Newsletter #1311

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on Pinterest


A much welcome win, goals and committed performance away at Boro on Saturday sees us inch closer to those much wanted 40 points. With fine performances from a number of players, it was terrific to see Distin’s reaction to his goal (how about signing the contract now?).

We have match report and views, opinion on the club, coaching and fans doing their duty.

International break now, which is a shame as we really could do with galvanising this newly-found effort and team spirit, before our next trip to the North East.

Next game: Newcastle United, away, 3pm Saturday 31 March 2007

MATCH REPORT ‘LIVE’: MFC 0 MCFC 2

Every game is a cup final now and we were at a ground where we hadn’t won for 30 years. It was also supposed to be Pearce’s last stand. So no pressure then. The disappointment of Blackburn had been slightly mollified by a better performance against Chelsea but we needed points. One thing in our favour was that Boro had their minds on their Cup replay next week. Thirteen hundred hardcore Blues made the trip to the Riverside and were in good spirits and fine voice. There was one change to the line up that started against Chelsea, with Johnson replacing the injured Ireland.

This fixture is not normally associated with free-flowing, exciting football but it started very brightly. There was action at both ends in the first few minutes with Distin having to head the ball clear for a corner after a deflection, then City went on the attack with a good move involving Sun and Johnson giving Barton a shot that went just wide. City continued to put pressure on and Barton tried to find Mpenza in the area but it was a bit too far in front of him. Then Yakubu had a free header but it was weak. City continued to put Boro under pressure and a risky back-pass had to be cleared by Schwarzer.

Micah Richards went down injured and in a surprising move was replaced by Samaras, with the team going to 4-3-3. On 25 minutes slack defending allowed Boro a shot that Isaksson had to tip round for a corner. Poor marking allowed Xavier to get in a header but it was poorly directed. On the half hour mark Distin looked beaten by a Boro attack but recovered well to get the ball to Samaras. He allowed himself to be robbed but from the throw Mpenza got in an overhead kick. It was a really open and flowing game and a Boro attack led to a bit of panic in the City defence, with Dunne hacking the ball away. The one problem with the 4-3-3 formation was that Downing had too much space and a cross from him was headed wide. However, it was more City than Boro and although Samaras failed to capitalise, the ball fell to Hamann who unleashed a rocket. Unfortunately a Boro defender got in the way and was pole-axed.

The half time whistle went and the City team went off to a great round of applause. They’d played their hearts out but still hadn’t scored. It seemed inconceivable that they could keep up the pace in the second half but they started as they’d finished. Vassell got on the end of an Mpenza knock-down and crossed for Samaras. His header was low and going inside the post put Schwarzer scrambled it away. Sun had also clearly worked out how to deal with Downing and he was rarely a factor in the second period.

City were playing some great football that was only let down by the so-called final ball. On the hour mark they got another corner. The two previous efforts hadn’t cleared the first man and the City fans screamed at Barton to put it deep. He must have heard them as he put in a great corner to the far side of the box. The Boro defence made a hash of it and Mpenza headed it back where it fell to Distin eight yards out. He swivelled and hammered it into the roof of the net. We were 1-0 up but there was a long way to go.

Boro upped the pace and the City defence had to be alert on a number of occasions. I suspect we’d have all taken a point at this stage but there was more to come. On 73 minutes the Boro defence failed to clear a City attack properly and the ball fell to Barton. Mpenza found space between the central defenders and Joey slid the ball through to him. He was one-on-one with Schwarzer and coolly slotted it home off the far post. He joyfully vaulted into the crowd and received the obligatory yellow card. Boro had seen enough and decided to save their energies for the FA Cup.

On 90 minutes Mpenza nearly made it three as Distin galloped into space on the left and crossed in for him. He just got in front of the defender but his flick narrowly went the wrong side of the post. At the final whistle there was relief and joy from both the players and fans for a well deserved and much needed three points. They may all be bickering in the dressing room but they all looked up for it on the field. Another interesting occurrence was that players other than Barton took some set pieces. Ball, Hamann and Dunne were the lucky men if I remember rightly.

