Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson has reignited the war of words between Manchester United and Manchester City by criticising the recall of Carlos Tevez.
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson was forced to defend his resigning of Paul Scholes, after Patrick Vieira, City's Football Development Executive, labelled the move as 'desperate'.
Ferguson reacted by claiming the recall of Tevez, who was suspended by the FA Cup holders after failing to warm-up against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, was a similarly desperate move.
Vieira said: “Paul Scholes is a player that I really love and admire. But for him to come back just shows a little bit of weakness in United, because they had to bring a player back who was 37.
“I think it shows that, in the next few years, it will be really difficult for United to cope with other teams because, with all the respect I have for Scholes, him coming back shows that they don’t have talent in there to replace him."
Ferguson replied last week: "If it's desperation bringing the best midfielder in Britain back for the last 20 years then I think we can accept that," said Ferguson.
"I think he (Vieira) was programmed for that. Roberto had a wee dig a couple of weeks back. We're all going to play our hand that way. There will be plenty of ammunition for that.
"If you talk about desperation, they played a player the other night (Tevez) who refused to go on the pitch, the manager said he'd never play again and he takes a five-month holiday in Argentina. What is that? Could that come under the description of desperation?"
But now United's longest serving captain had weighed in on the debate, and believes that it is nonsense to compare the comebacks of Scholes and Tevez.
“Even trying to compare Paul Scholes with a Tevez, with the character that Scholes is, is just a nonsense," he said.
“Not wanting to play and going off to Argentina for months was bad for football, bad for City and for the fans. He let everybody down.”
Mancini revealed straight after Tevez's refusal to warm-up against Munich that he was to never play for the club against, however, five months later after apologising to the Italian, he returned to the City fold against Chelsea last week.
Robson believes City should have stuck to their guns over the Argentine striker.
“As a manager you make a stance if a player lets you down big style and then lets you down even more by going home and doesn’t want to play,” he added.
“At the time City were seven or eight points clear and everybody was saying, ‘We don’t really need him anyway, so he can go off back to Argentina’.
“Now that some of the forwards have lost form and are not playing as well as they were and City are slipping up in games, now all of a sudden it’s right to bring Tevez back.
“If you say he will never play for the club again – if that is your principle – then that’s what your principle should be.”
The Manchester pair are currently in the midst of a thrilling title race at the top of the Premier League, with United leading nby three points, and the two sides are due to meet on April 30 at the Etihad Stadium in a potential title decider.
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