Newsletter #1196

A dismal performance on Saturday as City failed to make anything from our few attacks, and managed to concede one of the scrappiest goals of the season. We have a match report tonight thanks to Colin, which is pretty much as I recall it from the upper tier of their decrepit stand.

We continue to struggle away from home and looking at the table have dropped two places since the New Year. Oh well, not to worry, our next away game isn’t until a fortnight and oh yes it’s a Cup game. Talking of which, Steve brings us some more unwelcome stats about Cup performances.

Meanwhile, the Barton discussions and opinions continue as he embarks upon a damage-limitation exercise by realising his impetuosity in handing in a transfer request and, despite dodging questions about whether he would still be at City in 12 month’s time, is keen to sign and focus on getting into the England squad. Many more performances like Saturday and you’ll not be getting anywhere Joey. But neither will anyone else.

Meanwhile, for the Midlands based Blues – City U18s play at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday 8th, 7pm kick-off in the FA Youth Cup. Come along and give them your support.

Next game: Charlton Athletic, home, 4pm Sunday 12 February (TV)


I enjoy my visits to Everton, not because of the football (which is usually instantly forgettable) or the result but the social side, as I know quite a few Evertonians and despite the fact that most of them are part of my mother-in-law’s family, still quite like them. Also they have a lot in common with us, not least living in the shadow of red-clad neighbours who are always reminding them how long it is since they won anything. Goodison, or at least the bit where the visitors go, is what football grounds used to be like, with wooden stands and seats, pillars to restrict your view, no hassles over standing and generally a good atmosphere as we easily out-sing the home support.

There is one change in the starting line-up, with Samaras in for Cole. Said in the pub beforehand that I thought we would be better off with Cole’s experience. I understand why SP would want the more physical and energetic Samaras but this type of game might be too early for him, given he’s only played a quarter of a game so far. You know what you’re going to get from Everton – not much flair but plenty of good, honest endeavour, good organisation, quick to close down and generally doing the simple things well.

They start at 100 miles an hour, as we would at home, and City are uncomfortable. Osman breaks from midfield and Dunne backs off, giving him a shot at goal that grazes the top of the crossbar. We are chasing shadows for the first few minutes and it’s no surprise that they get an early goal but it owes 99% to luck. A corner on the far side is headed on by an unmarked Cahill (staggering considering the damage he’s done to us in previous games) but it’s a poor, looping effort and falls to Dunne on the far post. However, his header is even worse and hits Weir on the thigh. Somehow it rolls past both Dunne and James for the softest of goals. My Everton mate’s prediction in the pub that if they go one up then they will win by that score comes to mind. Arteta and Cahill are well on top and Osman is also dangerous.

Despite the fact that they dominate the next thirty minutes, James isn’t particularly busy and they don’t generate many goal threats. Sinclair and Riera are well shackled by Hibbert and Valente, Barton isn’t at the races and it’s just the wrong sort of game for Musampa. Everton are quicker to the ball, their off the ball movement is good, they move the ball quickly and they keep it simple. The last few minutes of the half see City come back a little. Vassell doesn’t get enough of his head on a Sun Jihai cross and Musampa gets into a good position but pulls his shot wide of the far post. Samaras, as I suspected, is totally lost in a game of this intensity.

The second half is better but I suspect that’s because Everton sit back more rather than City raising their game. City are seeing more of the ball but anything they get has to be won hard and Wright is pretty untroubled in the Everton goal. The defences are on top, with Distin superb for City and Sun having a ding-dong battle with the physical Kilbane. The only save Wright has to make is from a well worked move that gives Musampa a clear shot just outside the box but he hits it straight at the ‘keeper. Later on there is a flurry in the box as the Everton defence for once fail to clear their lines and City get in three or four attempts that are blocked by Everton bodies. Samaras starts to find his feet and puts a header just over. The substitutions start and Cole replaces Riera, with Samaras going on the left. Sibierski comes on for Samaras (why?) and BWP replaces Vassell.

