Newsletter #1323

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How does the song go? We never score at home, but we always score away… 20 minutes’ effort and then the City team switched off in our first home defeat to Villa since March 2001. Not only were we cursed with lack of converting our chances, set piece expert Barton fluffed his penalty and the defence had obviously been on the temazipan. Oh well, one more home game to go and I am sure the players will be up for this one.

Talk continues on investment, with news that exiled Thai PM has now thrown his hat into the ring, Ranson still is in there and the mystery Americans still nowhere to be seen. We also have rumours that Big Sam, having resigned from Bolton, is preparing to come to City. Or hopefully Newcastle.

The Player of the Year awards were held tonight, the main award won for a record third time running by Richard Dunne and in a fitting gesture he was presented with his trophy by former skipper and first ever winner of the award, Tony Book. Young Player was Micah Richards who was quite emotional at winning again, and most promising newcomer Ched Evans.

Match views, investment views and season views tonight, read on.

Next game: Manchester United, home, 12.45pm Saturday 5 May 2007

MATCH REPORT ‘LIVE’ I: MCFC 0 AVFC 2

When Saturday comes, or whatever day of the week the powers-that-be deem City play a home match, it has become a ritual in boredom and mental torture as Stuart Pearce’s City routinely turn out colourless, clueless performances in front of the massed ranks of depressed Blues. Nothing changed in the latest game at Eastlands and now we cannot even beat a team like Aston Villa who we routinely take 3 points from. I say ‘even’, but in all truth Aston Villa, under a new American owner who cares about football, and the excellent Martin O’Neill, are heading in the right direction as the Irishman builds a powerful team for the future. Oh for a Martin O’Neill at City! We really missed the boat there.

Make no mistake, barring a bright opening 20 minutes from the Boys in Blue, City played poorly and Villa, led by the vastly under rated Gareth Barry, deserved their win. Even City’s normally reliable backline had a torrid afternoon, with Dunne run ragged by the pacey, powerful Agbonlahor, and Distin being regularly shoulder charged out of the way by Carew, who gave an expert performance at centre forward that was capped by his glanced opener, which incidentally, was a free header. Nedum Onuoha looked out of sorts too and was replaced at half-time after Ashley Young had given him the run around for 45 minutes, including bamboozling him before delivering the pinpoint cross for Carew’s goal.

Much was made of Barton blazing his penalty over the bar just a week after he spoke a few home truths about some of his team mates and the direction (or lack of it) of the club. Whether you think Barton should have said those things or not, or whether you like him or not, it’s impossible to deny the truth in those comments. That said, Barton is a limited talent and it says it all about the state of City that an average Premiership player such as he has been our most potent attacking threat, and arguably, our best player. He was totally overshadowed by Barry, who controlled the game as Villa passed the ball around the statues in sky blue. When we had the ball, the midfield often squandered possession too easily with Barton regularly misdirecting or overhitting his passes, the returning Ireland running down blind alleys out of position on the left, and Hamann off the pace. The City midfield had a dearth of movement and you have to question what exactly goes on in training. Pass and move anyone?

City had chances though: £5 million misfit Samaras, who clearly lacked confidence out of position on the right wing, should have scored from a close range header, and Mpenza missed a golden opportunity when put clear. It seemed inevitable that Villa would score again after that, and Maloney duly did with a deflected free kick. Game over.

It has been clear for several months now that Pearce has to go. He is tactically inept and his transfer record does not bear scrutiny given his long list of failures that he has signed: Samaras, Corradi, Dabo, Trabelsi, Hamann, Dickov should spell out to the current owners and any prospective owners, not to mention 10 paltry goals at home in 18 matches, that Pearce is most definitely not the man to take Manchester City forward.

Phil Banerjee <phil.banerjee(at)mckesson.co.uk>

MATCH REPORT ‘LIVE’ II: MCFC 0 AVFC 2

Although we weren’t mathematically safe going into this game, we were as good as, plus it was one of the teams that we traditionally perform well against. The away game had been our best of the season so far, so there were plenty of grounds for optimism. The back four stayed the same but Sun was on the bench, with Samaras brought into the starting line-up in the quest for our first Premiership home goal since 1 January. Mpenza and Ireland were also in the starting line-up so it looked like Pearce had decided to go for it. However, it was still 4-5-1 to all intents.

