Newsletter #1320

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News and reaction tonight to the weekend game against Liverpool and midweek at Arsenal. We also have match views and reports thanks to David ‘live’, and our overseas viewers.

Don also brings us Richards’ nomination for PFA Young Player of the Year, transfer news including the latest hot off the press from Mpenza, new kit and a host of other bizarre tales.

Next game: Watford, away, 3pm Saturday 21 April 2007

NEWS SUMMARY

General News

Big News for the Big Lad: Micah Richards has been shortlisted for the Professional Footballers’ Association’s Young Player of the Year award, to be named at a posh do in London this coming Sunday. The PFA’s Chief Executive Gordon Taylor said of Micah: “He is a giant of a lad and I was delighted to see him called up to the England squad, and even more thrilled that he took it on his broad, young shoulders [steady now, Gordon] and coped so well with his elevation to the international stage.” In an impressive season for Richards, he has earnt four England caps and been a consistent performer for the Blues. A City spokesman said today: “It is a great honour for the Club to have one of our players nominated for this award and it has again shown that the hard work done at our Academy has paid off.”

Intertoto No No: City will not be playing a string of obscure European teams this summer – Stuart Pearce has ruled out the possibility of City sneaking into European competition via the Intertoto route. “We just felt as though it (the Intertoto Cup) was not beneficial for us to do that, we wanted to qualify by right, but we haven’t and have decided not to do that,” he said. The Boss has also been musing, as we reach the end of the season, on the state of football and of the Premiership. “The Premiership is extremely one-sided,” he said. “There is a massive gorge between the top four and the rest of the league and you have to realise, the more years that tick by, the harder it becomes for anyone else to win something. You look at the statistics and you can see it is the big boys who win the trophies, so the finances sloshing around in the game just now mean it is not a fair playing field.” And with Charlton, West Ham and Fulham all axing their respective managers through the course of the season, SP admits that he too could have been shown the door, so was full of praise for John Wardle and the directors for their patience. He told the M.E.N.: “I don’t understand, at times, the short-term view professional football has taken and the direction it has gone in. Everyone I speak to and who is linked with the game, whether it be management or coaching, cannot understand it either. It is probably mirroring society. Earlier on in the season I couldn’t understand why West Ham changed Alan Pardew considering what he had done for them over a length of time. But, then again, I find it quite strange that Chris Coleman has been moved on. I have a fantastically supportive chairman. He was very supportive to Kevin Keegan in his time as well. You know exactly what job you have to do. People alongside you make decisions on your future. My chairman has been very good. He has been very level-headed about where the club is and where it stands. When we have had inconsistent runs this season, he has kept the faith. Fair play to him for that, but I didn’t expect anything less from him.”

The Sporting Chicken’s Back: Thanks to Heidi’s research, we can reveal that City are changing their kit supplier this summer. Not that the club have announced this yet – the news reaches us via the circuitous route of the JJB website, which lists a July release for City’s home kit. Here’s the link for those interested: http://www.jjbsports.com/replicalaunch.php. So stand by for a return to memories of the Division One Championship win, Shaun Goater robbing Gary Neville and slotting home from an acute angle… marvellous.

Full Mentel Jackett: City’s Reserves beat Blackburn 1-0 this week, thanks to a Daniel Sturridge goal on the stroke of half time. And it took the Second XI to the top of the Premiership’s Reserve League. Coach Kenny Jackett handed a début to teenage goalkeeper Filip Mentel, and he made three impressive saves to deny the home team an equaliser. Jackett told the club website: “I’m very pleased with the result, the players showed a terrific attitude in a battling performance at the end of the season, on a very bobbly pitch. I’m pleased to say that Daniel Sturridge scored with a header from a corner, which put our noses in front, and we saw a very good début from young Filip Mentel in goal. The two teams were pretty evenly matched, they were both young teams that were about the same in terms of age and first team experience and it was nip-and-tuck all the way through. It was a good goal by Daniel from a Marc Laird corner that got us in front, and it was a good defensive performance after that that made sure we took all three points.”