The only downer was on the train back where there was a group of middle aged men, supposedly City fans, who were blind drunk and started singing “those” songs. They were told to shut up and we got some insults for our troubles. We were then treated to a few choruses of “No surrender to the IRA” and other songs that marked them out for what they were. Unfortunately a pleasantly drunk Irish guy, who had been celebrating St Patrick’s Day, got on and this roused them to effing and blinding fury and more “Get back to your own country” type abuse. It would appear that they were former soldiers but were certainly not a good advert for the many fine men and women that have graced the uniform. The police had to be called to meet the train in Manchester and they staggered off the station under escort, no doubt seething with indignity that a true Englishman can’t abuse anyone he wants in his own country. I doubt they have enough intelligence to do so but if by any chance they are reading this then I have a message for them: “You’re not fit to wear the shirt!”

Performances:
Isaksson 8. Solid and rarely troubled.
Richards 7. Did well for the time he was on.
Dunne 9. Immense.
Distin 10. Even more immense, plus another goal. Welcome back Sylvain.
Sun 8. Dangerous in attack and solid defensively once he’d closed Downing down.
Barton 9. Let down by a few poor set pieces but nearly back to his best.
Hamann 9. Finally showed his class and it was worth waiting for.
Johnson 8. More than held his own in the midfield.
Ball 9. Another very assured performance.
Vassell 8. Full of running as ever.
Mpenza 10. Tormented the Boro defence all afternoon.
Subs:
Samaras 7. Looked far livelier than he has for a long time.
Beasley 8. Best showing so far for the American. A real handful.

Overall Out-of-the-Seat Factor 8. A wonderful flowing and open game with plenty of excitement.

Colin Savage <colin(at)cjsavage.co.uk>

MATCH VIEW ‘TV’: MFC 0 MCFC 2

The pressure is off, at least for a while; there are several clubs who are not out of the woods just yet. The first half was an evenly fought game, but no team came close to scoring.

We can perhaps thank ourselves a little lucky that ‘Boro might have had one eye on the Monday night FA Cup replay against the Evil Empire. But let’s not take away any credit from a City team that gave everything for this important win.

Stuart Pearce must have given the players a good talking to at half time, for every player in the team came out fighting in the second half as if their lives depended on a win.

Sylvain Distin scored a well-taken goal, and he would be my man of the match not just for scoring a goal, but for his good play in general. Didi Hamann is starting to make a difference in midfield, whilst young Michael Johnson gave another good showing in only his second game of the season.

Richard Dunne again showed why he is captain, putting in another fine performance. Michael Ball has claimed the left back position, and deserves a new contract for next season. Joey Barton as in every game fought for every ball. Vassell never stopped running, until he left the pitch to be subbed by Beasley.

After seeing Xavier of Boro’s hair I now think Georgios Samaras’s hair looks OK. Mpenza should have scored a goal earlier but his header went way off target. He made up for it though when he pounced onto a through ball and scored a well deserved goal. With more games for Mpenza to be match fit, he can make a difference up front.

I think SP has found the players who will give a fight for our proud club, credit to all the team. Stuart Pearce had a game plan, Stuart Pearce won!

Well done you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)aol.com>

OPINION: BORO BOGEY BURIED… BUT WRIGLEY WRIGGLES ON

Having never beaten Boro in the Premiership prior to this season it’s great to do the double… and what great timing. Almost as good as Boro facing the Red Scum on Monday night, which meant we didn’t have to contend with Viduka and Woodgate in our survival quest. Mpenza looks as if he might be able to do a job for us, certainly through to the end of the season, and it was good to see Distin and Dunney together in celebratory mode.

Delighted to get those three vital points with the prospect of more to come but it doesn’t mask the trend of City’s downward spiral under Messrs Pearce and Wigley. I don’t believe Psycho should be our manager in June but if there’s one thing I am 100% crystal clear on, it’s the fact that Steve Wigley is about as much use as a one-legged man in an **se-kicking competition. I wonder is he the tactical genius giving his ‘wisdom’ to Psycho, urging 5 at the back home and away and boring us all to death? The least we should be doing is get someone like Brian Kidd in as first team coach, he has a track record of success unlike Wigley who just sees under achievement and failure when he looks in his rear view mirror.