Before the game, there was a minute’s applause following the untimely death of Alan Ball. To most of us, this is far more appropriate than the sombre and rarely observed silence.

City started off really well and Hamann had a shot even before the first minute had elapsed. A couple of minutes later, he turned provider to set up Barton for an on-target effort that Sorenson saved. Villa then had a couple of corners in quick succession before the action moved down to the other goal-mouth, where Dunne got in a decent header from a corner. This was far better than the rubbish we’ve had to endure over the last few matches.

The action continued, with Vassell looking to get his customary goal against his old club. He had a chance after an excellent build up but again Sorenson saved. It was then fellow Scandinavian Isaksson’s turn to earn his crust as Carew got a shot in. Then Vassell and Ball combined superbly on the left with the full-back making a clever run off the ball that enabled him to pick up a simple pass from Vassell on the left edge of the box. However, his cross wasn’t as good as it could have been.

City were having a pretty good spell now and the first goal surely couldn’t be far away. It wasn’t but unfortunately it was the visitors who got it. They broke forward but the City defence seemed to have the situation under control. With 24 minutes gone, Young had the ball out on the Villa left but Onuoha had him covered and Ball was sticking to Carew closely. However, somehow Young got a killer cross in and Carew timed his run to perfection to nip between the centre backs to head in past the exposed Isaksson. It was a simple goal but showed the sort of qualities we had been lacking; an accurate cross into a position where the full back knew a forward was going to be.

We don’t have a great record of coming back from being one down and we seemed to give up as Villa got the upper hand. On 30 minutes it could and should have been 2-0 to the visitors as Agbonlahor put a free header wide. However, as the last few minutes of the half ticked away, City seemed to be clawing their way back into it. Barton had a great shot well-saved. Then, on the stroke of half-time, a set piece was played into Vassell who was on the edge of the six-yard box. Sorenson rushed out and completely steam-rollered him and referee Halsey pointed to the spot.

The much awaited home goal was very much on the cards as Barton placed the ball and I must confess that it did cross my mind that his effort against Arsenal had gone in off the underside of the bar at this point. He didn’t do that this time but leant back and blasted it well over the bar. There’s never a good time to miss a penalty but in this case the timing could not have been worse, psychologically, as the half-time whistle went shortly afterwards.

Sun Jihai came on at the start of the second half to replace Onuoha. I assumed we would go 3-5-2 or something similar but it still seemed to be the same 4-5-1, with Samaras and Vassell wasted out wide. Surely, we should have been playing these two more central? However, it was largely academic as we were creating little until Barton managed to play Mpenza through to go one-on-one. Sorenson was quick to react and the Belgian could only put his shot into the ‘keeper’s body.

With nearly seventy minutes gone, Sinclair replaced Hamann but his first contribution involved doing well to create some space to run into but then falling over as he moved after the ball. Villa made a substitution shortly afterwards that was to prove more telling, bringing on Sean Maloney for the dangerous Carew. He made his mark just a few minutes later when he curled a free kick inside Isaksson’s near post to give Villa their second goal.

Many headed for the exits at this point but if those who stayed expected a rousing fight-back from City then they were to be disappointed. We were utterly lifeless for the last quarter of an hour and predictably the team left the field to a chorus of boos from those who had bothered to stay.

So even the game we regard as a banker three pointer had failed to deliver and, yet again, we had failed to score on home territory. It was interesting to see the renaissance of Villa. O’Neill had warned that it takes time to turn things round but you could see the improvement over the season. They moved and passed well and players like Barry have grown in confidence and technique. They’re still not a great team but by the end of next season (after two full seasons under O’Neill) I’ll be surprised if they’re not challenging for a European spot. The two goals summed it up for me. In the first, the forward timed a run to meet a perfect cross and finished efficiently. For the second, they scored with a beautifully delivered free kick. After two full seasons under Pearce we are still as far away from that sort of efficiency as ever.

