Newsletter #1144

First game of the season is fast approaching, and as Don informs us tonight Pearce is still looking at a couple of additions to the squad, which is now beset by injury.

We have pre-season match views, opinion on potential signings, news on FFCC and a few requests.

Next game: West Bromwich Albion, home, 3pm Saturday 13 August 2005


General News

Barton’s TV Appeal: From the BBC’s news web page: Barton’s appeal over axe murder – Manchester City footballer Joey Barton has appealed for his brother to contact police investigating the racist murder of black teenager Anthony Walker. Joey Barton said on Tuesday: ‘You must do this because you know it’s right.’ He said the murder was ‘horrific’ and ‘senseless’, adding those responsible ‘must be brought to justice’. Eighteen-year-old Michael Barton and Paul Taylor, 20, are wanted for questioning by detectives who think the pair could have left the country… The 22-year-old footballer said Anthony Walker’s killing ‘shocked the country’. ‘My sincere condolences go out to Anthony’s family,’ he said. ‘My side of the Barton family are sickened by his death. Although I was not brought up with Michael, I urge him to come forward and give himself up to police. Michael, if you have any information about what happened you have to tell the police. You must do this for the Walker family so they can mourn Anthony and because you know it is the right thing to do.’

Pearce is Patient: At the weekend Barton also dominated the City-related news, as repercussions from the club’s trip to Thailand were still being felt. The M.E.N. reported that following Barton’s early return from the tour following allegations of a bar-room altercation, the midfielder would only be allowed to return to training ground after starting a counselling course. He has to take “lifestyle coaching”, as SP explained: “Hopefully it will make him a better man and a better footballer.” Speaking after the friendly at Stoke, Pearce continued: “Joey has been very open and took his punishment well. It is a case of everyone at the club trying to help him and take the situation forward. I have told Joey to go away from the club until we get this lifestyle coaching organised. Once we get that in place, he can go away on that course and come back and join us while it is on-going. The most important thing is the long-term rehab of Joey. If I have to lose him for one, two, three, ten games to make sure I have a better man and a better player I am happy to do that.”

Massive Blow for a Massive Player: City were then dealt a huge blow by the news that Richard Dunne will be sidelined for the next three months. Dunne cracked a bone in his foot after becoming involved in Joey Barton’s infamous late-night bar confrontation. He stepped in to act as a peace-maker, but ended up kicking a wall in frustration at Barton’s antics. “At this moment in time it’ll be a long-term injury. He’s got a slight crack in his foot and we’re looking at three months,” confirmed SP. “Richard is very disappointed because he wants to play. Look at the way he finished last season – he was in blinding form for us and he was a massive player. It’s happened and we are disappointed but we can’t do much about it now. He’s disappointed, I am, everyone at the Club is but we just have to hope that we can get him back as quickly as we can now.”

Barton in Burton: Barton’s rehabilitation is presumably going well, because he played for the reserves in their 3-2 defeat by Burton Albion. Fellow first team squad member Sun Jihai also had a run out. The Blues equalised twice after going behind, thanks to goals from Ishmael Miller and Karl Bermingham, but eventually succumbed in second half injury time, as Paul Collins’ headed own goal gave the home side victory. “It was a disappointing performance if I’m honest,” said Steve Wigley later, “as Burton finished stronger than we did. We didn’t pass the ball well enough, and that’s what disappointed me. Ishmael Miller looked a threat and had a few opportunities. We also got 90 minutes out of Joey Barton, which was important; he needed that as it will set him up for Saturday.”

Blowing in the Wind? Planning permission is being sought by a company wishing to build a land-based wind turbine to provide electricity for the SportCity area of East Manchester. It is hoped that power can then be supplied to the COMS and surrounding housing. Chief Executive Alistair Mackintosh, commented on the project: “At a time when the subjects of climate change and carbon emissions are dominating the headlines and the thoughts of the world’s most powerful leaders, I am proud that Manchester City is playing a significant part in safeguarding our environment. The carbon emission savings from the SportCity turbine would be equivalent to that of at least 2,000 homes and would really make strides into the long-term goal of making Manchester a truly green city.” (thanks to David Warburton for the story – and the headline!).