Transfer News and Gossip

Farewell, Sidwell: The Guardian amongst others report that Newcastle United will sign Steve Sidwell from Reading this summer. City were sniffing around Sidwell last summer, but the midfielder chose to see out his contract with the Royals – this deal ends this summer. There have been plenty of rumours floating around about the 24-year-old involving City, Aston Villa and Everton. Reading manager, Steve Coppell has resigned himself to the fact that Sidwell is leaving. Coppell said: “If Siddy goes I’ve got to get at least one more in and maybe two.”

Juan to Watch: Could City be seeking a replacement for Sylvain Distin? The Mirror says that SP dashed off after Saturday’s Liverpool game to head for Seville where the hard as rock 30-year-old centre-half was playing against relegation rivals Real Sociedad. Juanito played in the last World Cup finals for Spain but is interested in a move to England for a final pay day in his career. Real Betis captain Juanito admits he was unaware of City’s interest. “I know nothing of [interest from] Manchester City,” Juanito told skysports.com. “I only know the news in the English press but I have not spoken with them directly. My unique objective is to play and to help Betis to avoid relegation.”

Kamara Snapped: Striking links with City are much in vogue this week. City have joined Everton, Reading, Aston Villa (not them again) and a host of Italian clubs in the race to sign West Brom hitman Diomansy Kamara. City boss Stuart Pearce was at The Hawthorns last Friday and watched Sheffield Wednesday grab a 1-0 victory. It is believed he was keeping tabs on Albion striker Kamara, as well as Owls’ winger Chris Brunt. And with Everton wanting to move for Preston striker David Nugent, the Toffees will allow James Beattie to move on. City, Newcastle and Portsmouth are all said to be interested in Beattie. And at the younger, slimmer end of the market – the Blues are in the race to sign Arsenal striker Jeremie Aliadiére who looks to be on his way in the summer. Arsene Wenger is preparing to offload a number of fringe players from his squad that he feels have not been up to the mark this season in order to free up funds to spend elsewhere. The first name on his list is likely to be Aliadiére, who is attracting interest from a number of clubs including City.

Reactions and Comments

Blank Looks – Again: Well waddya know, another scoreless draw at the COMS. DaMarcus Beasley hit the crossbar as he came closest to breaking the deadlock in an uninspiring draw with Liverpool on Saturday. Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant had an early chance but his stabbed shot was saved by ‘keeper Andreas Isaksson. City’s best opening came when Beasley cut inside and saw his 75th-minute strike come back off the woodwork. And it looked like City had a claim for a stonewall penalty (as we footie folk like to say) for a Jamie Carragher handball but their protestations came to naught. SP left before the post-match press conference. First team coach Steve Wigley said: “Stuart has had to fly off somewhere, maybe a scouting trip somewhere and he had a plane to catch.” The Sunday journals reckoned he’d gone to Spain. Wigley may not have been a very successful Premiership manager, but he sure knows how to put spin on an unpromising situation. He said: “For us it was a good point, Liverpool were champions of Europe 18 months ago and they could just as easily achieve that status again in a few weeks’ time. We have now gone five games without defeat, we have pulled away from the relegation zone and the team has a determination about them to go right to the end of the season. We have 41 points now, but we want to get more and end on a high. We knew it would be a difficult game but we are delighted. Five games ago we were cannon fodder for everybody. Now we are five games unbeaten, conceding one goal in that run. We’re delighted with our progress. We have worked ourselves into a position of 11th and we’ve got to consolidate on that.”

Not So Raffish Rafa: Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez didn’t sound enthralled by his day at the COMS: “In football you need to take your chances and in the first half we had three or four. We needed to score. In the second half we were under a little pressure. We knew it could be a difficult game because of the Champions’ League semi-final and trying to keep the players focused will be the key. I’m disappointed with the result,” he added. “We started the game well, we were moving the ball around and going forward and we had a number of clear chances. We dominated the possession in that first half but we needed to score a goal. Towards the end of the game we were under more pressure from long throws and free kicks but I don’t think they made any clear opportunities. We were talking before the game about the need to win this match. Now we have one point more but one game less to play. If we’d won today and then won our next match we could have been talking about Champions’ League qualification. I don’t think the Chelsea game had anything to do with it today. We know people will be talking about those matches and if we’d started as we finished the game today then maybe you could say we were thinking about the semi-final. But, as I said, we started well and just needed to score.”