Yet, watching Samaras, although he was trying hard, he had an irritating habit of not coming to meet a ball delivered into to him but backing away. I’m not an FA-qualified coach but it seems more logical to me that if you go forward to meet the ball then you have more options instead of backing toward your marker and trying to hold the ball or do something from a standing start. More training ground stuff we just aren’t getting right. Yet our manager still insists he’s the best man for the job. Which job is that, exactly, Stuart?

Performances:
Isaksson 6. Another iffy display from him. Should have saved the second probably.
Onuoha 5. All at sea though not sure if he was injured.
Dunne 6. A rare off-day for him.
Distin 4. He has clearly mentally left us.
Ball 6. A couple of decent moments but these were the exception.
Barton 5. Passing was all over the place plus a dreadful penalty. Is he another one who’s decided enough is enough?
Hamann 6. He does the job he does decently but did we really need to protect the back four in a home game against Villa?
Ireland 5. Not enough of a contribution from him.
Samaras 5. Don’t understand the logic of playing him wide. He should be behind the front two.
Vassell 6. Worked hard but never looked like getting the customary goal.
Mpenza 6. Easily shackled by the Villa defence and fluffed his one chance.
Subs:
Sun 6. Full of running and always capable of creating something down the right flank.
Sinclair 4. Surely there’s no way he’s getting a new contract so why bother?

Overall Out-of-the-Seat Factor: 3. Occasional moments, particularly early in the game.

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

MATCH VIEW: MCFC 0 AVFC 1

City started brightly and had a good chance when… oh I can’t be bothered. We were absolutely clueless, particularly in the second half.

Isaakson 4 – No chance with the first but I thought, even before it was taken, he left too much space to his left for the free-kick for the second.
Onouha 5 – A few times his positioning was suspect.
Dunne 6 – Did OK but not his best.
Distin 4- Certainly not his best. Let Carew get in front of him for the first goal, and some of his distribution was dire. Fluctuates too much between sublime and ridiculous.
Ball 7 – Looks pretty solid at left back. Best we’ve had for a while.
Hamaan 6 – Did the holding rôle well enough.
Vassell 5 – Couldn’t provide his customary goal against Villa and slipped out of the game for periods.
Ireland 7 – Mostly for spending his money not on fast cars but on a hair transplant (wish I could afford one). Probably needs a little while to bed in. Got a bit spikey early on and he spent most of the second half touching it. Presumably to check it was still there.
Barton 6 – Most of our good early work came through him, and he had a couple of great shots saved. But his approach to the ball for the penalty had miss all over it. He almost stopped twice. Don’t try the fancy chip Joey. Welly it like you did against Arsenal.
Mpenza 8 – Tried and tried and tried, and looked sharp. Only bad mark was the miss when one on one with Sorensson, but I think the game was long gone by then.
I was always told if you can’t say something positive about someone then don’t say anything. So Samaras.
Sinclair – 5 – Didn’t really get into the game when he came on.

Another woeful home game. Hopefully we’ll be up for it next week, and who knows we haven’t scored five in one game yet this season.

Dave Kilroy <dave.kilroy(at)ntlworld.com>

OPINION: INVESTMENT I

In reply to the current debate on potential investment of MCFC, I have to say that what is most worrying is that all the contenders, with the exception of Ray Ranson, have yet to actually confirm with a proper bid for the club.

I note some of the comments in MCIVTA 1322, by Andy Johnson and others and wholeheartedly agree that the last thing we need is interest from a dodgy, ex Thai PM (my wife and I were visiting Thailand around this time last year, when the proverbial pooh hit the fan there, and the majority of the people we spoke to all said they felt betrayed by what he had done), so why should we consider this?

Regarding the American interest (and with respect to Jesse McClure), there are going to be those for and against, but generally there is a perceived opinion and view of American business overseas outside of the US, that they will only suffer lack of success for so long before they make major changes. I have worked with Americans a lot in recent years, and the majority I would certainly say fall into the ‘success breeds success’ camp. This is also by no means any disrespect to our North American readership, it’s just based on personal business experience, gained over the last 20 years. It is all right for LFC and the Rags, because they have strong set ups, but if I was a supporter of either Portsmouth or Villa, I would be very worried, if either do not find some sort of success after a couple of years.

