When Manchester City won the Premier League in 2012, there were many contributing factors. One of those, we should not forget, was when Carlos Tevez finally put down his 5-iron and returned to the Etihad pitch. He did so with with six games to go and had a galvanizing effect on a team which was stumbling towards the Premier League finish line.
History now feels like it might be about to repeat itself starting on Sunday when Manchester City face Liverpool. Another Argentine, Sergio Aguero, will return to the City lineup in the hope of emulating his former teammate. For weeks, there have been rumors that Aguero was ready to return, and it has just seemed to be delayed each time. Now, you start to see why.
City have clearly held Aguero back, allowing him time to fully recuperate and saving him for the crucial games in a crucial run-in. It gets no more crucial than this Sunday, and it is no coincidence that Aguero is finally fit — just in time! The question is, can Aguero now have a Tevez-esque effect on the title race? Could he return to drag City over the line?
Well, if he can’t, who can? He is one of the best strikers in the world, so there is no doubt that he is perfectly capable of it. It will depend on his fitness and how long he takes to get fully up to speed — he doesn’t have too many games remaining for that, and City need him right now. He may not have a huge impact on Sunday’s game against Liverpool, but you would have to think that if fit, he is going to have a profound effect on this title race before it ends.
It’s not only his play on the pitch, though; it’s the lift he can give the team. When Tevez returned two years ago, you could see the lift he gave everybody; he rejuvenated the whole team. City went from being cumbersome and struggling in games to being vibrant and blowing teams away.
It will be that kind of lift that City and their fans will be hoping Aguero can bring this time. If he can lift the team like that, perhaps City can then go on to lift the Premier League trophy again just like they did two years ago … with a special thanks to a returning Argentine, of course.