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."