Transfer News and Gossip

Brown Back? Here’s a strange one – SP is ready to launch a bid to sign Tottenham midfielder Michael Brown, in the hope of enticing the former City man back to his first club. According to the Daily Star, Pearce is keen to bolster the midfield by splashing some of the cash gained from Shaun’s sale, while Spurs are replete in that department, now that Inter star Edgar Davids has moved to White Hart Lane. Meanwhile, Paris Saint Germain winger Fabrice Pancrate has intimated City are no longer keen on signing him. City had been interested in bringing Pancrate to the Premiership on a season-long loan but their enquiry was rebuffed by PSG. With City seemingly abandoning their pursuit of Pancrate, Auxerre are now the only club interested in enticing the 25-year-old away from Parc des Princes.

There’s Only One Olivier N’Siabamfumu… City are monitoring young French defender Olivier N’Siabamfumu, according to a report. N’Siabamfumu has impressed at the current European Under-19 Championship in Northern Ireland, where France will meet England in the final. The 19-year-old’s displays in the French defence have not gone unnoticed, with City and Middlesbrough having been impressed. The teenager is currently on the books of Rennes but he has yet to make his first-team debut for the Ligue 1 club. Real Madrid and PSV Eindhoven are also admirers of the youngster and are weighing up the right time to swoop for the stopper. N’Siabamfumu has just 12 months remaining on his contract and, if Rennes cannot persuade him to sign a new deal, they may opt to cash in this summer (thanks to Sarah).

Keen on Corradi: Bernardo Corradi’s agent has confirmed Manchester City are looking to sign the Valencia striker on loan for next season. The Italy international only joined Valencia last summer from Lazio, but endured a frustrating spell in Spain and is now looking to move on. “Manchester City? Yes, they are interested,” the player’s agent Moreno Roggi told Sky when questioned on his client’s future. “But the player prefers coming back to Italy.” Sampdoria and Parma are said to be leading the chase for the striker. A move to City surely seems unlikely now, bearing in mind Psycho’s capture of Cole and Vassell.

French Connections: Stuart is doing his best to splash that Shaunie cash – Fulham have revealed that they have turned down a bid of £4 million from City for midfielder Steed Malbranque. “I can confirm the club has had a substantial bid rejected by Fulham for French international midfielder Steed Malbranque,” Paul Tyrrell said on the official website. “It is disappointing that our offer has been turned down but we still retain a strong interest in the player.” GMR took this to mean that City might well return with an improved offer. Malbranque has scored 38 goals in his four seasons with Fulham, but is primarily a creative midfielder. He had previously been linked with interest from Aston Villa (thanks to the ‘Drewster’ for that). Today reported that City could be turning to another French target, Olivier Thomert of Lens, if the Malbranque deal falls through. The 25-year-old has regularly been linked with a move to The Premiership and has expressed a desire to play outside of France. Lens revealed last month they have received no fresh offers for Thomert but are now bracing themselves for a bid from City.

Ex-Blues’ News

Goat Goes East for Pastures New: Armed with a nice pay-off from Reading (rumoured to be in the region of £200,000), Shaun Goater began his search for a new club this week. Bradford City manager Colin Todd dismissed reports linking him with a move for the Bermudian international, but fellow League One rivals Southend United were not so timid. BBC Essex announced that the Goat had joined the Shrimpers. The 35 year-old put pen to paper on a one-year deal and the signing ends a long chase by manager Steve Tilson, who said: “He’s experienced and his record speaks for itself. We’ve been in talks for a while and I’m pleased he’s decided to come.”