Get Fifty! On Tuesday Arsenal moved back into third spot in the Premiership to effectively guarantee Champions’ League football, but at least City gave them a bit of a turn. The North Londoners won 3-1, with goals from Tomas Rosicky, Cesc Fabregas and Julio Baptista. DaMarcus Beasley netted for the visitors, who faded in the end after a bright start. Stuart Pearce said: “We probably should have got a point. With 60 minutes gone I am very comfortable and the fans are booing Arsenal. It is a nice feeling when you are away from home, and then one of their players has pulled out a wonder strike.” Pearce added: “We will go home disappointed – but we will learn from it. Well I thought on 75 minutes, it’s 1-1 at Emirates Stadium, they’ve had a bit of possession but not really threatened our goal a great deal but obviously a touch of brilliance and a great strike has enabled them to get in front,” Pearce told Sky Sports. “We had a couple of chances after that, one flagged for offside. The endeavour of the players was fantastic, I was pleased with the way they stuck at it and done what we asked them to do and I was disappointed for them not to get a result to be honest.” Asked what his targets were for the last few games, Pearce added: “Get fifty (points).”

Bap’s Out – Of Order: Arsene Wenger wants his team to remain focussed on finishing up the league. “It’s important to finish as high as you can,” Wenger told Sky Sports. “I think we deserved the win tonight, we had a lot of possession, created a lot of chances and when Manchester City came back to 1-1, it was a test in the second half but we kept our game, were patient and scored. That changed it, because after that City changed their shape and opened more up and of course we had many chances to score the third goal. Before that they waited for us in the final third and we needed to pass the ball quickly and find that second goal.” City must have done something right, because Arsenal had to suffer the unusual experience of being booed by their own fans. “They pay their money – I completely understand. It is down to us to transport them to a different world,” opined the lyrical French supremo. The day after the City game Arsenal’s on-loan striker Julio Baptista was moaning about not enjoying his time in England. Bearing in mind the team he’d just been playing against, I can’t think to whom he was referring when he said: “The teams from the north of England are terrible,” he told The Times. “When we play them I have counted their centre-backs booting up to 30 long balls upfield per game.” Next it was the fault of the weather. “The weather over here is killing me. We’ll get one day of sunshine for every 30 days of rain, and it is driving me to despair. My girlfriend and my mother are frightened about not seeing the sun in England. They miss being in Madrid.”

Curse You City! – Again… I don’t know if we can include this in the “Curse of the Blues” list (as discussed last week) but one whole day after playing City, Arsenal’s “power behind the throne” Vice Chairman David Dein, left the North London club in mysterious circumstances. And the Gooners didn’t even lose to City! And in an attempt to extend their repertoire of doom – on Saturday City’s trail of destruction takes them to Vicarage Road, where a victory could condemn Watford to relegation.

Squad News

Five Year Stretch? There’s been progress in keeping Emile Mpenza at the club, according to reports this week. The Belgium international has impressed for City since joining the club on a short-term deal in February and has scored twice in five starts. “In my mind, I am already with City,” the 28-year-old said in the Evening News. “Only the fine details need to be sorted out now. It is not about money, otherwise I would have stayed in Qatar. I will never forget that it was City and Stuart Pearce who gave me my chance in England. If it was up to me, I would sign for five or six years. I like the city, the team and the coach. He saw me twice and he showed faith in me. I want to repay that.” [News hot of the press tonight, Mpenza confirmed at the Roadshow that he hopes to be signing for City “trés bientôt” – Ed]

Still Wide of Damark: If it’s a green light to Mpenza staying with the club, DaMarcus Beasley is still looking at the amber light. SP has professed himself to be unsure as to the future for the American, who’s on loan from PSV Eindhoven till the summer. “I will probably decide on DaMarcus in the last week of the season,” revealed Pearce. “I would have liked him to have played more games but the odd injury before Christmas has stopped him from doing that. But there is a lot of football to be played between now and the summer. If he features in every game we play, and if he starts every game, he will have done extremely well. There is a buy-out clause in DaMarcus’ contract, so now the ball is firmly in his court.” Beasley pretty much confirmed that his City future was less than clear cut. “I have another year at PSV but City has the option to take it if they choose,” he says. “I haven’t talked to anyone so I don’t know what’s going to happen but I hope something can happen. I’m just trying to enjoy these last few games, hopefully I’ll stay in the side and help the team finish as high in the table as we can. The injuries I had were frustrating, I had a couple of runs in the side but went back and forth a bit. It’s good to be in the team and feel like you are part of the team, when you are contributing it feels good. Playing gives you confidence, I feel that when I get going with a couple of games I can get more confidence to do what I do, and get the club to change their mind and maybe keep me.”