Let’s press on, get the requisite 40+ points, snaffle a Yank with lots of greenbacks to pump into the club and go bag a top manager. Allardyce (if he really wants to prove himself on a bigger stage and get out of his comfort zone), Mark Hughes (dangerous move with his Scum affiliations and possible designs on the hot seat at The Swamp) or at the very least a bright and up and coming prospect such as Billy Davies at Derby or Paul Simpson at Preston.

Whichever way you cut it, I would still advocate giving Psycho his Cross Of St. George underpants and telling him to respond to the call of his country! I’d also get shot of my mate Dabo, Hamann, Sun (5 years in England and still can’t speak the language?) Not-So Tricky Trevor, Corrardi, and Jordan. Question: Do we hang onto Samaras and see if a new manager plays him as an out-and-out striker, through the middle and gets something of worth from him? Or do we cut our losses and decide that Psycho’s ‘rough diamond’ is only 50% of what we were led to believe i.e. just rough?

CTID and then some… David Walker <davidjwalker1(at)tiscali.co.uk>

OPINION: WIN PERCENTAGE

In terms of “win percentages”, as this table shows, Stuart Pearce is far from the worst performing manager of Manchester City:

                               Pl    W     D     L     F     A    GD   W%
 1      Samuel COWAN           30   20     6     4    53    27    26   67
 2      Thomas E. MALEY       150   89    22    39   322   179   143   59
 3      John P. HART           22   11     5     6    26    22     4   50
 4      Peter HODGE           261  122    59    80   583   448   135   47
 5      Samuel ORMEROD        240  111    50    79   432   353    79   46
 6      Wilfred WILD          612  283   115   214  1316  1045   271   46
 7      Ernest J. MANGNALL    493  226   111   156   775   620   155   46
 8      Melvyn MACHIN         130   59    27    44   225   178    47   45
 9      Joseph MERCER OBE     340  149    94    97   526   366   160   44
10      Joseph Kevin KEEGAN   176   77    39    60   299   223    76   44
11      Peter REID            136   59    31    46   199   166    33   43
12      Joseph ROYLE          171   74    46    51   261   192    69   43
13      George Henry POYSER    89   38    17    34   159   137    22   43
14      Anthony K. BOOK       269  114    75    80   406   309    97   42
15      Albert ALEXANDER Snr   31   13     8    10    80    56    24   42
16      John F. BOND          123   51    32    40   171   152    19   41
17      Malcolm ALLISON        78   32    21    25   119   106    13   41
18      William McNEILL MBE   156   63    42    51   223   183    40   40
19      Harry J. NEWBOULD     245   93    61    91   390   376    14   38
20      Joshua PARLBY          59   22     5    32   129   146   -17   37
21      Leslie J. McDOWALL    592  220   127   245  1049  1136   -87   37
22      Stuart PEARCE          88   32    16    40    97   103    -6   36
23      Howard KENDALL         38   13    18     7    46    37     9   34
24      David G ASHWORTH       59   20    13    26   113   121    -8   34
25      Frank Albert CLARK     59   20    17    22    73    60    13   34
26      Lawrence FURNISS       48   16    10    22    98    99    -1   33
27      Stephen J COPPELL       6    2     1     3     7    10    -3   33
28      Ronald SAUNDERS        29    9    10    10    38    33     5   31
29      John "Jock" THOMSON   115   35    35    45   122   156   -34   30
30      Brian HORTON           96   29    33    34   118   130   -12   30
31      Alan James BALL        49   13    14    22    49    70   -21   27
32      Malcolm  ALLISON       60   15    20    25    64    97   -33   25
33      James Letson FRIZZELL  42   10    12    20    40    61   -21   24
34      Philip George NEAL     10    2     1     7    11    19    -8   20
35      John Harvey BENSON     17    3     2    12    13    32   -19   18

Steve Kay <steve(at)mcfcstats.com>

OPINION: MEASURED OPTIMISM

After today’s excellent result versus Middlesbrough, I am particularly pleased that the players’ endeavour over the last two games has met with a modicum of success. It just goes to show what can be achieved if the right amount of desire is in the right place.

I am also delighted for Stuart Pearce, who has well-earned the right to sleep easy, for a while. He was right to remain faithful with Issakson, and right to remain faithful with Mpenza. I am also delighted for the travelling fans, today.