Carlos the Quaker: Carlos Logan has agreed a six month deal to join Darlington after impressing Quakers’ boss David Hodgson during pre-season. A good performance during their friendly victory at Bradford City led to an offer being made up to put to the representatives of the former City winger. Hodgson said “Carlos is still only young and can learn a lot in the game, but with some work he could be a real asset to the team. We feel he is worth a closer look; that’s why we have signed him for 6 months. If we can integrate him to suit our style of play then I’m sure he can do very well for himself here.” Last season Logan spent a period on loan at Chesterfield.

Reactions and Comments

Stoke on Saturday: City came from behind to claim victory against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium last Saturday. Despite the home side taking a 52nd minute lead through trialist Bruce Dyer, two goals in quick succession from Andy Cole and Bradley Wright-Phillips meant that the Blues were the happier of the two Citys. Sun Jihai will miss the start of the season after being sent off. The Chinese defender was handed a straight red card by referee Phil Dowd for bringing down Martin Paterson in the penalty area in the 68th minute. He is ruled out of the first three games of the campaign. Dyer failed to convert the penalty, goalkeeper David James making a fine save. Psycho mused over the début of latest signing Darius Vassell: “Darius did OK. He needs to get his fitness levels up. He has played only 45 minutes this pre-season for Villa, that’s all he has done. He will need time to bed in as he has been at another club for a long time and is leaving an environment where he grew up. It is not going to happen overnight. Andy Cole is also new and they will need time to gel. But some of the things I have seen in training between the pair makes me think this could be a nice partnership.” Of the sending off, Pearce commented that “The referee didn’t have a choice. These days referees have got assessors everywhere and if they don’t send people off for a sending-off offence they will get in trouble for it. But now I’ve lost a player who looks as if he needs all the fitness he can get for the beginning of the season.”

Wednesday on Sunday: Glenn Whelan enjoyed coming up against his former colleagues on Sunday. Whelan opened the scoring for Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough with a 25-yard drive in the 37th minute. But Irishman Karl Bermingham, 19, equalised on 61 minutes after Willo Flood’s shot came back off the post. Skipper Sylvain Distin was certainly impressed with the way Bermingham and company failed to let their heads drop when they were chasing the game, and believes that augurs well for the future. “We had some kids in the team, and they are the future of this club,” said Distin. “There were only four or five senior players and the rest were young kids, but they were very good. Karl scored a great goal, and is a very good guy. I remember him from my first season here, and he is a very good player. He just needs to have a bit more time on the pitch, but he is going to improve, and that is the main thing.” Boss man Stu gave his usual honest assessment on proceedings. “It was very similar to Stoke,” he said. “We needed 90 minutes, and while it was not an outstanding game of football, there were positives. Jonathon D’Laryea was extremely good in midfield for us. The young boys up front scrapped about, and it was a reasonable performance against a side that was fairly well organised and the draw was a fair result.” Goalscorer Bermingham was cock-a-hoop after his strike. He said: “I’ve played three games beforehand and I’ve come close, maybe I should have scored before this, but it’s great to get my first goal. I’m over the moon at the moment. Willo’s hit a great shot, it’s hit the post, and I’ve just followed up and tried to hit the target. Delighted I was! I was a bit nervous going away but the first team lads were great with us. It is a great feeling to go away and see the way they play. And after the games the senior players would come up to you and give you some good advice. It was a great experience for me.” Karl admits to being starry eyed at working with Andy Cole: “I’m not really allowed to say this… but he is one of my heroes! He’s a really top bloke as well and is already passing advice on to the younger lads. Especially for me, Bradley and Ishmael who play up front, to see a player like that who’s scored over 150 goals in the Premiership, it’s amazing to see him train and hear what he has to say.”

Squad News

Mr. 110% After two goals in as many games, “Call Me Andrew” has made an impressive pre-season start to his career in a Sky Blue shirt. Cole was in a bullish mood and ready to answer his critics who say that he’s too old and that as an ex-Rag his conviction for the Blue cause might be suspect. Cole commented: “I know there are going to be a few sceptics. People will immediately point to me having played for United, but I’ve heard some people make comments about my age. Why? There are players who have been a few years older than me who have played for Manchester City and they have done a very good job. I want to do the same. It’s not as if I have come straight from Manchester United to City. I have had two clubs in between. I can’t see it being a problem. Whatever club I have been at, I have give 110 per cent, and that will certainly be the case here.”

