When Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano arrived at West Ham United last fall, both were full of hope and expectation, Tevez tells The Guardian. But Tevez recounts how very un-easy the first five months of life at Upton Park proved to be. While Tevez at least saw first-team action (but no goals), Mascherano, stuck in the reserves, descended into a kind of depression, though his nightmare ended in February, when Liverpool agreed to take the player on loan for the rest of the season. Now he's set to play the Champions League final in Athens next week.
Incidentally, things started to turnaround for Carlos Tevez, too, at around the same time Mascherano departed. But Mascherano's loan transfer also signaled the beginning of the controversy surrounding the Argentines' move to Upton Park in the first place. As the controversy reached its crescendo, Tevez was saving West Ham from relegation at Old Trafford, of all places. "To not be relegated was incredible for us. We'd been written off as dead," he said, laughing. "Absolutely incredible."
But what caused his form to turnaround? "I've played the same all the time," he contends. "Lately, the ball's gone in. Sometimes the ball goes in, sometimes it doesn't." He points out that the physical Premiership demands that you bring 100 percent to each game. Of his future, he would only say, "I like West Ham, I will always be grateful for what they have given me, particularly the fans. They have supported me throughout."