Michael Johnson Runs Into Form: Steve Wigley’s been bigging up his gaffer (never a bad thing) for his decision to give Michael Johnson a run in the first team. Steve says: “It was very brave and a good decision of Stuart to put him in the team against Middlesbrough away, when a few journalists around the country thought that there was an axe hanging over his own neck. Sticking a 19-year-old in then took a little bit of bravery but Michael’s showed some bravery out on the pitch as well. I always felt it was inevitable that he could progress into the first team,” Steve continues. “I thought that he had the ability and the demeanour that other young players I’ve seen in the past have had and I think he’ll have a very good career at this football club. He’s a local lad, I think he’s enjoyed this run in the team but he felt in his own mind that he was ready.”


You lucky people will be having a break from my ramblings next week. But fear not, Sarah Longshaw will be bringing you all that’s being reported from planet City in the next seven days. All news contributions to the usual address, please.

Don Barrie <news(at)mcivta.city-fan.org>

MATCH REPORT ‘LIVE’: AFC 3 MCFC 1 AND FUTURE

Thought I’d chuck in a bleary eyed two penneth after last night’s late return home from the Arse. First of all, I’ve got to say, what a ground! Now that is a fabulous stadium. A fitting successor to a tired Highbury. The seating is deep, wide and with bags of legroom. At £32, which I still think is dear for football, it is in the bargain basement in London. Two particular Northern Premiership clubs that reduced their prices only after the biggest teams had been should take note. The whole stadium oozes class and ambition. A professional finish we might have emulated ourselves – Why haven’t we fitted two decent score boards at ours still? When can we access the ground from a purpose built walkway under B of the Bang? There are still remnants of a building site at the Bluecamp. Here, the job had clearly been finished and it is a superb ground with an awe-inspiring approach. Head and shoulders above any ground I have ever visited, home or abroad. Ours could be so much more.

As to the game. I like SP and I still think he could do a job with better, more experienced and forward (on the pitch type forward) thinking coaches. He is our man. I hope he stays and adds Brian Kidd or someone of that ilk to the backroom (due deference to Fred Eyre for the thought). I don’t go with the tactical naïvety line as I have seen him produce some remarkable cats out of the bag with the players at his disposal. However – and you knew that was coming – the substitutions last night were too late and not of the right quality.

At the half time warm up it was plain to see Samaras’ confidence is shot to pieces. Ireland produced a majestic display of nonchalant passes that mere mortals could only dream of executing, whilst Georgious produced what most of us would do in a kick about – which is not good enough for City. I’d loan Gorgeous out for 6-12 months and get his confidence and mental toughness together in a lower league. I think Stuart is getting entrenched and I see signs of the ‘them and us’ persona that comes from an outsider’s view of Steve Wigley. I hope the team know we are on their side and not having a go or claiming to pay their wages – it’s quite clear that 61% of our turnover does that – for any other reason than for the good of the club we love. I believe you’re allowed one dig, Stuart, after all the s**t you’ve taken off the press and fans recently. I would avoid this line of comment if at all possible in future though. I digress.

At 2-1 down, Vassell had run himself into the ground and should have been replaced by Corradi (well Sturridge ideally but Danny was not in the party), as Darius struggled with fatigue to get back from an offside position to capitalize on a rare opening on the hour. At 3-1, and probably before, we should have switched the useless Hamman for a more attacking look with Ireland feeding Corradi and a further forward Beasley. The defence had been breached and it was s**t or bust. Arsenal did look susceptible and I thought a little more adventure might have seized the initiative. The offside decision for our second equalising goal was a travesty. I’ve not seen any replays yet, but I was level with the liner on the opposite side of the pitch and he clearly made an onside call by running with his flag down towards goal after the ball was played and he had considered a tight – but onside – decision. I then watched Beasley lift the ball over Lehman for it to nestle in the back of the net for a much deserved equaliser. Spark scenes of joyous celebration. What happened? Why was this cancelled out? That should have been enough for us to go on and win as Arsenal were shell-shocked. As football does, the tables were turned and the result in the history book reads a 1-3 reverse.