Problem Solved! Trevor Sinclair reckons he can fill the void on the right wing left by SWP’s departure. “It’s never a good time for Shaun to leave but he has gone and we have to look forward,” Sinclair said in the Sunday Mirror. “It has left an opening and I’m going to try to make it my own. It has been a long lay-off and touch and go whether I was ever going to get back to this level to compete. I’m trying to live right and look after myself, train right. The harder you work then the luckier you get.”

Robbie’s Bad Back: Manchester’s premier evening journal (not much competition for that title, methinks), has revealed that Robbie Fowler’s chances of making the opening fixture of the season are looking slim. The Scouse striker has been troubled by a back problem, and hasn’t featured in any of the pre-season warm up games. It’s looking increasingly likely that SP’s front two for the opener with WBA on August 13 will be the new arrivals, Cole and Vassell.

Don Barrie <news(at)>


Having toured a few so-called Premiership grounds last season, Hillsborough was a refreshing change. It may be old, but it’s big and set out properly. Compared to Palace, Birmingham, West Brom, Charlton, and pertinently the happy clappers’ grounds at Bolton and Middlesbrough, this was an enjoyable ground to go to. About 2,500 Blues turned up, but the team display was little above poor.

Sunday’s team was mainly kids, and with the exception of Distin, the ‘seniors’ were bit-part players. One of the seniors looking to get back into the first eleven was Danny Mills. I thought he showed some good runs, despite getting loads of grief from both sides for his trademark hoofing. On this showing he was keen and worked tirelessly. 110% in a friendly defines him for me, but his distribution still needs work.

Jordan also looked the part as a confirmed first teamer, and stood out strongly above many players he will have seen through his time in the Academy.

Ishmail Miller looks a good left footed prospect, based only on this viewing. Big, fast and a great touch, can use his right for more than standing on too. BWP was inconspicuous, he really needs to step his game up if he is to prove any good.

Croft worked hard and looked a cut above many on our team. Willo Flood played inside Croft, his only real contribution being a ferocious shot from outside the post that Karl Bermingham hammered back into the net. Bermingham was industrious without much product, but one to watch. D’Laryea bobbed in and out of the game in fits and starts.

On the whole we were outplayed by a Wednesday team who wanted it more. Predictably, Glenn Whelan stood out by a mile. In the first minute he played a sublime through ball on the edge of our D to wrong foot Sommeil – the first of many times – only for the unconvincing De Vlieger to save with his ankle. This set the tone, with Whelan dictating play throughout the first half. We got a grip of him more in the second with D’Laryea and Flood getting more control in the middle. I would have preferred to see Whelan as our prospect and not the captain of the opposition.

But for a spell of ten minutes in the second half, Wednesday looked the better team. Given its friendly status, it was a useful run out for the above plus points. What did stand out a mile though was the total ineptitude of Sommeil. He’s got has the turning circle of the QE2, and is more out at sea than most of its sailors on the way to a Caribbean cruise. Got to say it, as I’ve always said it since the day he first stepped out for us after laying out £3.75 million. There is no way he was or is fit to tie Paul Ritchie or Lucien Mettomos’ boot laces. No wonder we can’t get rid as he laps up the gravy train. With the news that Dunney’s broken a bone in his foot and that Sun’s got himself banned, let’s hope Onouha and Mills stay fit.

On the positive side, we seem to have a healthy production line coming through; let’s hope a few can make the crossover into the firsts.

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


I would like to say that now is the time to stand up and support Joey Barton at what must be the most difficult time of his life.

With the latest news about his brother being linked to the terrible murder in Huyton Park, JB will need the support of his club, family and fans more than ever. Don’t give up on him now. My thoughts and prayers are with Anthony Walker’s family. The place where I feel I can do something to support other victims of this waste of life is to offer support to all affected by the incomprehensible involvement of anyone involved in such an attrocity. Racism has no part to play anywhere, and Joey and his Academy peers are a shining example of how football tackles prejudice through every race, colour and creed playing together on a level playing field.

