Carlos Tevez faced growing calls Monday to be shipped out as angry Shanghai Shenhua fans turned on the Argentine forward and under-pressure manager Gus Poyet.
Shenhua fans are fast losing patience with Tevez, who only moved to the Chinese club at the start of the year from Boca Juniors on a reported 38-million-euro ($42 million) salary that makes him one of the highest-rewarded footballers on the planet.
In April Tevez, 33, came under fire from supporters after being spotted at Disneyland Shanghai on the same day he missed an important match due to injury.
With big-spending Shenhua in the lower half of the Chinese Super League (CSL) following a home 2-2 draw with Chongqing Lifan, some have had enough.
Argentine media quoted Tevez as saying he could leave Chinese football at the end of the season and Poyet apologised after Saturday’s stalemate, telling state media: “We did well in attack today, but made two big mistakes in defence and conceded two goals.”
Tevez, whose itinerant career has seen him take in Manchester City, United and Juventus, has failed to fire because of injury and inconsistent form.
He has scored only once this season, although he did grab an assist in the 2-2 draw, and last month called Chinese players “clumsy” and “very naive”.
Tevez has a history of falling out with clubs and managers and one infuriated fan wrote on China’s Twitter-like Weibo website after his latest underwhelming showing: “Tevez’s attitude is the worst in the team’s history.”
Another fed-up fan wrote: “Tevez should leave Shenhua. Compared to other players running on the field, Tevez is scared to close down and is afraid to get hurt...Tevez’s deal is really not worth it”.
One using the name RONALDO7wbfp wrote: “He is here for the high salary and the Disney membership.
“If you really can’t bear it and is disappointed with the team, then do something to lead the team through the rough times instead of taking strolls on the pitch like a master.”
Chinese football fans on social media speculated that the Uruguayan Poyet, a former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, could be the latest CSL coach to get the chop after a run of six games without a win.
CSL clubs are not afraid to wield the axe and six coaches were shown the door in the space of just one month recently.
“I ask the players to fight hard and show strong desire for victory. But as the coach I am responsible for the result,” the Shanghai Daily quoted the 49-year-old Poyet as saying.