As for the so called fans around me, you’re a disgrace. The positive majority deserve much more praise. I have been home and away and stood with some proper characters. They would have had more respect than to use the sort of language and talk in front of women and kids, as well as any normal fan, than was done last night. I’m not interested in Billy Boys, the IRA or any other songs that have nothing to do with City. Enough said. Well done the supportive and City supporting majority who were there until the end and brilliant in the second half.

We fought well and are just a few more committed and talented players short of a competitive squad. What a find Mikey Johnson is proving to be. I thought he overshadowed Joey. He and Mikey now need competition in the middle. We have not had a stable midfield for the last three years, so I never cease to be amazed at how a greater, but not ridiculous, investment would propel us into competing territory in the Premiership and the cups. Where we should be.

To whom we should invest in. Midfield is the area I still think needs most attention. Talented, young, hungry and committed professionals on the fringes of their respective international teams who can last the duration with only a handful of below par performances in one season. It helps with the fee it they are out of contract, but we should have £20 million to spend in the summer to push us on and stop short changing the drifting support:

In the middle, I’d look at Steve Sidwell if it does not become an auction or test Newcastle’s resolve with a bid for Scott Parker. A cheeky double bid to include James Milner would also shore up the right. He fits the bill as being out of contract in summer as a talented and hungry young footballer on the cusp of the England team. We need more attacking flair and strength on the left – Quincy Owuso-Abeyie, Seba Mila or a look and see if Jiri Jarosic (not so young) can still cut the mustard after his jaunt in chilly jocko land. These would all fit the bill. I think we’ve missed the boat on Matty Taylor, but would love to see him in our colours.

Strikers of genuine quality are required to supplement Sturridge and Mpenza – I don’t think the rest we have should be around next season for reasons various. Suspects I’d consider for a start are: Luke Varney and David Nugent from the Championship or maybe Luton Shelton from the Blades. Pace, power, ability and hunger in abundance. All these for not much.

Release the deadwood. At least eight to go.

That off my chest, I’ll reach for the coffee and get through today and on to some much needed shut eye later.

Whatever you do, stay Blue!

Dave Clinton <daveclinton(at)kisit.co.uk>

MATCH VIEW ‘TV’ I: AFC 3 MCFC 1

It was disappointing to see City lose the game versus the Gooners, for until about the 70th minute we were very much in this game.

The Gooners took the lead from a City defensive mistake. Nedum is young and you could see from the way he put his arms up over his head that he knew he should have moved in to cut off the ball instead of waiting for it and letting Rosicky move in to score. He is young and he will learn from his mistake. Nedum is a very good young player and I hope that he stays with City for many more seasons to come.

Another young player Michael Johnson beat a couple of Gooner players before putting the ball through for Beasley to calmly slot home the equalizer just before half time.

City started the second half with most of the attacking play, fast on the break, with Vassell and Beasley running at the Gooners defence and taking them on.

But then Arsenal went ahead from a well taken goal from Fabergas which gave Isaksson no chance of saving, and in the 80th minute the Beast (Baptista) got the third to make the score 3-1.

It was then that Stuart Pearce had to change his game plan and bring on Corradi and Samaras the rough Cubic Zirconia (fake Diamond), of course we all know only too well what these two strikers can produce; we have watched them for most of the season, and it’s why City have the one of the worst goalscoring records in the Premiership, second only to Watford.

But Stu has little else to offer, or has he? I still do not understand why Daniel Sturridge has not played. I won’t accept that he is too young, how did Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott get their start whilst so young? There has to be another reason that most of us just don’t know about.

Up until about the 70th minute the Stuart Pearce game plan held up, but with limited resources he must have known that we were up against it. The players gave a very good effort, in an Emirates Stadium with near 60,000 spectators, which must be the quietest in football; at times you could have heard a mouse run across the pitch. The only atmosphere created was from the travelling City fans, well done!

Might as well stay in the smoke now until we play Watford, this should be interesting – the two lowest scoring teams against each other, just hope that Mpenza is fit to play. With Beasley and Vassell, and the backing of a good midfield, it should be no problem to score the most goals, our defence is one of the best in the Premiership, when on form. Watford will fight with their last gasp of Premiership football, but I expect City to win this one.

Come on you Blues!