It is a pity we cannot quickly ride the wave with this result but, due to the enforced two-weeks international break, this makes it impossible.

No doubt there are those amongst us who shall be over-buoyed by this latest result.

However, I would suggest it be put entirely into perspective, simply err on the side of caution and not get too carried away at this very early stage. Do not forget our opponents today were apparently missing four regular players and so were fielding an under-strength side. The club also, I’m sure, had in the back of their minds their upcomng Cup replay.

However, that aside, an excellent result, today – with deserved measured optimism for the next encounter. It is up to Stuart to maintain the players’ focus as we, hopefully, continue the momentum.

Onwards and Upwards!

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)yahoo.com>

OPINION: BARTON

If that idiot Barton wants to play in all of these competitions as quoted, can he please do so with another club? I have never had such a split down the middle debate regarding one player. Half of City’s support love him, I on the other hand despise him. I am not alone.

I nearly got into a spot of bother on Wednesday night with some neanderthal dude. And so passionately do I stand by my hatred for Barton on virtually every level, I was well up for it. “Barton, stay away from that free kick” to which Mr Ten Men replies, “what the bleep is bleeping wrong with you having a bleeping go at Barton?”

Well, like the 32 free kicks, passes, corners and ‘touches’ Barton was the deliverer of, it hit a Chelsea defender and was subsequently hoofed upfield to aid another Chelsea attack. Simply “that” my perfectly backed-up retort.

Whoever lauds this hugely egoed ne’r-do-good needs to evaluate the bigger picture. I absolutely hate the guy. He’s not clever enough to be in the position he thinks he’s in. Opinionated and ill informed are two sensibilities that need to be kept very apart. His comments during the course of the week, are that of a naïve child. He cannot be allowed to address such potentially damaging topics whilst being ill educated.

And even though I personally thought his “World Cup stars’ books” comments were hilarious, his misguidedness put him in an awkward position later. God knows how he got in the England squad in the first place.

He is a virus our club need not carry. Get rid of him in the summer, if anyone will take him. Taxi for Barton – er I mean…

Joel Perry <j.perry(at)mondiale.co.uk>

OPINION: SING YOUR HEART OUT FOR THE LADS

Anyone who read my piece a few editions ago knows how disillusioned I am with the Premier League in general and City in particular, but once a Blue always a Blue.

We are p****d off because we care, right? We would die in that shirt, right? We would sweat blood for the cause, right? The next few games are vital. Remember Bury, Northampton, Stockport. We never want to go there again. We care and the players don’t, right?

We are being told all the time how great our support is. Let’s take it to another level, everyone reading this, the cynics, the optimists, the diehards, the moaners. Do not worry about singing on your own, Sing for 90 minutes, ‘Stuart Pearce’s Blue and White Army’ can be kept going for ages. Sing for long enough and people will join in. If you’d die to wear that shirt will you lose your voice? Come on Blues, ‘Stuart Pearce’s Blue and White Army!’

Mike ‘the Blue Doctor’ Strahand <bluedoctor(at)btconnect.com>

OPINION: STOP THE MOANING I

I think we all feel this way. For some of us it has been too much and I can understand this. A lot of things have gone wrong and are continuing to do so. What I have had enough of is not believing in the coach and the players he puts out on the park. I have decided that we will scrape together at least another 6 points and this will be enough for us to stay up.

The question then is what about next season? I believe Pearce is the man but he needs some wise counsel – easy to say I know but surely we can find him some support?

We have too many players on the books who are collecting sizeable wages without performance and these people need to go. We need to spend some decent money on some decent players. They exist and my preference is for players from the lower leagues rather than foreign players who struggle to adapt. The bottom line is that a goal sneak is a goal sneak whether he plays for Rochdale or Real Madrid. We need a poacher. We also need to take chances on our own younger players – we have had more success than any club with youngsters lately – give them a game as they cannot do worse than some of the ‘senior’ players currently mis-plying their trade.

We also need a midfielder who can put his foot on the ball and pass. We have got the workhorse midfielders (well at least one). I would like to see us sign a player like Jason Koumas, a bit of a throwback to a different era and can only run in one direction (forward) but it would be entertaining. To be honest I’d rather get relegated playing the most attractive football possible than what is currently happening.

