at West Brom and look forward to many more,” said Dzeko.
“This season has been good and bad. I’ve scored some important goals by it is complicated with so many big names to choose from.
“I have good relations with all the squads but with the forwards it is special. Myself, Tevez, Kun Aguero or Mario – we need the best combination but it’s not possible without good sporting feelings for each other.”
While Dzeko is determined to let his goalscoring silence his critics, he still thinks about that title-clinching match with QPR in May.
“That incredible match against QPR is still fresh in my head. Added time on the last day of the season, I scored and then Aguero…it was madness, a day I shall never forget.
“Still, I hope to face West Ham. They’ve improved a lot but we need to beat them and then Ajax in the Champions League next week.”