Henry Winter today suggests that - given his cameo on Saturday - that the most effective use of Carlos Tevez may be as an impact player late in the game, one who can take advantage of tired legs with his energy and sparkiness:
After the Argentine attacker delivered a feisty second-half cameo to revitalise Manchester City, it was impossible not to conclude that Mark Hughes’s use of Tévez would influence whether City replaced Liverpool as one of England’s elite four.
Like Sir Alex Ferguson before him, Hughes may be reaching the realisation that Tévez is best deployed only when running against tiring legs, when the game opens up. All hungry heart and whirring limbs, Tévez acts like a shot of adrenalin on a team, particularly one in search of inspiration.
I think this is a little too simplistic an argument though. Tevez's impact on Saturday was undeniable of course, and his introduction coincided with our best spell of the game and one that saw us take the lead after going behind.
Was this because his 'hungry heart and whirring limbs' galvanised the team into action, waking them from their slumber? To suggest this was a one man show is doing a disservice to Stephen Ireland and Shaun Wright-Phillips in particular, both instrumental in our comeback as much as the introduction of Tevez into the fray.
Given the manner of Tevez, he is a very noticeable figure on the pitch - moving around the front line, dropping deep and always seeking the ball. Naturally this will make his impact coming off the bench that bit more noticeable, yet this is not reason enough to pigeon hole him as a 'super-sub'. There are plenty other options equally capable of coming off the bench and changing the course of a game.
The qualities of Tevez are evident to see and apply whether they are utilised from the first whistle or after seventy minutes; to suggest the very same qualities limit his usefulness to being a role player is somewhat wide of the mark.