Finally, points sometimes come from the strangest places and 2 wins will make all the difference. So I sit here resigned to the fact that I have had enough of not believing.

Oscar Cook <oscarcook(at)aol.com>

OPINION: STOP THE MOANING II

I know there has been much speculation about SP and his failure to effectively coach our strike force. Let’s get real here, SP has not been blessed with an abundance of transfer funds since he took over from KK (mainly because of Keegan’s profligate waste of millions of pounds).

He has tried to patch together a strike force on the cheap and it just hasn’t worked. Blame him? No! Blame the board. Yes!

Our strikers, even in their prime, have not been prolific goal scorers. True, Samaras has been a major disappointment but he is the only striker he has laid out real money for. I can’t remember if Vassell was bought by SP but he has never been a goal scorer.

Replacing Pearce would be a bad move. He is still learning to coach at the Premiership level but he is the best manager the side has had for many a long year. Does anyone really want to go back to the managerial merry go round of a decade ago? Support Pearce with transfer cash. Encourage him to hire a strike force coach for the team who can motivate the players.

Let’s all recognize that we have a solid defence, a competitive midfield and a lousy strike force. Give Pearce the time and resources to get it right.

CTID, Mike Edwards <Cityfan2(at)bellsouth.net>

OPINION: BEST FANS IN THE LAND?

I’m not in total disagreement with Mike Holden’s recent contributions, particularly where he criticises the club’s impatience with managers. He is also right to be appalled at the fans’ response at the end of the Blackburn game.

However, I see this as an isolated incident unlike anything I have witnessed since a game at Elm Park in the year we went down to the third division (or whatever it was called at the time). My point is that the fans have stuck with the club through thick and thin and despite high admission prices we now get historically high attendances both at home and away.

Interestingly, Mike identifies 1981 as the last time we had any sort of success. John Bond was the manager at the time and he had transformed fortunes at the club in a quite miraculous fashion. After City had failed to win any of the first 12 games that season, Malcolm Allison was sacked. Bond won eight of the next 12 games and City went on to reach the League Cup semi-final and played in the 100th FA Cup Final against Tottenham.

So, ironically Mike has cited a year in which sacking a manager paid dividends (please don’t assume from this that I am advocating the removal of Pearce).

Interestingly enough, in that season City won their FA Cup quarter final immediately before playing a home league game on 14 March 1981. The attendance for that league game against West Brom was 36,000. This Wednesday, 14 March 2007, despite just losing a quarter final City attracted a crowd of 39,000. The support was far from negative despite yet another home game without a goal.

So, Mike, please could you give us an example of another club whose fans have stuck with them so loyally without, once in a blue moon, losing it and regrettably having a go at the players.

John Clancy <Johnny(at)clancers.freeserve.co.uk>

OPINION: BREAKING POINT

I thought I’d share this little snippet. Over the last few weeks it appears that we’ve had nothing but negativity. The recent McVittees are making increasingly depressing reading, as loyal fan after loyal fan is approaching breaking point.

The amount of people who have declared that they are going to do the hitherto unthinkable and not renew their season tickets is particularly worrying. I can really sympathise with the mood.

As a Dublin based Blue I have been using a mate’s season tickets to get to games, with the few bob I’d give him helping to fund the next season’s purchase. It’s an expensive enough trip, with return flights, tickets and grub for me and my nine-year-old lad, so I’d only get 4-5 games max in a season. I’ve been sharing the gloom about the place, considering my last three visits to the CoMS were for Blackburn, Reading and Wigan. Pretty depressing stuff you’ll agree.

Reading the genuine despair increasingly expressed in McVittee has only fuelled the spiral downwards in mood, knowing fully that, unlike myself, the people concerned are in the main from around Manchester, and the club’s (mis)fortunes are therefore felt even more keenly. The recent survey from Steve Kay, which I participated in, turned out to be another source of gloom, though it gave me a forum to express some of my concerns regarding the game.

My particular hate these days is feigning injury. Totally anathema to a game rooted in controlled physical expression and aggression. So with the game as a whole being ruined by rich a***holes with no bottle and no pride in themselves, and my own team playing the worst I’ve seen them in years, I have to say that my enthusiasm for footie has been at a low ebb.