Our cause isn’t helped by referee Andre Marriner, who is proving to be a bit of a “homer”. This is summed up when BWP gets hacked down as he is going past the last Everton defender and there is a free kick but no card, whereas Jordan and Barton have yellow cards for tackles that are certainly no worse. The City flurry is over and Everton now start wasting time, taking the ball into the corner. We’ve blown our chance now and, in injury time, Jordan, who’s been given a torrid time by Arteta, scythes down Hibbert in frustration and off he goes. The game ends and, if things weren’t bad enough, we have to endure the nauseating sight of Barton coming over and kissing his badge.

Feelings are still running high on him, with many fans applauding him but the others booing him. Some fans start singing “There’s only one Joey Barton” but get competition from others singing “There’s only one greedy b*****d”. Also lots of chants of “28 Grand, you’re having a laugh”. This is summed up by the argument between my son (who is pro-Barton) and me, as we’re coming out. He believes that if he’s wearing the shirt we should support him but I say that he’s made it clear he couldn’t care less about the shirt.

Meet the Evertonian relatives after the game and one has a particularly big grin on his face as he backed Weir at 40-1 to score the first goal! Just about sums it up really.

James 5. Seemed to make a hash of the goal and some poor distribution.
Sun 6. Did well in a tough battle with Kilbane and one of the few who can cross.
Dunne 5. At fault for the goal and hesitant throughout.
Distin 7. A solid display and easily my MoTM.
Jordan 4. Poor game generally and stupid sending off.
Sinclair 5. Got no change from Valente.
Musampa 5. Two wayward shots were his main contribution.
Barton 5. Outplayed by Phil Neville – enough said!
Riera 5. Possibly the best of the midfielders but that’s not saying much.
Vassell 5. Never in it.
Samaras 5. Laughable in the first half but better in the second.
Cole 6. Should have started probably. Composed on the ball.
Sibierski 3. Another non-appearance.
Wright-Phillips 6. About time he had a start. Looked lively and sharp.

Colin Savage <colin(at)>


Perhaps after today’s game our Manager could sit City’s answer to Mugabe down and show him footage of his first half performance in particular and ask him to point out what we would be getting for £40,000 per week because quite frankly it was a £14,000 per week effort and we should consider pulling our offer altogether and making a reduced offer of no more than £20,000 instead! I hope the boss is scouring UK/Europe between now and summer so we can get rid.

Samaras looked busy but not Premiership sharp yet and should’ve scored with the header.

I hate losing to c**p goals and this was one of those occasions where both ‘keepers were obsolete though I thought we were the better side in the second half, Everton in the first.

Chris <hawkeye(at)>


For Mike Holden’s (and Stuart Pearce’s) info, 46 teams have appeared in a Football League Cup or FA Cup semi-final since MCFC last appeared in one in 1981.

27 of them have appeared in at least one of each. City are one of only 2 current Premiership teams who haven’t appeared in a semi-final since 1981. The other is Charlton, and they are looking good for the quarter finals.

               Lge Cup FA Cup  Total
Liverpool      10       8      18
Arsenal         8      10      18
Man Utd         7       9      16
Tottenham       5       7      12
Chelsea         5       5      10
Aston V         6       2       8
Everton         2       5       7
Sheff Wed       4       3       7
Nottm F         3       3       6
Middlesbro      4       2       6
Luton Town      2       3       5
C. Palace       3       2       5
Blackburn       4       1       5
Southampton     1       3       4
Bolton          3       1       4
Leicester       3       1       4
Wimbledon       2       2       4
Sheff Utd       1       3       4
Watford         1       3       4
Newcastle       0       4       4
Ipswich         3       0       3
Norwich         1       2       3
West Ham        2       1       3
Oldham          1       2       3
Leeds           2       1       3
West Brom       1       1       2
QPR             1       1       2
Oxford          2       0       2
Coventry        1       1       2
Tranmere        2       0       2
Birmingham      2       0       2
Burnley         1       0       1
Walsall         1       0       1
Bristol C       1       0       1
Swindon         1       0       1
Stockport       1       0       1
Brighton        0       1       1
Plymouth        0       1       1
Portsmouth      0       1       1
Chesterfield    0       1       1
Wolves          0       1       1
Wycombe         0       1       1
Fulham          0       1       1
Millwall        0       1       1
Wigan Ath       0       1       1

Steve Kay <steve(at)>


Having just read MCIVTA 1195, which I have to say is one of the most brilliant I have ever read, I find my emotions in turmoil. One minute I’m agreeing with the bog off Barton brigade and the next I’m thinking… well, on the other hand.