I do also agree with Andy’s comments on the supporters having more say, I would quite happily, as any true Blue would, spend £100 or more to buy shares in the club, if it meant we could head off this unsettling takeover talk. I have in recent months become more interested in the Supporters’ Trust and thought would it really help? I don’t know, but if enough like minded people got on board, maybe this is the best way forward?

Interested to see the comment “Look at Boddingtons vs. Holts. The only analogy I can think of at the moment. Where is Boddies now? Where is Holts?”; Boddingtons, a tragedy that a Manchester based brewery with an international reputation, was allowed to be sold down the river, firstly to Whitbread’s, and then Interbrew of Belgium, who wasted no time in shafting everyone at the Manchester site and are now demolishing a landmark and our heritage.

My point: there is really never a such a thing as a ‘Good Takeover’; someone will get shafted somewhere along the line, and I for one hope that it is not the fans (see recent Rags’ announcement on pricing).

Peter Godkin <peterandness(at)godkins.wanadoo.co.uk>

OPINION: INVESTMENT II

In response to the comments of Bob Simnor in MCIVTA 1321, I must agree. Having worked for an American company, it would be a disaster.

If anyone is in any doubt, just take a good look at how they operate as a country. The Germans might have bombed our chip shops but the Yanks kill their allies!

The result against Villa must signal the end for Pearce. It’s obvious that if he is given any more money to spend, he will waste it. It’s not about bringing in new players, it’s about getting the players to play as a team.

Sam Duxbury <samduxbury(at)safesystems.fsnet.co.uk>

OPINION: SEASON TICKETS AND INVESTMENT

In response to a couple of recent postings. I would totally endorse Phil Banerjee’s argument on economics in respect of lower season ticket prices, full stadia and money-making spin-offs from the sales of merchandise and refreshments – let’s face it, the majority of fans will need liquid refreshment because they’ll be parched and a little hoarse (no, I said ‘hoarse’ not that bl**dy soft toy that Pearce had in his technical area earlier in the season) after screaming at said manager to go mad on occasions and play two front men, revolutionary thinking eh?

As to the debate on whether American owners would be a good or bad thing, and at this point I don’t profess to know too many American billionaires, I would welcome the involvement of the Hunt family who not only own the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs and other sports franchises Stateside, but have also been a major influence in the ‘soccer’ scene across the pond.

I heard the son of Lamar Hunt (can’t remember his first name) interviewed on BBC 5 Live recently, and he actually had trials in this country as a full back but didn’t make the grade. He did, however, play the game in the US and it was obvious that both he, and his family see football as both a sound investment and a genuine sporting interest.

On a final note, and it may just be wishful thinking, but I would suggest it would be a great move by any prospective new owners to consider bringing back the expertise and insight of one David Bernstein onto any new board. It wouldn’t have to be as Chairman – although that would be a good thing – but just to have him on board again can only be of benefit to the club that both he and we care about so much.

By the time this is published I hope we have seen off Villa once again and hope that every City fan will kick up a right old racket to menace the Red Scum this coming weekend and let’s chuck a spanner in old Funeral Face’s works and grab a point or three!

And after the game …

Sadly my earlier posting pre-Villa was woefully wide of the mark as Martin O’Neill’s men laid to rest the MCFC bogey that has haunted them for the best part of five years. However, the purpose of this communique is not to focus on the lamentable, insipid and quite frankly laughable efforts of our boys in sky blue. No, I want to write about the after match comments of Stuart Pearce.

I quote: “I don’t feel there’s a better man out there to do my job” said dear old Psycho. First let’s define the components of the ‘job’.

If he is referring to tactical ineptitude, transfer market incompetence and self-serving public relations then I am in total agreement. The man is a master on all three counts.

If, however, he is referring to footballing savvy, sound player recruitment and shaping the foundations of future footballing success for Manchester City Football Club, the man is talking utter and 100% b*****ks.

Is he really that arrogant and/or deluded that he genuinely believes that he and his muppet backroom staff are doing a good job? Alternatively, is he so desperate to cling onto his extremely well paid job that he hopes the rest of us are so blindingly gullible that we will accept that he is serving his apprenticeship, in the way that he would have us all believe that Georgios Samaras is still ‘learning his trade’ and will come good when he’s 25 or 26 years of age as stated by Pearce?