I have to say though, that my spirits have been seriously lifted with two gems from Daire, my young lad, the aforementioned travelling companion and fellow City sufferer. His simple views made me ashamed of myself. One was on the field and the other was off it. The on-field incident occurred Saturday morning, when Daire was playing against the runaway league leaders. I could see why they were so far ahead – some of these lads were seriously stretching the limit for 9 year olds – one of them looked like he probably got the morning off work for the game! Anyway, with a minute or two to go, Daire’s team was somehow one-nil up, and it was real Alamo stuff as it had been for most of the game. The ball came to the horse of a lad, and he started off for goal but slightly overhit the ball on his run. Daire, who is one of the smaller lads on his team, saw his chance and made what could be described as a suicidal tackle on this man-child, and came up with the ball which he passed to a mate. The final whistle blew up shortly after, for a famous but rather jammy victory. After the handshakes etc, instead of going over to the rest of the team, Daire came over to me, hid in my coat and started crying. I soon found out why. He had shipped a rather nasty gash to the lower leg during the last tackle with the boy-mountain. I asked him why he didn’t go down for treatment, and he said ‘because I didn’t want the big lad to know he hurt me’. God, I was proud of him.

The off-field incident occurred the next day. Black Sunday. City vs. Blackburn. As you can imagine, Daire’s class in school is composed 95% plus of Scum, Pool, Gooner and more recently, Chelski fans. I guess that’s par for the course for schools outside England since there’s no local top level team to support. Anyhow, as the only City fan (in the entire school of 300 pupils, I think) you can imagine he gets quite a bit of ribbing, and the recent run has hardly helped matters. He got plenty of it the Monday after each of his last 3 visits to the CoMS, and you know how cruel kids can be.

Anyway, after another abject performance, I told him I reckoned he wasn’t looking forward to school next morning, to which I got hearty agreement. ‘My mates have been trying to get me to support Liverpool or United’ he then said. ‘What did you say to them?’ I asked, fearing this was his intro into breaking news of his defection to me. He simply said ‘I said Are you mad? Youse are only glory hunters!’ I had to laugh at his ability to turn the fact that we’re c**p right now into a virtue!

Like I said, this kid has lifted my spirits no end. He wouldn’t know it as such, but in those two incidents he demonstrated to me a considerable strength in character, and a sense that all is not lost if only we tough it out.

Keep the faith folks.

John Breen <Breen(at)hp.com>

OPINION: MOVING ON

So the cracks are starting to appear in the Stuart Pearce façade and to be honest I am more than a little disappointed.

I listened to BBC radio today and the following words were attributed to SP “I won’t quit the club, even if I don’t think I can turn things round”. Now he may have been trying to say that he is steadfast in his efforts to do the job and committed to the club, but that’s not how it was understood by me.

The guy is honest and straightforward and doesn’t want any clauses in his contract to compensate him if he is fired. That is the attitude of the man as I understood him. Now he is a man who is going to cling on to power for as long as possible even if he relegates the club, destroys it financially, buys badly, sells the family silver or whatever.

Are these the words of a man who cares about the club and its support? Are these the words of a responsible leader of men?

The least I would expect from any manager at any level who was certain in his own mind that he could do no more, and was unable to ‘turn things round’ would be his voluntary departure. To act otherwise, let alone to openly state that you would act otherwise, is remarkably arrogant and destructive.

In my opinion whatever respect I had for SP is now gone, and I really think he owes us all an apology. And <gulp> I’m about to say it.. I think he show go now.

He has shown a remarkably inflexible attitude in his team selection and tactics as well as a bafflingly simplistic attitude towards attacking play. I put that down to him learning his trade but now it seems that, all things considered his ‘honest john’ persona is the full package.

He would run through walls for you, break his leg and keep playing, that you would want him on your side in a fight are all very nice attributes but right now I want a man who knows how to be crafty and clever, inventive and challenging. We have the wrong guy and he isn’t going, apparently unless he is fired.

Andy Morris <andy(at)cyberchaos.co.uk>

OPINION: STRENGTH IN ADVERSITY

Does it get any worse than this? Like some of your contributors, I couldn’t be bothered to watch the Blackburn match because of the predictable outcome and the well-anticipated lack of effort, guile and an ability to shoot at goal.