Brilliant. Everyone made good points. All valid. And me sat here getting splinters ’cause I don’t know which side of the fence to get off on – and all this for free.

Thanks to everyone who really screwed up my Friday night.

So where do I stand? Well we all know that on the clapometer (for our older readers) of wave height Joey barely raises a ripple, I therefore place the blame at the feet of his agent (I can’t even bear to write his name). Bear in mind this type of b*****d has no interest in the player other than what he can claim as a percentage; he obviously, as many others have done, gets a whole lot more from transfers than he does from wage negotiations. They are also spin doctors who can convince those who are found wanting in the cerebral region that they have their best interests at heart. As someone else pointed out, ask SWP (as much as I like him, he is also a bit lacking in the sharpest crayon in the box category) if he now thinks his move, manufactured by his agent, was a good one. Here is a lad who was becoming an automatic choice for the midfield slot at the World Cup and is now not even going to make the squad. It’d laughable if it wasn’t so sad.

I heard SP’s very pointed interview this week regarding Fowler’s transfer. Forget what you think of Fowler. SP said something along the lines of “If I could have the professional way Robbie and his agent conducted their business every day, I would be happy.” Who do you think that was aimed at Mr M? No, still can’t write it.

Dave Kilroy <dave.kilroy(at)>


I am shocked at the vituperation aimed at Joey Barton by fans. Here we have a very good Premiership player who has earned his corn whilst playing for City. Meanwhile, a knackered professional scouse has taken gazillions of moulla off us and gone back to where he belongs (he will do nothing there now either).

I think fans should get off Joey’s back and be grateful for the contribution he has made so far and good luck to him if he can get paid something akin to the other overpaid prima donnas in this over hyped league.

Peter Birbeck <peter.birbeck(at)>


Yes, another piece regarding Mr Barton.

Quite frankly I’m appalled. No, not at Joey but, at some of the drama queens that penned (or typed) their new-found hatred for Joey.

I am disappointed at Joeys actions, I do feel betrayed after all the support the club and we the fans have shown him. I think he has been badly advised, His timing, whether intended or by coincidence, was perfectly atrocious. the whole matter has been handled with complete incompetence. Joe now has a lot of work to do to get the fans back on his side. to make amends for his heinous actions at the start of this week.

But just as bad, and shocking to me, is the reaction from some fans who contribute to the great MCIVTA. blacking out his picture for all eternity, expressing a desire to beat the s**t out of him, treating him like a criminal! I totally agree with a boo in his direction as the team was called out before Wednesday’s game. but when that whistle went to start the game, politics ends, 11 City players play 11 opposition and thousands of fans watch in support.

I ask all who would gladly see Barton strung up to put yourself in his position. I know the amounts of money are outrageous, but when you work next to others, doing the same job, and being paid less than them, it really p****s you off. I know, I spent years in that situation, with new, less experienced employees coming into the company on more money that I was on, mainly due to the fact I started as an apprentice with the company. I also ask you, bias aside, who is the first midfield player on your City team sheets? Joey? Right? So is he justified in asking for an equal amount to the other top players at the club? However much that was, I don’t know, I never really believe wages quoted in the media. Only Joey and those involved in the contract negotiations know.

Back to my aforementioned wage predicament for a second. Being paid by a company is a sign of worth, being constantly underpaid makes you feel unappreciated. So how did I resolve my pay issues? I left the company that had spent over £50,000 on my training and kept me gainfully employed for nearly ten years yet refused to pay me what I was worth. I in effect put in a transfer request.

Be disappointed with Joey, dislike his conduct, criticise his choice of agent, be enraged at his seemingly underhand timing. But hate him? Brand him a Judas? Talk about him like he has personally insulted/hurt you or your family? For God’s sake, it’s only football!

To err is human, to forgive is divine.

I personally hope Joey and SP and MCFC can come to an agreement where all parties are happy. and can continue to build the club and progress towards some silverware and success.

The future is bright… the future is Blue.