Ernie Barrow <Britcityblue(at)aol.com>

MATCH VIEW ‘TV’: AFC 3 MCFC 1

Well a disappointing result, with questionable tactics at the end, taking off one of our better players for a couple of strikers that couldn’t score in a brothel! Would have preferred going for a 1-1 draw than going for the win and leaving three at the back against Arsenal. Fabregas gave Barton and Johnson a lesson or two, our set plays (corners) were awful as usual.

Still not convinced with the Swedish ‘keeper, don’t think he has been any better than Weaver. Ball needs a decent contract as does Mpenza. Get rid of some of the dead wood, and we might be able to pay them a decent wage.

With Chris Coleman getting the sack, and with him being linked to City, is that just coincidence?

Arsenal play some lovely footie, pity we don’t or can’t. Still, I suppose we can’t all be Keegans, Marshs, Kinkladzes, Bells, but one or two ball players would be nice. Still, we can only dream.

Hope you’re having a lovely holiday Dave!

[Re the substitutions, people have been crying out for us to “chase the game” so when Pearce does, he’s done wrong! – Ed]

Kevin Williamson <scribbs(at)slingshot.co.nz>

OPINION: WHAT’S THE NAME OF THE GAME…

Does it mean anything to you?

That question is addressed to the Manchester City board, because even in the light of vastly increased TV revenue, where even the bottom club in the Premiership will be earning close to £30 million from next season and with plummeting attendances at Eastlands, the board of Manchester City Football Club has refused to cut season ticket prices.

There is absolutely no excuse for football clubs not to reduce ticket prices across the board: Everton, Bolton, Blackburn Rovers and Wigan are cutting theirs, but not the City board who are missing the opportunity to pass on the benefits of the new TV deal to all City fans. Predictably, sales of City season tickets for 2007/2008 are very slow. Cutting prices for U-16s and U-21s is commendable, but their failure to cut adult prices smacks of discrimination against the older fans. Some reward for many years of loyal support.

Never has there been a more fitting time for City fans to have a Supporters’ Trust as this one. There is a school of thought that would suggest that the club want to get rid of the older support and replace us with younger supporters who are less inclined to ask awkward questions of them. One would hope that is not the thinking within the corridors of power at Eastlands.

I have been a season ticket holder for the last 12 years, and have been one whenever I could be since 1985/1986 (that’s 18 years out of the last 22) with the only years that I didn’t renew being because of reasons totally unrelated to City. OK, that’s not as many years as some who were around for those glory days of Bell, Lee, Summerbee et al, but like many of you, I’ve stuck with it.

There has been a lot of fun and a lot of heartache, but I’d say that normally the club has tried to play entertaining football. I’ve watched us in three divisions and never considered giving up my season ticket in the light of any of the 5 relegations, not even when we went down to the 3rd division in 1988, in fact, I felt compelled not to miss a minute of action at home and get to as many away games as possible in that time. The defeat at York in 1998 that pushed us into 12th place in the 3rd grade was depressing, but like many of you, I still felt compelled to go Maine Road week-in, week-out even as I trudged out of Bootham Crescent.

In those days, it seemed like the club and the fans were as one: all for one, one for all! Mr Bernstein even apologised when we got relegated to the 3rd. I didn’t miss a home game in 9 and half years until the club, Sky and The Premier League rearranged a fixture at relatively short notice, despite my careful planning not to miss it.

I will not be renewing my season ticket next season. It is too expensive for me, I’m fed of up of the inconvenient rearranged kick-offs, the boring football on offer, City’s lack of ambition, and not being treated with respect by those who run City and the football in general. I will not have my money taken for granted this time, and there’s only so much disrespect that I am willing to take from those who run our club. My money can serve me better making some interest in the bank, which may help pay for our tickets next season.

Not that I am giving up City, no way. I’ll probably get to at least a dozen home games next season and some away matches. I will be buying a Citycard (still a bit of a rip-off at £20) so that I can choose when it’s convenient for me to watch our beloved Blues.

Maybe I will find it more enjoyable that way. One would hope that the football is more entertaining next season, and the club starts to show the sort of ambition that a club like Manchester City should do. After all, when a club with such a rich tradition and fine, loyal support underachieves for so long, it’s about time that its potential is realised.