Pearce has carefully nurtured his own ‘Lionheart’ persona with the press, public and his would-be employers at the FA. When the idiotic and inept Sven Goran Ericksson was shown the door by England it soon became apparent that Psycho actually started to believe that he was a contender on the basis of his ‘honeymoon’ period with City. At the time he was cultivating his ‘refreshingly honest approach’ – another subtle and sustained element of the Psycho charm offensive – by saying that he would not want, nor accept, any compensation if Man City wanted to get shot of him at any time. What he was really saying was that if Brian Barwick and all the bumbling buffoons at the FA came calling he wanted to make damn sure that John Wardle and Co could not stand in his way and demand compensation from the FA.

A year on and I detect a change in Pearce’s thinking. It’s all about self preservation and the realisation that if City chuck him out because he simply isn’t good enough, his ‘stock’ falls in the eyes of not just England, but any prospective employer’s eyes. Pearce was bleating about short-termism and how unfair Fulham were to sack Chris Coleman. Indeed, he may well have a point but it’s all just a cover to try to safeguard his own hide. I would agree with the logic and principle that perpetual change and a revolving door of managers cannot be good for any club. However, when it patently and painfully obvious that you have someone who cannot do the job to the required standards, then you have to get rid.

I admit when Pearce was confirmed in the post after that tremendous run when we missed out on Europe thanks to Blobbie Fowl-Up’s penalty miss, I too believed the hype, that Passionate ‘Good Old Boy’ Stu, was the man to finally get us to where we craved.

I would advocate that if the FA still hold him in high managerial esteem and being the p*****ks that they are, I have no doubt they still do then they should give the England U-21’s post this summer on a full time basis. Stuart gets to have Three Lions on his chest during work hours and we have the opportunity to hire a proper manager such as Allardyce, if rumours are to be believed.

Sucko, sorry Psycho, I get confused due to all his sucking up to the FA, never criticising referees etc. is given an opportunity to leave, seemingly of his own accord and thereby salvaging his ‘reputation’ – minus his compensation pay-off, of course, because he only wants his fair day’s pay for a fair days graft blah blah blah.

I fear we are going to be humiliated by the Red Scum next Saturday. I hate the Swamp Dwellers with a passion and would ‘love it, just love it’ if we could beat them and scupper their Premiership charge. It is, however, a flight of fancy after seeing City go a not-so magnificent seven home Premiership fixtures without a solitary goal since New Year’s Day. It’s been 4 **** months for God’s sake!

For that statistic alone, Pearce should be sacked and he himself feel deeply shamed.

It pains me to say it, but if we are soundly thrashed on May 5 then the only crumb of comfort might be that it expedites the departure of Stuart Pearce from Manchester City Football Club and pulls us back from the road to ruination and relegation in 2008.

And here endeth the lesson…

David Walker <davidjwalker1(at)tiscali.co.uk>

OPINION: THE STATE OF THE CLUB

Unfortunately another unconvincing display with the home loss to Aston Villa. Fortunately this season is nearly at an end.

The ever-faithful fans who continue to attend in their numbers must be growing mightily tired. On current performances, clearly, the club does not deserve their present following of supporters. It is a shame. Yet again, genial Joe Mercer must surely be looking down and shaking his head: Football without a smile, indeed.

I feel today’s performance and result may just have sealed our manager’s fate, come the ensuing weeks – time will tell, though and I’ll certainly be following the headlines, as usual. Still, I have a feeling a new person will be leading the club come August 2007.

Things at the club are obviously seriously wrong off the pitch, as well as on and the time has come for some hard decisions with regard to the future well-being of Manchester City, whether or not any new investment/ownership fully materialises.

Nothing whatsoever can be judged by the forthcoming game against United, this is clearly a “one-off” event and, consequently, anything can happen on that day.

Not at all well with City, then rather sums up the season, as far as I’m concerned; becoming rather tired of the non-achievers.

Not easy keeping the faith these days, although I probably shall, though just out of habit.

Graham Mills <gkm_5(at)yahoo.com>

OPINION: SEASON TICKETS I

I am gutted that tomorrow’s game against Villa will be my last but one home game as a Seasoncard holder for some time. I have loved City since I was a kid and used to get visits from Buzzer et al while I was at primary school in the 60’s. I had a season ticket in the Kippax in the 70’s and was lucky enough to hold the League Cup in 1976 while in the Junior Blues. All memories now.