For the record, JB was my player of the season last year for the bottle, passion and not insufficient football he played in a City shirt at most of the home and away games I saw. JB receives the support of his dad and mates at many of the away matches, if not all I have attended. He has an opportunity at City to make a good living from football and become an ambassador for sport. He is still young, and is way off the pace at the moment in terms of becoming any sort of rôle model.

What I am trying to say is that as a club we have a responsibility to help our players and not just let them go when faced with challenging times. Selling him or letting him go out of an environment he has always committed himself to will do him no good. Just read his comments about getting back into training after being away on holiday being like meeting up with after school holidays for one example. Too often our answer to everything is to pass the problem on to someone else; well that’s not the case for Joey as he is one of ours: good, bad and ugly. He is in the last chance saloon, but an act such as this means he needs the support of all around him, more than ever. As a club I am proud in our involvement in our community and the work we have done to tackle racism and Joey is a part of that.

To reiterate, my deepest sympathies are with Anthony Walker’s family and friends. I hope the perpetrators have the book thrown at them. The point of this note is to say that now is not the time to get on Joey Barton’s back.

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)>


The pre-season results have never really meant much to me, although I must admit I always look for City to win, it’s always how the players come through the pre-season to me.

But the game – the first, and only home pre-season game – that has more importance to it is when City play the Greek champions Olympiacos. For this is the game when City should field what will be considered the first choice eleven.

All the other pre-season games have been to get match fit, and for Stuart Pearce to see what options he has for the upcoming season.

It’s been another disappointing start to a season for Robbie Fowler, who has been reported to have hurt his back, and not able to join his team mates in regular training, which must have been a big disappointment to Stuart Pearce in his preparations to his first full season in charge.

The signing of Andrew Cole and Darius Vassell, and the form of BWP, will put pressure on Robbie Fowler who never really had any competition for the striker’s rôle after Anelka had left last season.

However, Stuart Pearce has not finished in his quest to make sure that City are not going to be short of firing power this season. He has been making an effort to sign Bernado Corradi (born 1976), an Italian striker who last season played for Valencia, played in 20 games and scored just 4 goals. But it’s Corradi’s record at his previous club, Lazio in Italy, that’s impressive: season 2002/03 – played 32, goals 10, season 2003.04 – played 33, goals 10. We all know that to score in Serie A in Italy is not easy, where often teams play defensive football.

The problem here is that Corradi seems to have got a little homesick, and appears to want to go back to Italy. His fans want him to return to Lazio: that says it all about the player, when the fans want you back.

A midfield player well known to many City fans might be back, that being Michael Brown of Spurs. It’s reported that Spurs are close to signing Davids, so Brown might become available.

We all now know that Stuart Pearce is not resting in the transfer market, he always seems to be looking to improve his squad before the deadline when the transfer market shuts.

Come on City!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)>


Just a point concerning Ernie Whalley’s piece in MCIVTA 1143. Jimmy Meadows was signed from Southport originally as a centre forward and was tried there, and I think on the right wing too, by City.

However, he was not hugely successful up front and was converted to an excellent international full back before that horrific knee-twist at Wembley not only lost City the Cup Final (Newcastle’s 2 winning second-half goals both came from their left wing where Spurdle – a forward – was trying to sub for Meadows against Newcastle’s brilliant Scottish international left-winger Bobby Mitchell) but cost Meadows an obviously hugely promising top-flight international career. Pardoe, Lake, Bell, Meadows…. sad.

Chris Wiseman – Calgary <christopher382(at)>


So we now have the spectre of FC City of Manchester. I thought I’d seen it all. Whilst I recognize that there is some disaffection – there always was and always will be – I find this idea amazing. I feel that it is arrogant for them to claim to speak for us, the fans. Certainly no-one I know has been asked for an opinion and judging by various websites there is little if any enthusiasm for the idea. Indeed, serious antagonism seemed the most common reaction.

