Alex Ferguson does not care whether Carlos Tevez recovers from his knee injury or not – because Manchester City’s best player will miss the derby-day showdown with United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
While Tevez has created all the cross-club headlines this summer with the acrimonious manner in which he moved from United to City, Ferguson has identified Emmanuel Adebayor as the main danger.
The £25m striker has scored in all four games as the Blues opened their Premier League campaign with a 100% record. Now though he is consigned to watch from the sidelines after picking up a three-match ban for his awful tackle on Robin van Persie last weekend.
“I am not bothered whether Tevez plays or not – Manchester City’s best player won’t be playing,” said Ferguson.
“Adebayor is their star player, there is no question about that. He has scored in every game so far.”
Ferguson repeated his assertion that City behaved in an “arrogant and cocky” manner when they displayed their infamous Tevez “Welcome to Manchester” poster in the city’s main shopping area this summer.
The Scot is aware the derby clash has far more interest and significance now City are pushing for a place in the top four, having spent in excess of £120m this summer.
However, he will continue to view Liverpool as United’s major local rivals.
“To me, Liverpool has always been the derby,” he said.
“It is because of the history. My aim was always to do well against them. It is hard for me to think any other way.”