My son and I have loyally supported Stuart Pearce and the City team but enough is enough. My two conditions for renewing our Seasoncards are certainly not going to be met by the extended deadline set by the Club, namely that both the Board and the Manager have to change before we go back.

Where to start? City – 6th highest attendance in the Premiership, 16th highest turnover of any football club in the world, 3-4 talented but low wage Academy players in the first team reducing the wage bill, a stadium that we didn’t have to pay to build. Talk about a golden set of circumstances. But we’ve stolen failure from the jaws of success. That is a special talent indeed.

The incompetence defies belief. We remain constantly in the shadow of the Rags and can’t even illuminate our new neon signs until shortly before kick-off – Manyoo’s red sign is on 24/7, big and bold. It is shameful and I feel that fools have robbed me of my beloved Club.

According to Seasoncard sales, I am far from alone. So tomorrow’s game will come and go and I will savour the last two games (and all their goal action – sic). City’s record this season, seventh best defensive record in the Premiership, UEFA standard; joint second worst number of goals scored in the Premiership, Championship standard. And we couldn’t even bring ourselves to take a punt on Freddy Eastwood or Billy Sharp in January. Pathetic. Sorry but it is.

I hope to be back soon as a City Card holder when wholesale Board and Management changes are complete. I want to be proud of City again within my lifetime. Is that asking too much?

Malcolm Peplow <malcolm.peplow(at)talktalk.net>

OPINION: SEASON TICKETS II

I have never owned a season ticket and have never been close to buying one. In the main because my work has never allowed it and family also means more to me than football (please don’t think less of me).

But I do have a massive amount of sympathy with football supporters who do buy season tickets, as they are the last to be considered when it comes to kick off dates and times and yet they have put the money in, almost in blind faith.

So I have thought of a nice way that will allow the club the luxury of the cash cow of Sky and looking after the most loyal supporters the club has. Now admittedly I haven’t looked at this from every angle and there is bound to be a cool response from some quarters but I really do think the principle is sound.

The club should allow a refund or credit to season ticket holders for games that are changed after the fixtures have been announced, as long as the ticket is not used. Simple really.

If Sky request a change of time or date, the fans who would have to travel a fair distance for an early or late kick-off can choose to stay at home and watch it on TV, knowing that they are not paying twice. The club in that instance would “credit” next year’s season ticket or offer a partial refund. If the game is oversubscribed they could also re-sell the ticket to other fans who can make it (although that is neither likely or easily workable TBH).

There can also be a nice little marketing exercise for the TV companies, they could tie in a season ticket sale with any club to a “Prem Plus” season ticket. Or perhaps Sky (don’t they own 10% of City?) could say that season ticket holders for City games can send their stub for a free viewing of the game on TV?

With Setanta coming on stream soon, that might be a nice way of keeping fans loyal. Just a thought.

There is also another consideration for fans. What exactly is the legal position for late fixture changes? Don’t companies have to offer a viable alternative to people who have previously purchased a ticket for any event? If a suitable alternative, “acceptable to both parties”, cannot be found, a refund for that game is ethically due isn’t it?

I bet there is a European law for that, and if there isn’t then there will/should be.

Maybe rather than reducing ticket prices the club should make a commitment to treat fans better with fixture changes (with the refund option) and also perhaps, when time allows, ask the season ticket holders for their opinion.

For example, fixture due to be played Sat 23 August, Sky would like to have it on TV Monday 25 August.

Do you want to accept this change, with refund opportunity or not?

Text:
A – Yes
B – No way, I want to keep football as a sacred Saturday afternoon experience.

I reckon there are dozens of ways that the club could improve their relationship with their fans, especially as that relationship seems to be at an all time low. A sure fire winner of hearts and minds is to listen.

There is also a word that can be readily used to describe larger and larger sections of the City faithful. One which, if you are a potential American investor, will cause a definite pause for thought. That word is disenfranchised.

We are more disenfranchised than ever. Does that mean we are likely to choose another “franchise”?