The Chelsea effort was better and honourable but the fact remains that Cech had very little to do. I knew we were in trouble at the very beginning of the season when I saw the kit. Like Kevan Jones (MCIVTA 1310) City should have resorted to the classic late 60’s/early 70’s strip with white shorts and the round badge. The latter resembles the insignia of some former Hapsburg Ruritanian Margravate and I’ve never known us to consistently do well with blue pants. Yes, I’m superstitious about this and feel it dilutes our identity.

It’s 17.26 on Saturday and I’ve deliberately ignored the results service, preferring to watch MOTD later instead but, being Welsh, I will now turn the box on to see if my rugby heroes can overturn England. All in all – fat chance! I hope I’m wrong but for the sake of unalloyed miserable consistency throughout this dire season, I fully expect City to go down and Y Cymry to pick up the wooden spoon. Oh happy days!

And yes, I do have a replica shirt. Guess circa which era.

Stop Press!

What’s going on? City increase their goals for tally in the league by a whopping 10% and beat Boro; at Rugby, we overcome England; the Irish and Bangladesh beat Pakistan and India, respectively, at cricket. As for City, is this yet another false dawn or do we manage the unthinkable and get beaten and relegated by the Rags, of all people, in our last home game?

[Now that last statement is just a conspiracy too fare, Dafydd! – Ed]

Dafydd Goronwy-Roberts <dafydd.Roberts(at)wales.gsi.gov.uk>

OPINION: MORE EMPTY SEATS?

When City play Charlton on Good Friday wouldn’t it be brilliant for MCFC to reduce ticket prices drastically to ensure a full house to cheer the lads on in an effort to get all three points and so give us a good chance of avoiding the drop?

Unfortunately the people running City (badly) are more inclined to stick the prices up and forcing more fans to stay at home. Three weeks before the Chelsea game the cheapest tickets were £36 each.

Don’t Mr Mackintosh and Co. want a full house any more?

Don Price <cathdon.price(at)virgin.net>

REQUEST: WATFORD TICKET

I’m coming back to England for a rare visit at the end of April, and I’m hoping to get hold of a ticket for the game at Watford on Saturday 21 April. Does anyone have a spare?

And, watching the YouTube Wembley play-off final highlights reminded me of one thing… Kevin Horlock’s goal was absolutely superb! A lesser player might have slashed at it, but he kept his composure and stroked it home smooth as could be. Let’s not forget that without super Kev, Dicky’s goal would have just been a consolation.

Peter Sidell <pjs310867(at)yahoo.co.uk>

REQUEST: STAT ATTACK

Anyone able to supply the attendance figure please for the International Friendly/Thomas Cook Trophy fixture against Olympiacos (beginning of season 2005/06)?

I have tried the usual Stats sites to no avail. I have seen a figure (in the MEN report) but it is conflicting with another written article, which is just as vague.

If you are able to reply would you also please state your source.

Many thanks, Colin Darvill <colin.darvill(at)baesystems.com>

RESULTS

18 March 2007

Aston Villa           0 - 0  Liverpool             42,551
Charlton Athletic     2 - 0  Newcastle United      27,028
Everton               1 - 0  Arsenal               37,162

17 March 2007

Blackburn Rovers      1 - 2  West Ham United       18,591
Chelsea               3 - 0  Sheffield United      41,897
Manchester United     4 - 1  Bolton Wanderers      76,058
Middlesbrough         0 - 2  Manchester City       26,427
Reading               0 - 0  Portsmouth            24,087
Tottenham Hotspur     3 - 1  Watford               36,051
Wigan Athletic        0 - 0  Fulham                16,001