For those who are so unhappy with the Premiership and all its faults, yet profess to be ardent City fans, I would suggest they turn out and watch the reserves and junior teams at little or no cost. That way they would keep their affiliation with the Club and at the same time save the money, which is obviously a major part of the problem.

Ian Barton <ian(at)>


In response to the message regarding ‘my ridiculous plan’ on forming a new club and watching Maine Road, I would like it noted that it is not ‘my ridiculous plan’ but one I support.

I was contacted by two big Blues by phone and sounded out and I agreed with what was being said and supported the idea. The media got hold of the story and my name was banded about as one of a few supporters and this translated into me becoming one of the organisers, which is incorrect.

Thanks, Phill Gatenby <Safestanding(at)>


Ian and Ernie, I knew these replies were coming, but thought you might make some suggestions on alternative possible reinforcements. Sadly not, Phil Neville it is then, I am to presume.

Maybe we should join the chase for Essien or how about tap up Lampard because, well we’ve loads of money haven’t we? No seriously ,what about Koumas, he’s in our price bracket, problem is of course he is rubbish.

So who then? Unfortunately, unless our team is good enough of course, the only good players we can get in our budget will regrettably come with some kind of baggage.

Unfortunately Dunne’s injury has exposed a frailty at the back as well. I wont suggest anyone though, mainly for the fear of being lynched. Got any ideas?

Matt <bluemoon.matt(at)>


Reduzed To Clear (apologies to anyone Spanish)? “For Thale. Juan hardly uthed EEngleesh thenter fowurd. Deethpite neglect, goood een the box, veery rewaarding for leetle input from thee owner. Unwanted geeft (eenfact steel hav oreegeenal wrapping paper)! 120 trillion Pesetas or £12mio (OnO)
Attn Blind Juan
PO Box1 Madreed

Wanted Good Home for Stray
Answers to the name of (un)lucky. Will score for coins. Needs plenty of exercise. Respond ASAP or will be sold to local Workhouse. Replies to R.S.P.C.A. Chester (Royal Society (for the) prevention of cruelty to (potential) Answers-to-our-prayers)

He’s gonna play in the World Cup even if he plays Subbuteo for the whole season, so why not for us? Thoughts…

Michael Maynard <michael.Maynard(at)>


My name is Zak Waters and I am looking for a Man City supporter who visually stands out from the rest of the crowd for a photography project I am currently working on. He or she might have the team badge tattooed on their chests or always have fancy dress on for games, etc. Anyone who is a real character that makes them stand out from the rest as they show their allegiance to their club, I am sure there must be one or two.

Thanks, Zak Waters – Zak Waters Photography Ltd <zak(at)>


I have two spare adult tickets for Birmingham away on 20.8.05. They are £25 each. The first person to respond can have the tickets. Please contact me at the following email address:

Thanks, Andrew Jackson <andrew.Jackson(at)>


Llooking for 2 spares for the Sunderland game. Please call 07958364458 or email below.

Mike <Brombelly(at)>


A big thank you to all the McV readers who have shown an interest in the excel spreadsheets posted on the “Odds-n-Sods” website; special thanks to the City fans who have contacted me with comments and/or suggestions about the sheets.

Not long now until the start of the City’s new Premiership campaign and I’ve not been entirely inactive in the close-season. The new-season version of my “Excel” spread-sheet file; “The-BIGGER-One” (the Man City and all Premiership team-progress file) is now ready and available as a FREE download at:

Please visit the website to read the full list of the file’s features; but, basically, all you need to do is type in the scores (or your predictions) and all the statistical tables and graphs are instantly revised. It is already filled in with all the provisional dates for every Premiership fixture for the season. Also available is a completed statistical version for last season.

The website has been checked-out, and has a priority listing with (under the miscellaneous:other, listings). If you like the sheets, please tell your mates.

Mark Vincent <Vincent(at)>

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Newsletter #1144