Rob Hyslop <Robert.Hyslop(at)>


A message to Tony and Helen who I have never met and do not know but whose passionate tale of modern football in the last MCIVTA had me feeling distraught because it is hard not to agree with the points made. I love City and I still love being at the half dozen or so games I get to each season. For that matter I may be in the minority who also loves our new stadium but the sanitising and health & safety approach to supporting football definitely detracts from the enjoyment.

I would never try to persuade you to change what has been a tough decision but I really hope that you still attend enough games that your passion and love for the club continue to be represented on the sad seated modern version of the terraces.

One observation about the new ground is that whenever I have “sat” low down in the first dozen rows of the lower tier, the whole experience feels closer to the raw passion I remember of days long past. Shouting, swearing, banter all still seem to exist down low and nobody frowns when passion gets out of hand. The atmosphere or lack of it described by Tony has been a feature of any time I have occupied levels 2 or 3 of the stadium – is this a common perception out there or just me?

Tony – your words made me really sad and I have to hope you are wrong and that football will turn a corner back towards its roots following drops in attendances this season.

As for Barton? Greedy scouser but is he really any different from the rest? While he pulls on a blue shirt and plays well he will not be booed by me – become a work-shy prima donna on the pitch then I expect SP will take care of him quicker than I can form the first B.

Adrian Coe <Adrian.Coe(at)>


I have to say that I agree with everything you (Tony) said. It is a sad day when a loyal Blue makes such a decision but all I can say mate is that you ain’t alone.

I, and many other Blues in the South Stand, the voice of the club these days, will not be renewing season cards. It’s just not enjoyable anymore.

I have sadness about this but it has been coming since moving from Maine Road. Times are changing, football just isn’t what it should be anymore. So you win! Corporate MCFC I am outta here. You don’t want supporters like me anyway so goodbye from me also after 31 years. I leave the ground to a blind set of fans who sit quietly like zombies, merely cheering when a goal is scored, who leave ten minutes before the end. Not my kind of people. The Lass O’Gowrie sounds cool to me and yes, away games as often as possible much better craic. Odd home games as tickets are easy to get, saving me lots of dosh: hmmmmm, even better. Thanks Joey for making this decision much easier. You have shown me the real face of football. You disloyal ungrateful scouse s**t! One greedy b*****d, there’s only one greedy…

It used to be One Joey Barton. Can’t believe some Blues still blindly adore him. Fantasy football has gone too far. I hope that when the ground is half empty and not a sound can be heard, everyone pleasantly eating their cold pies and frozen burgers, not smoking, not standing, not singing Munich songs, not swearing, not having a pint, watching the action, not having any decent sleep due to stupid kick-off times, not being arrested for standing (’cause you don’t want to), not living. You won’t even have to complain to stewards that you paid to sit not stand (you know who you are). Enjoy.

Bring back Maine Road, bring back the Kippax, bring back players with heart. Kill football agents and corporate entertainment. Football is dying, long live Sky TV. They have a lot to answer for.

A passionate Blue, a loyal Blue, I will not miss those shower of s**ts from Showsec.

Mark Redgrave <Leaguecup1976(at)>


Any suggestions for a bar in Brugge where I’ll be able to watch City’s cup tie with Villa next week (somewhere near the station would be a bonus)?

If you can help, please email me.

Alex Berry <alex_berry(at)>


This question has probably been asked many times but never needed to read the answer before. I am in New York City on 19th Feb and wondered where I could catch up with the Villa cup game. A pub/bar that I could talk the girlfriend into going to without telling her the game is being shown and then looking surprised at kick off.

Roy Friend <j6rsf(at)>


5 February 2006

Tottenham Hotspur     3 - 1  Charlton Athletic     36,034
Chelsea               2 - 0  Liverpool             42,316

4 February 2006

Birmingham City       0 - 2  Arsenal               27,075
Bolton Wanderers      1 - 1  Wigan Athletic        25,854
Everton               1 - 0  Manchester City       37,827
Middlesbrough         0 - 4  Aston Villa           27,299
Newcastle United      2 - 0  Portsmouth            51,627
West Bromwich Albion  2 - 0  Blackburn Rovers      23,993
West Ham United       2 - 0  Sunderland            34,745
Manchester United     4 - 2  Fulham                67,844