Phil Banerjee <philban65(at)hotmail.com>

OPINION: NAME THAT TUNE

I would like to follow up on Mike Strahand’s comments in the latest newsletter (MCIVTA 1319) about the singing and playing of ‘Blue Moon’. The last time I attended a City home fixture was in 2003 and I don’t remember this being a feature then.

But hearing the tune when watching games on TV, it’s familiarity struck me as a song I used to hear back in the fifties as a young boy. I would say that it is too romantic to be playing before the start of a ‘blood and thunder’ football game, when players and fans should be steeling themselves for the battle that is to come.

I was wondering why that tune? Are they trying to make the opposition soft and slushy, or what? Rather have a tune like ‘Chariots of Fire’, which would help with the mental preparation.

Philip van Gass <philipvangass(at)yahoo.co.uk>

REQUEST: WATFORD TICKET

I am still trying to get a ticket for the Watford game. Please call 07707 296 346 or email.

Kevin Hogan <kevin.x1(at)btopenworld.com>

REQUEST: TOTALLY RANDOM

Is anyone a BT engineer out there (or know one)? I’m desperate to get tickets in the Glastonbury re-sale on Sunday, and am trying to get hold of an engineer access code that will get me to the top of the phone line queue. If anyone can help they can contact me at the email below.

[I know it’s not remotely City related, but this has to be the most bizarre request we’ve ever had – Ed]

Barrie Stoddard – BlackpoolBaz <bluemooner1969(at)btinternet.com>

RESULTS

18 April 2007

Blackburn Rovers      3 - 1  Watford               16,035
Liverpool             2 - 0  Middlesbrough         41,458
West Ham United       1 - 4  Chelsea               34,966

17 April 2007

Arsenal               3 - 1  Manchester City       59,913
Manchester United     2 - 0  Sheffield United      75,540

15 April 2007

Everton               2 - 1  Charlton Athletic     34,028
Wigan Athletic        3 - 3  Tottenham Hotspur     16,506

League table to 18 April 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  33 15  1  1 45 10 11  2  3 32 13 26  3  4  77  23  54  81
 2 Chelsea         33 12  4  0 34  8 12  2  3 26 12 24  6  3  60  20  40  78
 3 Liverpool       34 13  3  1 35  5  6  4  7 17 17 19  7  8  52  22  30  64
 4 Arsenal         34 11  5  1 39 14  7  3  7 18 17 18  8  8  57  31  26  62
 5 Everton         34 10  4  3 28 13  4  8  5 18 17 14 12  8  46  30  16  54
 6 Bolton Wndrs    34  9  4  4 23 15  7  2  8 18 27 16  6 12  41  42  -1  54
 7 Portsmouth      34 10  4  3 26 14  3  6  8 17 24 13 10 11  43  38   5  49
 8 Tottenham H.    33 11  1  4 29 18  3  6  8 18 30 14  7 12  47  48  -1  49
 9 Reading         34 10  2  5 28 18  4  4  9 17 23 14  6 14  45  41   4  48
10 Blackburn R.    33  8  2  7 24 21  5  2  9 17 27 13  4 16  41  48  -7  43
11 Aston Villa     34  6  7  4 17 14  3  8  6 19 25  9 15 10  36  39  -3  42
12 Newcastle Utd   34  7  6  4 23 18  4  2 11 14 25 11  8 15  37  43  -6  41
13 Manchester City 34  5  6  6 10 13  6  2  9 17 25 11  8 15  27  38 -11  41
14 Middlesbrough   34  9  3  5 26 20  1  6 10 11 24 10  9 15  37  44  -7  39
15 Wigan Athletic  34  5  4  8 18 26  4  4  9 17 26  9  8 17  35  52 -17  35
16 Fulham          34  6  6  5 16 17  1  8  8 18 36  7 14 13  34  53 -19  35
17 Sheff. United   34  6  6  5 22 19  3  1 13  7 30  9  7 18  29  49 -20  34
18 Charlton Ath.   34  7  4  6 18 17  1  4 12 12 34  8  8 18  30  51 -21  32
19 West Ham United 34  6  2  9 20 25  2  3 12  7 33  8  5 21  27  58 -31  29
20 Watford         34  3  7  7 17 23  1  4 12  8 33  4 11 19  25  56 -31  23

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 #1320

2007/04/19

Editor:


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