League table to 18 March 2007 inclusive

                             HOME          AWAY        OVERALL
                    P  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F  A  W  D  L  F   A   GD Pts
 1 Manchester Utd  30 13  1  1 39  9 11  2  2 31 11 24  3  3  70  20  50  75
 2 Chelsea         30 11  4  0 33  8 10  2  3 21 11 21  6  3  54  19  35  69
 3 Arsenal         29  9  5  0 34 11  7  2  6 17 13 16  7  6  51  24  27  55
 4 Liverpool       30 11  3  1 29  4  5  3  7 15 16 16  6  8  44  20  24  54
 5 Bolton Wndrs    30  8  3  4 21 14  6  2  7 14 24 14  5 11  35  38  -3  47
 6 Everton         30  8  4  3 22 11  4  6  5 16 15 12 10  8  38  26  12  46
 7 Tottenham H.    30 10  1  4 28 18  3  5  7 15 26 13  6 11  43  44  -1  45
 8 Reading         30  9  2  4 26 16  4  3  8 17 22 13  5 12  43  38   5  44
 9 Portsmouth      30  8  4  3 22 12  3  5  7 14 19 11  9 10  36  31   5  42
10 Blackburn R.    30  7  2  6 20 18  5  2  8 16 23 12  4 14  36  41  -5  40
11 Newcastle Utd   30  7  5  3 23 17  3  2 10 11 22 10  7 13  34  39  -5  37
12 Middlesbrough   30  8  3  4 21 16  1  6  8 11 20  9  9 12  32  36  -4  36
13 Aston Villa     30  6  5  4 15 12  1  8  6 14 23  7 13 10  29  35  -6  34
14 Fulham          30  6  5  4 14 13  1  8  6 17 31  7 13 10  31  44 -13  34
15 Manchester City 29  5  4  6 10 13  4  2  8 12 21  9  6 14  22  34 -12  33
16 Wigan Athletic  30  5  3  7 14 20  4  3  8 16 24  9  6 15  30  44 -14  33
17 Sheff. United   30  5  6  4 18 17  3  1 11  7 27  8  7 15  25  44 -19  31
18 Charlton Ath.   30  6  3  6 17 17  1  3 11 11 32  7  6 17  28  49 -21  27
19 West Ham United 30  5  2  8 17 21  1  3 11  6 30  6  5 19  23  51 -28  23
20 Watford         30  2  7  6 13 20  1  4 10  6 26  3 11 16  19  46 -27  20

With thanks to Football 365

MCIVTA FAQ [v0607.01]

[1] MCIVTA Addresses

Articles (Heidi Pickup)          : editor@mcivta.city-fan.org
News/rumour (Don Barrie)         : news@mcivta.city-fan.org
Subscriptions (Madeleine Hawkins): subscriptions@mcivta.city-fan.org
Technical problems (Paul)        : paul@city-fan.org
FAQ (David Warburton)            : faq@mcivta.city-fan.org

[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

http://www.uit.no/mancity/ 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 http://www.mcfc.co.uk/

[5] What supporters’ clubs are there?

Manchester City FC recognises three supporters’ clubs: The “Official Supporters Club” (http://www.mcfcosc.com/); the “Centenary Supporters’ Association” (http://www.reddishblues.com/CSAWebsite/CSA.htm) 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 Radio Manchester (née GMR) pre and post match phone-in is available on the web at http://www.bbc.co.uk/manchester/sport/manchester_city/index.shtml.

Live match commentaries and archives of games, reports and interviews can be found at http://mcfc.videoloungetv.com/do/preLogin?clubSiteCode=MCFC&CMP=AFC-003.

[8] Where can I find out if City are live on satellite TV?

http://www.satfootball.com/pl.html provides a listing of Premiership games being shown on UK domestic and foreign satellite channels. Useful sites for North American viewers are http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer, http://www.soccertv.com/, and http://www.livesoccertv.com/.

[9] Do we have a Usenet newsgroup?

Yes we do: uk.sport.football.clubs.man-city is our home on usenet. If you are not familiar with usenet, a basic explanation is available here: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,289893,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 http://www.uit.no/mancity/players/

[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 Plus Markets Group web site http://www.plusmarketsgroup.com/ 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 http://www.mcfcstats.com/.

[13] I hear there is a TV programme specifically about City?

InsideMCFC is broadcasted by ChannelM. It is available on the SkyDigital (ch.203) and NTL (ch.26) platforms as well as being transmittedtraditionally within the Manchester area (ch.39). In addition, theprogramme is available to watch via the web. More details and schedule:http://www.channelm.co.uk/features/city.html


DISCLAIMER
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, editor@mcivta.city-fan.org

Newsletter #1311

2007/03/19

Editor:


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on Pinterest