Sir Alex Ferguson has put aside the rivalry of Manchester derby to praise Roberto Mancini for taking such a hard line with Carlos Tevez and handling the disruption that has been swirling around Manchester City during their climb to the top of the Premier League.
Tevez's disciplinary case for his behaviour during the Champions League tie against Bayern Munich last month, when Mancini alleges he refused to play as a second-half substitute, took place on Friday, with the player to receive the written findings at the start of next week.
Ferguson's relationship with Tevez when the Argentinian was a Manchester United player also ended badly and Ferguson said Mancini deserved more recognition for the way he had dealt with the 27‑year‑old.
"He has shown his mettle in a difficult situation and done fantastically well," Ferguson said. "Forget Carlos Tevez played for us; it is about the decision-making of a manager and his handling of the situation, and I find it quite amazing that he has not had enough praise because I don't think he has had enough at all. In fact, I have seen very little praise for him on the subject. It has all centred round what they [City] were going to do. But he acted, he did his job, and I think he has done it well."
Tevez was accompanied by an interpreter during the 90-minute hearing, in which he was told the club considered he had committed serious breaches of his contract during the 2-0 defeat at the Allianz Arena that led to Mancini describing him after the match as "finished".
The hearing was chaired by Graham Wallace, City's chief operating officer, and took place in Manchester city centre, at a solicitor's offices, with Tevez also accompanied by a Professional Footballers' Association representative but not by his adviser, Kia Joorabchian.
Tevez was asked for his version of events and admitted refusing to warm up but, again, denied not being willing to play.
At the same time the political positioning behind the scenes shows no sign of abating, with City furious about details of the case being leaked beforehand.
Tevez faces a number of misconduct charges, the most important of which is failing to follow the instructions of his manager. Another is refusing to warm up – which he admits – and that leaves him facing the possibility of a heavy suspension and fine. City are legally bound to let him know by Wednesday at the latest.
Ferguson has his own issues with Tevez and Joorabchian and the United manager spoke pointedly of a change in modern-day footballers.
"Management today is a complex situation," he said. "A lot of players are dominated by their agents. You get agents who buy their groceries, do their travel, polish their boots … that is the kind of human being you have to deal with these days. Some agents are quite responsible and allow the players to have their own responsibilities. But others dominate their lives."