FOOTBALL heroes just aren’t what they used to be.

By rights Carlos Tevez should be the toast of Eastlands. He has already netted 22 League goals for Manchester City – three more than he scored in two seasons with United of Salford – and the Argentine hitman looks set to propel the club into Europe to make their Champions League debut.

But his comments ahead of tomorrow’s crucial derby clash with the red menace make it hard for me to think of him as anything other than a footballing mercenary.

Firstly, he did his best to undermine manager Roberto Mancini by questioning the Italian’s abilities on the training field, and secondly, he tried to distance himself from one of the best Manc wind-ups in years – the Welcome To Manchester poster.

Whether he is just trying to stay onside with United fans I don’t know, but for Tevez to say "I never understood the intention of the poster. Was it to welcome me or was it to anger Manchester United?" is a statement that lacks credibility.

Tevez was born and raised in Ciudadela, an area in Greater Buenos Aires.

As a kid he started out as a Boca Juniors player and I refuse to believe that as a football fan growing up in the Argentine capital he was oblivious to the animosity his chosen club and their followers have towards city rivals River Plate.

The rivalry between Boca Juniors and River Plate is as intense as in any derby you can think of, and a tradition among the fans of both teams is to distribute posters to take the rise out of the other club after inflicting a defeat.

So for Tevez to suggest he misunderstood what was being done with his image after moving across the city of Manchester just doesn’t ring true.

So, Carlitos just shut up and get on with your job of scoring goals, until you set off chasing another big pay cheque somewhere else, and resign yourself to the fact that for some of us you might do a great job for City but you will never be a City great.

CAN anyone tell me if they double up on staff across the complexes at Wembley?

It’s just that I have a sneaking suspicion that the guy who prepared the surfaces for ice hockey at the Empire Pool is also being employed to tend the grass in Wembley Stadium.

But seriously how can you go to the trouble of building a stadium at a cost of £798m and then produce a playing surface that is not fit for purpose.

The two FA Cup semi-finals were reduced to the level of partial farce by a pitch that was treacherous in places despite the fact the sun was beating down in London last weekend.

My suggestion is they ring the Griffin Inn. If they can get a surface fit to stage bowls in January in the Pennines, then I am sure getting a football pitch right in the spring sunshine down south will be a doddle.