League table to 05 February 2006 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Chelsea         25 12  1  0 31  7  9  2  1 21  6 21  3  1  52  13  39  66
 2 Manchester Utd  25  8  3  1 25  8  7  3  3 24 18 15  6  4  49  26  23  51
 3 Liverpool       23  9  2  1 18  5  4  4  3 12 10 13  6  4  30  15  15  45
 4 Tottenham H.    25  8  4  1 20  8  4  4  4 14 13 12  8  5  34  21  13  44
 5 Arsenal         24  9  1  2 29  7  3  3  6  9 12 12  4  8  38  19  19  40
 6 Wigan Athletic  25  6  2  5 17 16  6  1  5 13 15 12  3 10  30  31  -1  39
 7 Bolton Wndrs    23  6  4  1 14  5  4  4  4 15 17 10  8  5  29  22   7  38
 8 West Ham United 25  6  1  5 19 16  5  4  4 17 18 11  5  9  36  34   2  38
 9 Blackburn R.    24  7  2  2 19 13  4  2  7 12 17 11  4  9  31  30   1  37
10 Manchester City 25  7  2  4 19 10  3  2  7 14 18 10  4 11  33  28   5  34
11 Everton         25  5  1  6 10 15  5  2  6  8 17 10  3 12  18  32 -14  33
12 Aston Villa     25  3  4  5 13 15  4  5  4 18 18  7  9  9  31  33  -2  30
13 Charlton Ath.   23  4  2  6 13 16  5  1  5 15 18  9  3 11  28  34  -6  30
14 Fulham          25  8  2  2 19 12  0  3 10 11 24  8  5 12  30  36  -6  29
15 Newcastle Utd   24  5  4  2 12  9  3  1  9 10 19  8  5 11  22  28  -6  29
16 West Brom A.    25  6  1  6 19 15  1  4  7  4 17  7  5 13  23  32  -9  26
17 Middlesbrough   24  3  5  5 17 24  3  2  6 13 20  6  7 11  30  44 -14  25
18 Birmingham City 24  3  2  7 14 16  2  3  7  7 18  5  5 14  21  34 -13  20
19 Portsmouth      25  2  5  5  7 13  2  1 10 10 29  4  6 15  17  42 -25  18
20 Sunderland      24  0  3 10  8 26  2  0  9  9 19  2  3 19  17  45 -28   9

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0506.02]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          :
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         :
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins):
Technical problems (Paul)        :
FAQ (David Warburton)            :

[2] What are MCIVTA’s publishing deadlines?

Deadlines for issues are nominally 6pm, Monday and Thursday evenings bu email. Unfortunately we cannot accept email attachments.

[3] MCIVTA Back Issues and Manchester City Supporters’ home page is the unofficial Manchester City Supporters’ home page. Created in 1994, it is the longest running of the Manchester City related web sites. Back issues of MCIVTA are also hosted on the site.

[4] What is the club’s official web site?

The official club web site can be found at

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (; the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” ( and “The International Supporters’ Club”.

[6] Where can I find out about the fans’ committee?

The Fans’ Committee operates as an interface between supporters and the club. The Fans’ Committee has been relaunched as “Points of Blue”. It has appeared on the club website as a minor entry under “Fans Zone”.

[7] What match day broadcasts are available on the web?

The GMR pre and post match phone-in is available on the web at

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV? provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are,, and

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here:,289893,sid9_gci213262,00.html

[10] Do any squad members have their own web pages?

There are a number available and direct links can be found at

[11] Can I buy shares in the club?

Yes you can: Shares in Manchester City PLC are traded on OFEX. The latest prices can be on found the OFEX web site (registration required) or in the business section of the Manchester Evening News.

[12] Where can I find match statistics?

Statistics for the current season are available from the club site, but for a more in-depth analysis try

[13] Where can I find a list of City-related websites?

Try Wookie’s Lair:

The views expressed in MCIVTA are entirely those of the subscribersand there is no intention to represent these opinions as being thoseof Manchester City Football Club, nor of any of the companies anduniversities by whom the subscribers are employed. It is not inany way whatsoever connected to the club or any other relatedorganisation and is simply a group of supporters using this mediumas a means of disseminating news and exchanging opinions.

[Valid3.2]Heidi Pickup,

Newsletter #1196