Carlos Tevez struggles with food, language in China admits Gus Poyet amid Shanghai Shenhua exit rumours
Argentinian backed by coach despite issues as his side continue Chinese Super League season at home to Fabio Cannavaro’s Tianjin Quanjian on Saturday
Shanghai Shenhua coach Gus Poyet has admitted Carlos Tevez is still struggling to adapt to life in China.
Poyet’s side resume their Chinese Super League campaign this weekend at home to Fabio Cannavaro’s Tianjin Quanjian amid continued speculation their US$800,0000-a-week star striker is seeking a quick exit.
“The main problems for Tevez is language and food,” Uruguayan Poyet told Argentinian newspaper Ole.
“Same as me, he can’t speak Chinese and he needs a translator all the time or he won’t be able to communicate with others.
“Fortunately he can speak a little Italian and English. Last week, he had a BBQ with [Colombian teammates Fredy] Guarin and [Giovanni] Moreno, except that, he hasn’t tried any Chinese food yet. He needs a lot of time to adapt to Chinese food.”
Tevez scored and provided two assists on his Super League debut last weekend as Shenhua kicked off their season with an impressive 4-0 home win over 2016 runners-up Jiangsu Suning.
The victory eased pressure on Shenhua, Poyet and Tevez following their disastrous AFC Champions League play-off exit, but did little to stop reports the 32-year-old is struggling to settle.
Argentinian Tevez, who signed for Shenhua from hometown club Boca Juniors, complained of homesickness during a spell playing in Europe with Italian side Juventus and English Premier League trio Manchester City, Manchester United and West Ham United.
Tevez is believed to have 19 people, including eight children, living with him,
according to reports in Chinese media.
Newly-promoted Tianjin Quanjian are out to kickstart start to their campaign having lost 2-0 at Guangzhou R&F last weekend.
“I’ve already told my players that this was our first year in CSL and our main objective is to learn and develop our young players and build our own structure,” said Italian World Cup winning captain Cannavaro, who led Tianjin Quanjian to the League One title last season.
“I want my players to experience the intensity of CSL during this year and understand the difficulty.
“I don’t need to praise or critisice them, they are already at a certain level now, they should know when they do good or bad and know when they can’t make mistakes.”
This week’s Super League action begins on Friday as Jiangsu entertain Tianjin Teda, while Yanbian Funde travel to Shanghai SIPG and defending champions Guangzhou Evergrande make the trip Shandong.
Shanghai SIPG recorded a resounding 5-1 home win over Changchun Yatai last week thanks to a hat-trick from Brazilian Elkeson, while Guangzhou Evergrande and Shandong Luneng also posted wins.
“I haven’t watched the game between Shenhua and Jiangsu so I can’t make any comment, but I think 4-0 is a very good result for Shenhua, and Jiangsu is also a strong team in the CSL,” said SIPG coach Andre Villas-Boas, whose side are unbeaten in four games at the start of the season having won three games in the AFC Champions League.
“Our games against this kind of teams will play important roles in our pursuit of the championship, but it’s still too early to discuss who will be able to fight for the championship. Teams will get better and better, and we should focus on ourselves.
“We hope that we can continue our good form at our home ground and get a good result. We know that our opponent’s defence is very solid, they organise their defensive line very well and we’ll try to achieve the objective to score and win the match.”