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

OPINION: BARTON

Joey Barton has once again stirred up a hornet’s nest with his latest views on all that is rotten at MCFC.

I for one am very glad he has aired his views and has exposed the myth that all is well at CoMS. No one got away with his anger and the points he aired are the same ones that City fans have been proclaiming for a long time. Unfortunately when we City fans have the audacity to make public our opinions the PR instantly gets on our case and tries to tell us we have got it all wrong! Well then how are City going to handle this one? One thing for sure is no matter how many times the PR department or Stuart Pearce tell us that all is well with the players, someone is not telling the truth; only a matter of weeks ago, Richard Dunne felt the need to make similar remarks.

No one was spared Joey’s wrath; from the chairman down, many people were openly criticised. Finance, tactics, signings were all held up for scrutiny and with some justification as well. Why on earth did Stuart send a team out to Watford with Vassell being the lone striker? I feel that this time the management might deem it advisable to dispense with Joey’s services; all I can say is: don’t shoot the messenger.

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

REQUEST: DERBY TICKET

I was supposed to be working in Russia but that has fallen through so I’ll be in Manchester on derby day. If anyone had one spare ticket, please get in touch. Call 0795 044 8244 or email at the address below.

Thanks, Martin Lever – St Petersburg Blue <martinlever(at)yahoo.co.uk>

RESULTS

29 April 2007

Arsenal               3 - 1  Fulham                61,839

28 April 2007

Blackburn Rovers      4 - 1  Charlton Athletic     24,921
Chelsea               2 - 2  Bolton Wanderers      41,105
Everton               2 - 4  Manchester United     39,682
Manchester City       0 - 2  Aston Villa           40,799
Middlesbrough         2 - 3  Tottenham Hotspur     27,861
Portsmouth            2 - 1  Liverpool             20,201
Sheffield United      1 - 0  Watford               30,690
Wigan Athletic        0 - 3  West Ham United       24,726

League table to 29 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  35 15  2  1 46 11 12  2  3 36 15 27  4  4  82  26  56  85
 2 Chelsea         35 12  5  0 36 10 12  3  3 26 12 24  8  3  62  22  40  80
 3 Liverpool       36 14  3  1 37  5  6  4  8 18 19 20  7  9  55  24  31  67
 4 Arsenal         36 12  5  1 42 15  7  4  7 20 19 19  9  8  62  34  28  66
 5 Bolton Wndrs    36  9  4  5 24 18  7  3  8 20 29 16  7 13  44  47  -3  55
 6 Everton         36 10  4  4 30 17  4  8  6 18 18 14 12 10  48  35  13  54
 7 Portsmouth      36 11  4  3 28 15  3  7  8 17 24 14 11 11  45  39   6  53
 8 Tottenham H.    35 11  2  4 31 20  4  6  8 21 32 15  8 12  52  52   0  53
 9 Reading         35 10  2  5 28 18  5  4  9 20 24 15  6 14  48  42   6  51
10 Blackburn R.    35  9  2  7 28 22  5  3  9 18 28 14  5 16  46  50  -4  47
11 Aston Villa     36  6  8  4 17 14  4  8  6 21 25 10 16 10  38  39  -1  46
12 Newcastle Utd   35  7  7  4 23 18  4  2 11 14 25 11  9 15  37  43  -6  42
13 Manchester City 36  5  6  7 10 15  6  3  9 18 26 11  9 16  28  41 -13  42
14 Middlesbrough   36  9  3  6 28 23  1  7 10 12 25 10 10 16  40  48  -8  40
15 Sheff. United   36  7  6  5 23 19  3  2 13  8 31 10  8 18  31  50 -19  38
16 Fulham          36  6  7  5 17 18  1  8  9 19 39  7 15 14  36  57 -21  36
17 Wigan Athletic  36  5  4  9 18 29  4  4 10 17 28  9  8 19  35  57 -22  35
18 West Ham United 36  7  2  9 21 25  3  3 12 10 33 10  5 21  31  58 -27  35
19 Charlton Ath.   36  7  5  6 19 18  1  4 13 13 38  8  9 19  32  56 -24  33
20 Watford         36  3  8  7 18 24  1  4 13  8 34  4 12 20  26  58 -32  24

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 #1323

2007/04/30

Editor:


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